Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationAutonomous Non-Profit Organization
Grant numberGr. 9331
Approve DateOctober 5, 2016
Project TitleDoronichev, Dr. Vladimir, Autonomous Non-Profit Organization, St. Petersburg, Russia - To aid research on 'Final Lower Paleolithic and Early Middle Paleolithic in the Northwestern Caucasus'
Prelimary abstract: The ending of Lower Paleolithic and replacement of pre-Neanderthals by Middle Paleolithic Neanderthals is one of poorly studied topics in world prehistory and anthropology. Current models of the Lower to Middle Paleolithic (LMP) transition are almost entirely based on west European, Levantine, and African records while data from the Caucasus is lacunae. It is also apparent from many recent studies that the Lower and Middle Paleolithic hominid occupation in every region is linked directly to major climatic fluctuations, particularly during interglacial and glacial periods. The proposed project is designed to investigate the ending of Final Lower Paleolithic (FLP) and to assess a potential interaction of this event with the appearance of Early Middle Paleolithic (EMP) Neanderthals in the Caucasus. The applicant proposes to conduct excavation and multidisciplinary studies at Sredniy Khadjokh (Kuban River basin, northwestern Caucasus), the only stratified open-air site where earlier excavations discovered FLP and EMP levels with in situ lithic assemblages in the region. The project is a continuation of a previous research, for which the applicant was Principal Investigator, ‘Final Lower Paleolithic and transition to Middle Paleolithic in Caucasus and eastern Europe’, granted by the Committee for Research, Conservation and Exploration of the National Geographic Society in 2013. The applicant assumes to make a detail comparison of the excavated materials and results of his study in the northwestern Caucasus with the data available now from neighboring regions in the northern Caucasus (particularly, from Weasel Cave and recent discoveries in Dagestan), and southern Caucasus (particularly, recent studies in Georgia and Armenia) to improve the level of knowledge of chronological frameworks, and environmental and cultural contexts of the LMP transition in this part of West Eurasia.