GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 275-2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


BLACKWELL, Bonnie A.B.1, ZHUO, Jialin2, HUANG, Clara L.C.2, MIHAILOVIĆ, Dusan3, MIHAILOVIĆ, Bojana4, ROKSANDIC, Mirjana5, KOROBAR, Ljiljana Š.6, DIMITRIJEVIĆ, Vesna7, TURK, Ivan8, KITANOVSKI, Blagoja9, PLAVŠIĆ, Senka3, SHINH, Matthew R.2, QI, Justin K.2, FLORENTIN, Jonathan A.10, BLICKSTEIN, Joel I.B.11 and SKINNER, Anne R.11, (1)Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267, (2)RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866, (3)Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University, Cika Ljubina 18-20, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia, (4)National Museum, The Square of the Republic 1a, Belgrade, NY 11000, (5)Department of Anthropology, University of Winnipeg, Winnepeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada, (6)National Archaeological Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of, (7)Department of Archaeology, Belgrade University, Cika Ljubina 18-20, Belgrade, NY 11000, (8)Inštitut za arheologijo, SAZU, Slovenian Academy of Sciences, Novi trg 2,, Llubljana,, SI-1000, Slovenia, (9)Center for Prehistoric Research, Skopje, Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of, (10)Dept. of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267-2692, (11)RFK Science Research Institute, Box 866, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866

Because ESR can date teeth from 30 ka to 2-4 Ma with 2-5% uncertainty, this study compared new dates for Mousterian layers at Golema Pešt, Macedonia, Velika Balanica, Šalitrena Pećina, and Pešturina, Serbia, with those for Mala Balanica, Serbia, and Divje Babe I, Slovenia, to track late Pleistocene hominin inhabitation and movements through the Balkans. Mala Balanica yielded a Homo heidelbergensis mandible, ESR dated at ≥ 433 +53-51 ka, which correlates with Marine (Oxygen) Isotope Stage (MIS) 12a. Velika Balanica has six Middle Paleolithic layers. Cervid teeth from Layer 2 correlated with MIS 7, those from Layer 3, with the MIS 10/9 boundary, and those from Layer 4c, with MIS 11/12. Golema Pešt has Denticulate Mousterian tools in Layers 3-6. From Layers 3-4, cervid teeth dated with ESR correlated with early MIS 4-5a. In Pešturina, Layers 4, 3, and 2 respectively host a Charentian Mousterian, a Denticulate Mousterian, and a Gravettian industry that correlate with MIS 5e-3. In Šalitrena, Layers 3-4 yielded Gravettian artefacts, while Layer 5 has Aurignacian, and Layer 6, Mousterian. AMS 14C has dated Layers 3-4 at ~ 24-25 ka, Layer 5 at ~ 31 ka, and Layer 6a at ~ 38-39 ka, while ESR has correlated Layer 6d with MIS 4-5b. Thus, at four sites, plentiful thick Mousterian deposits in MIS 5-4 suggest that Neanderthals lived across the Balkans, but disappeared from Golema Pešt after MIS 4, although they likely still lived at Pešterina. In mid MIS 3, by 42-36 ka, anatomically modern Homo sapiens (AMHs) carrying their Aurignacian tools settled the northern part of the peninsula, but the Mousterians had disappeared from the Balkans, either because the Neanderthals had disappeared or had moved to other sites in the Balkans not yet discovered. The Gravettian occupation started at 33 ka, but was most intensive before 29 ka. More Middle Paleolithic sites in the region should be dated to fill gaps in Neanderthal history and to better understand Neanderthal-AMHs interactions in the Balkans. More sites with Paleolithic deposits older than MIS 5 need to be found to understand the earlier hominin movements.