Journal of VITA ANTIQUA, №3-4. 2001
Download full version of journal:vita-antiqua_2001_3_4
Several interdisciplinary theories and concepts were also examined, among them theory of cultural and economic types, concept of cultural adaptation, stresses and adjustment theories etc. The most researchers recognise the significant impute of natural environment on early prehistoric culture development. Nevertheless, the scale of such environment and its natural boundaries and degree of influences still remain acute problems which need further investigations.
Group of transitional industries appears within two technocomplexes: the Epimicoquian and the Leval- lois-Mousterian of Tabun D tradition.
The first one comprises several industries with distinctive combination of Micoquian and Upper Paleolithic traits and rooted in the Middle Paleolithic Micoquian. The second one is distinctive by a particular technology providing Levallois recurrent bipolar reduction and volumetric reduction evidence. The industries which belong to this technocomplex are geographically diverse: these are Kremenician (Western Volhynia), Bohunician (Central Europe), Temnata cave, l. VI (Balkans), Levallois-Mousterian of Tabun D tradition and Emiran (Near East). Currently proposed consideration assumes tentative bearers of this tradition, presumably referred to anatomically modern humans, were inhabited the part of Europe. Three technocomplexes have been described within the Early Upper Paleolithic line of development, namely: Aurignacian, Archaic Gravettian, and Epimicoquian. Each of them is represented by several industries outspread through different territorial groups.
According to the definition of different specialists the formation of alluvial deposits of terrace near Medzhibozh site was connected with Zavadovskyi (or Lihvinskyi according to other chronological system) times. However, some correction of this date (only for upper part of alluvium) is possible according to the palinological data. The alluvial deposits of terrace are dated by hermo- luminescent analysis to 390±30 thousands years AD.
The flint artefacts are represented by amorphous core, chips and one retouched tools. There is the sandstone blade with one blunted side (knife). Some data also indicated that raw material was transported to the site from the Dniester river basin. The site is dated to Middle Acheulian.
The cultural layer with granitic anvil and flakes of Upper Paleolithic morphology was discovered in fossil soil of Schtilfried B time.
The Medzhibozh site is very interesting not only in archaeological but also paleontological context. More further excavations of the site are very desirable.
1) building materials for the construction of dwellings, ritual heaps or a kind of temples, etc.;
2) raw materials for the manufacture of weapon, tools, other objects;
3) source of fuel. Meat and fat of frozen mammoth carcasses were also eaten in winter.
‘Collecting hypothesis’ is supported, among other considerations, by the facts proving that at least part of mammoth tusks and bones were indeed used for the construction of dwellings few years after the death of animals. The evidence, however, could be interpreted otherwise too.
Tusks and bones might indeed be collected on fluvial ‘mammoth cemeteries’ but why people could not contribute to these ‘cemeteries’ formation? If mammoth tusks and bones were so useful, people might kill giants for the storage of these firm parts far in excess of the mere food purposes. The absence of special ‘elephant spears’ on many sites does not prove the absence of active hunt on mammoths as demonstrate many recent tribes killing pachyderms efficiently with ‘usual’ spears. From the other side the presence of special ‘elephant spears’ on many other sites proves that specialised hunt on mammoths indeed took place in Palaeolithic age. The data on recent pachyderm-hunting spearmen clearly demonstrate that such hunt could never be ‘episodic’. It should be only frequent and regular – otherwise the necessary skill and courage would be inevitably lost. Probably Late Palaeolithic hunters of North Eurasian plains deliberately killed the mammoths up-stream in the hope that during the high-flood some or all the carcasses would be carried to the ‘cemetery’ situated near the settlement of the tribe. Then tusks and bones could be collected and used by the tribe either soon after the decomposition of soft parts or many years later. The possibility of drives of the groups of mammoths or even those of the whole herds could not be excluded as well. In winter hunters might direct the stampede to places with strong current or whirlpools covered by the ice not firm enough for mammoths. Usually stronger individuals escaped the death, whereas the weaker ones were trampled down and sunk in the ‘melee’. Different methods could be used to frighten animals. For example they could set the fire on dry reeds and/or bushes or the sound effects (sudden attack with the roll of the drums, etc.). These suppositions are also based on the analogies with some hunting methods used by certain African and Asian tribes in recent times. It is elephant who dreads a skillful spearmen — not otherwise!
