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Les principales étapes de l'occupation humaine en bordure de l'Himalaya occidental

Abstract : Lithic industries attest that Western Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Pamir as well as the sub-Himalayan belt, i. e. the Siwalik range, were inhabited during the prehistoric times. However, in thin transition zone between plains and high mountains, distinction is to be kept between low-middle altitude regions and high altitude regions (above 2000 m).
In the former regions, the first human occupation tenuously appears around 2 Ma. In the Middle Pleistocene, the Lower Palaeolithic industries belong to two technological facies, the Acheulian and the Early Soanian. In the North-Western Siwaliks, the Soanian occurs in plenty on the river terraces, which were all built after 400 ka and the Acheulian appears between 0.5 and 0.7 Ma. The Middle Palaeolithic is still rich in cobble tools and therefore named Late Soanian. The Upper Palaeolithic is missing, perhaps due to climatic factors and the Neolithic is characterised by polished axes/adzes, but actually many of the cobble tools usually considered as Early Soanian may well belong to the cobble tool technical tradition common in South-East Asia during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene.
In the north of the mountain range, the entire Palaeolithic sequence yielded by the loess in Southern Tajikistan is characterised, right from the late Lower Pleistocene, by lithic industries mainly compose of flakes, sometimes with cobble tools.
In the high altitude zones, prehistoric sites are unknown before the Holocene and therefore they are contemporaneous with the Neolithic but some technological facies display particular features.
The question is to know whether the originality of the industries, observed at different periods of time, is linked to techno-cultural adaptations to particular environments or to the isolation of the mountain populations.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 13, 2009 - 4:48:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 9:46:04 AM

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Claire Gaillard, Anne Dambricourt Malassé. Les principales étapes de l'occupation humaine en bordure de l'Himalaya occidental. L'anthropologie, Elsevier Masson, 2008, 112, pp.404-422. ⟨10.1016/j.anthro.2008.04.005⟩. ⟨halshs-00361315⟩

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