Archaeology and formation processes in the M6 Block at Dmanisi, Georgia

Tea Shelia, Reid Ferring, Martha Tappen, Maia Bukhsianidze, David Lordkipanidze

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2 Scopus citations


Excavations at the M6 Block of the Dmanisi Paleolithic site reveal a unique record of occupation patterns and activities. Geoarchaeological investigations and faunal analyses show that the materials in M6 most probably accumulated as an in situ deposit. Lithic assemblages reveal a very low intensity of reduction, with very few flakes per core. This may correlate with an emphasis on bone breakage, based on bone fragment data. The geological and archaeological data from these excavations indicate a high degree of variability in occupation patterns. The very high ratio of bones to lithic artifacts in M6 (1156/72) is possibly unique at Dmanisi, indicating a locus of substantial bone accumulation by carnivores and humans. The record from M6 is unlike that from any of the other areas of the site excavated thus far, showing that Dmanisi was a location of diverse activities during the many repeated occupations that are shown by spatial and stratigraphic distribution of in situ deposits. This is one of the few opportunities in any Paleolithic setting; most of the sites in globe present single occupation events in same localities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia (SRNSF) [PhDF2016_200]. We thank the entire Dmanisi team for their fine research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Bull. Georg. Natl. Acad. Sci.


  • Dmanisi
  • Homo erectus
  • Paleolithic industry
  • Site formation


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