ArticlePDF Available

New AMS-dates for the Upper Volga Mesolithic and the origin of microblade technology in Europe

  • National State Museum Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Schleswig
  • Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Quartär 57 (2010) : 155-169
New AMS-dates for the Upper Volga Mesolithic
and the origin of microblade technology
in Europe
Neue AMS-Daten zum Mesolithikum der oberen Wolga und das Aufkommen der
Mikroklingentechnik in Europa
Sönke H1*, Thomas T2 & Mikhail Z3
1 Archäologisches Landesmuseum Schleswig-Holstein, Schloss Gottorf, D-24837 Schleswig
2 Lehrstuhl für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Universität Greifswald, Hans-Falladastr. 1, D-17489 Greifswald
3 Russian Academy of Science, Planernaya Street, 3-2-235, Moscow 123 480, Russia
A - In the last 20 years several new peat bog sites have been detected in the Upper Volga area. The article presents
a first series of AMS-dates for the Stanovoje 4 site. They assign the early Butovo Culture to the Preboreal and the middle
Butovo Culture to the Boreal. In the second part of the article some new evidence for microblade technology and composite
tools in the late Palaeolithic/early Butovo Culture is discussed. It is well possible that the introduction of microblade
technology and slotted bone tools in the late Boreal/early Atlantic period in the western Baltic was stimulated by contacts to
eastern hunter-gatherers.
Z - In den letzten 20 Jahren wurden im oberen Wolgagebiet zahlreiche neue steinzeitliche Feuchtboden-
plätze entdeckt. Der Artikel behandelt eine erste Serie von AMS-Datierungen für den mehrphasigen mesolithischen Fund-
platz Stanovoje 4. Die Daten stellen die Schicht der frühen Butovo-Kultur in das Präboreal und die Schicht der mittleren
Butovo-Kultur in das Boreal. Stanavoje 4 kann damit als Referenzfundplatz für die frühholozäne Kulturentwicklung im oberen
Wolgagebiet gelten. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit verdient das Auftreten von Mikroklingen und Kompositgeräten wie
Knochendolchen mit Flinteinsätzen in der frühen Butovo-Kultur, die im Spätpaläolithikum der Region ihre Vorläufer finden.
Die Autoren diskutieren die Verbreitung und weitere Entwicklung dieser Innovation. Es ist gut möglich, dass das Aufkommen
von Mikroklingen und Flintschneidendolchen im Ostseegebiet im ausgehenden Boreal/frühen Atlantikum auf einen Techno-
logietransfer aus dem östlichen Europa zurückgeht.
K - Mesolithic, Upper Volga, Butovo Culture, microblade technology, cultural contacts, transfer of
Mesolithikum, Obere Wolga, Butovo Kultur, Mikroklingen-Technologie, Kulturkontakt,
*corresponding author:
Stone age research in the western Baltic has a long
tradition and southern Scandinavian sites gave name
to Mesolithic entities such as the Maglemose techno-
complex. In the past investigations in the area further
east were less noticed in western Central Europe.
Political and language boundaries hampered the
exchange of information. The last years saw increasing
interest in the eastern Stone Age and it becomes clear
that contacts in the Mesolithic and Neolithic between
east and west have been underestimated.
Studies on the Stone Age of the eastern Baltic
countries and northwestern Russia were mainly
focused on important cemeteries such as Zvejnieki in
Latvia and Olenii Ostrov in Russia (for example
Larsson & Zagorska 2006; Oshibkina 2008). At the
same time the research potential of peat bog sites was
less noticed as was shown also for the Transural region
(Savchenko 2003). In the 1980s M. Zhilin initiated sur-
veys in the Upper Volga and Oka interfluve and
discovered c. 50 new peatbog sites with favourable
preservation conditions for organic materials (Fig. 1).
The bogs developed in former glacial lakes, which
were linked with the Upper Volga through the
tributaries along its right bank. In the subsequent
period large scale excavations were conducted at
some of the locations (Fig. 1). Here we present first
results of a project on systematic radiocarbon dating
(AMS) of the Upper Volga Stone Age with a focus on
the site Stanovoje 4.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
Fig. 1. Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites in the Upper Volga area.
Abb. 1. Spätpaläolithische und mesolithische Fundstellen im Gebiet der Oberen Wolga.
Fig. 2. Stanovoje 4. Plan of the excavated units.
