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Kosa Mesolithic Sites in the Context of the Palaeoenvironmental History of the Upper Kama Basin in the Late Glacial and Early Holocene

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The results of interdisciplinary (archaeological and palaeoecological) studies conducted in 2018–2021 in the northern part of Perm Territory at the confluence of the Kosa and Lolog rivers are given. Research has focused on the Mesolithic sites and their natural environment in the Late Glacial and Early Holocene. To identify attribution of the archaeological sites to certain landforms within the river valley, the paleochannel method was used. As a result, two terraces and the Holocene floodplain were identified. The natural conditions were reconstructed on the basis of the palynological and paleocarpological methods. To create the chronological framework for the study area, radiocarbon dating was used. To estimate the economic activities of the Mesolithic groups, osteological analysis was used. It was established that, in the Late Glacial, the study area was not yet inhabited by ancient people due to unfavorable natural environments. The settlement started only in the second half of the Boreal period of the Holocene, after the formation of the second floodplain terrace covered with taiga pine and birch formations with spruce. The Kosa I and Kosa II sites, located on the former banks of the Lolog River, should be referred to this time. The population was mostly engaged in hunting and, partly, fishing. The natural environments at the beginning of the Atlantic period of the Holocene were still favorable for the existence of human groups here. The formation of the first terrace in the Lolog River valley contributed to the human colonization of this area. The Kosa III site, the population of which continued to hunt and probably fish, should be associated with this time. Subsequently, due to the continuing lateral migration of the Kosa and Lolog channels to the east, as well as the expansion of a swamped floodplain, humans left these places and began to develop them again only in the Late Holocene.

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This study was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Perm Territory, agreement no. C-26/1192 of 19.12.2019; within the framework of State Assignments: Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences (FMWS-2019-0008); Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (topic nos. 122021000 and 122021000095-0). Geomorphological mapping was supported by grant no. GSGK-0076/21; the project is being implemented by the winner of the Master’s program faculty grant competition 2020/2021 of the Vladimir Potanin fellowship program. Radiocarbon dating was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project no. 22-17-00259.

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Correspondence to D. A. Demakov.

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Translated by V. Krutikova

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Demakov, D.A., Lychagina, E.L., Zaretskaya, N.E. et al. Kosa Mesolithic Sites in the Context of the Palaeoenvironmental History of the Upper Kama Basin in the Late Glacial and Early Holocene. Dokl. Earth Sc. 507 (Suppl 1), S92–S103 (2022).

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