VITA ANTIQUA, ISSN 2522-9419 (Online), 2519-4542 (Print)
Center for Paleoethnological research
VITA ANTIQUA 13, 2021. Dwellings of Prehistoric Europe: social adaptations in variable environments.
The earliest evidence for dwelling construction in the Upper Palaeolithic of the Eastern Europe: a 30,000-year-old surface structure from Mira layer I
Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The purpose of this article is to present data on the surface structure identified in the upper layer of the Mira site in the Dnieper valley. The occupation of layer I, based on a set of consistent data, constitutes the re- mains of a seasonal winter camp of Pleistocene horse hunters. Ten available radiocarbon dates place the calibrated age of layer I between 31,000 to 28,000 cal BP. The rapid albeit gentle overlapping of the settlement remains with alluvial sediments ensured that the original settlement and dwelling patterns and their elements survived well. Thanks to this, it is possible to reconstruct some significant aspects of the construction process, as well as details of the arrangement of the dwelling’s interior space. A 30,000-year-old, permanent skeleton cylindrical yaranga type surface construction from Mira layer I is currently representing the oldest dwelling known in the Upper Palaeolithic of Ukraine and a broader context of the steppe zone of the East European plain.
Keywords: Upper Palaeolithic, surface dwelling, Eastern Europe.
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