Nazugum, a new 4000 year old rockshelter site in the Ili Alatau, Tien Shan

Abay Namen, Aristeidis Varis, Susanne Lindauer, Ronny Friedrich, Zhaken Taimagambetov, Radu Iovita

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The PALAEOSILKROAD project has been conducting field surveys in Kazakhstan to explore the regional Palaeolithic record by targeting primarily caves and rockshelters. However, the survey also discovered numerous sites that were occupied during the Holocene. In this paper, we present our preliminary findings from the Nazugum rockshelter, a new archaeological site located in south-eastern Kazakhstan (Almaty region). The stratigraphic sequence demonstrates the transition from fluvial channel deposits without artifacts to aeolian loess deposits with lithics, charcoal remnants, and fragments of animal bones. The lithics recovered from the sediment wall are dominated by bladelet technology, characteristic for Holocene assemblages. Radiocarbon date from adjacent charcoal samples yielded a calibrated age (2-sigma) of 2470–2288 cal BC attributing the human occupation to the transitional period of late Eneolithic and early Bronze Age. Our study provides new data for the use of rockshelters in Kazakhstan during the late Holocene and lays the groundwork for future salvage work in Nazugum rockshelter due to the active erosion of the archaeological record.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number100370
    JournalArchaeological Research in Asia
    StatePublished - Jun 2022


    • C14
    • Central Asia
    • Eneolithic
    • Lithics
    • Loess
    • Nazugum

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Archaeology


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