Abb. 2. Stanovoje 4. Plan der ausgegrabenen Flächen.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
From the Late Palaeolithic to the early
Mesolithic - general remarks
The final phase of the Late Palaeolithic and the
Mesolithic of the Upper Volga area is defined by three
cultural entities. The Ienevo Culture is distributed in
the western and central part of the Volga-Oka-region
and is characterised by tanged points including
examples similar to Lyngby points indicating
contacts to the Ahrensburgian tradition. Trapezes and
an elaborated macro and micro blade technique
represent further typical elements (Žilin 2006). The
site Zolotoruče 1 on Upper Volga represents the
other, probably local tradition without tanged points
but with regular microblades used as inserts for
composite projectile heads (Žilin 2006; Zhilin 2007).
During the early Holocene the Resseta Culture existed
mostly in the western part of the Upper Volga Region
and displays a similar flint inventory, but with different
types of points. However, this technocomplex is as yet
poorly studied (Žilin 2006). At the transition to the
Holocene the Butovo Culture started and existed until
the early Atlantic period. The (late) Butovo Culture
developed parallel to the Kunda Culture of the
eastern Baltic (Šturms 1970, 28 pp.; Jaanits & Jaanits
1978; Rimantiené 1995, 59 pp.; Žilin 2006). In the
Atlantic period the appearance of pottery defines the
start of the Upper Volga Culture of the ”Forest
Neolithic”, but no use of domesticated animals or
cereals is related to this period.
Results of pollen analyses and conventional radio-
carbon dates – mostly obtained on sites of the Butovo
Culture provide a general outline of the Mesolithic
chronology in the forest zone of Eastern Europe
(Zaretskaya et al. 2005). Studies of Upper Volga peat
bog sites contributed to a much better understanding
of the Stone Age development and hunter-gatherer
economy of this particular region. One of the most
important peat bog sites is Stanovoje 4 (Komsomolsk
district, Ivanovo region) located on a gentle slope on a
promontory at the outflow of the river Lahost from
the Podozerskoye peat bog (Figs. 1 & 2). From 1993 to
2002 c. 600 sqm of the former lake shore site were
excavated on both sides of the modern river in
trenches of c. 140 sqm and c. 460 sqm. In the deeper
parts of the excavation a complex stratigraphy was
documented and the excavation trenches (in the
following: ‘cuts’ 2 and 3) together provided a sequence
of four Mesolithic and one early “Neolithic” layer
(Fig. 3).
The upper Stone Age layer of Stanovoje 4 (cut 2,
layer II) contained thick walled pottery fragments of
the early Forest-Neolithic. As expected the animal
bones of this layer reflect a pure hunter-gatherer-
fisher economy. The assemblage provides a
ante quem
for the lower cultural layers. Typological
analysis assigns the bottom layer to the early Butovo
Culture (cut 2 and 3, layer IV) and the overlying layers
to the Ienovo Culture (cut 2, layer III) and to the
middle Butovo Culture (cut 2 and 3, layer III;
Zaretskaya et al. 2005). Because isolated AMS-dates
are only available for the Upper Volga Stone Age, the
authors started systematic dating of layers and objects
aimed at the better identification and timing of
characteristic Stone Age elements and innovations
such as micro blade technology, polished (slate) axes
or pottery production in Central Russia. This paper
focuses on AMS-dates for the site Stanovoje 4 and the
site Zolotoruče 1 (Fig. 1).
AMS-dates for Stanovoje 4
The early Butovo Culture
The finds of the early Butovo Culture (cut 2 and 3,
layer IV) consist of c. 154 stone artefacts and ca. 54
bone and antler tools. The fauna is characterized by
dominance of elk and beaver; brown bear, badger,
Fig. 3. Stanovoje 4. Stratigraphy of cut 2.
Abb. 3. Stanovoje 4. Stratigraphie von Schnitt 2.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
Fig. 4. Stanovoje 4. Selection of typical flint artefacts and bone/antler tools of the Early Butovo Culture. Scale 1- 6: 2:3; 7-16: 3:4.
Abb. 4. Stanovoje 4. Auswahl typischer Steinartefakte und Knochen-/Geweihgeräte der frühen Butovo-Kultur. Maßstab 1-6: 2:3; 7-16: 3:4.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
hare, pine marten, otter, musk rat and domestic dog
are also present, and indicate a taiga forest landscape.
The same kind of environment is indicated by pollen
analyses with pine and birch trees and substantial
presence of periglacial elements.
The stone artefacts were made of poor quality
silex material from local sources and only a few
imported blade tools exist. The stone tool assemblage
Fig. 5. Stanovoje 4, early Butovo Culture. Fragments of polished slate axes.
