VITA ANTIQUA ISSN: 2522-9419 (Online), ISSN: 2519-4542 (Print)
VITA ANTIQUA 9, 2017, HUMAN & LANDSCAPE: Prehistoric Archaeology of Eastern Europe, 152-170
The Development of Neolithic Cultures on the Territory of Ukraine: overcoming determination of a certain type of landscape
¹ Department of the Crimean Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv
The analysis of the Mesolithic archaeological cultures shows us the tough correlation between a specific type of material culture and landscape. Thrre are archaeological cultures that are rigidly tied to the Mountain Crimea (Murzakkobien, Shpankobien), that are connected with steppe landscape (Zymivnykien) and forest zone (Pisochnorivian). The use of different kinds of landskapes has contributed, on the one hand, maximum adaptation of carriers of archaeological cultures to the environment, and the other – creating a closed society that demonstrated a complete lack of contact with neighbors who hold other landscape niches. Even within a single environment landscape contacts between different groups are absent. For example, carriers of Postswiderian and Postarengsburgian often occupied a same territory. Thus, there are no traces of enrichment industries. The landscape shaped not only the kind of economic system, but the original system of relationship to the world, when just being neighbors is not taken into account. Neolithic – the era of revolution, not only and not so much in the way of obtaining resources as in human relations. In the Neolithic creation of huge “cultural and historical region” (CHR) takes place, within which innovative technologies spread. This process made people, who previously just did not notice each other to interact. CHR establishment became the cause of large-scale migrations, during which certain groups preprogrammed on the use of certain types of landscapes, started distant migrations, which led to a radical change in migrants’ lifestyle. The decreasing of landscape role in providing of new economic strategies and consciousness revolution correlate, one does not exist without the other. Distribution of Neolithic lifestyle in Ukraine due to migration of peoples and diffusion of Kukrek-type, Grebenikitype and Tash-Ayir-type traditions. The migration of Kukrek-type population began long before they started their own development of reproduction type economy. If in the middle of Preboreal Kukrekian known only in the foothills of the Crimea, in early Boreal we see advancements of Kukrek population on a frontier of steppe and forest-steppe zones (Dobrianka 1, 2, 3). In Atlantykum the promotion of Kukrek-type population to the forest-steppe (Donetsk culture at Seversky Donets) takes place, and then to the forest zone (Lazarivka, Krushnyky and others). So Kukrek population at the beginning of VI millennium BC mastered all types of landscapes of Ukraine, became the basis for the formation of the DnieperDonets cultural historical region. Grebenyki-type population (carriers of Grebenyki and Matviiv Kurgan Cultures) appearing in the steppe zone in Early Atlantykum, remained for some time in its niche in steppe landscape. However, in the second quarter of VII millennium BC promotion of Matviiv Kurgan population to the forest-steppe takes place (Tuba 5), in the end of VII - beginning of VI millennium BC process of moving people to the north became global. By this time the early Bug-Dniester sites and Starobelsk-type complexes in eastern Ukraine appeared. By the end of VI millennium BC Grebenyki-type population reaches the boundary of the forest and steppe zones (Romankiv 1). Tash-Ayir culture originating from the mountain area of Crimea. But in the early VI millennium BC we observe a splash of Tash-Ayir-type population in the steppe zone, which led to the appearance of Azov-Dnieper Culture. In quarters 2-3 VI millennium BC we see the migration of Azov-Dnieper population to the Southern Bug (Gard). At the end of VI millennium BC we see Tash-Ayir-type population on the frontier of the forest zone (Nikolskay Slobidka). Thus, the development of Ukrainian Neolithic associated with overcoming the landscape limitations by certain carriers of archaeological cultures. The process of overcoming such limitations programmed the appearance of CHR in Eastern Europe, in which Neolithic lifestyle developed.
Key words: Neolithic culture, Neolithic, Landscape Archaeology, Mesolithic, Eastern Europe