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Klisoura Gorge

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  • Klisoura Gorge

    A sequence from the Paleolithic to the Mesolithic exists at Klisoura Gorge. The sequence has similarities to that of Italy, not least an early, pre-Aurignacian Upper Paleolithic industry that is like the Uluzzian of Italy, which may be evidence of a continuiy between neanderthals and moderns.

  • #2
    Re: Klisoura Gorge

    I can't access PDF files (something in acrobat is lacking) but, if this sequence is true, it is certainly one of the longest running cultural sequences in the world.


    • #3
      Re: Klisoura Gorge

      Originally posted by Dr. Solar Wolff
      I can't access PDF files (something in acrobat is lacking) but, if this sequence is true, it is certainly one of the longest running cultural sequences in the world.
      I'd like to find out if late neanderthals or moderns made the Uluzzian-like industry there. If the Chatelperronian could be made by late neanderthals then the Uluzzian mignt be as well.


      • #4
        Re: Klisoura Gorge

        Very interesting.
        BTW, my home town is less than 20 km away from Klisoura Gorge!!!!!
        I 've been there countless times.
        You can talk about water, but your mouth will not be wet.
        You can discuss the nature of fire, but your mouth will not be burnt.
        You cannot know the nature of fire or water, unless you feel them.
        Takuan Soho


        • #5
          Re: Klisoura Gorge

          I copied the text over for your benifit, SW, hope it will proof helpful.

          Originally posted by Dr. Solar Wolff
          I can't access PDF files (something in acrobat is lacking) but, if this sequence is true, it is certainly one of the longest running cultural sequences in the world.
          Journal of Archaeological Science (2001) 28, 515–539
          doi:10.1006/jasc.2000.0599, available online at on

          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece: The Excavations in
          Klisoura Cave
          Margarita Koumouzelis

          Ephory for Palaeolanthropology and Speleology, Athens, Greece
          Boleslaw Ginter and Janusz K. Kozlowski
          Institute of Archaeology, Jagellonian University, Krako´w, Poland
          Maciej Pawlikowski
          University of Mining and Metallurgy, Krako´w, Poland
          Ofer Bar-Yosef*
          Harvard University, Dept. of Anthropology, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
          Rosa Maria Albert
          University of Barcelona, Faculty of Geography and History, Barcelona, Spain
          Maria Litynska-Zajac
          Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Science, Krakow, Poland
          Ewa Stworzewicz, Piotr Wojtal, Grzegorz Lipecki, Teresa Tomek and
          Zbigniew M. Bochenski
          Institute of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, Polish Academy of Science, Krako´w, Poland
          Anna Pazdur
          Silesian Technical University, Radiocarbon Laboratory, Gliwice, Poland
          (Received 15 March 2000, revised manuscript accepted 13 June 2000)
          A new Greek sequence of early Upper Palaeolithic, Aurignacian, Epigravettian, and Mesolithic assemblages, which
          differs from the sequences of Franchthi and Kephalari caves, was uncovered during the excavations in Cave 1 in
          Klisoura Gorge (Western Peloponnese). This is the first case of Middle Palaeolithic deposits immediately covered by an
          early Upper Palaeolithic assemblage. The long Middle Palaeolithic in this site underlies a long sequence of Upper
          Palaeolithic layers. Most interesting is the Early Upper Palaeolithic industry which contains numerous arched backed
          blades and other lithics demonstrating morphological affinities to the Italian Uluzzian, a resemblance that raises
          questions concerning the potential makers of this industry. Above it, several Aurignacian levels dated from 24 to 34 ka
           were exposed. This is the first well-dated sequence of Aurignacian occupations in Greece in which a number of
          basin-like hearth structures were exposed, lined with a clay that had been brought in and specially prepared. The
          Aurignacian sequence is covered by Epigravettian layers. The unconformity between the Epigravettian and the
          underlying Aurignacian corresponds to the Last Glacial Maximum. A Mesolithic layer caps the prehistoric sequence.
           2001 Academic Press
          *Author for correspondence.
          0305–4403/01/050515+25 $35.00/0  2001 Academic Press
          The territory of Greece played an important role
          in the first spread of Neolithic farmers into
          Europe. On the eastern coast of Greece, in
          Thessaly and Argolid, the first Neolithic villages
          appeared as a result of maritime navigation from
          southwest Anatolia through the Aegean Islands
          (Runnels & Van Andel, 1982; Van Andel & Runnels,
          1995). This scenario is less probable for the spread of
          the first modern humans, for whom a more convenient,
          terrestrial route existed; from northwest Anatolia to
          Thrace through the Bosphorus, which, during the
          Interpleniglacial, was easier to cross as the sea level was
          50 m below the present (Van Andel & Shackleton,
          1982; Van Andel & Tzedakis, 1996). Therefore, during
          the colonization of the first modern humans who came
          from the Near East to Europe through the northeastern
          Balkans, most of Greece was located south of
          the main route from Anatolia to the Danube Basin.
          Until recently, only sparse information was available
          concerning the transition from the Middle to the
          Upper Palaeolithic in Greece. The main prehistoric
          sequences, based on the excavations carried out in the
          1960s and 1980s in western Greece (mainly in Epirus),
          lack Interpleniglacial strata, and the Mousterian is
          directly superimposed by the Gravettian and/or the
          Epigravettian (Bailey & Gamble, 1990). The same
          situation exists in Thessaly (Kyparissi-Apostolika,
          1999). Human remains from the Interpleniglacial are
          also absent from the Greek sites, with the exception
          of the skeletal remains from Apidima Cave in the
          southern Peloponnese, which, unfortunately were not
          published fully with their recorded geochronological
          and archaeological context.
          Currently, the new excavations of a long Middle–
          Upper Palaeolithic sequence at Klisoura, Cave 1 (eastern
          Peloponnese), provide an important sequence, not
          only for understanding the origin of the Upper Palaeolithic
          in this region, but particularly, in the European
          context, as supportive evidence for a second possible
          route in the spread of modern populations into
          Europe. This route seems to follow a similar trajectory
          to the later diffusion of the Early Neolithic groups with
          impresso pottery over the Northern Mediterranean.
          During Neolithic times, this diffusion began in Greece
          with the Presesklo-Magoulitsa cultures—and continued
          along the eastern Adriatic coast to Italy and the
          western Mediterranean countries. This route could also
          have been important during the Middle to Upper
          Palaeolithic transition, particularly due to the regression
          of the Mediterranean Sea, which greatly
          diminished the Adriatic Sea, leaving only a shallow
          gulf during OIS4 and OIS3.
          Given the environmental conditions around 50–
          30 ka , one would expect to see cultural evolution
          in southern Greece resembling that of the central
          Mediterranean rather than the northeastern Balkans
          and Danube Basin. In fact, the sequence of the
          archaeological occupations in Klisoura, Cave 1—from
          the Late Mousterian through the Early Upper Palaeolithic
          with arched-backed blades, the Aurignacian, and
          the Epigravettian—is closer to that of Italy than to the
          well-known sequences from the northeastern Balkans.
          In the latter region, the Mousterian was succeeded
          by the so-called ‘‘transitional industries’’. These were
          based on blade technology and considered as stemming
          from the Levallois tradition, thus resembling the Near
          Eastern Emiran on one hand and the Bohunician in
          Central Europe on the other. They were followed by a
          ‘‘Pre-Aurignacian’’ industry or the ‘‘Bachokirian’’, and
          later by the typical Aurignacian (Kozlowski, 1992).
          In the following pages we describe the results of the
          excavations at Klisoura Cave 1 and provide detailed
          information concerning each of the uncovered
          Klisoura Gorge and its Caves
          Klisoura Gorge, through which flows the Baratiotis
          River, is the main communication route between the
          Argive Plain and the Berbati valley (Figure 1). The
          gorge is 2·5 to 3 km long and up to 500 m wide, and
          cuts deep into Triassic limestones. Karstic phenomena
          are responsible for the formation of a large number of
          caves and rock shelters in this region, 30 of which have
          been recorded (Koumouzelis et al., 1996). Six contain
          lithics and sherds spread on the surface, while others
          are filled with well-preserved sediments of unknown
          At the foot of the limestone cliffs, where the valley
          widens, the alluvial fans are covered with flowstones or
          topped with cemented layers. The youngest of these
          layers produced a radiocarbon date from carbonates of
          22,55060  (Gd-3792), indicating that the deposition
          of alluvial cones preceded the Last Glacial
          Maximum and was probably associated with Interpleniglacial
          temperate conditions. The last major phase
          of sediment accumulation is represented by the Late
          Glacial colluvium that also covers the terraces of the
          lower rock shelters and caves, including the terrace in
          front of Klisoura Cave 1.
          Excavation of Cave 1
          Cave 1 in Klisoura Gorge is located in the immediate
          vicinity of ‘‘Findspot 201’’, which was discovered during
          the Berbati-Limnes Archaeological Survey in 1988–
          1990 (Runnels, 1996: figs 5, 8, 9). Mesolithic artifacts
          were collected on the surface of this site. In 1993, test
          trenches were dug in Caves 4 and 7, while systematic
          excavations began in the terrace in front of Cave 1 in
          1994 (Figure 2). These field operations were conducted
          as a joint project of the Ephory for Palaeoanthropology
          and Speleology in Athens and the Institute of
          Archaeology of the Jagellonian University in Krako´w,
          Poland (Koumouzelis et al., 1996).