Abb. 5. Stanovoje 4, frühe Butovo-Kultur. Fragmente geschliffener Schieferbeile.
Fig. 6. Stanovoje 4, AMS samples. 1 point of a massive bone dagger (KIA 39316: 9 554 ±43 BP). – 2 elk shoulder blade (“broad knive”) with
sharpened edges (KIA 35152: 9 879 ±50 BP). –3 elk antler adze blade (KIA 39317: 9 741 ±40 BP). – 4 elk antler socket (KIA 35153: 9 505 ±47
BP). Scale 1, 3-4: 2:3; 2: 1:3.
Abb. 6 . Stanovoje 4, A MS-Proben. 1 Spitze eines massiven Knochendolches (KIA 39316: 9
554 ±43 BP). – 2 Elchschulterblat t (“broad knive”)
mit angescrften Kan ten (KIA 35152: 9
879 ±50 BP). –3 Bei lkli nge au s Elch geweih (KI A 39317: 9
741 ±40 BP). – 4 Ger ätefassung aus Elchgeweih
(KIA 35153: 9
505 ±47 BP). Maßstab 1, 3-4: 2:3; 2: 1:3.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
is dominated by scrapers and some burins. A 7.5 cm
long tanged point deserves special attention. The
tang was retouched on the ventral side and is broken,
while the tip shows a ventral surface retouch (Fig. 4: 15).
The point was manufactured on a long and very regular
blade. There are further regular blade fragments and
Lab-Code Sample M aterial A ssociated Tool
Type or Featu re
14C-a ge (BP) Calibrated
age (calBC )
13C (‰)
KIA 39314 Zo lotoruče 1 lower laye r b one
Bison pr iscus
(concentrat ion 5)
27. 95 10 24 0±37 10 122-9 885 -20.76
KIA 39315 Zo lotoruče 1
lower layer
charcoal Fire place
(concentrat ion 3)
28.82 9 9 90± 62 9 65 8-9 366 -25.94
KIA 35152 Sta novoje 4 c3, layIV, 173 bone
Alces alces
19.7 5 9 879 ±50 9 455 -9 24 9 -22.52
KIA 39317 Sta novoje 4 c2, layIV, squar e 95 antler
Alces alces
Antler a dze blade 29. 74 9 741 ±40 9 2 72-9 218 -18, 70
KIA 39316 St anovoje 4 c3, layIV, square 191 bo ne
Alces alces
Massive bone da gger 30.44 9 554± 43 9 121-8 80 8 -21.1
KIA 35153 Stanovoje 4 c4, l ayIV, 302 wood (h an dl e)
antler socket
- 9 505±47 8 930 -8 702 -28.82
KIA 35154 St anovoje 4 c3, layII I, 21 bone
Alces alces
slotted bone point 28.07 9 413± 50 8 811- 8 562 -20.99
KIA 35156 St anovoje 4 c3, layIII , 484 bone
Alces alces
slotted bone dagger 23.86 9 383±42 8 764 -8 55 7 -19.0 5
KIA 35157 Sta novoje 4 c3, layIII , 293 Wood (h an dl e)
antler ma ttock
- 8 86 0±47 8 223-7 814 -28.23
KIA 35158 St anovoje 4 ■ c3, layII I, square 265 bone
Alces alces
massive bone dagger 30.51 8 79 9±4 4 8 005 -7 710 -18. 87
KIA 35155 St anovoje 4 c3, layIII , 290 bon e
Alces alces
bo ne poi nt
(Shigir t ype)
31.59 8 315± 48 7 514 -7 282 -22.03
Fi g. 7. New AMS-dates on the terminal Palaeolithic site of Zolotoruče 1 and Mesolithic bone and antler tools from the Butovo Culture at
Stanovoje 4. Radiocarbon dates given in one sigma range. Calibration of radiocarbon dates according to CALIB rev 5.01 (IntCal04, Reimer et
al., Radiocarbon 46: 1029-1058).
Abb. 7. Neue AMS-Daten zum spätpaläolithischen Fundplatz Zolotoruče 1 und zu mesolithischen Knochen- und Geweihgeräte der Butovo
Culture des Fundplatzes Stanovoje 4. Radiokarbondaten werden im ein Sigmabereich angegeben. Die Kalibration der Daten erfolgte mit
CALIB rev 5.01 (IntCal04, Reimer et al., Radiocarbon 46: 1029-1058).
