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Climate, Subsistence and Human Movements in the Western Dvina – Lovat River Basins
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Professor Pavel Dolukhanov
Mazurkevich AN, Korotkevich BN, Dolukhanov PM, Shukurov AM, Arslanov KhA, Saveleva LA, Dzinoridze EN, Kulkova MA, Zaitseva GI
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This article outlines the results of a multidisciplinary project currently conducted in the upper part of the basin of the Western Dvina River in North-Western Russia. The project targeted at prehistoric sites in that area was aimed at the precise dating of the initial transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture in that area. The methods used included pollen, diatom and geochemical analyses under strict time control provided by 14C dating. The initial settlement emerged at ca 6200 cal BC, when the valley was taken up by a fresh water lake with a relatively high lake-level. The initial indices of agriculture became apparent in the deposits of Usvyatian Culture (4600–3400 cal BC), featuring large-scale constructions of pile-dwellings. Indices of swidden type agriculture became apparent in the deposits of Zhizhitsian Culture, 2300–2200 cal BC.
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