Quaternary International xxx (2014) (in press)
(Link) open access
Numerous questions remain regarding the timing and the context of Upper Paleolithic emergence inNortheast Asia. Available data allow the recognition of a form of Initial Upper Paleolithic (IUP) docu-mented in the Altai circa 45-40 ka 14C BP, and in the Cis- and Transbaikal around -37 ka 14C BP. In Northern Mongolia, a series of assemblages show intriguing similarities with IUP laminar assemblages from South Siberia and suggest long distance contact/movements of population during the first half of MIS3. These contacts are potentially enabled by the main river that drains into Lake Baikal, the Selenga. By cutting through the Sayan and the Yablonovy mountain ranges, the Selenga drainage system provides a potential corridor connecting South Siberia with the plains of Mongolia. The Tolbor 16 site (Ikh Tulberiin Gol, Northern Mongolia) is located circa 13 km from the confluence with the Selenga. The first results presented here suggest that the lithic assemblage and the ornaments discovered at Tolbor 16 document the early appearance of Upper Paleolithic in the region. This newly discovered site offers the possibility to generate high-resolution contextual data on the first appearance of the blade Mongolia and to test the ‘Selenga corridor hypothesis’.