VITA ANTIQUA, ISSN 2522-9419 (Online), 2519-4542 (Print)
Center for Paleoethnological Research
VITA ANTIQUA 10, 2018, Prehistoric Networks in Southern and Eastern Europe, 105-117
Mining and distribution of flint by the tribes of Cucuteni-Trypillian community
Institute of Archaeology of the NASU
Having quite a massive and diverse source of raw materials tribes of Cucuteni-Trypillian community begin its active exploitation and utilization already from the early stages of their existence and continue throughout all their following history. Flint industry of Cucuteni-Trypillian community centers around two main scenarios: extraction – processing – distribution and/or extraction – distribution – processing of flint materials.
There were a few completely different ways of flint extraction. First one (opened) was the simplest, did not require special skills and hard labor, being a simple collection of stones directly on the surface of the ground or in basseting areas (such as screes). Second one (closed) was the most complicated, requiring special tools, skills, hard labor and correspondingly more complicated organization of the community. This way implies flint extraction deep in its deposits that are often invisible from the surface crust. But it proved its value: flint miners obtained excellent high-quality materials for further processing, providing mineral wealth not only for their own communities, but also for close and remote related as well as non-Trypillian communities.
We distinguished ‘close’ and ‘remote’ radiuses of obtained flint materials distribution. First term describes self-sustainment of separate communities with raw materials and products of its` processing that were necessary for functioning of these collectives. Second term refers to directed massive production (extraction, processing) not only for internal needs, but mainly for exportation of obtained raw materials or finished wares, made of these materials.
Also a question was raised regarding massive supply of regions that had no qualitative mineral wealth (Bug and Dnipro regions, Bug–Dnieper interfluve area) with flint from the proximate microregion in the Velyka Vys’ basin in contradiction to widespread belief about a more remote ‘donator’ – Volhyn’ territory. Presence in Cucuteni-Trypillian community of flint-mining shafts, functioning of which required special skills and hard labor, specialized flint-processing workshops, transportation of raw materials and products of cleavage to remote territories became a basis for defining in this community a collective occupation, associated with flint mining and processing. Consequently, questions connected with this occupation, taking into account its` versatility, complexity and scale should be among the basic ones in the complex study of trypillian economics.
Key words: Chalcolithic, Cucuteni-Trypillian community, flint, mineral wealth, extraction, distribution and processing of flint