New data on Neanderthal behavior in the Altai region, Russia

Kseniya A. Kolobova, Alena V. Kharevich, Sergei K. Vasilyev, Vladimir M. Kharevich, Ekaterina N. Bocharova, Pavel V. Chistyakov, John W. Olsen, Andrei I. Krivoshapkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Until recently, only two sites yielding Micoquian/Keilmessergruppen (KGM) lithic assemblages were known in the Russian Altai Region, which are the result of Late European Neanderthal migrations from Eastern Europe. European Micoquian/KMG sites, often located in close proximity to one another, vary functionally, reflecting complex behavioral patterns of Neanderthal populations. Conversely, two sites in the Altai Region are identified as base camps only, suggesting that sites with other functions either have yet been undiscovered or destroyed by post-depositional processes. Here, we present new data from Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Cave, located close to Okladnikov Cave in southern Siberia. A stone tool typical of the Micoquian/KMG was recovered from Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Layers 3, chronologically overlapping Neanderthal cultural strata uncovered in Okladnikov Cave. The tool's typology and chronology suggest that it belonged to a Neanderthal from Okladnikov Cave. Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha Cave may have been used as a game observation point for hunters pursuing prey in the river valley below. Like their European cousins, late Neanderthals in the Altai Region explored areas near their habitations, which suggests no significant changes in the behavior of the Neanderthal population that migrated eastward into Siberia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100489
JournalArchaeological Research in Asia
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Altai region
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Micoquian/KMG
  • Neanderthals
  • Verkhnyaya Sibiryachikha cave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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