The impact of the LGM on the development of the Upper Paleolithic in Mongolia

Evgeny P. Rybin, Arina M. Khatsenovich, Byambaa Gunchinsuren, John W. Olsen, Nicolas Zwyns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In the Northern Hemisphere, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is recognized as a cold and dry period that marks the maximum southward extension of the Scandinavian Inlands in Europe. In Asia, the ice sheet did not expand from the Arctic into Siberia, yet the LGM had a significant impact at high latitudes and elevations, as well as in regions with a continental climate. How much these changes affected the human occupation of Siberia and Mongolia is still a matter of debate and various models dealing with continuity, discontinuity, demographic movement and adaptation have been put forth. The present paper is a critical review of available empirical data regarding the impact of the LGM on landscapes and human settlements in Mongolia. This review underscores the caveats in the data collected and further analyses are proposed to test several basic hypotheses. The results obtained suggest that during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 3 and MIS 2, there were hiatuses in the human occupation of Mongolia. These gaps are potentially linked with significant changes in climate. It is recognized that one of the main breaks in the cultural sequence is associated with the LGM, suggesting that Mongolia experienced periods of depopulation associated with this dramatic climatic change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016


  • Central Asia
  • Chronology
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • Mongolia
  • Paleolithic
  • Siberia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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