EARLY SLAVIC DWELLING OF A FISHER IN THE TERRITORY OF KYIV PODIL: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH


  • A. M. Olenych Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • M. S. Serhieieva Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Yu. K. Kutsokon I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukrainelogy, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • S. A. Gorbanenko Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: Kyiv Podil, early Slavs, Prague culture, dwelling, natural definitions, paleobotany, ichthyology.

Abstract

In 2016, the Architectural and archaeological expedition of the IA NAS of Ukraine under the guidance of G. Yu. Iwakin conducted scientific and rescue excavations at the foot of the Yurkovitsa Hill on the Kyiv Podil. During this work, the dwelling of the Prague culture was discovered (fig. 1; 2).

Only a part of semi-dugout dwelling was found within the dig. Its shape was probably close to square. It was oriented northwest — southeast. In the northern corner, a furnace of clay and stone on sandy bedding was found. Two broken hand-made pots and separate fragments of ceramics were in its filling. (fig. 3; 4). Impurities of burnt organic matter were clearly visible in the clay solution. According to microsection of the ceramic fragment, a red clay with a high content of ore minerals fragments was used for the manufacture of vessels. A furnace has similar mineral characteristics. Such clays are common on the for the right-bank part of the Kyiv region. The most likely dating of this type of vessels is from the end of the sixth to the beginning of the seventh century AD.

A selective soil filtering from filling the object was conducted. As a result, paleobotanical and ichthyological materials were obtained. A wood is represented by pine-tree (Pinus sylvestris) and oak (Quercus sp.). These species were generally preferred in the Middle Dnipro region both as a working wood and as a fuel. (table 1). Paleoethnobotanical samples (table 2) are represented by one grain of yellow foxtail (Setaria glauca). Given the safety of other small biological residues, the absence of agricultural products is not accidental.

Ichthyological materials (fig. 5; table 3) are represented by the remains of a common roach (Rutilus rutilus), wels catfish (Silurus glanis), northern pike (Esox lucius) and common perch (Perca fluviatilis). These species are known from previous ichthyological studies of the Slavic sites in this part of the Dnipro River basin. They are still typical representatives of the local ichthyofauna always actively used for fishing.

According to the relief analysis (fig. 6), we can conclude that there were no plots attractive for farming near the place where the object of the Prague culture was discovered. Around predominantly uneven terrain lay, unsuitable for plowing. The largest part was the floodplain of the Dnieper, which was flooded. The absence of birch, as a typical representative of anthropochores, can serve as a «proof of the opposite», that in the immediate environment of the object there were no such sites. The absence of finds of grains of cultivated plants is also indirect evidence that a resident of this dwelling was not engaged in farming.

The remains of fish belong to species common for this region both in archaeological materials of earlier and later times and in the modern ichthyofauna of the Dnipro. Four identified species; such as roach, wels catfish, pike and perch are typical fishing objects, so we can assume that the remains found in the dwelling belonged to fish caught nearby.

Thus, based on a set of obvious and indirect evidence, we can reconstruct occupation of the ancient inhabitant of a semi-dugout dwelling as a fisher, who lived mainly due to fishing.

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Published
2019-03-25
How to Cite
OlenychA. M., SerhieievaM. S., KutsokonY. K., & GorbanenkoS. A. (2019). EARLY SLAVIC DWELLING OF A FISHER IN THE TERRITORY OF KYIV PODIL: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 30(1), 241-253. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.01.19