A Critical Review of "the Mesolithic" in Relation to Siberian Archaeology

Alexander B. Dolitsky


This paper explores the potential of the economic-ecological method based on the exploitation of fish resources for Mesolithic site identification, as compared to the recently popular yet indecisive technological-typological method, to predict the existence of "Mesolithic-like" subsistence activities in Siberia during the Sartan-Holocene "transition" period. The article is an attempt to establish, or at least to propose, new criteria that can lead to a higher level of understanding of Mesolithic economies in subarctic and arctic regions. Also, decision-making processes that operate to achieve behavioral goals based on efficiency of human beings are suggested. The model, designed with respect to geographical regions identified as interbiotic zones, has the advantage of offering specific alternative hypotheses enabling the definition of both environmental properties and predicted human behavior.

Key words: Mesolithic, Siberia, interbiotic zone


Adaptation (Biology); Animal behaviour; Animals; Archaeology; Artifacts; Climate change; Deglaciation; Economic conditions; Economic development; Fresh-water ecology; Fishing; Human bioclimatology; Human ecology; Human migration; Hunting; Land use; Pleistocene epoch; Psychology; Recent epoch; Salmoninae; Social change; Social conditions; Subsistence; Villages; Angara River region, Russian Federation; Angara River, Russian Federation; Baykal, Lake, region, Russian Federation; Baykal, Lake, Russian Federation; Yenisey River region, Russian Federation; Yenisey River, Russian Federation; Alaska, Southcentral

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic2131

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