The article deals with the main range of problems of Grensk culture in the Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in the Upper Dnieper region. At present, the understanding of the ways and mechanisms of the formation and the time of habitation of members of this ancient culture are rather debatable. Interpretations of the sources have resulted in two completely different research approaches in terms of methodology, bringing together supporters of the indigenous (U. Budzko, V. Kapytsin, A. Kalechyts, G. Sinitsyna, etc) or migration (L. Zaliznyak, U. Ksiandzou, A. Sorokin, etc) ways of the emergence and the development of Grensk culture. It is impossible to understand the essence of the ‘Grensk question’ without considering the nature of its origin, the problem looked at in this article.
Selected find spots along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea are presented, in order to illustrate different ways in which hunter-gatherer societies related to the coast during the Mesolithic. Transformations of the landscape were mainly due to isostatic and eustatic changes. In the northern part, the land rose, forming new coasts and archipelagos at a speed that was noticeable even within one generation. Similar rapid changes occurred in the southern area, but in the opposite direction, with large areas of coast being submerged. Both physical and mental reactions to this are explored.
Orphaned osseous tools are very often perceived as having a high aesthetic value, but are usually under-examined. This article illustrates the research potential of these artefacts, with a case study of Mesolithic stray finds from Lithuania. Four bone points from the River Šventoji, Vaikantonys, Obšrūtai and Kamšai were subjected to AMS dating, tandem mass spectrometry for animal species identification, and technological and use-wear analysis. The results revealed that all four bone points could be dated to the Boreal period, and imply an Early to Middle Mesolithic date. Harpoons from the River Šventoji and Kamšai were most likely made of aurochs bones. All of the bone points were produced from long sections of tubular long bones, and three of the points show signs of reuse. Overall, the analysis revealed similarities with contemporaneous material in northern Europe. Within the context of the present research, the paper briefly describes other scientific methods which could be applied to orphaned bone and antler tools, including biomolecular and stable isotope analysis. Digital recording methods can be useful for bone artefact recording. This is relevant today, as the demand for good-quality digital representations is increasing, in order to apply software for further analysis, such as geometric morphometrics. As a result, more widespread and systematic applications of these new methods to orphaned osseous finds would lead to a significant activation of these finds in a scientific and outreach context.
This article presents data on Kongemose culture material which has been found in Lithuania but not yet studied. Based on material from west, east and south Lithuania Stone Age settlements, the aim is to acknowledge the existence of this culture’s technology during the Atlantic period in the east Baltic region. The use-wear method was also used for a more detailed analysis. The results of the article contain versions of the emergence and development of rhombus-shaped arrowhead technology in the east Baltic during the Stone Age period.
The paper discusses Early Neolithic pottery of Dubičiai type from western Belarus. Its most distinctive features include organic temper in the clay mass, a belt of deep round pits under the rim, strokes made by a round stick (‘hooves’), and thin slanting grooved lines or slanting decoration with such lines. The hypotheses on the origins of Dubičiai-type pottery are also discussed. According to many scholars, the area of occurrence of Dubičiai-type pottery includes the Belarusian part of the River Nioman (except for the basin of the River Vilija), the left bank of the Upper Prypiac basin, southern Lithuania, part of northeast Poland, and the northern part of Volhynia. At the same time, D.Y. Telegin, O.M. Titova and G.V. Okhrimenko distinguish Volhynian culture in the region of the same name. It has many similar traits with Prypiac Nioman culture. The scale of differences between Early Neolithic pottery from western Palessie and Volhynia and Dubičiai-type pottery from the region of the River Nemunas allows us to consider Volhynian culture not as a separate culture, but as a local variant of Prypiac-Nioman
culture. Sokołówek-type pottery has been discovered at sites in Podlasie and in the Belarusian part of the River Buh region. It is similar to Dubičiai-type pottery in morphology and ornamentation, but has less organic temper in the clay mass. It is most probably the result of the local development of Early Neolithic traditions in the western part of the Prypiac-Nioman culture area.
This article discusses the imagery of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines which accompanied eleven burials in the Stone Age cemetery at Zvejnieki, Latvia. These burials date to the sixth, fifth and early-mid fourth millennia cal BC, according to radiocarbon dates of human remains from ten of the eleven burials, three of which were dated for this paper. The figurines are considered in terms of their characteristic formal qualities and their position within graves. Parallels are drawn with similar finds from elsewhere in the Baltic region. The imagery employed appears to be based on observations of nature, the fishing and hunting lifeways of these communities, and their beliefs concerning life after death, which were not apparently affected by the transitions from Mesolithic to Neolithic, and between Early Neolithic Narva culture and Middle Neolithic Typical Comb Ware Culture.
The elk staff is a characteristic Stone Age artefact from the Baltic region. The most elegant specimens have been found in the Olenij Ostrov burial site and various Stone Age sites in Šventoji. In 2016, the use-wear of artefacts found in the Stone Age sites of Šventoji was studied microscopically under a magnification factor of 690. The research effort also resulted in the successful dating of one of the staves found at the third archaeological site of Šventoji. The article presents the results and findings of the study, supplementing what is already known about the artefacts.
Amber discs with cross decoration are the research subject of this article. The article discusses their proliferation, typology and chronology. The amber disc from the Daktariškė 5 settlement is analysed in greater detail: its decoration, the number of holes, regularities, spectral analysis and possible symbolic meanings are discussed.