I argue that ‘mammoth collecting’ is the reverse of ‘mammoth hunting’. Hunt supplied the large part of the material for the further collecting while collecting was the strong stimulus for the human perseverance in the mammoth-hunting activity. Idea that during few last millenniums of Pleistocene mammoth populations were under environmental stress all over their Eurasian and American range contradicts to the bulk of existing evidence. Hence, it seems rather improbable that ‘mammoth scavenging’ and not active ‘mammoth hunting’ were the prevalent human activity at those days.
Epigravettian cultures of Central-European origin contain within the limits of the Right-bank Ukraine with the exception of Nizhnedniprovska (Lower-Dnieperian) Epigravettian culture. A few Epigravettian cultures were discowered in the East of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Anetivska, Akarzhanska, Pruto-Nizh- njodnistrovska, Nizhnjodniprovska cultures are attributed to Epigravettian in the Southern Ukraine.
Desnjanska culture refers to «East-Epigravettian» of Eastern-European origin. It was developed on the territory of the Northern-Eastern Ukraine and Russia.
Pivnichno-priazovska and Piznjosyurenska cultures, also group sites near the village of Rogalik on the Siverskiy Donets River, is attributed to East-Epigravettian of Caucasian origin.
Mezhiritska culture in the Middle Dnieperian area has more composite origin. It is attributed to East- Epigravettian. There are analogies in both Pivnichno-Priazovska and Desnjanska cultures.
All Epigravettian and East-Epigravettian cultures of Ukraine are aged within the limits of 19000-13000 years BC.
It’s possible, that the bison was an additional hunting object and probably the bison acquisition in time had preceded the Rogalik’s sites occupation. Most probably the last assumption concerns the reindeer hunting.
Faunal remains of wild horses probably may be explained as a result of permanent actions of hunters links with initial, second butchering and consuming.
It’s possible to assume, that the typical pattern of hunting bag, which consisted of the wild horse, bison and to less extent reindeer was the specific trait of the final paleolithic Dnieper-Don steppes area population hunting activity.
The principle of the preparation and reduction of the first crested blade from the pre-cores provided the easiest way of the creation of initial working surface.
«Gigantoliths» from Novgorod-Seversk are not the exclusion by shape, preparation and consistency of the utilization of the wedge-shaped cores in the number of similar ones.
The analysis of chopping-like tools proves that there is no connection between those tools and wedge- shaped cores and there is no logic in ((subconscious» unification of the shape and function of the axes and wedge-shaped cores.
Secondary functional usage of the wedge-shaped cores does not change the main point of their primary purpose. The investigation of the system of the preparation and the reduction of the cores in the Upper Paleolithic allows us to agree with the opinion of Y. Demidenko about the wrong classification of the part of the cores from Radomyshl site as the Mousterian discs.
The waste products of the preparation and the reduction of Upper Paleolithic cores were used as the blanks for the archaic tools at this site. Complete domination of the Upper Paleolithic technique and technology of the primary flaking, domination of Upper Paleolithic tools and the absence of Early Paleolithic reduction methods give us the arguments to consider that there is no connection between pseudo-mous- terian tools of Radomyshl site and any Early Paleolithic traditions.
The dwelling of this site were round in the plan, a little deepened into the ground, probably covered with skins and from below made habitable in winter by sod. They were frame cone-shaped structures which had the appearance of tents of skins. Size difference of the dwellings accounts for the number of inhabitants. Such peculiarities in the functional planning of these quarters as placing the hearths in the middle of them and locating the production sites for tool making, skin dressing and satisfying other household needs round the hearths, while the space between the hearths and the exits, facing the river, was used for cooking food, and the outlying parts of the dwellings were exploited for keeping bone raw material and evacuating food refuses are notable. Open hearths were designed for heating, lighting up and thermal treatment of food products. Pits for making fish sour were placed near the exits of the dwellings and formed integral complexes with the latter.
The article considers the methods of investigation of faunal remains from the bone-beds in field conditions and in laboratories.