Project

2021. Nature and Society in Prehistoric Europe: multimedia training course

Goal: The project is to create an English-language training course “Nature and society in Prehistoric Europe” through the creation of multimedia products such as video lectures, visual materials and online publications, which will widely present data and research results from Europe and Ukraine in particular. The main purpose of the course is to combine science and education through the interaction of student audiences with the professional environment by transmitting scientifically significant and relevant information about the interaction of society and nature from researchers to students and young scientists. In connection with the transfer of the learning process and the work of higher education institutions online, the project plans to develop multimedia materials that would provide professional delivery of knowledge and interaction between teacher and student.

Date: 1 January 2021

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Project log

Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
In the basin of the Middle Dnieper and its tributaries, a large number of Upper Palaeolithic sites and palaeontological deposits have been uncovered. The archaeological settlements are attributed to various chronological and cultural complexes: Gravettian, Epi-Aurignacian, Epigravettian, and Final Palaeolithic. A part of Epigravettian vestiges refers to the Mezhyrichian type of industry, and is dated to the rather limited time span of 15–13 ka 14C uncal. BP. The conducted typological-technological analysis of lithic assemblages allows us to assert the unity of processing techniques within this type. Such technological, territorial, and chronological unity of sites represents the remnants of activity of single society. These objects have different functional and seasonal characteristics, which offer the unique opportunity to reconstruct certain aspects of life, seasonal mobility cycles, and group hunting strategies within a common ecological niche. The spatial distribution of sites and objects indicates the presence of a logistic structure of seasonal mobility, which manifests itself at different hierarchical levels: dwelling, residential assemblage, base camp, and subsistence territory. The base camps were mainly settled during the cold season, while during the warm season there was a wider activity associated with topographically high relief areas. Key words: Upper Palaeolithic, Eastern Epigravettian, Mezhyrichian, mammoth bone dwelling, seasonal mobility, lithic assemblage.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
The collection of scientific works is dedicated to the eightieth anniversary of Prof. Mykhailo I. Gladkikh, a well-known Ukrainian archaeologist, prehistorian, teacher and world-class scientist. The issue of the collection is related to the field of scientific research of the jubilee – the interaction of human and the environment in prehistory. The articles are devoted to modern research and interpretations of living space in the prehistoric cultures of Europe, as a system of human adaptation to changing natural conditions. The proposed collection will be useful for anyone interested in the prehistory, archaeology and paleoecology of Europe – archaeologists, prehistorians, paleogeographers, local historians, museum workers, cultural heritage researchers, and students of higher education.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added 2 research items
The Mezhyrich settlement is a unique vestige of prehistoric archaeology, dating back from 18 to 13 ka BP. This site is of worldwide importance due to its archaeological, anthropological, cultural value and which is an important source for revealing the issues of nature and society relationships in prehistoric times. A striking feature of the Mezhyrich settlement is the discovery of the remains of mammoth bone dwelling structures and a good state of preservation of cultural layers with faunal remains, bone, tusk and lithic artifacts. Since the discovery of the site in 1965, archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of four Palaeolithic dwellings and a number of pits, workshops and plots of cultural layers around them. In the settlement are the remains of a fourth mammoth bone dwelling, which was discovered and partially explored by Prof. Mykhailo I. Gladkikh from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. In order to preserve the settlement and avoid its further destruction, it is necessary to carry out a number of site protection measures. Namely: 1) to take legal and organizational measures to address the issue of establishing a museum on the site as a subdivision of the T. Shevchenko National Reserve; 2) museification of the remains of the fourth mammoth bone dwelling, as a central element of the ‘Archaeopark of prehistoric culture’; 3) continuation of archaeological and restoration works on the remains of dwelling. The final solution to the problem of preserving the remains of Palaeolithic housing should be the construction of a stationary museum building over the dwelling and surrounding cultural layers, which would have the necessary temperature and humidity and would meet the standards of museum building. It will be problematic to preserve the Mezhyrich assemblage without further efforts in the direction of museification. After all, the exposure of a mammoth bone dwelling in the open state requires a whole set of actions, which involves the restoration of bone remains on site with a parallel archaeological study of the interior and the surrounding area. The T. Shevchenko National Reserve can realize the application of the whole complex of site protection measures and the museification of the Mezhyrich assemblage through the including of this outstanding archeological monument to its territory. Keywords: archeological monument of national value, Upper Palaeolithic, museification, reserve, site protection studies