          516 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          The first report, published after two field seasons
          (1993, 1994), was based on a 1 m deep section of a
          trench dug at the dripline in Cave 1 (trench A). The
          layers were subdivided into two ensembles: the
          Holocene (layers 1–6) and the Late Pleistocene (layers
          6a, 7, 7a, 7b). The upper ensemble contained Mesolithic
          flake industries, whereas the lower one yielded
          Aurignacian-type flake industries. In 1995–1996, the
          trench was lengthened to 3 m and reached a depth of
          about 2·1 m, allowing the establishment of a detailed
          stratigraphic sequence. The larger section of the trench
          exposed the lenticular nature of numerous layers,
          which wedge in the direction of the cave entrance, and
          the erosional surfaces that modified the top of several
          layers. It became necessary to modify the numbering
          system and add Roman numerals to the Arabic numbers
          previously used to label layers. In addition, the
          results obtained during investigations in 1994 and 1995
          helped fill the gap observed between the Holocene
          layers containing Mesolithic finds and the Late
          Pleistocene layers with Aurignacian objects.
          Several series of layers are now visible in the exposed
          stratigraphy in Cave 1 (see Figure 3).
          (1) Layers 1 and 2 contain the Classical and Bronze
          Age finds.
          (2) Layers 3 to 6 contain a Mesolithic industry,
          discussed in detail in the first report (Koumouzelis
          et al., 1996).
          (3) Layers IIa and IIb contain Epigravettian finds,
          which do not occur in the northern part of the
          trench, where a Mesolithic assemblage directly
          covers the Late Aurignacian.
          (4) Layer 6a, III, and III are uppermost Aurignacian
          layers and contain some microlithic backed bladelets.
          (5) Layers IIIb, IIIc, 7, 7a, IIIe–IIIg, and IV contain
          a sequence of Upper, Middle and Early
          Aurignacian assemblages.
          (6) Layer V contains an Early Upper Palaeolithic
          industry with arched backed blades.
          Investigations in Cave 1 will be continued, as a long
          Middle Palaeolithic sequence has been found below
          Layer V. This sequence was identified in 1997, in a
          small trial trench.
          In the following pages, the preliminary results of our
          investigations are presented, with particular emphasis
          on the Aurignacian layers. As noted above, Cave 1
          yielded a first-time discovery in Greece—a sequence of
          several assemblages of this culture, sandwiched between
          Epigravettian and EUP with arched backed
          blades. Unfortunately, probably due to erosion, there
          are two important gaps in this stratigraphy; between
          the Mesolithic and the Epigravettian (corresponding to
          the Final Palaeolithic occupations in Caves 4 and 7 in
          Klisoura Gorge), and between the Epigravettian and
          the Aurignacian (corresponding to the LGM period).
          Cave Sediments
          In addition to classical methods based on grain size
          and morphology analysis, which have revealed no
          significant change in the profile, the cave sediments
          were investigated using the method of absorption
          Klisoura Cave 1
          Aegean Sea
          Figure 1. Index map.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 517
          spectroscopy in infra-red radiation. The objective of
          the examination was to determine the proportion of
          autogenic (calcite [factor 1] and aragonite [factor 2]),
          allogenic (quartz and pieces of flints that do not occur
          in local limestones [factor 3], and clay minerals [factor
          4]) and anthropogenic minerals (apatite [factor 5] and
          nitrates [factor 6]). Analysis of 45 samples obtained
          from the cave sediments was carried out by Todd A.
          Surovell from the Department of Anthropology of the
          University of Arizona in Tucson. The Fourier transform
          infra-red spectroscopic (FTIR) analysis was performed
          with aMiddle Prospect–IR. The proportions of
          the absorption bands’ intensity have been described as
          coefficients: the coefficient of factors 1 to 3 describes
          the proportion of calcite crystallization to the intensity
          of detritic material (size of quartz absorption band)
          washed into the cave; the coefficient of factors 1 to 5
          refers to the proportion of calcite crystallization in the
          cave (size of the calcite absorption band) to the intensity
          of human occupation of the cave; the coefficient of
          factors 3+4 to 5 describes the intensity of the detritic
          material washed into the cave (the sum of the size of
          absorption bands of clay materials and quartz) in
          relation to the intensity of human occupation (the size
          of apatite absorption band). The calculated coefficient
          values are presented as a diagram in Figure 4.
          The coefficient of factors 1 to 3 indicates that with
          the exception of layer VII, possibly layer V and the
          floor of layer IV (Early Upper Palaeolithic), and of
          layer 5 (Mesolithic), calcite crystallization predominates
          over the washing in of allochthonous detritic
          material throughout the cave’s occupation. Calcite
          crystallization reaches its maximum value in layer IIIg.
          This can be interpreted as an indication of relatively
          humid and warm conditions during the formation of
          the whole profile. The higher ratio of quartz and clay
          minerals in the lower portion of sediments indicates
          an increase in washing in, due to greater rainfall. The
          lowest proportion of carbonate crystallization to
          anthropogenic indices was recorded in the Early Upper
          6 m
          A 114.16
          ? ?
          Figure 2. Map of Klisoura Cave l with location of trench A.
          518 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          Palaeolithic layers (VII, floor of layer IV), in the
          Aurignacian levels in the floor of layer IIIe, at the
          boundary of IIIe and IIIe, in the top of III and in
          the Mesolithic (layer 5).
          The smallest values for washed in clay minerals and
          quartz in relation to the anthropogenic indices were
          recorded at the boundary of layers IIIe and IIIe, in
          layer IIIc, in the top of III and in layer 5. On the basis
          B4 B3 B2 B1
          IIIf IIIf
          IIb IIb
          Figure 3. Stratigraphic section of trench A (Western Wall).
          Ratio carbonates
          Factor: 1/3
          IV lower
          IV upper
          IIIg lower
          IIIg upper
          Ratio carbonates
          (anthropic) 1/5
          Ratio quartz + clay minerals:apatite
          3 + 4/5
          4 6 2 4 6 8 2 4 6 8
          Hiatus Epigravettian/Mesolithic
          Hiatus Aurignacian/Epigravettian
          Late Aurignacian
          EUP (with arched blades)
          Figure 4. Coefficients based on mineralogical characteristics of sediments (FTIR-method).
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 519
          of the above data, it can be said that the most intensive
          human occupation occurs at the beginning of the
          Upper Palaeolithic under conditions of more intensive
          slope wash (layers VII–bottom IV). Other episodes of
          intensive human occupation occurred in the Middle
          Aurignacian (layers IIIe, IIIe), and particularly at the
          boundary Upper/Uppermost Aurignacian (III, III)
          and in the Mesolithic (layer 5). The cultural hiatuses
          between the Uppermost Aurignacian and the Epigravettian
          (III/IIb) and between the Epigravettian and
          the Mesolithic (IIa/6, 5) are not marked by a drop in
          anthropogenic indices. These hiatuses are marked only
          by a slight increase in calcite crystallization and a
          greater importance of the sedimentation of quartz and
          clay minerals in relation to apatite. Because similar
          oscillations also exist during the Aurignacian, it is
          likely that they correspond to sedimentation breaks or
          erosional events.
          Radiocarbon and Stable Isotope Analysis
          Laboratory methods
          Radiocarbon age determinations were carried out in
          Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory (see Table 1 and
          Figure 5) using the total carbonate and organic matter
          present in samples. The 14C activity measurements
          were performed with proportional counters filled with
          CO2. Samples were treated with 8% HCl and evolving
          CO2 was trapped. The remainder–small fragments of
          organic matter in solution–was washed, dried, and
          combusted to CO2. Both CO2 products were purified
          and stored for at least four weeks to allow for complete
          Rn-222 decay. Measurements of stable carbon and
          oxygen isotope ratios (13C and 18O) were made at the
          UMCS Mass Spectrometry Laboratory in Lublin. The
          results are listed in Table 2.
          Evaluation of radiocarbon data
          In only six samples was the amount of organic fraction
          sufficient to allow radiocarbon concentration measurements.
          In four organic fractions the weight of
          pure carbon was c. 1·5 g (see Table 1, dating results:
          Gd-10201 240110 , Gd-10562 32,400600 ,
          Gd-10714 >31,100 , Gd-10715 >30,800 ), and the
          range of the radiocarbon dates not too wide (two
          ‘‘open’’ data for c. 30,000 ). The weight of pure
          carbon in two samples was c. 0·3 g. Results of radiocarbon
          dating of these samples have relatively
          high margins of error (Gd-9688 22,5001000  and
          Gd-9889 28,9003,000 ).
          The conventional radiocarbon dates of carbonate
          fractions listed in Table 1 are ‘‘apparent ages’’,
          which obviously do not correspond to true ages.
