XVI INQUA Congress
Paper No. 5-25
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM

QUATERNARY DEPOSITS AT THE LESSER CAUCASUS, THE ARMENIAN CORRIDOR

FERNANDEZ-JALVO, Yolanda1, KING, Tania2, ANDREWS, Peter, YEPISKOPOSYAN, Levon3, SAFFARIAN, Vardges4, DIETCHFIELD, Peter5, MOLONEY, Norah6, NIETO-DIAZ, Manuel1, and MELKONYAN, Anoush7, (1) Paleobiologia, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), Jose Gutierrez Abascal, 2, Madrid, 28006, Spain, yfj@mncn.csic.es, (2) Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7-5BD, United Kingdom, (3) Institute of Man, 15, Charentz Street, Yerevan, 375025, Armenia, (4) Artsakh State Univ, Mkhitar Goshi St. 5, Stepanakert, Karabagh, (5) Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, (6) Institute of Archaeology, Univ College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY, United Kingdom, (7) Geology, Armenian Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia

Recent discoveries in the Caucasus region indicate that hominids occupied this area over a period of nearly two million years. The earliest hominids outside Africa in Europe are known from the Georgian site of Dmanisi in the southern Caucasus (~1.8 Ma). Human remains from Mezmaiskaya Cave in the northern Caucasus, provide evidence that the European species, the Neanderthals, were present in Eurasia at a later date (~29000 years BP) and further east than previously considered. The Armenian Corridor connects the Levant with Europe and vice-versa. In order to increase our understanding of the Armenian Region and to investigate possible migration routes, we conducted reconnaissance fieldwork in Armenia and Karabagh during 1999-2002. The area investigated encompassed northern and western Armenia, as well as the region surrounding Azokh cave in southeastern Karabagh. In northern Armenia, localities were examined in the Javacheti mountain range where the Georgian site of Dmanisi is also situated. The Jachacheti and Karabagh regions of the Armenian Corridor explored have great potential for the discovery of further hominid remains, stone tools and associated fauna. Amongst the cave sites surveyed in southeastern Karabagh, was the well-known Azokh cave, which yielded hominid remains identified as H.heidelbergensis in a previous excavation. Excavations at Azokh Cave were resumed in the summer of 2002 by a multidisciplinary and international research team. Sediments rich in fauna and stone tools, as well as additional entrances to the cave were revealed, and provide exciting information about the site and the region as a whole. This fieldwork was undertaken as part of a long-term collaboration agreement between The Armenian Academy of Sciences, The Yerevan Institute of Man, The Natural History Museum, The Institute of Archaeology of London, and Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Spain. Excavations at Azokh cave were carried out in collaboration with Artsakh State University, with the support of The Ministry of Culture of Karabagh. We are grateful to British Mediterranean Airways; The Harold Hyam Wingate Trust; The Natural History Museum, London; The British Academy, The Spanish Minister of Science and Technology; The Royal Society; and The University of London for their support.

XVI INQUA Congress
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 5--Booth# 91
Paleoclimate I (Posters)
Reno Hilton Resort and Conference Center: Pavilion
1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Thursday, July 24, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, , p. 78

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