Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (04): 488-502.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0007

Special Issue: 英文专辑

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The northern dispersal route: New evidence of Upper Paleolithic human behavior from the Tsagaan Turuut River Valley, central Mongolia

Tsedendorj BOLORBAT1(), Dashzeveg BAZARGUR1, Guunii LKHUNDEV1, Batsuuri ANKHBAYAR1,2, Adyasuren ALTANBAGANA3, Tsend AMGALANTUGS1, Gonchig BATBOLD1, CAO Jian’en4, SONG Guodong5, CAO Peng5, CAI Xi5   

  1. 1. Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    2. Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China
    3. Department of History, Mongolian State University of Education, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    4. Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot, China
    5. Inner Mongolia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Hohhot, China
  • Received:2021-05-11 Revised:2021-11-17 Online:2023-08-15 Published:2022-06-03
  • Contact: Guunii LKHUNDEV, E-mail:


Mongolia’s unique geographical location between northern China and the Siberian Plateau of Russia has facilitated its role as a corridor of regional cultural connection since the Pleistocene. It is evident that the Early Upper Paleolithic of Mongolia dates to 33-27 kaBP from the archaeological studies of those Upper Paleolithic sites at Tsagaan Agui and Chikhen Agui in Bayankhongor Province (Southwest Mongolia). Here, we present the results of archaeological analysis of Paleolithic remains from the six sites in the Tsagaan Turuut River Valley located in Galuut district, northern Bayankhongor Province. These newly discovered sites significantly expand our knowledge of the prehistory of central Mongolia and most of Central Asian region. The knapping technology at these sites is based on radial cores and unidirectional prismatic cores. By analyzing the lithic artifacts from these six sites, we believe that these cultures have continuity from early to late stages of the Early Upper Paleolithic. Special tools such as points and large bifaces were recovered. The 14C dating results of a bone sample from the lower layer of a test pit indicate that the Tsagaan Baast Valley sites are no later than 43500 BP cal (β-TSTC1).

Key words: Mongolia, Upper Paleolithic, Lithic industry, Blade core