          Theoretical considerations, based on the geochemical
          processes involved in the formation of secondary carbonate
          (Salomons & Mook, 1986), and numerous
          Table 1. Klisoura Cave 1—radiocarbon dates
          Layer Hearth
          Years 
          on carbonate
          Years 
          on organic
          fraction and
          Mesolithic (6) Gd-10685 9150220 17·0
          Interface IIa/IIb Epigravettian Gd-3872 14,280 90 17·0
          Interface 6/III Gd-3791 16,130 40 22·8
          III—Uppermost Aurignacian 10a Gd-3881 17,220 60 22·88
          III—Uppermost Aurignacian 5 Gd-7641 19,400100 22·88
          III—Uppermost Aurignacian 11 Gd-3877 21,720 90 20·0
          6a—Uppermost Aurignacian Gd-7994 *23,800 400 9·82
          Gd-7996 *27,200 500 10·07
          IIIb—Upper Aurignacian Gd-10701 15,490410 21·88
          IIIc—Upper Aurignacian Gd-12036 13,400140 22·88
          7a—Upper Aurignacian 5 Gd-11193 24,220190 22·88
          Gd-10258 20,060200 23·83
          IIIe top—Middle Aurignacian Gd-12035 26,230140 26·40
          IIIe—Middle Aurignacian 17 Gd-3878 25,770130 23·83
          IIIe—Middle Aurignacian 18 Gd-3879 26,770150 22·0
          IIIg—Lower Aurignacian 14a Gd-7882 28,270340 23·83
          Gd-11300 26,950220 21·92 Gd-7893 31,4001000 25·0
          Gd-7883 27,410290 21·92
          IIIg/IIIe—Lower Aurignacian 23 Gd-7880 25,480230 22·68 Gd-7892 34,7001600 25·0
          IV—Lower Aurignacian 27 Gd-10567 29,950460 22·68 Gd-10562 32,400 600 25
          IV—Lower Aurignacian 31 Gd-7879 21,330150 22·68
          Gd-12034 17,280190 14·66 Gd-9688 22,5001000 25
          V—Early Upper Palaeolithic Gd-7878 17,430100 21·87
          V—Early Upper Palaeolithic 42 Gd-12037 26,250310 18·71 Gd-10714 >31,100 25
          V—Early Upper Palaeolithic 53 Gd-12027 27,100600 16·64 Gd-10715 >30,800 25
          520 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          experimental data (Pazdur, 1988; Pazdur et al., 1995)
          lead to the conclusion that all carbonates are depleted
          in radiocarbon with respect to the contemporary biosphere
          at the moment of sedimentation. Because of
          this, the radiocarbon age of the carbonate fraction (TC)
          in the sample is older than its true age (T). The
          discrepancy between TC and T is the so-called reservoir
          age TR. The most frequently observed values of TR for
          fresh-water carbonates range from c. 500 years to
          c. 5500 years (Pazdur, 1988). The actual observed value
          of TR of a certain sediment is determined by the
          chemistry of the system, and within a well defined class
          14C age of carbonate fractions
          Stratigraphic unit
          IIIe, g
          IIb, c, 7a
          III, 6a
          6-IIa, IIb
          10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000
          Age in Radiocarbon Years BP
          14C age of organic fractions
          Figure 5. Radiocarbon dates on carbonate and organic fractions, by stratigraphic unit. See text for details of relevant units. Note: (S)=dates
          from landsnails.
          Table 2. Results of stable isotopes analysis in carbonate fraction of the samples from KLC1 . . ./97 series
          Sample Depth [m]
          [‰PDB] Layer
          KLC1/S1 1·230·03 23·210·03 12·230·09 IIIe, hearth 17a
          KLC1/S2 1·030·03 23·830·04 14·080·08 IIIe, hearth 14a
          KLC1/S3 1·230·03 21·920·03 11·750·09 IIIg, hearth 22
          KLC1/S4 1·380·03 21·990·05 11·720·07 IIIg bottom, hearth 23
          KLC1/S5 1·580·03 22·680·05 14·000·09 IIIg, hearth 27
          KLC1/S6 1·630·03 22·900·04 12·890·12 IV bottom, hearth 47
          KLC1/S7 1·730·03 21·870·05 12·200·09 V, hearth 43
          KLC1/S8 2·180·03 20·140·04 9·060·10 VIII, hearth 57
          KLC1/S9 2·230·03 19·790·06 9·290·07 IX, flowstone
          KLC1/S10 2·380·03 20·570·08 11·680·06 IXa, flowstone
          KLC1/SA 0·330·03 17·000·04 8·510·04 IIa
          KLC1/SB 0·830·03 21·880·03 11·440·06 IIIb
          KLC1/SC 0·780·03 22·880·02 12·880·06 IIIc
          KLC1/SD 0·930·03 26·400·03 15·990·08 IIIe top
          KLC1/1(S) 0·880·03 9·820·05 0·460·09 6a, sq.D1
          KLC1/2(S) 1·030·03 10·070·03 0·840·05 6a, sq. A1
          KLC1/3 1·580·03 14·660·02 4·540·05 IV, hearth 31
          KLC1/4 1·780·03 18·710·04 8·830·08 V, hearth 42
          KLC1/5 1·830·03 16·440·03 5·840·03 V, hearth 53
          (S)=Terrestrial shell.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 521
          of carbonate sediments, such as calcareous tufas or
          lake sediments, there are relatively wide ranges of
          variation of TR.
          Information about the magnitude of reservoir age
          can sometimes be obtained through comparison of
          organic and carbonate fraction radiocarbon ages, if it
          is assumed that the age of the organic fraction (TO)
          determines the time of the carbonate deposition. In
          these cases, the age of the carbonate fraction must
          be older than the organic fraction age. For all radiocarbon
          data from Klisoura Cave 1, the relationship
          between TC and TO determined in the same samples is
          the opposite: the ages of the organic fraction are older
          than those of the carbonates deposited (see Table 1).
          We can explain this relationship if we assume that
          organic matter from different layers was cemented by
          carbonates some time later, after the deposition of the
          organic matter.
          An analysis of the stable isotopes 13C and 18O
          reveals information on the reservoir age of the carbonates
          under investigation. The sedimentological studies
          indicate that carbonate deposition took place in stagnant
          water reservoirs, using CO2 from the decomposition
          of the organic matter. The stable carbon isotope
          analysis produces the expected low in carbonate 13C
          values; in many cases they are lower than 22‰
          versus PDB (a standard). Correlation between 13C
          and the depth of the layers is not observed. The
          correlation coefficient of 13C for results listed in Table
          2 is r=0·06. Apart from this, we observe strong correlation
          between 13C and 18O (r=0·89), which indicates
          the kinetic fractionation of isotopes during sedimentation.
          As the result of the above observations, we
          can say that the secondary cementation processes of
          organic matter were carried out relatively fast, under
          similar geochemical conditions, throughout the sedimentation
          history. In conclusion, we can expect a
          constant value of reservoir age TR for all dated carbonate
          samples, with the value of TR probably no greater
          than 2000 years and probably no less than 500 years.
          These values are characteristic for the sedimentation of
          carbonates in stagnant water (Pazdur, 1988). This
          means that the results of the radiocarbon dating of
          carbonate fractions listed in Table 1 are too old by
          between 500 to 2000 years. Measurement results place
          the carbonate fraction radiocarbon ages TC in the
          range between 29,950460  (Gd-10567) and
          623030  (Gd-3790). After correcting this data for
          the reservoir effect TR=2000 years, we can say that
          secondary cementation processes took place between
          c. 28,000 and 4000  in radiocarbon time scale, i.e.
          several thousands years later than the period of organic
          matter deposition.
          The radiocarbon dating results for organic and
          carbonate matter are verified on the basis of the 14C
          dating of mollusc shells (Gd-7994, 23800400  and
          Gd-7996, 27,200500 ), but with the same limitation
          as for different carbonates. The reservoir effect
          for this sample from Klisoura Cave 1 is difficult to
          estimate. Recent AMS dating of freshwater shells from
          lakes, carried out by Zhou et al. (1999), gave TR values
          between c. 1000 and 1400 years, which is in agreement
          with the values observed previously. After correction,
          if we take 1300 years as the reservoir effect, the ages
          of the above samples are given as c. 22,500  and
          26,000 . However, other TR values for investigated
          shells should also be taken into account.
          The Archaeological Sequence
          The Mesolithic and Late Palaeolithic
          The Mesolithic layers (3 to 6) are characterized by the
          presence of flake industries with a relatively low ratio
          of geometric microliths. It is likely that Layers 5 to 3
          represent the late phase of the Mesolithic and correspond
          chronologically to phase VIII at Franchthi
          (Perle`s, 1987).
          Layers IIa and IIb, uncovered in 1995, yielded Late
          Palaeolithic blade industries, representing the Epigravettian
          tradition. The retouched pieces are predominantly
          uni- and bilateral thick and short blades with
          semi-steep retouch, often converging to a pointed tip.
          These specimens co-occur with fairly short blade and
          flake end-scrapers, frequently with lateral retouch. The
          diagnostic forms are the microgravettes and double
          backed micropoints, usually with flat ventral retouch at
          the proximal and distal ends (Figures 6 and 7).
