The Middle Paleolithic occupations of Ucagizh II Cave (Hatay, Turkey): Geoarcheological and archeological perspectives


Baykara İ. , Mentzer S. M. , Stiner M. C. , Asmerom Y., GÜLEÇ E., Kuhn S. L.

JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS, vol.4, pp.409-426, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.09.022
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS
  • Page Numbers: pp.409-426

Abstract

The site of Ucagizh II is located in a partially collapsed cave on the Mediterranean coast of the Hatay region, South Central Turkey. A small intact chamber (chamber D) preserves a sequence of Middle Paleolithic deposits nearly 2 m thick. Test excavations at the site in 2005 and 2007 produced large assemblages of artifacts, vertebrate and shellfish remains. The entire sequence formed during the Upper Pleistocene, subsequent to MIS 5a. Faunal and lithic assemblages are comparatively homogeneous, consistent with the inference that the deposits formed under relatively constant environmental conditions. Micromorphological analyses reveal an abundance of combustion features and products, although the visibility of the features is locally compromised by local, small-scale bioturbation. There is evidence that the ways fires were created and maintained changed along with the intensity of occupation. Lithic assemblages most closely resemble other Middle Paleolithic assemblages from the northern Levant but there are inconsistencies with the accepted pattern of technological change over time in the Levantine Mousterian more broadly. Faunal and lithic evidence indicate that the intensity and duration of occupational events declined over time at Ucagizh II. While there are many parallels in raw material economy with the early Upper Paleolithic of the nearby Ucagizh I site, the Middle Paleolithic hominins may have used the coastal landscape in a different way from later Upper Paleolithic groups. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.