Preliminary Findings of the Balkan Paleo Project: Evidence of Human Activity at the “Gateway” of Europe During the Late Pleistocene

Предварителни резултати на „Балканския Палео Проект”: свиделства за човешка дейност на „прага“ на Европа през късния плейстоцен

  • Stefanka Ivanova National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
  • Maria Gurova National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
  • Nikolai Spassov Department of Palaeontology and Mineralogy, National Museum of Natural History in Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd, 1000 Sofia
  • Vasil Popov Department of Community Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research in Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Gagarin Str., 1113 Sofia
  • Jana Makedonska Department of Anthropology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Arts and Sciences 237, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222
  • Tsanko Tzankov South-West University "Neofit Rilski", 66 Ivan Michailov st., 2700 Blagoevgrad
  • David S. Strait Department of Anthropology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Arts and Sciences 237, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222

Abstract

This paper describes the initial findings of the Balkan Paleo Project (BPP). The project seeks: 1 – to augment the evidence that can be used to test hypotheses about hominin and faunal dispersals into and out of Europe during the Pleistocene; 2 – to gather data for testing the hypotheses regarding the adaptation of early human populations to Eurasian ecosystems, the adjustment of their tool technologies, anatomical characteristics and behaviors in response to local climates and faunal evidence.

These research objectives can only be achieved by identifying and excavating a broad spectrum of archaeological and paleontological sties that span the Pleistocene within the Balkan Peninsula. Results of BPP activities conducted in southern Bulgaria are reported here. These include excavations at the Arkata rockshelter and associated caves overlooking the Arda River near (Eastern Rhodopes, Krumovgrad district), the Leyarna caves and the previously known paleontological locality of Mechata Dupka (Strandzha Mountains, Malko Tarnovo district). These activities have expanded our understanding of ecological conditions along a potentially important pathway along which early humans may have dispersed into and out of Europe, and have for the first time documented the presence of Pleistocene humans within southeastern Bulgaria.

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Published
2012-12-25
How to Cite
Ivanova, S., Gurova, M., Spassov, N., Popov, V., Makedonska, J., Tzankov, T. and Strait, D. (2012) “Preliminary Findings of the Balkan Paleo Project: Evidence of Human Activity at the ‘Gateway’ of Europe During the Late Pleistocene”, Bulgarian e-Journal of Archaeology / Българско е-Списание за Археология, 2(2), pp. 1-24. Available at: http://be-ja.org/index.php/Be-JA/article/view/31 (Accessed: 9December2019).
Section
Papers / Статии
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