          The industry of layers IIa and IIb is unquestionably
          Epigravettian and may be placed chronologically during
          the hiatus between phase III and phase IV at
          Franchthi Cave (Perle`s, 1987). This industry has no
          parallels in western Greece. It differs from both the
          shouldered point industries that may have persisted
          until about 13,400210 at Kastritsa Cave (Adam,
          1989; Bailey et al., 1983a), as well as from the industries
          with small backed blades and the microburin
          technique at sites such as Klithi (Adam, 1989; Bailey
          et al., 1983b, 1984, 1986). On the other hand, analogous
          elements such as microgravettes and double
          backed points with ventral retouch can be seen in
          the Epigravettian industries on the Italian coast of the
          Ionian and Adriatic Seas (Bisi et al., 1983).
          The Aurignacian units
          The Aurignacian occupational horizons exposed so far
          consist of obviously anthropogenic deposits, including
          basin-like hearths filled with ashes, shells, crushed
          bones, and artifacts. The Aurignacian levels have
          tentatively been sub-divided into four units:
          (1) the uppermost unit comprising layer III, III and
          6a, with some microlithic backed bladelets
          (2) the upper unit, comprising layers IIIb, IIIc, 7a
          (together with hearth 5), IIId, IIIe, and 7b;
          (3) the middle unit, comprising a series of hearths
          from the northern section of trench A (hearths 15
          to 18) and layers IIIe and IIIf; and
          522 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          (4) the lower unit, comprising layer IIIg and IV and
          hearths 19–29, 38–46.
          The uppermost Aurignacian unit
          In 1994, hearths were identified immediately below the
          Epigravettian blade industries in Layers 6a and III.
          Investigation of the lithic industry from these levels
          reveals a significant frequency of blade products in
          comparison with the Aurignacian levels below. Blades
          and bladelets, the majority of which range in size from
          1·5 to 2·8 cm, the largest being 4·6 cm, are narrower
          and thinner than the specimens in the Epigravettian
          layers. These blanks were transformed into fine backed
          bladelets, often with concave blunted backs, sometimes
          double-backed, occasionally with transversal retouch
          in the form of microlithic rectangles. Rarely, microgravettes
          and retouched pointed blades are also present
          (Figure 7).
          The particular character of the ‘‘transitional’’ levels
          is the co-occurrence of backed implements and nosed
          and carinated scrapers on flakes accompanied by
          ogival, and blade end-scrapers. The number of
          splintered pieces (pie`ces esquille´es) is considerable.
          Two bone points, one of which is fairly short and
          single-beveled, should also be mentioned. They resemble
          points occurring in the Aurignacian layers, but
          their cross-sections are more asymmetrical.
          The co-occurrence of Aurignacian scrapers and fine
          backed implements has previously been recorded in
          Kephalari Cave (upper part of layer E), situated on
          the western side of the Argos Bay. Unfortunately, the
          layers containing these finds are not dated (Hahn,
          Obviously, as always in the case of inventories
          containing elements from two different technocomplexes,
          the possibility must be considered that artifacts
          became intermixed due to trampling or the slow rate of
          Figure 6. Upper Epigravettian (layer IIa): 1, Gravette point; 2, retouched blade; 4, 5, 7, 8, pointed retouched blades; 3, 6, end-scrapers.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 523
          deposition. Even when the excavation is undertaken
          extremely carefully, these potential explanations
          should not be ignored. However, in this case, the
          homogeneity of the ‘‘transitional phase’’ inventory is
          supported by the study of the technological features
          of the bladelets. Although clearly detached from
          carinated cores, some of the bladelets had steep
          retouch that is different from the Dufour or Krems
          type bladelets characteristic of Aurignacian assemblages.
          At the same time, these particular forms of
          backed bladelets do not occur in the Epigravettian
          layers (IIa and IIb) above. We therefore conclude that
          the origin of the industry is in the local Aurignacian
          In addition, viewing the assemblage of Kephalari
          Cave in the context of the undisturbed hearths in
          Klisoura Cave 1 suggests that the Klisoura industry
          is not simply a mixture of backed bladelets with
          Aurignacian flake implements, but rather a real
          ‘‘transitional phase’’.
          The upper Aurignacian unit
          The upper portion of the Aurignacian layers is an
          accumulation of alternating clay-loam sediments with
          a low frequency of limestone debris (e.g., IIIb), loamy
          sediments with a large anthropogenic component (IIIc,
          7a, 7b), and flat hearths that consist of a black ashy
          lens overlying burnt clay (e.g., hearth 5).
          Layer IIIc, corresponding to layer 7 in the excavations
          of 1994, yielded a round stone structure,
          measuring about 1·5 m in diameter, built from
          water-rounded limestone cobbles, several of which
          exhibited a surface weathering that indicates that
          they were brought from the river bank. A pavement of
          small limestone debris surrounded the structure.
          Numerous fragmented bones and a small quantity of
          flakes and lithic waste were found inside this feature.
          Although its exact function is unknown, the content of
          this structure suggests that bone marrow had been
          extracted within.
          Figure 7. Lower Epigravettian (layer IIb): 1, microgravette point; 2, backed blade; 4, 5, 6, retouched (and pointed) blades; 3, 6, 8, end-scrapers.
          524 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          The lithic industries of the upper Aurignacian unit
          are fairly homogeneous. The general structure of major
          technological groups is exemplified by the assemblages
          of layer 7a, hearth 5 and layer 7b. Core frequencies are
          0·5 to 1·7%, flakes 23·2 to 38·0%, blades and bladelets
          1·3 to 1·7%, chips 30·3 to 58·2%, and small shattered
          fragments are 13·2 to 25·2% (Table 3). These percentages
          demonstrate that the entire production process
          took place on the site. Furthermore, they show that the
          most important method of production was the manufacturing
          of flakes from flake cores and splintered
          pieces. Only a few blades and bladelets were produced
          and those were rarely retouched.
          As was emphasized in the first report (Koumouzelis
          et al., 1996), all the raw materials exploited were
          obtained from exposures and surfaces within a radius
          of 3–4 km of the site. These include radiolarites from
          limestone formations and flints in silicified sandstones.
          The best-represented type of radiolarite (R1) accounts
          for 29·3 to 44·8% of the raw material used in the
          assemblage, and the most popular flint (F2) accounts
          for 31·1 to 44·4% of the total. Geological formations in
          which the R6–R8 radiolarites or types of the F6–F9
          flint, which occur with a frequency not exceeding 0·5%,
          are found, have not been identified within the vicinity
          of the site. In addition, chalcedony, which forms 5·6%
          of layer 7a, is among the raw materials that cannot be
          considered strictly local.
          End-scrapers dominate in the Upper Aurignacian
          unit. In some levels, the number of splintered pieces
          equals (e.g., layer IIIb) or even exceeds (e.g., in layer
          7a) that of end-scrapers. In the end-scraper group, the
          predominant forms are steep scrapers on thick flakes,
          or plaquettes. There are also steep scrapers with lateral
          retouch and steep and carinated end-scrapers with two
          or more fronts. In layers IIIc and IIId there are steep
          flake scrapers that are almost discoidal (three specimens).
          In addition, there are end-scrapers (or cores?) of
          the rabot type, i.e., with either narrow flaking fronts or
          broad, fan-like fronts (Figure 8).
          Splintered pieces are particularly numerous, especially
          in layers IIIb, 7a, and 7b. The pieces are small in size
          (usually about 2·0 by 1·5–2·0 cm), made on plaquettes,
          flakes, or cores. In hearth 5, the splintered pieces represent
          the final phase of reduction of microlithic singleplatform
          cores with a narrow flaking surface. This may
          mean that some of the splintered pieces functioned as
          cores for the manufacture of microlithic flakes. There
          are also thin splintered pieces, in the shape of prisms,
          with fairly regular micro-blade scars. On the other hand,
          the presence of splintered pieces on flakes, with retouch
          extending over a small surface, suggests that this
          technique was connected to the use of flakes as chisels.
          Fragments of bone points include two specimens in
          layer 7, one in layer IIIb, three in layer IIIc, one
          specimen in layer 7b, and one in IIIe. The points with
          oval cross-sections, reaching 10 cm in length,
          have pointed, or less often, single-beveled bases. A
          perforated animal tooth was discovered in layer IIIb.
          Almost all the layers contained marine shells, frequently
          perforated. They are small in size (5 to 15 mm)
          and have been identified as Umbonium, Columbella,
          Cypraea, and Turitella shells. It is noteworthy that they
          frequently occur near the hearths.
          The middle Aurignacian unit
          The middle unit of the Aurignacian sequence encompasses
          a complex of hearths (numbered 15–18) in the
          northern part of the excavation. The hearths have a
          basin-like shape and intersect one another. The complex
          of hearths is covered by layer IIIe, essentially
          clayey deposits with a small component of limestone
          debris. Layer IIIf is darker in colour, possibly due to a
          higher content of organic material.
          The complex of hearths yielded carinated scrapers
          made on chunks and thick flakes, as well as several
          blades with marginal retouch, side-scrapers, and
          notched tools. Asymmetrical, nosed, double, and discoidal
          end-scrapers, mostly on flakes with steep fronts,
          occurred in the assemblage of layer IIIe. End-scrapers
          on microlithic cores for bladelets are also present. Tiny
          bladelets and single-platform cores for bladelets are
          numerous. The bladelets, as with those described in
          the former unit, have no retouch. The proportion of
          splintered pieces decreases, while single examples
          of burins and composite burin end-scraper specimens
          The dominance of end-scrapers persists. In the endscraper
          group, regular carinated items that could have
          also been used for bladelet production are most numerous.
