Late Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic of the Eastern Adriatic and the Problem of the Regional Middle/Upper Paleolithic Interface
Late Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic in the Eastern Adriatic and the Problem of the Regional Middle/Upper Paleolithic Interface
I. Karavanic1, 2 and N. Vukosavljevic1 1University of Zagreb, Ivana Lucica 3, Zagreb, 10000, Croatia 2University of Wyoming, 12th and Lewis Streets, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
The Eastern Adriatic Late Middle Paleolithic is relatively well known. On the other hand, Early Upper Paleolithic sites in the same region are scarce; and in particular, sites from Early Aurignacian, which are completely lacking. Sites with stratigraphy encompassing Late Middle Paleolithic and Early Upper Paleolithic that would contribute significantly to better understanding of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition, have not yet been found. In this paper, we give an overview of the archaeological record of the regional Late Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania. The information on the research of Late Middle Paleolithic sites conducted in different regions of the Eastern Adriatic (e.g., Mujina pecina and Velika pecina in Klicevica in Dalmatia, the openair site Campanož and Romualdova pecina in Istria, and Bioce and Crvena stijena in Montenegro) is given. AMS and ESR dates give a good temporal frame for the Late Middle Paleolithic. In contrast, radiocarbon dates for the Early Upper Paleolithic are scarce, and were produced a long time ago, hence bringing into question their reliability (as supported by their very late age for Aurignacian). Only one recent AMS date from Šandalja II could represent the real Aurignacian age. According to current data, there is a hiatus of several thousand years between Late Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic in the Eastern Adriatic. Here we suggest several potential reasons for such a fragmentary record of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in the Eastern Adriatic.
Keywords: Eastern Adriatic, Late Middle Paleolithic, Early Upper Paleolithic, Late Mousterian, Aurignacian, Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition