Climatically Driven Landscape Evolution in the High-Mountainous Russian Altai and Its Human Occupation Over the Past 20 Thousand Years

A. R. Agatova, R. K. Nepop, I. Yu Slyusarenko, P. Moska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multidisciplinary studies of various natural archives indicate contrasting changes in the human habitat in the high-mountainous southeastern part of the Russian Altai during the last 20,000 years. This period includes the final stage of the last glaciation and its degradation, the formation of the last giant ice-dammed lakes in the intermountain basins and their cataclysmic draining, considerable transformation of glacial landscapes to modern diverse and mosaic structure. Warmer and more humid climate in the first half of the Holocene was followed by cooling and repeated advances of mountain glaciers. The general trend to cooling and aridization in the second half of the Holocene is the most pronounced during the last two millennia.

Deglaciation and final drying of intermountain basins boosted a renovation of the local ecosystems and established an environmental baseline of human occupation in the region. The arid climate, widespread permafrost and low population density determined a good preservation of archaeological heritage in the region, which is located at the crossroad between East and West, North and South.

This paper presents the analysis of previously published and new data including newly obtained C-14 and OSL dates, which allow to correlate climatically driven landscape transformations with habitat of ancient communities and cultures shifting in the region during the last 20, 000 years, as well as to assess the anthropogenic impact on the environment.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)269-298
Number of pages30
JournalStratum Plus
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Russian Altai
  • Last Glacial
  • Holocene
  • landscape evolution
  • climate changes
  • archaeological sites
  • anthropogenic impact
  • HYDROLOGICAL SYSTEM TRANSFORMATION
  • IRON-SMELTING FURNACES
  • SOUTHERN SIBERIA
  • LATE PLEISTOCENE
  • DAMMED LAKES
  • SITES
  • RECONSTRUCTION
  • HISTORY
  • CLIMATE
  • COMPLEX

WoS ResearchAreas Categories

  • Archaeology

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