          Individual subdiscoidal end-scrapers, notched
          tools, side-scrapers, retouched flakes and two bec-like
          tools also occur (Figure 9).
          The selection of raw materials present in the middle
          Aurignacian unit is similar to that in the upper unit.
          Type R1 radiolarite is the dominant nodule used for
          tool production.
          Two fragments of bone points, oval in cross-section,
          with missing bases, were found with the stone artifacts,
          in addition to small marine shells.
          The lower Aurignacian unit
          The lower unit of the sequence consists of hearth 14a,
          located in layer IIIg, hearth 19, located at the interface
          of layer IIIf and IV, and hearth 23 between layers
          IIIg/IIIe. As mentioned above, layer IV is a clayey,
          dark brown sediment containing fine and mediumsized
          limestone fragments, with strongly weathered
          surfaces and rounded edges. Hearths 25–29 and 38–46
          are located in layer IV. The sedimentological characteristics
          suggest that warmer and wetter climatic
          conditions prevailed. This assertion needs supportive
          End-scrapers, dihedral burins, retouched flakes and
          splintered pieces were found; carenoid or steep endscrapers,
          sometimes with broad fronts, predominate.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 525
          Table 3. Major technological groups in Upper Aurignacian layers
          Depth Layer Hearth
          bladelets Flakes Tools
          pieces Chips
          Total No % No % No % No % No % No % No % No %
          60–80 7a 5 0·5 16 1·7 218 23·2 6 0·6 23 2·5 546 58·2 124 13·2 — — 938
          65–90 7b 9 1·7 7 1·3 197 38·0 6 1·2 19 3·7 157 30·3 121 23·3 2 0·4 518
          90–105 5 12 1·3 14 1·6 284 31·7 11 1·2 17 1·9 333 37·1 226 25·2 — — 897
          Table 4. Raw material structure in Upper Aurignacian layers
          Layer Depth
          Radiolarites Flints Others
          Total R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R9 RB F1a F1b F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 FB S Ch Q O Z Sl
          7a 60–80 335 1 2 5 2 — — — 58 144 292 3 2 2 — — — 2 27 1 53 9 — — — 938
          7b 65–90 151 4 1 3 — 3 2 3 54 34 229 9 — 5 2 2 2 3 5 — — 4 — — — 516
          h. 5 90–105 399 6 15 1 3 1 — 1 35 62 257 9 1 14 11 6 — — 58 — 5 3 1 1 1 890
          S—serpentinite; Ch—chalcedony; Q—quartz; O—obsidian; Z—metamorphic rock; Sl—silicified limestone.
          526 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          Table 5. Number of Identified Specimens and Minimal Numbers of Individuals (NISP/MNI) of mammals from Pleistocene layers of Klisoura Cave
          Dama dama
          Fallow deer
          Red deer
          cf. ibex
          Chamois Bos/Bison
          Sus scrofa
          Wild boar
          Equus hydruntinus
          European wild ass
          Cave hyena
          Wild cat
          (leo spelaea)
          Cave lion
          cf. martes
          Pine marten
          Hedgehog Total
          II a 6/1 6
          II b 1 6/1 2/1 8/1 63/5 2/1 82
          III 2/1 2/1 1 1 6/1 12
          III‘ 36/2 36
          6a 30/2 4/1 1 1 177/10 3/2 6/3 4/1 227
          III a 5/1 3/1 8
          III b 172/3 1 1 47/3 5/1 1 7/6 1 235
          III c 280 2/1 1 6 83 2/1 2 491
          Struct. 95/9 2/1 17/5 1/1
          III d 1 1
          III e 248/5 1 5/1 2/1 1 1 53/7 6/3 1 2/1 1 1 7/2 5/1 334
          III e 92/3 1 1 2/1 33/2 4/1 9/1 1 1 6/2 150
          III f 1 1
          III g 79/5 8/1 1 1 17/5 1 1 3/2 111
          III g/IV 4/1 1 5
          IV 6/1 1 4/2 8/1 16/2 30/2 1 2/1 1 69
          V 1 1 4/1 6
          Total 1011/32 2 29/8 9/4 11/3 7/6 41/12 575/45 1 13/6 1 19/5 4/3 2/1 3/3 1 31/16 14/6 1774
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 527
          The specimens are made on flakes or chunks,
          accompanied by increasing numbers of blades and
          In general, changes throughout the Aurignacian
          sequence are minor. A higher frequency of blades and
          bladelets is noted in the lower part of the sequence, and
          a considerable increase of the splintered pieces in the
          upper part. Throughout the sequence, steep, carinated,
          and nosed end-scrapers from which bladelets were
          removed occur together with special cores for bladelets.
          The overall frequency of bladelets is generally
          low (in the upper part of the sequence it accounts for
          1·3 to 1·7% of the inventory, and when calculated
          without the shattered fragments they amount to 2·1%).
          Bladelets with marginal or abrupt retouch, present in
          the ‘‘transitional’’ layers (III), were not found in the
          Aurignacian levels.
          Aurignacian structured hearths
          Several of the hearths uncovered in the Aurignacian
          layers merit particular description and comment. These
          basin-like features were discovered in the middle
          and lower part of the Aurignacian sequence, within
          lithostratigraphic units IIIe, IIIe, IIIg and IV. Some
          formed reddish rings surrounding a filling of ashes,
          charcoal, bones, and carbonates. The basin-like
          hearths were sunk in the ground to a depth of 10 to
          20 cm into the cave sediments. Some of the hearths (for
          example, numbers 18, 22, 22a, 23, 25, 26, 29, 38 and 41)
          are interstratified, frequently intersecting one another;
          this indicates a low sedimentation rate.
          Mineralogical analysis of the reddish clay lining the
          hearths has shown that this material is not the same
          as the cave sediments, but is burnt clay with a rich
          mineralogical composition. Besides components such
          as thermally transformed clay minerals (mainly potassium
          aluminosilicate—illite), quartz and carbonate fragments,
          there are also small quantities of dolomite.
          Microscopic examinations of the structure of these
          clays have shown that the walls of the basin-like
          depressions were lined with specially prepared daub,
          containing clay brought from outside, tempered bone
          and plant tissue (chaff). An X-ray examination of the
          thermally altered clay minerals indicates that this daub
          was fired at about 600–650C. The EDX method has
          established that some of the clays used for lining the
          structure in the floor contain rock fragments with
          aluminosilicates originating from quartzfeldspar gneiss
          with a higher content of titanium, iron and manganese.
          These sorts of rocks do not occur in the immediate
          vicinity of the cave, but were identified at a distance of
          about 1–3 km.
          The possibility should not be excluded that the
          hearths are not the only instances in which basin-like,
          clay-lined structures were lined with daub, but that
          they may have served as a prototype for ceramic
          containers. It is worth mentioning that hearth 18
          yielded starches typical of seed grasses found in phytoliths,
          which suggests that the structures were used for
          roasting grains of wild grasses.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic with arched backed blades
          Below the Aurignacian, in layer V, an industry occurs
          that contrasts with the Aurignacian in layer IV in terms
          of technology, as it shows a much higher frequency of
          blades. This can be seen in the general inventory
          structure where, of the total of approximately 2800
          artifacts, around 130 (4·6%) are blades and 370 flakes
          (12·8%). Thus, the ratio of blades to flakes is
          1:2·7—much higher even than in the Uppermost
          Aurignacian units. The most numerous groups are
          chips and small flakes (about 1500 specimens, i.e. 52%).
          There are 132 tools (4·6%) represented by splintered
          pieces which make up the largest group (41 specimens),
          followed by arched backed blades (21 specimens;
          Figure 12: 1–12) and an equal number of sidescrapers—
          often small—(10 specimens) and retouched
          blades (10 specimens). Burins and perforators are
          extremely rare (one specimen of each). The presence of
          microlithic shapes such as a trapeze (Figure 12: 13–15),
          a microlithic truncation resembling Zonhoven (Taute
          1968: 182–185: fig. 45) points (Figure 12: 14, 16) and a
          Krukowski microburin is of particular interest.
          In comparison with the Aurignacian layers, the
          distinct quantitative ascendancy of R1 radiolarite
          (58%) and the radiolarite group in general (10 types)
          over flints (14 types) is characteristic. Types of radiolarites
          and flints occur that are not known from
          younger layers. The deposit areas of these types have
          not so far been identified. Again, a tendency towards
          using higher quality raw materials (including R1 radiolarite,
          represented by types with better cleavage than
          radiolarite categories in the Aurignacian layers) which
          lend themselves more readily to blade production is
          also typical. Bone artifacts do not occur, but more than
          a dozen Dentalium shells were found. A flat hearth with
          a larger diameter than those in the Aurignacian levels
          was uncovered in layer V.
