OSTEOLOGICAL MATERIALS FROM THE HOUSEHOLD PIT 6 AT THE MEZHYRICH SETTLEMENT: INTERPRETATION OF THE FINDS


Keywords: Mezhyrich, Epigravettian, zooarchaeology, faunal assemblage, bone tools

Abstract

The Upper Palaeolithic settlement of Mezhyrich is located on the territory of Mezhyrich village of Kaniv district, Cherkasy region. The settlement is located on the cape formed by the valleys of the rivers Ros’ and Rosava. Palaeolithic cultural layers of the site lies 2.5—3 m below the modern surface. The site is radiocarbon dated to 15—14.3 kyr BP. using bones of several animal species, including mammoth. The remains of the structures and objects are well-preserved in the cultural layer, they contain bone, antler and ivory.

In the last years pit 6 is household object of a particular interest. It belongs to the second household unit and is situated to the south of the second dwelling’s structure. The microstratigraphic studies of the object indicate three episodes of sediment accumulation in the pit, which correspond to the three cultural horizons of the site. As a result of the excavation we have a bright series of bone, tusk and antler artifacts. According to the cross-sections of the north and east walls, the pit is a lens-shaped (lens-like) depression with a diameter of about two meters and a depth of one meter. There were large mammoth bones by the edges of its filling.

For the study we have chosen samples of osteological material which bear traces of human processing. As a result of the zooarchaeological analysis several main categories of the material were chosen (identified): blanks of mammoth ribs, bone tools of long bones of small/medium-sized mammals and ornaments of teeth. It allowed to find out some technological traits and to deepen the understanding of household and everyday life of Upper Palaeolithic hunters-gatherers from the Mezhyrich site. The study of the collection allows to widen the description of this site and to conclude about the life of its inhabitants.

The research materials were used in the creation of the international training course «Nature and Society in Prehistoric Europe», supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme: https://houseofeurope.org.ua/en.

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Published
2020-12-22
How to Cite
Shydlovskyi, P. S., Mamchur, B. V., Chymyrys, M. V., & Pean, S. (2020). OSTEOLOGICAL MATERIALS FROM THE HOUSEHOLD PIT 6 AT THE MEZHYRICH SETTLEMENT: INTERPRETATION OF THE FINDS . Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 37(4), 299-309. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2020.04.25