In order to determine the degree of relatedness of archaeological sites, it is important to study lithic assemblages originated from relatively closed archaeological objects and which can serve as a reference for a comparative analysis of several industries. This article analyses a separate archaeological object - a flint Workshop 1 - against the background of the overall structure of the lithic assemblage of the fourth household unit. The Workshop 1 was discovered during the excavations of the fourth dwelling of the Mezhyrich epigravettian site in 2018-2020. The history of the study of this dwelling and lithic assemblage of the fourth unit, the conditions of detection and the context of the Workshop 1 location, the typological-statistical and technological features of the flint artifacts, obtained as a result of the latest excavations of the fourth dwelling filling, are given. Analysis of the distribution of finds together with stratigraphic observations allow us to assert at least two living surfaces into the dwelling. Planigraphic features of the trench studied in dwelling demonstrate the functional specialization of different parts of the interior space. The study revealed two different areas on both sides of the central part with the remains of the hearth. Cultural remains in the south-western part testify to fur and leather processing operations here, while in the north-eastern part of the trench there is clear evidence of flint knapping operations and the manufacture of tools, which in turn related to leather processing. Data on the spatial distribution of flint products in other dwellings of the Mezhyrich settlement reveal common features in the organization of living space. Such peculiarities of the behaviour of the prehistoric inhabitants require the search for more distant analogies on the mezhyrichian industry sites and among the Upper Palaeolithic population of Eastern Europe in general. Keywords: Upper Palaeolithic, Epigravettian, household unit, workshop, lithic technology.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
During the excavations of the unique Kievan Rus and the Mongol-Lithuanian period settlement, which was opened by the Northern Expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the NAS of Ukraine in 2007 and has been working on it annually, in addition to medieval materials, finds of prehistoric times have been recorded. Completion of the results of the first five years of excavations allows us summarize the collection of this category of artefacts. The settlement occupies an elevation in the swampy lower flow of the Vita / Siverka and Petyl’ rivers in the vast floodplain of the Dnieper to the north-east of the Krugle hillfort and to the east of the multi-layered settlement between Khodosivka and Lisnyky. During this time more than 1000 m2 were opened on the site where Meso-Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Ist millennium AD finds also collected. The presence of a number of Stone Age vestiges nearby (in Vita Lytovska, Romankiv, Vita Poshtova, etc.) makes it possible to analyze the Neolithic materials obtained during the excavations of the settlement in the context of the peculiarities of the epoch in the region.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
На основі використання археологічних матеріалів розглянуто господарсько-культурний тип мисливців на мамонтів, що побутував на теренах басейну Дніпра в часи останнього зледеніння, в епоху пізнього палеоліту. Описано природне оточення первісної людини, особливості господарства, матеріальної культури, суспільної організації та проблеми реконструкції світоглядних уявлень мисливських колективів. Для студентів гуманітарних і природничих спеціалізацій, а також буде цікавим для фахівців археологів, істориків первісності, краєзнавців та дослідників історико-культурної спадщини України.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
Recent research in the field of prehistoric archaeology in Eastern Europe, together with the rapid development of natural sciences and radiocarbon dating, is radically changing our perception about the development of prehistoric cultures as a slow, steady and gradual process. This knowledge allows us to draw conclusions about the vulnerability of human networks to abrupt climate change and the need to objectively analysing the current situation. One of the necessary activities should be the explanation the importance of global climate change in teaching and communicating with local communities.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
The collection of scientific works is devoted to modern research on the interaction of the natural environment and the prehistoric population of Eastern Europe. Particular attention is paid to the study of the impact of abrupt climate change in the early Holocene on the material culture and economy of the Neolithic and sub-Neolithic communities. The natural factors of social changes in prehistoric times are considered. The proposed collection will be useful for all who are interested in the prehistory, archaeology and geography of Europe - archaeologists, prehistorians, local historians, ethnographers, museum workers, researchers of cultural heritage, students of higher education.