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VITA ANTIQUA ISSN: 2522-9419 (Online), ISSN: 2519-4542 (Print)

VITA ANTIQUA 9, 2017, HUMAN & LANDSCAPE: Prehistoric Archaeology of Eastern Europe, 81-106
From Mammoth to Fox: functional identification of Eliseevichi 1 within Upper Pleniglacial settlements of the the Desna valley
Demay L.¹, Patou-Mathis M.¹, Péan S.¹, Khlopachev G.A.², Sablin M.V³
¹- Department of Prehistory, National Museum of Natural History, Paris (France)
²-Department of Archaeology, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Saint-Petersburg (Russia)
³-Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, SaintPetersburg (Russia)



This study examines the faunal record in the Desna valley (Ukraine and Russia) during the end of the second part of the Upper Pleniglacial (20 000 – 14 000 BP). We have made the zooarchaeological study of the faunal remains of Eliseevichi 1 - 1935-36. The faunal spectrum is relatively restricted, typical of a cold and dry environment with the presence of Mammuthus primigenius, Rangifer tarandus, Canis lupus, Alopex lagopus rossicus and Ursus arctos. As expected, we highlighted an important exploitation of mammoth related to ivory industry. However, we also brought to light an intense exploitation of canid resources related to osseous industry and furskin activities. The interpretation of the site as base camp is questionable. We compared the zooarchaeological data obtained from Eliseevichi 1 faunal remains with other Upper Pleniglacial archaeological sites in the Desna valley. Our aim is to better understand the paleoecology of the Desna valley by the analysing of wildlife spectra and the human exploitation of fauna during the Upper Pleniglacial. Furthermore, we can highlight the degree of specialization of human groups to exploit species, notably mammoth (meat, bones, ivory) and carnivores (fur, bones). These comparisons were made taking into account the preservation of the sites and the different types of occupations by human groups, to discuss on types of activities and storage of animal resources, in the Desna valley.

Key words: Mammoth, Eliseevichi 1 site, Desna valley, Prehistoric Archaeology, Upper Palaeolithic, Eastern Europe

Language: English


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