          Mousterian layers
          Below layer V, several Mousterian occupations were
          excavated during the 1997 season. Mousterian artifacts
          occurred in layers VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI, with a
          total thickness of c. 0·7 m. Due to the limited area
          excavated in 1997, it is yet premature to provide
          detailed information on the lithic assemblages of these
          layers. The common reduction sequences are discoidal
          and multi-directional; only in the lowermost layer is
          there evidence for the use of the Levallois recurrent
          reduction method, as witnessed by the scar pattern on
          the flakes. These assemblages are rich in side-scrapers,
          generally small in size, made on relatively thick flakes
          showing analogies to the ‘‘Micromousterian’’ layers of
          Asprochaliko Cave in Epirus (Papaconstantinou, 1988;
          Papaconstantinou & Vassilopoulou, 1997). The overall
          528 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          Figure 8. Uppermost Aurignacian unit (layer III): 1–11, end-scrapers; 12–14, retouched and pointed blades; 15, 16, backed blades; 17–21,
          backed bladelets; 22, 23, microretouched bladelets.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 529
          Figure 9. Upper Aurignacian: 1–10, end-scrapers; 11, denticulated blade; 12, 13, splintered pieces; 14, 15, cores; 16, perforated tooth; 17, 18,
          bone points.
          530 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          Figure 10. Middle Aurignacian: 1–14, 16, 17, 19, end-scrapers; 15, burin; 18, burin plus end-scraper; 20, 21, pointed retouched blades; 22, bone
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 531
          thickness of the Mousterian layers in Cave 1, as
          indicated by drillings, surpasses 3·0 m and is therefore
          thicker than the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic
          Plant Macroremains and Phytoliths
          The upper part of the Aurignacian sequence contained
          fruit and seeds that had been burned or mineralized.
          The preserved, burnt macroremains are classified as
          follows: Caryopsis grass, Graminae indet.; the fruit of
          Polygonum sp., of the Polygonaceae family; several
          seeds of Goose-foot, Chenopodium sp., members of the
          Chenopodiaceae family; Spurrey, Spergula sp.; and
          Melandrium sp., Silene sp. from the Caryophyllacea
          family. The fruits include Echium sp. and Lithospermum
          sp., family Boraginaceae, and Traxacum sp.,
          family Compositae. These plants indicate the prevailing
          dry and open habitats. Fruits of Lithospermum
          were identified at Franchthi Cave, in the levels dated to
          21–22 ka  (Perle`s, 1995).
          The charcoals have not yet been identified. In the
          upper part of the Aurignacian layers, calcium oxalate
          phytoliths, usually derived from trees and shrubs, have
          been identified in the hearth sediments. Most of these
          phytoliths belong to the Fagaceae family. However, the
          limits of the taxa, as defined by the phytolith identifi-
          cations, are not identical to those of the detailed species
          list of macroremains or pollen grains. Hence, conclusions
          concerning the arboreal species that grew around
          Cave 1 can be drawn only after the anthracological
          analysis is completed.
          The presence of silica phytoliths in the hearths
          confirms that roots or stems and grass leaves were used
          to start the fire. Only hearth 13 contained more inflorescence
          parts, the presence of which indicates that the
          fire was constructed in the spring or autumn. Taxonomic
          identification using phytoliths has established
          the presence of grasses belonging to the Festucoid
          subfamily, thereby adding to the list of grasses that
          grew around Cave 1.
          The important presence of starches, characteristic of
          seed grasses and suggesting the use of this family as
          part of the diet are found only in hearth 18. Hence, the
          results of the phytolith analysis indicate that this
          hearth may have served a function different from that
          of the others.
          Faunal Remains
          Bird remains
          A total of 121 avian bones, belonging to at least five
          taxa, all represented in the present day Greek avifauna
          (Lambert, 1957), were found in the Aurignacian as
          follows: layer III, 13 bones; layer 6a, 95 bones; layer
          IIIc, five bones; layer IIIe, five bones; layer IV, two
          bones; layer V, one bone. Most of the bones (72) were
          remnants of Rock Partridges (Alectoris graeca).
          Twenty-two other, badly damaged, fragments determined
          as ‘‘Galliformes’’ probably also belonged to
          Rock Partridges. Twenty fragments were attributed to
          Great Bustards (Otis tarda). The other three taxa,
          including an owl from the genus Asio, the Jackdaw
          (Corvus monedula)—both from layer III, and the
          Crow (Corvus corone)—layer 6a, were represented by
          single bones. The four remaining fragments were
          Although the composition of species is probably
          incomplete, it indicates a mosaic habitat including
          open areas (O. tarda) with rocky ground and low scrub
          (A. graeca), adjoining sparse woods or at least clumps
          of trees and rocks (C. monedula, C. corone).
          Some of the bones of the Rock Partridges and Great
          Bustards show distinct traces of burning, which, together
          with the absence of signs of digestion particular
          to animal predators (Andrews, 1990; Bochenski &
          Tomek, 1997), allow the remains to be attributed to
          human activities. This is not surprising, as Great
          Bustards and Rock Partridges—relatively large and
          slow-flying birds—were hunted for meat in historical
          times and the latter species is eaten today. It is more
          surprising that the two fragments of an owl and a
          Jackdaw also show traces of burning.
          Despite the preliminary nature of this report, we
          note that Rock Partridge bones predominated amongst
          avian finds in at least one Pleistocene site in Greece
          (Reisch, 1976), and that all the taxa found in Klisoura
          Cave have also been reported from other Greek sites of
          similar age (Bachmayer et al., 1989; Mourer-Chauvire´,
          1981; Weesie, 1988).
          The 1239 gastropod shells (or their identifiable fragments)
          found, belong to four or five species of terrestrial
          snails and to several marine species. A few
          unidentifiable fragments of bivalves, most likely representing
          marine species and over a dozen fragments of
          two species of Dentalium (Scaphopoda), have also been
          The Holocene and Late Glacial molluscan assemblage
          from layers I through IIb is relatively sparse,
          although it contains fragments of several terrestrial
          species. Rumina decollata, Lindholmiola cf. spectabilis
          and some Zonitidae have been found, as well as the
          marine species Cypraea sp. and Turitella sp., which
          were not found in the older deposits.
          Most of the collected specimens come from the
          Aurignacian layers and 919 shells belong to the
          landsnail Helix figulina, which was not found in
          the Holocene layers. The other terrestrial species—
          Lindholmiola cf. Spectabilis, found in the upper part of
          layer III, is represented by a single specimen.
          Helix figulina is most numerous (572 specimens) in
          layer 6a. This species has been found mostly in SE
          Europe, living on grassy slopes with strong insolation,
          up to 1000 m a.s.l. The shells of adult specimens make
          532 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          up a considerably minor fraction. Such a great accumulation
          of H. figulina shells may suggest that the
          snails were eaten for food (as is still the case today in
          some regions of Greece), however, the dominance of
          juvenile specimens, less useful for food, is remarkable.
          Moreover, the majority of H. figulina shells, in
          particular the aperture, is well preserved.
          Marine shells of relatively small size, 5–15 mm,
          occasionally up to 20 mm, are particularly numerous in
          layer IV. In this layer, apart from the 23 specimens of
          H. figulina, 242 shells, belonging to 9 genera of marine
          species were found. Unfortunately, their poor preservation
          precludes specific assignment. The following
          genera are represented: Columbella, Cerithium, Nassarius,
          Cyclope, Clanculus, Calliostoma, Cancellaria,
          Naticarius, and Neritina.
          It is noteworthy that almost all the marine specimens
          have an irregular hole on the body whorl, near the edge
          of the aperture. In several specimens, there is also a
          very regular hole of smaller size, probably made by a
          predatory marine snail of genus Natica. The presence
          of marine shells in prehistoric archaeological deposits
          is often connected with their use as adornments or
          amulets. In this light, the holes suggest that the shells
          were pierced so that they could be strung into
          necklaces or bracelets.
          Layer V contains over a dozen fragments of two
          species of Dentalium and some fragments of H. figulina
          Mammalian fauna
          In total, 1774 complete and partial bones, belonging to
          18 species of mammal, were recovered during the
          1994–1997 excavations. The majority of the bones and
          teeth belong to herbivores, including hares. Carnivores,
          other rodents, and insectivores are represented
          rarely. Most of the identified bones belong to fallow
          deer (56%) and hare (Lepus europaeus 32%), and were
          found in nearly every layer. The majority of the
          remains of many of the species were discovered in layer
          6a (dated to about 24,500 ) and layers IIIb to IIIg
          (Upper Aurignacian). In these layers, the remains of
          fallow deer and hare clearly predominate.
          Layer IIIc produced the largest number of fallow
          deer bones and teeth (NISP=95) (Table 1), many of
          which, along with those of hare (NISP=17) were
          uncovered in the rounded structure described above.
          The most frequently occurring bones were the fragments
          of mandibles, phalanxes, metacarpals, metatarsals,
          isolated teeth, carpal and tarsal bones. Limb
          bones were represented mainly by proximal or distal
          epiphyses. The breakage of phalanxes and limb bone
          shafts suggests the process of marrow extraction. Ribs
          and vertebrae were found only sporadically.
          The Klisoura herbivore bones show none of the
          gnawing marks typical of carnivores. Instead, 25% of
          the identifiable bones bear traces of burning. Some
          bones, which were still covered by flesh when they were
          burned, have brown patches, others were calcined. The
          white colour of the bones suggests that they were
          subjected to intense heat at the temperature of a
          campfire, about 600C (Lyman, 1994). The surfaces of
          the bones show no cut marks.
