Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 111–124 | Cite as

Siberia and neighboring regions in the Last Glacial Maximum: did people occupy northern Eurasia at that time?

  • Yaroslav V. KuzminEmail author
  • Susan G. Keates
Original Paper


An updated analysis of Paleolithic sites in Siberia and the Urals 14C-dated to the coldest phase of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), with its timespan currently determined as ca. 23,000–19,000 BP (ca. 27,300–22,900 cal BP), is presented. It is demonstrated that people continuously occupied the southern and central parts of Siberia and the Russian Far East (up to 58° N latitude), and perhaps sporadically settled regions located even further north, up to 70° N, throughout the LGM. This is in accord with our previous data, but is now based on a larger dataset, and also on a paleoecological analysis of the major pre-LGM archaeological sites in Siberia and the Urals north of 58° N. It is clear that Paleolithic people in northern Eurasia were able to cope with the treeless tundra environment well in advance of the LGM, at least at ca. 34,000–26,000 BP (ca. 38,500–30,000 cal BP). Therefore, a high degree of adaptation to cold conditions allowed people to survive in Siberia during the LGM.


Last Glacial Maximum Paleolithic Radiocarbon dating Adaptation Siberia Urals 



This paper resulted from an invited talk at the XIX-th INQUA Congress at Nagoya, Japan (July–August 2015), as part of the Session “LGM Prehistory in Northern Eurasia.” We are grateful to Dr. Vladimir V. Pitulko (Institute of the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia) for providing details about the Lagerny locality, Yana River basin. We appreciate comments and suggestions by Prof. Dr. Thomas Terberger (Lower Saxony State Office for Heritage, Hanover, Germany) and an anonymous reviewer. This research was supported by the Program of Scientific Research, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Novosibirsk; the Tomsk State University Program “Academician D.I. Mendeleev Fund” (2015–2016; grant No. for Laboratory of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems; and partly by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2015).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geology and MineralogySiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental EcosystemsTomsk State UniversityTomskRussia
  3. 3.DüsseldorfGermany

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