Fig. 8. Stanovoje 4. Typical f lint artefacts of the Middle Butovo Culture. Scale 3:4.
Abb. 8. Stanovoje 4. Typische Steinartefakte der mittleren Butovo -Kultur. Maßstab 3:4.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
Fig. 9. Stanovoje 4. Typical bone tools of the Middle Butovo Culture. Scale 2:3.
Abb. 9. Stanovoje 4. Typische Knochengeräte der mittleren Butovo-Kultur. Maßstab 2:3.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
some microblades/-fragments of highest quality
(Fig. 4: 12, 13 & 16). Together they provide strong
arguments for the use of pressure technique for blank
production. Fragments of 6 slate and silicised lime-
stone axes and adzes with polished cutting edges form
a further remarkable element of the early Butovo
Culture (Fig. 5).
The flint microblades correspond with slotted
bone daggers and slotted points present in the
organic tool assemblage. Some of the bone points
show microblades still fixed in the slot (Fig. 4: 2 & 3)
and leave no doubt as to the systematic use of such
composite tools.
There are further tool types such as simple long
bone points/arrowheads (Fig. 4: 1), antler sockets
(Fig. 4: 6), antler blades (Fig. 4: 4 & 5) and elk shoulder
blades with sharpened edges (“broad knives”). The
latter piece (Fig. 6: 2) was sampled for AMS-dating
and provided a 14C-age of 9 879 ±50 BP
(c. 9 350 calBC; Fig. 7). A sample from a piece of elk
antler adze (Fig. 6: 3) from the same layer is only slightly
younger (9 740 ± 40 BP/c. 9 250 calBC). Further
samples from a point of a massive bone dagger
(Fig. 6: 1) and a wooden handle of an antler socket
(Fig. 6: 4) gave results of 9 555 ±43 BP (c. 8 950 calBC)
and 9 505 ±47 BP (c. 8 900 calBC; Fig. 7).
The four AMS-results for layer IV date the assem-
blage to the Preboreal. They indicate a somewhat
younger start of the settlement at the lake shore than
expected from pollen analyses which were in favor of
a start of settlement activities already in the terminal
Younger Dryas. At the same time the date for the
massive bone dagger and the wooden handle of the
antler axe on first sight indicate a c. 200 radiocarbon
years younger phase. But they are in some
contradiction to a conventional radiocarbon date of
9 680 ±40 BP (c. 9 100 calBC; GIN-10128) obtained on
a birch trunk found in the overlaying sediments (cut 2,
layer IV) (Zhilin & Matiskainen 2003, 697; Zaretskaya
et al. 2005). The birch sample (GIN-10128) was 12 cm
in diameter and taken from a carefully controlled
context (Zaretskaya et al. 2005). And also the two
AMS-dates are in a contradiction with a conventional
date of a worked wooden stake dated to
c. 9 620 ±60 BP (GIN-8377) from the overlying layer of
Ienevo Culture in cut 3. The AMS-dates assign the
assemblage of the early Butovo Culture to the first half
of the Preboreal c. 9 400 to 8 800 calBC, while conven-
tional dates support an earlier dating to about
9 600-9 300 calBC (Zaretskaya et al. 2005, 128). In
conclusion we suggest a dating of the layer to 9 600 to
9 100 calBC; the younger dates are unexplained at the
AMS-dates for the middle Butovo Culture
The layer of the Ienovo Culture (IIIa) was limited to cut
III. There were found typical one-edged and oblique
points of Ienevo Culture, which are not present in the
Butovo Culture. Few organic remains did not allow
taking promising samples for AMS-dating. Strati-
graphic information and conventional radiocarbon
ages suggest a dating towards the middle of the
Preboreal (Zaretskaya et al. 2005, 125).
Archaeological layer III was a well developed unit
in cut 2 and 3 and provided a wide range of finds. The
fauna is dominated by forest animals among which elk
and beaver are the most numerous. The stone tool
assemblage is again characterized by various types of
scrapers, burins and axes (Fig. 8: 2, 3, 5 & 9). Tanged
points are of the above mentioned type (ventral
retouched tang and ventral surface retouched tip;
Fig. 8: 1), but in this case made of common blades. The
blades were produced from single platform cores of
conical shape (Fig. 8: 4 & 8). Regular microblades
(Fig. 8: 6 & 7) are still present and argue for the
continuation of this specific technique of blank pro-
duction; but typical wedged cores or handle cores
similar to those of the younger Maglemose and
Kongemose Culture in the western Baltic (Henriksen
1976; Sørensen 1996) are not represented in the
assemblage. Polished slate axes are a further
important find category.
