The early Upper Paleolithic occupations at Üçaǧi{dotless}zli{dotless} Cave (Hatay, Turkey)

Steven L. Kuhn, Mary C. Stiner, Erksin Güleç, Ismail Özer, Hakan Yilmaz, Ismail Baykara, Ayşen Açikkol, Paul Goldberg, Kenneth Martínez Molina, Engin Ünay, Fadime Suata-Alpaslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes results from excavations at Üçaǧi{dotless}zli{dotless} Cave (Hatay, Turkey) between 1999 and 2002 and 2005. This collapsed karstic chamber contains a sequence of early Upper Paleolithic deposits that span an interval between roughly 29,000 and 41,000 (uncalibrated) radiocarbon years BP. Lithic assemblages can be assigned to two major chronostratigraphic units. The earliest assemblages correspond with the Initial Upper Paleolithic, whereas the most recent ones fit within the definition of the Ahmarian. Substantial assemblages of stone tools, vertebrate faunal remains, ornaments, osseous artifacts, and other cultural materials provide an unusually varied picture of human behavior during the earliest phases of the Upper Paleolithic in the northern Levant. The sequence at Üçaǧi{dotless}zli{dotless} Cave documents the technological transition between Initial Upper Paleolithic and Ahmarian, with a high degree of continuity in foraging and technological activities. The sequence also documents major shifts in occupational intensity and mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-113
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of human evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Ahmarian
  • Bone tools
  • Early Upper Paleolithic
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Mediterranean
  • Prey choice
  • Turkey
  • Use wear
  • Zooarchaeology
  • shell ornaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology


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