Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences Dyuktai Cave and Complex - Siberian Precursors to the Americas? Are the People from Dyuktai Siberia Ancestors of Clovis? Share Flipboard Email Print The mountainous terrain. Oimyakon district, Republic Sakha (Yakutia). Pro-syanov / Getty Images Social Sciences Archaeology Excavations Basics Ancient Civilizations History of Animal and Plant Domestication Psychology Sociology Economics Environment Ergonomics Maritime By K. Kris Hirst Archaeology Expert M.A., Anthropology, University of Iowa B.Ed., Illinois State University K. Kris Hirst is an archaeologist with 30 years of field experience. Her work has appeared in scholarly publications such as Archaeology Online and Science. our editorial process Twitter Twitter K. Kris Hirst Updated July 03, 2019 Dyuktai Cave (also transliterated from the Russian as Diuktai, D'uktai, Divktai or Duktai) is an early Upper Paleolithic archaeological site in eastern Siberia, which was occupied between at least 17,000-13,000 cal BP. Dyuktai is the type of the Dyuktai complex, which is thought to be in some way related to some of the Paleoarctic colonists of the North American continent. Dyuktai Cave is located along the Dyuktai River in the Aldan River drainage in Russia's Yakutia region also known as the Sakha Republic. It was discovered in 1967 by Yuri Mochanov, who conducted excavations that same year. A total of 317 square meters (3412 square feet) has been excavated exploring site deposits both inside the cave and in front of it. Site Deposits The site deposits within the cave are up to 2.3 meters (7l.5 feet) in depth; outside the cave's mouth, the deposits reach 5.2 m (17 ft) in depth. The total length of occupation is not currently known, although it was originally thought to be 16,000-12,000 radiocarbon years before the present RCYBP (ca 19,000-14,000 calendar years BP [cal BP]) and some estimates extend it to 35,000 years BP. Archaeologist Gómez Coutouly has argued that the cave was only occupied for a brief period, or rather a series of brief periods, based on its fairly sparse stone tool assemblages. There are nine stratigraphic units assigned to the cave deposits; strata 7, 8 and 9 are associated with the Dyuktai complex. Horizon A (VIIa and upper VIII) is dated between 12,000-13,000 RCYBPHorizon B (VIIb and lower unit of stratum VIII) is between 13,000-15,000 RCYBPHorizon C (stratum VIIc and stratum IX, 15,000-16,000 RCYBP Stone Assemblage at Dyuktai Cave Most of the stone artifacts at Dyuktai Cave are waste from tool production, consisting of wedge-shaped cores and a few single-platform and radially flaked cores. Other stone tools included bifaces, a wide variety of shaped burins, a few formal scrapers, knives and scrapers made on blades and flakes. Some of the blades were inserted into grooved bone hafts for use as projectiles or knives. Raw materials include a black flint, usually in flat or tabular pebbles which might be from a local source, and a white/beige flint of an unknown source. Blades range between 3-7 cm long. Dyuktai Complex Dyuktai Cave is one of several sites which have been discovered since and are now assigned to the Dyuktai Complex in Yakutia, Trans-Baikal, Kolyma, Chukoka, and Kamchatka regions of eastern Siberia. The cave is among the youngest of the Diuktai culture sites, and part of the Late or Terminal Siberian Upper Paleolithic (ca 18,000-13,000 cal BP). The culture's precise relationship with the North American continent is debated: but so is their relatedness to one another. Larichev (1992), for example, has argued that despite the variety, the similarity of artifact assemblage among the Dyuktai sites suggest the groups shared intra-regional cotraditions. Chronology The precise dating of the Dyuktai complex is still somewhat controversial. This chronology is adapted from Gómez Coutouly (2016). Early (35,000-23000 RCYBP): Ezhantsy, Ust'Mil' II, Ikhine II sites. Tools include wedge-shaped subprismatic and tortoise cores, burins, scrapers, perforators, and bifaces.Middle (18,000-17,000 RCYBP): Nizhne and Verkhne-Troitskaya sites. Bifacially flaked points; dart points, pendants from pebbles, retouched blades and flakes, worked bone and ivory.Late (14,000-12,000 RCYBP): Dyuktai cave, Tumulur, maybe Berelekh, Avdeikha, and Kukhtai III, Ushki Lakes, and Maiorych. Bifacially flaked stemmed points, leaf-shaped points and fragments, bifacial knives, scrapers and sandstone abraders; stone pendants and beads of various types. Relationship to North America The relationship between the Siberian Dyuktai sites and North America is controversial. Gomez Coutouly considers them to be the Asian equivalent of the Denali complex in Alaska, and perhaps ancestral to the Nenana and Clovis complexes. Others have argued that Dyuktai is ancestral to Denali, but although the Dyuktai burins are similar to Denali burins, the Ushki Lake site is too late to be ancestral to Denali. Sources This article is part of the About.com guide to Upper Paleolithic, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology Clark DW. 2001. Microblade-Culture Systematics in the Far Interior Northwest. Arctic Anthropology 38(2):64-80. Gómez Coutouly YA. 2011. Identifying Pressure Flaking Modes at Diuktai Cave: A Case Study of the Siberian Upper Paleolithic Microblade Tradition. In: Goebel T, and Buvit I, editors. From the Yenisei to the Yukon : Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Beringia. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University. p 75-90. Gómez Coutouly YA. 2016. Migrations and interactions in prehistoric Beringia: the evolution of Yakutian lithic technology. Antiquity 90(349):9-31. Hanks B. 2010. Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia. Annual Review of Anthropology 39(1):469-486. Larichev, Vitaliy. "The Upper Paleolithic of Northern Asia: Achievements, problems, and perspectives. III. Northeastern Siberia and the Russian Far East." Journal of World Prehistory, Uriy Khol'ushkinInna Laricheva, Volume 6, Issue 4, SpingerLink, December 1992. Pitul’ko V. 2001. Terminal Pleistocene—Early Holocene occupation in northeast Asia and the Zhokhov assemblage. Quaternary Science Reviews 20(1–3):267-275. Pitulko VV, Basilyan AE, and Pavlova EY. 2014. The Berelekh Mammoth “Graveyard”: New Chronological and Stratigraphical Data from the 2009 Field Season. Geoarchaeology 29(4):277-299. Vasil'ev SA, Kuzmin YV, Orlova LA, and Dementiev VN. 2002. Radiocarbon-Based Chronology of the Paleolithic in Siberia and Its Relevance to the Peopling of the New World. Radiocarbon 44(2):503-530. Yi S, Clark G, Aigner JS, Bhaskar S, Dolitsky AB, Pei G, Galvin KF, Ikawa-Smith F, Kato S, Kohl PL et al. 1985. The "Dyuktai Culture" and New World Origins [and Comments and Reply]. Current Anthropology 26(1):1-20.