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Keywords:

  • modern humans;
  • archeology;
  • Aurignacian;
  • northern Eurasia

Abstract

Artifacts of Paleolithic age were first recognized in eastern Europe during the 1870s. Archeologists have struggled ever since to integrate them into the better known record of western Europe, where the interpretive framework of Paleolithic archeology was originally developed.1–5 The essential elements of both the Middle and Upper Paleolithic were recognized quickly in eastern Europe, and a close connection with a major middle Upper Paleolithic industry of central Europe (Gravettian) was established many years ago. The early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) has remained a major challenge, however; it is represented primarily by a bewildering array of local archeological cultures that exhibit limited similarity to contemporaneous industries of western and central Europe.6–9