This paper presents the latest data on a spindle-shaped decorated bone dagger, which was found as a stray find in the village of Šarnelė in northwest Lithuania, and which recently been dated to the Final Palaeolithic. It is currently the only one such example of osseous technology in Lithuania dated to this period. In 2016, we started to reinvestigate the Stone Age material from the Samogitian highland by AMS radiocarbon (14C) dating, stable isotopes, use-wear and Raman methods. AMS dating showed that the decorated dagger discovered in the surroundings of the drained Lake Ertenis and the River Varduva at Šarnelė currently is one of the oldest prehistoric art objects found in Lithuania and possibly in the eastern Baltic region as well. The dagger was also analysed by use-wear method, which helped to identify some stages of the production of the article itself and its decoration. The paper presents the first results of research of this artefact in the wider geographical and taxonomic context of the Final Palaeolithic in northern Europe.
The earliest settlement of Latvia occurred at the very end of the Late Glacial, after the retreat of the ice sheet. Important evidence of this earliest occupation is the well-known site Salaspils Laukskola. Previous research has focused on the typological aspects of this assemblage, and the use of lithic raw materials, suggesting an affiliation to the Swidry tradition. However, a wider technological perspective on this assemblage comprising a rich lithic inventory has recently proven fruitful. We present a detailed new technological analysis of the Laukskola assemblage, as well as five small lithic assemblages from Latvia based on a chaîne opératoire approach. While supporting the Swidry connection, this allows for a renewed discussion of the Final Palaeolithic settlement of Latvia, and its relationship with adjacent areas of northeast Europe.
Volume 13 (2010): At the Origins of the Culture of the Balts, pp. 43–57
Extensive excavations of Stone Age sites in Western Pomerania have been conducted since 1981. Three of them, the Rotnowo site 18, Tanowo site 3 and Bolków site 1, were selected as Tanged Point Younger Dryas key sites. These open sandy sites revealed well-preserved flint concentrations and a dwelling structure (Tanowo). Their flint inventories, with elements of Ahrensburgian culture, are made up of local flints. Younger Dryas chronology is supported by geology and C14 from Rotnowo: 10820±80 BP [Poz-8309] (cal. 11180–10830 BC). The results of the investigations were compared with settlements from other regions of Poland and with sites from Lithuania and Latvia.
The site of Rostislavl is located on the right high bank of the Oka river near the town of Ozyory (Moscow region). Tanged points from the Rostislavl site are similar to the ones spread in the Alleröd-Dryas III period on the sites of northern Germany, Poland, the Upper Volga (Podol III and Ust-Tudovka I), and in the Upper Dnieper (Anosovo I) regions etc. This fact allows us to assume, at this stage of research, the Final Palaeolithic age of the Rostislavl site as the most probable.
Transversal arrowheads (trapezia) are a characteristic type of hunting implement of some Final Palaeolithic-Early Mesolithic cultures of Eastern Europe. These cultures were studied in the Volga-Oka basin (Ienevo Culture), the Middle Dnieper-Desna basin (Pisochny Riv Culture), the Lower Dnieper-Donets region (Zimivnyki Culture) and the Volga-Kama confluence (Oust-Kamskaya Culture). Issues of origin and fate still remain debatable. An interest in the formation and interaction of Volga-Dnieper cultures with transversal arrowheads in their inventory is induced by their specific geographical position as well as a permanent increase in data. Discussions of the genesis of these trapezium complexes has tended to focus on two variants: 1) within Post-Ahrensburgian industries due to some factors (natural or social); 2) from west Asian-Caucasian cultures with geometric tools. Probably the first variant is most likely to be attributed to Ienevo and Pisochny Riv, and the second is preferable for Zimivnyki and Oust-Kamskaya. Cultures in the Dnieper-Donets and Middle Volga basins, on the basis of the great variety of trapezia, are assumed to represent an area of crossing of cultural tradition. The forms of this crossing need to be concretised in the course of further research.
The analysis of palynological, radiocarbon and geological methods dating of archaeological sites of the end of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene in Central Russia and the revision of available and not numerous dates shows that for mineral grounds these methods require serious correction, and the dates themselves do not correspond in most cases to the typological age of the archaeological materials.
The Swiders of Ukrainian Polissya used mainly local raw materials. The final preparation of pre-core for usage was forming the platform and the working surface. The main Swiderian type of core of Ukrainian Polissya is double opposite platform cores with one working surface. A typical form of Swiderian pressure cores of Ukrainian Polissya is cone-shaped and pencil-shaped. Microblades were made to be inserts into arrowheads of organic material. The joining of organic and stone elements for producing narrow-slot points is not traditional for Swiderian technology in Ukrainian Polissya. The technology, which fuses organic materials with stone elements for producing narrow-slot points, is typical of Steppe cultures. This tradition is from Kukrek Culture.
Local and exotic flint use and distribution are considered as markers of group mobility. The Arch Backed Pieces and the Mazovian societies organised logistics expeditions in various directions, south-north, west-east, using natural routes as river valleys, but also crossing mountains. Their motives seem to be different and not only connected with economic necessity and subsistence strategy. Group mobility, observed rarely on distances more than tens of hundreds of kilometres, was probably a seasonal event, but sometimes may be a reflection of a permanent exodus.
Desna Culture fits the Tanged Points Culture standard perfectly. This culture is related to Tanged Points Culture in that it regularly yields shouldered points and oblique trapezes on flakes. Five types of single-barbed Havel-type harpoons were mapped. According to this mapping, Havel-type harpoons are divisions with three zones, which correspond to Swiderian, Ahrensburgian and Desnenian areas.