VITA ANTIQUA ISSN: 2522-9419 (Online), ISSN: 2519-4542 (Print)
VITA ANTIQUA 9, 2017, HUMAN & LANDSCAPE: Prehistoric Archaeology of Eastern Europe, 107-116
Cultural Adaptations of Upper Palаeolithic Hunters of North Azov - Black Sea Steppes
¹-Department of Archaeology of Stone Age, Institute of Archaeology NAS Ukraine, Kyiv
Past human cultural adaptations is determined by subsistence practices and life-style (types of mobility) of hunter groups, type of sites and flexible social relationships that had certain distinctions on the different chronologic stages depending on environmental conditions and the features of resources. The hunters early (36000-26000 BP) and, partly, middle (23000-20000 BP) the chronologic stages, that was answered by cool and, sometimes, humid enough environments with steppe and, partly, forest-steppe vegetation mostly unspecialized hunting practiced on large herbivores of different species - bison, horse and episodically - mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, red and giant deer. In life-style resident mobility prevailed with the frequent change of place of stay of base camp, the habitants of that was separate small community. Last one third of the middle chronologic stage (20000-17000 BP) corresponded with the cold maximum of the late Valdai epoch with a predominant cold and dry climate and open landscapes with steppe vegetation. Paleontologists consider that this period was marked by a high density of large herbivores, first of all, bison. The adaptation of hunter groups in this period are determined as specialized bison hunting practices, predominance of a logistical mobility in life-style with big site complexes, and a relatively stable social relationships. The late chronologic stage (17000-10000 BP) coincides with the late glacial epoch with extreme fluctuating climatic condition that created stress situations in the environmental conditions, which resulted in considerable changes in composition a fauna, reduction of sizes of large herbivores and their density. During this stage the hunters mostly unspecialized hunting practiced on different species of herbivores. The residential mobility in lifestyle and a relatively poor development of social relationships may be, predominated.
Key words: Upper Palaeolithic, North Azov – Black Sea steppes, cultural adaptation, Prehistoric Archaeology, Eastern Europe