          The traces of burning, the presence of a complete but
          not intact skeleton of a fallow deer, and the type of
          damage on the bones all suggest that the remains are
          those of animals that had been hunted. In addition, it is
          possible that squirrels were also hunted for their skins.
          A small number of bone tools, including a polished
          antler fragment (layer III) and a perforator made from
          the right ulna of a fallow deer (layer IIIe) were found.
          Franchthi cave is the nearest Upper Palaeolithic site
          to Klisoura, situated approximately 30 km to the
          southeast. No fallow deer remains have been discovered
          in the Late Gravettian layers (c. 22 ka ) at this
          site (Payne, 1975). However, in 1995, Hubbard (Payne,
          pers. comm.) recorded the presence of fallow deer
          remains in the Franchthi basal (interstadial) deposits.
          The apparent absence of this species at Franchthi
          might be attributable to the very small number of
          mammal remains, which includes only 49 bones in
          faunal phase A (Payne, 1975). It may also, however,
          reflect environmental changes on the Peloponnese
          about 20 ka . It is unfortunate that a hiatus in the
          stratigraphical record at Klisoura Cave between 22·5
          and 26 ka  makes it impossible to confirm the
          absence of fallow deer on the Peloponnese during this
          period. It should be noted that the remains of fallow
          deer have been recorded (Bailey et al., 1984) at
          Asprochaliko in Epirus in the Upper Palaeolithic
          layers, which correspond to layers 6a-IIIe at Klisoura.
          The presence of fallow deer at Klisoura could be
          explained by the milder climatic conditions enjoyed by
          a coastal region, in addition to a wider variety of plants
          and shrubs than can be found near Franchthi. Fallow
          deer tend to inhabit plains and slightly rugged or hilly
          areas where grassy clearings and undergrowth give way
          to deciduous woods. A more detailed reconstruction of
          the immediate environment of Klisoura Cave 1 could
          be carried out based on the microvertebrates. Unfortunately,
          with the exception of squirrels, no rodent
          remains were found in the water-sieved samples from
          the excavation.
          All the species found at the Klisoura cave site have
          previously been recorded in the Upper Pleistocene of
          the Balkans (Bachmayer et al., 1989; Kowalski, 1982;
          Malez, 1986; Melentis, 1965, 1966; Symeonidis,
          Bachmayer & Zapfe, 1980; Tsoukala, 1991).
          Cave 1 Industries in Regional Context
          The sequence in Cave 1 at Klisoura Gorge ends with
          Mesolithic assemblages that show analogies to those of
          Franchthi Cave. Unfortunately, the single date from
          the carbonates in the lowest Mesolithic layer (6):
          9150220, precludes us from establishing a more
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 533
          precise chronology. Unquestionably, an erosional
          phase separates the Mesolithic from the Epigravettian
          in layers IIa–IIb. Occupations filling this gap were
          found in neighbouring caves 4 and 7.
          The Epigravettian layers correspond to the post-
          LGM period, but the date of 14,28090 obtained on
          the carbonates should be treated as the minimum age
          of the Epigravettian. The true temporal range of this
          Epigravettian corresponds to the stratigraphical gap
          between lithic phases III and IV in Franchthi Cave, the
          period dated from 21,4801270 to 12,540180 years
           (Perle`s, 1987).
          As the top of the Aurignacian sequence yielded the
          dates obtained from snails (Gd-7994 and Gd-7996)
          which, after correcting for the reservoir effect, correspond
          to the period between c. 22·5 and 26·0 ka , it
          may be possible to assume that the second stratigraphical
          gap corresponds to the LGM in this region (22·5–
          16–18 ka ).
          The dating of the Aurignacian sequence is based on
          land snails for the top of the sequence (Gd-7994 and
          Gd-7996), and on organic fractions for the lower
          portion of the sequence (Gd-7892, Gd-7893 and Gd-
          10342), and places its range from 22·5 to 32·4 ka 
          (Table 1).
          Runnels (1995: 714) stated that ‘‘the Aurignacian is
          extremely rare in Greece’’. Aurignacian carinated endscrapers
          were recorded at around or before 30 ka  in
          the lower layers of Franchthi Cave, phase lithique I
          (Perle`s, 1987). Unfortunately, information on the
          Aurignacian from Kephalari Cave is less precise,
          though a short report by J. Hahn (1984) suggests that
          Aurignacian end-scrapers in that cave occur together
          with backed implements. Even less is known about the
          site of Arvenitsa, near Nafplion, which has been
          quoted by Perle`s (1995) as being Aurignacian. However,
          the finds displayed in the Museum at Nafplion
          cast doubt on the accuracy of such an attribution.
          The best published open-air site with Aurignacian
          finds is Elaiochori 2, located near Patras in the western
          Peloponnese, known from the excavations by Darlas
          (1989). Unfortunately, as it is a surface site, it neither
          assures the homogeneity of the assemblage nor
          indicates its date. Typologically, the artifacts from
          Elaiochori 2 resemble the Aurignacian from Klisoura
          Cave 1. End-scrapers dominate (27·2%) the inventory
          of retouched elements, followed by denticulated and
          notched pieces (19·1%). Among the former are nosed
          and atypical nucle´iforme specimens on flakes (Darlas,
          1989, fig. 7: 7–15), as well as carinated-nosed items
          (Darlas, 1989, fig. 8: 1–6). Moreover, core scrapers of
          the rabot type are present (Darlas, 1989, fig. 8: 8, 9).
          Unfortunately, the Aurignacian finds are mixed with
          Mousterian artifacts (Darlas, 1989, fig. 10) as well as a
          few backed pieces (Darlas, 1989, fig. 9: 11–12).
          In addition, a few thick scrapers were retrieved from
          the red sand layers in the region of Amalias, Kastron,
          and Retunia in the western Peloponnese (Leroi-
          Gourhan, 1964). Mousterian artifacts also occur in the
          same levels. However, at Amalias and Retuni, in the
          boundary zone between the red sands and the overlying
          grey sands, carinated end-scrapers occur together
          with backed implements. The backed pieces have been
          attributed to the Mesolithic with no sound geological
          basis (Chavaillon et al., 1967). In light of the above
          review, we may surmize that Klisoura Cave 1 is the first
          multi-layer Aurignacian sequence, radiometrically
          dated, to be discovered in Greece.
          Placing the Klisoura Cave 1 Aurignacian in the
          wider context of the Balkan Upper Palaeolithic is
          difficult, as the region reveals a geographic complexity
          in the distribution of the various types of assemblage.
          Industries with backed pieces developed as early as
          30 to 26 ka in much of this region. In the north, they
          are affiliated with typical Gravettian, similar to the
          industries of the Danube basin, whereas in northwest
          Greece they are simple backed bladelet industries.
          Thus, it seems that the Aurignacian vanished from
          most of the Balkans between 30 to 28 ka . The latest
          Aurignacian level (perhaps with some intrusions of
          backed elements) was discovered in the well-explored
          sequence of Temnata Cave in Bulgaria (Ginter &
          Kozlowski, 1992). It dates to the period 31 to 29 ka .
          In Bacho Kiro Cave, the Aurignacian assemblages
          were excavated from level 6a/7 (Kozlowski, 1982),
          dated to 29,150950 (Ly-1102) and followed by levels
          4b and 4a. Level 4b is attributed to the same, warmer
          episode (Krinides II), whereas level 4a is placed at
          the next cold episode, i.e. after about 27/25 ka . A
          characteristic feature of the youngest Aurignacian
          assemblages at Bacho Kiro Cave (allowing for the
          very small series of artifacts), is a decrease in the
          frequency of blades and blade tools and a preponderance
          of simple end-scrapers with lateral retouch and
          high scrapers on flakes and chunks. The tendencies
          observed in Bacho Kiro Cave, although on a small
          sample, exhibit a change towards an increase in the
          frequencies of end-scrapers and a shift in the flaking
          The only Aurignacian assemblages in the Balkans
          dated later than 25 ka  and possibly contemporaneous
          with those of Klisoura Cave 1, were uncovered
          in Sandalia Cave II near Pula in Croatia (Malez, 1978:
          258–260). Layer e at this site is particularly interesting,
          as its date of 23,540180 (GrN-5013) fits very well
          between the date of 21,740450 (GrN-4877) for the
          Gravettian layer c and a date of 25,340170 (GrN-
          5015) for the Aurignacian layer f. Malez (1978, pl.
          26:8–13) published only a small selection of finds from
          layer e, including short flake end-scrapers with lateral
          retouch, carinated and nosed end-scrapers on chunks,
          and a few side-scrapers. When these artifacts are
          compared with the finds from layer f, the inference may
          be drawn that blade tools decrease in number,
          especially Aurignacian retouched blades. Taking into
          consideration, however, that there is a lack of
          availability of all the necessary information, it is
          difficult to determine the tendencies in the Aurignacian
          534 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          technological and morphological changes in
          Sandalia II.
          The beginning of the Aurignacian sequence in
          Klisoura Cave 1 is contemporaneous with the classical
          phase of the Balkan Aurignacian, represented by the
          industries with Mladec type split-base points. In Bacho
          Kiro and Temnata caves, long sequences of the
          Early Aurignacian occur below the classical Balkan
          Aurignacian, which so far have no parallels in Greece.