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic remind the scientific community that human-environment relations are of great social relevance. Societal crises, currently triggered by the emergence of unknown viruses or in the future by climate change, are essentially the result of widening human activities since the last 12,000 years. Therefore, research that examines the transformative phases in the evolution of human culture associated with past global climate changes has become particularly important in recent years. The study of the interaction of nature and society in the Holocene was one of the tasks of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Institutional Partnership project “Network in Eastern European Neolithic and Wetland Archaeology for the improvement of field techniques and dating methods (NEENAWA)”. With the organisation of the session “The Climate Impact on European Neolithic Societies During the 8.2ky BP Events Near River Basins and Lakes” at the 26th Annual Virtual Conference of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA, 24-30 August 2020), issues related to the economy and ecology of Neolithic communities linked to water bodies were discussed. The publication of session materials will be important for the study of the local manifestations of the different responses of prehistoric societies to climate setbacks in the early Holocene. In order to unite science and training through the interaction of the student audience with the professional environment, the Centre for Palaeoethnological Research decided to develop a multimedia training course “Nature and Society in Prehistoric Europe” in 2021. Key words: past climate changes, Holocene, prehistoric archaeology, scientific cooperation, educational project
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
The article presents an attempt to analyse the archaeological and climate backgrounds of the spread of Kukrek technocomplex together with the traditions of ceramic production in the Kyiv Dnieper Region. One of the main results of the study is the conclusion about the complexity of migration processes in the Early Holocene, which is manifested in significant variability of sites, and in various combinations of Janislawice, Kukrek, Bug-Dniester and Dnipro-Donetsk components in lithic and ceramic assemblages. Settlement dynamics was marked by significant fluctuations and uneven population of the Kyiv Dnieper Region. At the base of this dynamic was global climate change, the main ones being the coolings of the Young Dryas and the 6,200 BC event. Keywords: Early Holocene, Mesolithic, Neolithization, past global change, Kukrek, Janislawice, Middle Dnieper Region
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
The stressful situation caused by the pandemic has become a powerful factor for the introduction of new methods and forms of education. The field of archaeological education was no exception. In this educational year, teachers and students fully experienced both the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning in the field of archaeology and museum studies. Creating online courses in archaeology and prehistory has its own specifics, which is manifested in the complexity of transmitting information about artefacts and field objects remotely. Modern archaeological and paleoecological research allows us to develop mo dels of interaction between the environment and human society for different chronological facies. The development of such models is currently relevant, given the need to understand the processes of increased anthropogenic and industrial pressure on the environment in the modern world. Due to the significant expansion of scientific knowledge about the early stages of human culture, there is a need to include these data in the courses of higher education institutions using scientific experience and the latest achievements of European scientists in the field of prehistory and paleoecology. Purpose of activity: The project is to create an English-language training course «Nature and society in Prehistoric Europe» through the creation of multimedia products such as video lectures, visual materials and online publications, which will widely present data and research results from Europe and Ukraine in particular. The main purpose of the course is to combine science and education through the interaction of student audiences with the professional environment by transmitting scienti fically significant and relevant information about the interaction of society and nature from researchers to students and young scientists. In connection with the transfer of the learning process and the work of higher education institutions online, the project plans to develop multimedia materials that would provide professional delivery of knowledge and interaction between teacher and student.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a research item
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 occumulation 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. Стаття присвячена історії дослідження та опису остеологічного матеріалу з гоподарської ями 6 Межиріцької пізньопалеолітичної стоянки. На основі вивчення архівних матеріалів про поперед-ні розкопки, а також безпосереднього дослідження вмісту заповнення об'єкту, подається узагальнений опис фауністичних решток. Особливу увагу приді-лено знахідкам кісток та бивню, які мають сліди цілеспрямованої людської обробки. У результаті застосування археозоологічного та технологічного аналізів було виділено кілька основних категорій оброблених предметів з органічних матеріалів. Це дозволило виявити деякі технологічні тенденції та поглибити розуміння господарства і побуту палеолітичних мисливців Межиріцької стоянки.
Pavlo Shydlovskyi
added a project goal
The project is to create an English-language training course “Nature and society in Prehistoric Europe” through the creation of multimedia products such as video lectures, visual materials and online publications, which will widely present data and research results from Europe and Ukraine in particular. The main purpose of the course is to combine science and education through the interaction of student audiences with the professional environment by transmitting scientifically significant and relevant information about the interaction of society and nature from researchers to students and young scientists. In connection with the transfer of the learning process and the work of higher education institutions online, the project plans to develop multimedia materials that would provide professional delivery of knowledge and interaction between teacher and student.