Akmens amžius Pietų Žemaitijoje. Nauji archeologiniai duomenys ir jų vieta Rytų Baltijos regiono kontekste | The Stone Age in Southern Žemaitija. New Archaeological Data and its Place in the Context of the East Baltic Region
Volume 39 (2019): The Unknown Land of Žemaitija: The 13th to the 18th Centuries = Žemaitija – nežinoma žemė: XIII–XVIII amžiai, pp. 71–95
Pub. online: 18 December 2019 Type: Article Open Access
18 December 2019
18 December 2019
The paper presents the first general archaeological data about the Stone Age period in the Tauragė and Šilalė districts, in the south of the historic Žemaitija (Samogitia) area of western Lithuania. Until recently, this area was almost excluded from the general context of Lithuanian and east Baltic Stone Age studies, due to a lack of information. However, new archaeological material in the museums of the Tauragė and Šilalė districts now makes it possible to discuss the region in this period. The archaeological material has been subjected to laboratory testing, and the first results are included in the context of the east Baltic region. In addition, archaeological fieldwork that was carried out along the banks of the rivers and lakes in these districts in 2016 and 2017 provided the first evidence of Stone Age hunter-fisherman-gatherer sites. This material consists of hunting and work tools, and the manufacturing debris from flint and non-flint raw materials, osteological remains, and ground stone and flint axes of various types. The material was investigated by reviewing it from a technological perspective, and by the AMS 14C dating method, while some finds were also studied by micro-wear analysis. The study area falls within the Jūra river basin, which consists not only of smaller tributaries, but also of small lakes, some of which have become overgrown and transformed into peat-bogs over the millennia. The archaeological evidence confirms that the earliest inhabited sites in southern Žemaitija date from the Final Palaeolithic, while the area continued to be settled during the Mesolithic and Neolithic.