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Chronology and possible links between climatic and cultural change during the first millennium BC in southern Siberia and Central Asia.

G I Zaitseva, B Van Geel, N A Bokovenko, K V Chugunov, V A Dergahev, V G Dirksen, M A Koulkova, A Nagler, G Parzinger, J Van Der Plicht, N D Bourova, L M Lebedeva

Abstract


We reconstructed climate change during the second half of the Holocene for the Minusinsk (southern Siberia) and the Uyuk (Central Asia) valleys in the Eurasian steppe zone. Sediment cores from 2 lakes and a soil profile from the Arzhan-2 burial mount were investigated. We combined pollen and geochemical analyses and radiocarbon dating with the archaeological record. A sharp increase of human population density occurred at the transition from the Bronze Age to Iron Age (about 2700 cal BP). The most representative Scythian culture started in the Uyuk and the Minusinsk valleys after increased humidity and occupation capacity of the steppe zone during the 9th century BC.

Keywords


absolute age;archaeology ;Arzhan 2 burial mound;Asia ;Bronze Age;C 14;carbon ;Cenozoic ;Central Asia;climate change;cores ;geochemistry ;Holocene ;human activity;humidity ;Iron Age;isotopes ;Kutuzhekovo Lake;lacustrine environment;lake sediments;microfossils ;Minusinsk Valley;miospores ;Neolithic ;palynomorphs ;pollen ;pollen diagrams;Quaternary ;radioactive isotopes;sediments ;Siberia ;soil profiles;southern Siberia;steppes ;Stone Age;Uyuk Valley

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