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  • Redaka 2 Cave
  • Salash
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    Credits

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    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 44000 BC - 26000 BC

    Season

      • SONDAGE EXPLORATIONS IN THE REDAKA 2 CAVE (Nikolai Sirakov – nikolaysirakov@gmail.com, Stefanka Ivanova) A sondage, 2.60 m in depth, was carried out near the entrance of the cave. Eight litho-stratigraphic layers with prevailing clay fraction were registered. Remains from cave hyena were found in most layers; this is the first cave providing bones from this particular animal on the territory of Bulgaria. The faunal assemblages were rich and diverse: Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Cenis Iupus, Vulpes vulpes, Canidae ind., Ursus spelaeos, Carnivora ind., Megaloceros giganteos, Cervus elaphus, Сарга sp. The flint artifacts are relatively small in number and only their cultural and chronological position could be generally specified. The latest flint assemblage displays Middle Paleolithic elements, with application of Levallois technique and some Upper Paleolithic elements: the production of flint chips. The earlier flint assemblage displays elements typical of the Mousterian traditions. The comparative analysis of the fauna and flint assemblages from the Redaka 2 Cave with the assemblages from the Kozarnika Cave, which is situated 20 km away, allows us to conclude that Redaka 2 and its vicinity were inhabited by the humans during the transition period from the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic periods: 33 – 44 ka BP. This is the period when the Middle Paleolithic cultures and techniques related to Neanderthals were replaced by the Upper Paleolithic cultures and techniques related to Homo sapiens sapiens. The so-called ‘transition’ flint assemblages are typical of that period. Presumably, some artifacts from the upper layers of the Redaka 2 Cave could be related to ‘transition’ flint assemblages.
      • SONDAGE EXPLORATIONS IN THE REDAKA 2 CAVE (Stefanka Ivanova – ivanova.stefanka@gmail.com) The sondage explorations continued. Flint artifacts of the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic periods and bones of cave hyena were found in 2005. During the period 40 000 – 30 000 BP, an expansion of the hyena was attested in the caves in Europe and transitional flint assemblages occurred. The replacement of the Middle Paleolithic cultures related to Neanderthals with the Upper Paleolithic cultures related to Homo sapiens sapiens happened in that transitional period. Sondage No. 2 was carried out at 1.50 m from sondage No. 1 of 2005, in the direction towards the cave interior. Sondage No. 2 had an area of 2.50 sq. m, while the depth of 1.85 was reached. Five litho-stratigraphic layers were distinguished. According to the osteological material, a variety of big mammals were typical of the region: Lynx spelaea, Panthera spelaea, Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Canis lupus, Canis cf. Familiaris, Vulpes vulpes, Ursus arctos, Ursus spelaeus, Cervus elaphus, Capreolus capreolus, Megaloceros giganteus, Capra sp., Rupicapra rupicapra, Caprinae, Bison priscus, Bos primigenius, Bos Taurus, Mammuthus primigenius, Equus caballus, Equus hydruntinus, etc. This fauna testifies to a relatively cold climate and a steppe, but not arctic environment. The flint artifacts originated from layers Nos. 4 and 5. A flint production waste and chips prevailed. A fragment of retouched flint plate and two retouched pieces were found in layer No. 4 and a retouched plate was found in layer No. 5. Both flint plates show the features of the Late Paleolithic technique.
      • EXPLORATIONS IN REDAKA 2 CAVE (Aleta Guadelli – aleta.guadelli@gmail.com, Ivailo Krumov) Sondage 3 was carried out in the beginning of the cave entrance. The litho-stratigraphic situation is identical to the other sondages. More secure diagnostic finds were discovered: a set of flint plates and artifacts indicative of developed technology of producing plates in layer 4; the use of Middle Paleolithic debitage concepts (Levallois, discoidal) in layer 5. A bone awl with parallels in layer 7 in the Kozarnika Cave was found in the lowest part of layer 4. Two dates in Sondage 1 were specified: 38170+/-490 ВР in layer 4 and more than 46000 ВР in layer 5. The osteological material shows that the predators dominate over the herbivorous, which is typical of the hyenas’ lairs. Bovinae and Equus cabalus cf. germanicus are well attested among the herbivorous, and Vulpes vulpes, Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Canis lupus and Ursus spelaeus were attested among the predators. The taphonomic analysis of the faunal remains shows the domination of anthropic traces in layer 4. The paleontological analysis shows cool and humid climate. The data testify that the cave was a lair of foxes and hyenas whose main pray includes Bovinae, Caprinae, Equinae and Cervinae. It was visited by Paleolithic people. At least three episodes of short duration human presence are supposed: at the end of the Middle Paleolithic period, in the Upper Paleolithic period (layer 4) and in the developed stages of the Upper Paleolithic period (layer 3). The visits of hunters during the end of the Middle and the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period coincided with the invasion of Homo sapiens sapiens. The finds from the cave testify that cultural traditions, probably related to the preceding Middle Paleolithic period, participated in the transition. Probably, the process in the Balkans was not necessarily related to the total disappearance of Neanderthals, without part of their DNA being inherited by the populations of Homo sapiens sapiens.
