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Techno-typological variability of the late Middle Paleolithic in the southern Balkans

Middle Paleolithic stone tool technology is one of the major sources of information about Neandertal behavior and adaptations. The Balkan Middle Paleolithic often remains outside of the major debates and interpretations of Neandertal behavior.

T. Dogandzic
23 June 2021
The publication in Open Access

This dissertation is a contribution to better understanding the variability and diachronic changes of the Middle Paleolithic in the Balkans. The central part of this dissertation is the study of lithic collections from two stratified sites in the Adriatic region, Crvena stijena and Bioče (Montenegro). The assemblages from these sites have been previously grouped into the Micromousterian, but other Mousterian variants, Pontinian, Charentian, Denticulate and Typical Mousterian, have also been recognized. In trying to depart from tight attachment to Mousterian facies this dissertation examines flake production methods and toolkit production, the ways these two aspects correlate, and how they relate to raw material properties, and core and tool reduction intensities.

Further, based on the review of the available record of the entire Balkan Middle Paleolithic, the dissertation explores trends in its chronological and geographical variation and compares them to the currently known variation of the Middle Paleolithic industries in Europe. It further addresses the questions of the role of the Balkans as a refugium, occupational history of Neandertals and the scenarios for their demise.

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