New insights into the Upper Pleistocene archaeology of Northwestern Greece: The evidence from three open-air sites and its implication for Middle and Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers’ activity and behaviour in Southeastern Europe
S. Ligkovanlis Journal of Greek Archaeology 2 (2017): 1-32
Northwestern Greece comprises one of the most important territories containing archaeological evidence on prehistoric hunter-gatherer activity in Southeastern Europe, having hosted, over the last fifty years, three generations of Palaeolithic researchers and also different schools of archaeological thought. This long-lasting activity, resulting in the identification and investigation of numerous sites yielding Palaeolithic finds, has in many cases created new methodologies of archaeological documentation and promoted the development of new ideas concerning both the material culture and its carriers. However, several questions on Palaeolithic people’s life in this geographical area remain to be answered and even more remain to be formulated. This applies both to elementary research issues, such as the clarification of a complete chrono-cultural sequence of human occupation, but also more important and complex issues, such as understanding the hominins’ mode of survival and behaviour.
In this context, the present study offers new evidence on technological behaviour and subsistence during the Upper Pleistocene in Northwestern Greece. This has emerged from the study of Palaeolithic lithic assemblages recovered through modern excavation and surface surveys from three open-air sites in Epirus, viewed in conjunction with palaeogeographical data from these locations. Following a brief review of the basic points and conclusions concerning archaeological research on the Upper Pleistocene in Northwestern Greece, our methods and research questions are presented. The overview of the empirical data is followed by a discussion of how these are integrated into the Palaeolithic narrative of the region and the wider context of Southeastern Europe.
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