Organic remains are frequent in layer III and bone
points are documented by various types. Long pieces
with a massive biconical and sometimes decorated tip
belong to the so called Shigir type (Fig. 9: 1-3 & 7;
Fig. 11: 1-5), which is already present in the layer of the
Ienovo Culture (Žilin 2006, 12). Slotted bone points
and daggers form an element of continuation from the
early Butovo Culture (Fig. 9: 5, 6 & 11; Fig. 11: 6).
Further tools such as bone mattocks, elk antler blades,
axes, massive bone daggers, a bone rod (Fig. 9: 10)
and fish hooks (Fig. 9: 8 & 9) were detected with
several examples.
Five samples of layer III were taken for AMS-dating
(Fig. 7). Fragments of a slotted bone point (Fig. 10: 1)
and of a slotted bone dagger (Fig. 10: 2) provided
similar results of 9 413 ±50 BP (c. 8 700 calBC) and
9 383 ±42 BP (c. 8 650 calBC). A younger phase is
Fig. 10. Stanovoje 4. AMS samples. 1 fragment of a slotted bone
point (KIA 35154: 9 413 ± 50 BP). – 2 fragment of a slotted bone
dagger (KIA 35156: 9 383 ± 42 BP). Scale 2:3.
Abb. 10. Stanovoje 4. AMS-Proben. 1 Fragment einer Knochen-
spitze mit beidseitiger Nut (KIA 35154: 9 413 ± 50 BP). – 2 Fragment
eines Knochendolches mit beidseitiger Nut (Flintschneidendolch)
(KIA 35156: 9 383 ± 42 BP). Maßstab 2:3.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
represented by a date of an elk antler mattock
fragment (Fig. 12: 3; 8 860 ±47 BP/c. 8 050 calBC) and a
fragment of a massive bone dagger (Fig. 12: 1;
8 799 ±44 BP/c. 7 900 calBC). The youngest date for
the Middle Butovo Culture (layer III) was obtained
on a Shigir point fragment (Fig. 12: 2; 8 315 ±48 BP/
c. 7 400 calBC).
The available dates indicate a longer use of the
lake shore in the Boreal period and might suggest
three settlement phases (early phase: c. 8 700 calBC,
Fig. 11. Shigir bone points (1-5) and slotted bone dagger (6) from the Upper Volga Butovo Culture. Scale 1-5: 1:1; 6: 2:3.
Abb. 11. Shigir-Knochenspitzen (1-5) und Flintschneidendolch (6) der Butovo-Kultur im Oberen Wolgagebiet. Maßstab 1-5: 1:1; 6: 2:3.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
middle phase: c. 8 000 calBC, final phase: c. 7 300 calBC).
Marked plateaus in the 14 C-age calibration curve are
not responsible for these clusters, but the picture
needs further confirmation. In general the AMS-dates
are in accordance with results based on pollen analysis
and conventional radiocarbon dates.
T h e t i m i n g o f i n n o v a t i o n s : t h e c a s e o f
microblade technology
The new AMS-results make Stanovoje 4 the most
reliable dated Stone Age sequence of the early Holo-
cene in the Upper Volga area (Fig. 13). They assign the
early Butovo Culture from c. 9 600 to 9 100 calBC.
(first half of Preboreal or terminal Younger Dryas by
pollen analyses, see above) and the developed Butovo
Culture from c. 8 800 to 7 300 calBC (late Preboreal
and Boreal, in accordance with pollen analyses). On
stratigraphical grounds and three conventional dates
from worked wooden stakes the layer of the Ienovo
Culture can be dated to c. 8 800 calBC (younger
Preboreal, in accordance with pollen analyses).
The results for Stanovoje 4 provide the oppor-
tunity to discuss the timing of specific tool types and
innovations in a more general perspective. Important
innovations in the period from Greenland Interstadial
1 to the late Atlantic (c. 12 700 4 000 calBC) in
Central Europe were the introduction of bow and
arrow, of flint axes, of microblade technology and of
pottery production. The most prominent innovation
was the introduction of farming with deep impact on
the life style of Stone Age society. In this paper we will
focus on the microblade technology.
