Mammoth hunters of Dnieper basin. Human-environmental interaction in the end of the last glaciation

Pavlo Shydlovskyi

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine)

Abstract                                                                                                                              Video


Mammoth hunters of Dnieper basin. Human-environmental interaction in the end of the last glaciation

The Upper Palaeolithic sites in the Middle Dnieper basin are attributed to the different cultural and chronological phenomena, i.e. Gravettian, Epigravettian, and Final Palaeolithic. A part of Epigravettian vestiges refers to the Mezhyrichian type of industry and is dated in the rather narrow limits of 15 000 – 14 000 uncal BP. The conducted typological-technological analysis of lithic assemblages allows us to assert the unity of processing techniques within this type. These sites have different functional and seasonal characteristics, which create a unique opportunity to reconstruct certain aspects of life, seasonal mobility cycle, hunting strategy of a group in a common ecological niche. The base camps of Mezhyrich, Dobranichivka and Gintsy functioned mainly during the cold season, while in the warm season there was a more high activity associated with topographically higher relief areas. The logistic model of annual mobility implies the presence of basic camps in the center of the movement of the group, in the most convenient places, given the availability of natural resources, on the one hand and short-term camps, kill-sites, gathering of flintstone places on the other. The spatial distribution of objects of the Mezhyrich type indicates the presence of a centralized structure of behaviour, which manifests itself at different hierarchical levels – at the level of dwelling, residential assemblage, base camp and microregion. The spread of ornaments made from the seashells of the Black Sea molluscs testifies to extensive exchange operations and links between synchronous Epigravettian communities – Mezhyrichian, Mezinian, Yudinovian.

Key words: Gravettian, Epigravettian. Mammoth hunters, base campsite, seasonal mobility




  • P. Shydlovskyi: Mammoth Hunters (in Ukrainian with English subtitles):

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