      • EXPLORATIONS IN REDAKA 2 CAVE (Aleta Guadelli – aleta.guadelli@gmail.com, Nikolai Sirakov, Jean-Luc Guadelli) Sondage 4 was carried out over an area of 2 sq. m situated in the beginning of the cave entrance. The litho-stratigraphic layers 1 – 4 were documented and they were relevant to the stratigraphy in Sondage 3. No significant post-depositional processes were documented. Part of a heart, containing two flint artifacts and bones (some of them with traces from use), was discovered in facies 4bc. Probably, the hearth was surrounded with limestone fragments. The flint artifacts originated mostly from layer 4. The diagnostic finds included a set of flakes, some of them dull, and nuclei, which reflected a developed technology for the production of flakes. The sets from facieses 4h and 4bc, as well as the entire layer 4, most probably were related with an Upper Palaeolithic tradition identical with the Kozarnika Culture. The Mousterian point discovered in Sondage 3 had traces from sediment, probably relevant to layer S3-5, and probably was a Middle Palaeolithic element that indicated the late or the final stages of the Mousterian industries known in the Kozarnika Cave. A pendant from an ox foretooth, produced with scrapping, was found. It had traces of passage through the digestive tract of a hyena. The bone finds related layer 4 with the earliest phase of the Kozarnika Culture (VII). The osteological material had traces from predators and human activities, while both predators and herbivorous were equally represented. It included Artiodactyla, Bovinae, Capra cf. caucasica, Rupicapra rupicapra, and Vulpes vulpes. The cave was a lair of hyenas and foxes, which was visited by humans. There were at least two episodes of human presence at the end of the Middle and the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic periods, which were related to the cultural communities in the Kozarnika Cave dated from 50000 to 30000 BP.
      • REDAKA 2 CAVE (Aleta Guadelli – aleta.guadelli@gmail.com, Jean-Luc Guadelli, Ivailo Krumov, Nikolai Sirakov) Sondages III and IV were connected with the new Sondage V situated in trenches D3 and D4. The lithostratigraphic units (from 1 to 4) documented in trench V were the same ones as in trench IV. The concentration of animal bones in layer 4 was less in the three sondages carried out from 2008 onwards, than in the preceding sondages carried out in the cave interior. The flint artifacts were more numerous in the sectors located close to the entrance of the cave. In 2010, the flint artifacts originated mostly from layer 4. The diagnostic finds were predominantly flakes and cores, which indicated a developed technology for production of flakes. The flint assemblages from layer 4 were related to the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period. A presumable fragment from a bone awl, related to the earliest phase of Kozarnika Culture, was found in layer 4. Only two radiocarbon dates from sondage I are available so far: 38170+/–490 ВР for layer 4 and 46000 BP for layer 5. The bones from predators were a bit more numerous than the bones from herbivorous and included Vulpes vulpes, Canis lupus, Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Bovinae, Artiodactyla and Capra cf. caucasica. The osteological material confirmed that the cave was a lair of hyenas.
      • REDAKA 2 CAVE (Aleta Guadelli – aleta.guadelli@gmail.com, Jean-Luc Guadelli, Nikolai Sirakov) The explorations of the Upper Paleolithic layers continued and the same lithostratigraphic complexes were documented, as those specified during the previous excavations. Two hearths were discovered under the large stone piece that had collapsed from the ceiling of the cave. The flint artifacts included points and small plates typical of the Gravettian Culture. A bone awl was found and it indicated that the material from the lower layers of Stratum 4 could be related to the earliest phase of the Kozarnika Culture. Bones from the following species were found: Felis silvestris, Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Vulpes vulpes, Ursus spelaeus, Megaloceros giganteus, Cervus elaphus, Bison priscus and Equus caballus cf. germanicus. There were numerous bones with traces from hyena. A tooth was found, probably from Homo sapiens, and it had traces from the digestive system of hyena. The spatial analysis of the finds supported the hypothesis about multiple visits in the cave, probably carried out by groups of hunters during the early and later phases of the Upper Paleolithic period (probably during 39 – 36 Ka BP).

    Bibliography

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