Paper No. 66-9
Presentation Time: 3:55 PM
LATE PLEISTOCENE PALEOCLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION AT LUSAKERT CAVE, ARMENIA
Paleoclimatic data is vital to archaeologists’ ability to place materials in their proper environmental context, allowing for better interpretation of past hominin behavior. By using site-based paleoclimate data, complications relating to correlating archaeological with paleoclimatological data may be overcome. In this study, hydrogen isotope (δD) values of sedimentary long-chain n-alkanes, which are derived from terrestrial plants, were measured at the Middle Paleolithic site Lusakert Cave, Armenia. These values were then compared to δD values of meteoric water collected in Armenia in order to better understand modern variability. Results show a nearly 40‰ shift in δD values of C29 n-alkanes over the course of the deposition of the site, which indicates strongly varying climatic conditions. Despite these changes in climatic conditions, there have been abundant lithic artifacts found in most layers of the site. These data suggest that hominins during the Middle Paleolithic were capable of surviving at this site in the Lesser Caucasus region even during cold climatic phases.