          Much of the Italian Aurignacian differs from the
          Aurignacian in Greece described here. In cave
          sequences, the layers dated at from 36 to 32 ka revealed
          the so-called Proto-Aurignacian, with its characteristic
          large proportion of bladelets with marginal retouches
          of Dufour or Krems type. This proportion could
          sometimes be as much as 50% of the tool inventory.
          Such bladelets were not only the product of shaping
          carinated end-scrapers; they were accompanied by few
          end-scrapers and burins but relatively numerous sidescrapers
          and denticulates. In the Castelcivita Cave
          (Gambassini, 1997) the Proto-Aurignacian shows
          internal variability: lower level 8 (31/32 ka) contained
          slender Dufour type bladelets whereas in upper level 6
          (also about 31 ka ) they were replaced by Muralovka
          type ‘‘micropoints’’, the proportion of which is also
          very high (44%). Only after the Proto-Aurignacian
          with micro-retouched bladelets does the typical
          Aurignacian appear—the earliest on the Ligurian
          coast (Riparo Mochi layer F—c. 32 ka), and later in
          southern Italy (e.g. Cala Cave layers 13–10 dated at
          29·8–26·8 ka —Benini, Boscato & Gambassini,
          1997). It is the industries from southern Italy that the
          Aurignacian from Cave 1 at Klisoura resembles most
          closely. These southern Italian industries contained
          only a few micro-retouched bladelets (0·3 to 0·8%), but
          the proportion of end-scrapers and splintered pieces
          Figure 11. Lower Aurignacian: 1–8, 10–12, end-scrapers; 9, core.
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 535
          (up to 40% combined) were high. The similarity of the
          general quantitative structure is further emphasized by
          the similarity of tool morphology, especially of endscrapers
          (e.g. from the Cala Cave—Benini, Boscata &
          Gambassini, 1997, fig. 8).
          The sequence in Klisoura Cave 1, in conjunction with
          the sequences from Franchthi and Kephalari Caves
          enable us to obtain a more complete picture of cultural
          evolution in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene
          of the eastern Peloponnese. The picture would be more
          complete if the data on the chronology and the industries
          from Kephalari Cave were more precise. The
          sequences in Cave 1 at Klisoura (layers 3–6) and at
          Franchthi (Lithic phases VII–IX) end with Mesolithic
          layers. Below these, the Late Glacial Epigravettian
          occurs at Franchthi (Lithic phases IV–VI) and at
          Kephalari (layers C1–C3, D1) corresponding to a
          hiatus in Cave 1 at Klisoura. At Franchthi, the hiatus
          between lithic phases III and IV (i.e. between 21 and
          12 ka) is filled by the Epigravettian layers in Cave 1
          (layers IIa, IIb) and perhaps the Epigravettian layers in
          Kephalari Cave (D2, D3). On the other hand, in Cave
          Figure 12. EUP with arched backed blades: 1–12, arched backed blades; 13–16, microlithic truncations (13–15 double).
          536 M. Koumouzelis et al.
          1 there are no layers that correspond to the LGM and
          the period directly preceding the LGM. Such layers
          are recorded in Franchthi Cave (Lithic phases II
          and III—22–21 ka ) and possibly also in Kephalari
          Cave (layer D4), where the Mediterranean Gravettian
          is present. The later Interpleniglacial and the transition
          to the LGM (32·4–22·5 ka) are best represented
          in Cave 1, where a sequence of Aurignacian levels
          occurs; our knowledge of this period is much poorer
          at Franchthi (Lithic phase I is the only possible
          Aurignacian occupational episode) and at Kephalari
          (where layers E, F1, F2 contain mixed elements of both
          the Aurignacian and the EUP arched backed blades
          industries). Finally, below the Aurignacian sequence at
          Cave 1 there is a well-marked level with an EUP arched
          backed blades industry (layer V) and a several metre
          thick series of unexcavated Middle Palaeolithic layers.
          The Middle Palaeolithic is also present at Kephalari
          (layer G) but it is not present in Franchthi Cave.
          In comparison with the caves at Franchthi and
          Kephalari, Cave 1 displays a different composition of
          fauna dominated by fallow deer and hare, but with a
          smaller proportion of Equus hydruntinus and ibex. At
          Franchthi, on the other hand, the layers that directly
          precede the LGM demonstrate an increase in the
          frequency of horse and cervids, while the Late Glacial
          layers are dominated by bovids, caprids and fewer
          cervids and horses. In Kephalari Cave, hare and birds
          constitute a fairly large proportion throughout the
          whole sequence, whereas Equus hydruntinus, wild boar
          and caprids are dominant in the Gravettian and Epigravettian
          layers. The differences we have described
          could be the effect of the particular paleogeographical
          conditions in every region. It is more likely however,
          that they are caused by the fact that sediments corresponding
          to the LGM are absent in Cave 1. At
          Franchthi, on the other hand, there are no data on
          faunal remains from the end of the Interpleniglacial,
          while at Kephalari the layers with the EUP industries
          do not contain fauna. In Cave 1, the upper portion of
          the Aurignacian sequence contains an accumulation
          of shells, mainly Helix figulina, which at Franchthi
          is abundant only in lithic phase V (about 11 ka ;
          Perle`s, 1995), and at Kephalari in the Late Glacial
          (layer C3).
          A special feature of the Aurignacian sequence in
          Cave 1 is the presence of plant macroremains in the
          Upper Aurignacian. Among these are several species
          that could have been used for food (for example
          Chenopodium, Polygonum) and/or for production of
          dyes (Lithospermum). In addition, in the middle portion
          of the Aurignacian sequence, some hearths could
          have served for roasting grains of certain Graminae, as
          they contained phytoliths of starches of seed grasses.
          The basin-like, clay-lined hearths are the oldest
          example of clay preparation and firing; the occurrence
          of such hearths in the Lower and Middle Aurignacian
          (32·4–28 ka ) places their chronology before
          the central European Gravettian with its ceramic
          technology, dated at about 28 to 26 ka  (Vandiver
          et al., 1990).
          The most important result of the excavation was the
          discovery of Early Upper Palaeolithic layer V, with an
          arched backed blade industry and microliths sandwiched
          between the Aurignacian (layer IV) and the
          Mousterian (layer VI). This industry shows some analogies
          to the Italian Uluzzian, mostly in the morphology
          of arched backed blades, as well as in the relative
          frequency of splintered pieces, which in some Uluzzian
          sites constitute more than half of the retouched pieces
          (e.g., Castelcivita` layers rsa and rpi; Cavallo EII–I; La
          Fabricca 2; Gambassini, 1997). The differences are
          particularly expressed in the reduction sequences and
          the role of microliths in the Klisoura assemblage.
          Noteworthy is the presence of Dentalium shells used
          as personal adornments in Klisoura layer V and the
          dominant blade production in this Early Upper
          Palaeolithic unit. The latter played a minor role in
          subsequent Aurignacian assemblages. If we take into
          account only the open-ended dates from layer V,
          they could be considered as similar to the 34–33 Ka
           established for the Uluzzian in Castelcivita`
          (Gambassini, 1997) and Cavallo caves (Palma di
          Cesnola, 1993). However, the new AMS measurement
          for layer V (H. Valladas, pers. comm.) of 40·2 ka years
          , if supported by the TL dates of burnt flint, would
          indicate that this Early Upper Palaeolithic arched
          backed blade industry is much older than all of
          the dated Uluzzian sites in Italy, and will be contemporary
          with many Mousterian occupations in Italy,
          Montenegro (Crvena Stijena layer XII; Basler, 1975),
          Bulgaria (Samuilitsa, unit 5; Sirakov, 1983), and
          Thessaly (Theopetra 3·6–4·2 m; Kyparissi-Apostolika,
          1999; Peneios layer IV; Runnels & Van Andel, 1993,
          etc.). At the same time, layer V would be roughly
          synchronous with the ‘‘Pre-Aurignacian Bachokirian’’
          (Bacho-Kiro layer 11/IV–I; Temnata layer 4C–A) in
          the Bulgarian caves (Kozlowski, 1999). Such an early
          chronological position for the Early Upper Palaeolithic
          from Klisoura raises the possibility of the spread of
          the ‘‘Upper Palaeolithic package’’ independent of the
          Aurignacian, through the northern Mediterranean
          We express gratitude to the Polish Committee for
          Scientific Research for the support of grant 0914, and
          to the American Schools of Prehistoric Research at the
          Peabody Museum, Harvard University for financial
          support for the, 1996 season. We would like to thank
          Prof. K Kowalski who examined the squirrel material,
          Prof. B. Rzebik-Kowalska for examining insectivora
          remains and Prof. A. Forsten who looked at the equid
          material. Particular thanks must go to Mrs Barbara
          Kazior, and Dr Krzysztof Sobczyk of the Institute of
          Archaeology, Jagellonian University, Krako´w, Poland
          The Early Upper Palaeolithic in Greece 537
          and Dr. Malgorzata Kaczanowska of the Archaeological
          Museum, Krako´w-Nowa Huta, Poland, who participated
          in the excavations and worked on the analysis
          of the finds. In addition, we would like to thank
          three anonymous reviewers for their comments. We
          would like to thank J. Dickinson for editorial
          assistance. Finally, all shortcomings of this paper are
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