Late Palaeolithic environmentand human occupation in the eastern Baltic region: Latvia and Estonia
Ilga Zagorska  1, 2@  , Lembi Lougas * , Ivars Zupiņš * , John Meadows * @
1 : Institute of Latvian History at the University of Latvia  (LVI)
Kalpaka bulvāris 4, Rīga LV-1050 -  Lettonie
2 : Ilga Zagorska
Institue of History of Latvia, LU, Kalpaka bulv.4, LV 1050 -  Lettonie
* : Auteur correspondant

During th Late Palaeolithic in the eastern Baltic dominant specie was reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), some bones and tusks from mammoth occure and the elk antler had been found, recently dated to the end of the Palaeolithic (beginning of Preboreal).

Reindeer has populated huge areas of the Pleistocene arctic stepe in Eurasia. During the Ice Age its northern distribution range in Europe have benn reaching as far as north at the eastern Baltic region. However, our dated finds are coming only from the Late Pleistocene, the period,when Scandinavian ice sheet retreated from the eastern Baltic areas and before the start of comprehensive warming and aforestation process in Early Holocene.

Finds enclose also bone and antler artefacts - harpoon heads and Lungby axe, found at south-eastern and south-western parts of Latvia, and by radiocarbon method dated to the end of Palaeolithic (Younger Dryas and very beginning of Preboreal).

In this paper we discuss about reindeer and artefact finds in connectgion with the climate, environmental changes and human occupationin rthe eastern Baltic region, i.e., Latvia and Estonia with the special emphasis on the reasons of appearance and disappearance of arctic animals from tbhe temperate zone.


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