The Stanovoje 4 site demonstrates the production
of regular macro- and microblades and the use of
slotted tools in the early Butovo Culture. The very
regular blanks and the shape of single platform cores
argue for a very controlled production by the use of
pressure technique. The technology contributes to
the manufacturing of standardized and efficient
composite weapons and tool technology. “Microblades
were a key component … that faciliated high mobility
and efficient hunting” (Goebel et al. 2000, 574) and
allowed a very effective use of high quality raw
material (Stupak 2006, 114).
According to the Zolotaruče 1 site pressure
technique was already in use during the terminal
Palaeolithic in the Upper Volga area (Žilin 2006, 6;
Zhilin 2007). Typical cores and microblades were
identified in the lower layer of the site. Reindeer and
Bison Priscus are present among the few faunal
remains. The proposed Late Glacial context could be
confirmed now by an AMS-date of a Bison bone
(concentration 5) to 10 240 ±37 BP/c. 10 050 calBC
(Fig. 7) which assigns the find layer to the Younger
Dryas period. A somewhat younger result obtained
on a charcoal sample from a fire place of concen-
tration 3 indicates use of the site also at the transition
to the Holocene (Fig. 7; 9 990 ±62 BP/c. 9 500 calBC).
However, the tanged point site of Rostislavl located
c. 130 km southeast of Moscow (Trusov 2006) lacking
microblades demonstrates that this specific techno-
logy was not applied on every Late Glacial site of the
Fig. 12. Stanovoje 4, AMS-samples. 1 point of a massive bone dagger (KIA 35158: 8 799 ±44 BP). – 2 fragment of a bone point (Shigir type;
KIA 35155: 8 315 ±48 BP). – 3 fragment of an elk antler mat tock (KIA 35157: 8 860 ±47 BP). Scale 1-2: 2:3; 3: 1:2.
Abb. 12. Stanovoje 4, AMS-Proben. 1 Spitze eines massiven Knochendolches (KIA 35158: 8 799 ±44 BP). – 2 Fragment einer Knochenspitze
(Shigir-Typ; KIA 35155: 8 315 ±48 BP). – 3 Fragment einer Elchgeweihhacke (KIA 35157: 8 860 ±47 BP). Maßstab 1-2: 2:3; 3: 1:2.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
Volga-Oka region. This phenomenon might be sup-
ported by the availability of high quality raw material,
an idea which is supported by a single regular blade
that was probably imported from elsewhere to the
site (Trusov 2006, 150). Because only part of the
Rostislavl assemblage was documented with reliable
stratigraphic context we have to take this observation
with some caution.
In a broader perspective the production of micro-
blades can be traced back more than thousand years
further east. In the southern Transbaikal area
microblade production is proposed for the site
Studenoye 2 and Ust’Menza 2 dated up to c. 17 000 BP
(Fig. 14: 10 & 11; Goebel et al. 2000). In further regions
of Siberia and in Japan the production of regular
microblades and the use of pressure technology can
be identified on Upper Palaeolithic sites dated after
the Last Glacial maximum and before start of Green-
land Interstadial 1 (Goebel et al. 2000, 572; Goebel
2002; Graf 2009, 496). It is not intended to discuss this
evidence in more detail here. In general there is no
doubt that specific microblade production was in use
in eastern Eurasia earlier than further west and also
spread over to North America (see Inizian et al. 1992;
Olofsson 1995). But this does not necessarily mean
that this technology was taken over in western Eurasia
from the east.
In the early Holocene pressure technique was also
in use for the processing of Obsidian in the Pre
Pottery Neolithic of eastern Anatolia (Balkan-Atli &
Fig. 13. Climatic development and chronolog y of the Lateglacial and early Holocene in the southern and eastern Baltic and the Upper Volga
region. GI: Greenland Interstadial.
Abb. 13. Chronologietabelle des Spätpaläolithikums und Mesolithikums im südlichen und östlichen Ostseegebiet und in der Oberen Wol-
garegion. GI: Grönland Interstadial.
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
Cauvin 2007) and probably in the Levante and further
east (Gronenborn 1997, 395). The introduction of
regular blades probably produced by pressure
technique and trapezes is a well established innovation
in southern Europe (Clark 1958). Both elements
characterise the Late Mesolithic in Central Europe and
in southern Germany where the specific blade techno-
logy and trapezes started in the early Atlantic period
probably soon after 7 000 calBC (Gronenborn 1997).
For the moment it remains an open question whether
all these were independent innovations or the follow
of a trajectory from east to west.
Approximately 1 000 km to the west of the Upper
Volga area the late Swiderian industry of the Baltic
countries is characterized by a good quality blade
technology, but blank production by pressure
technique was not applied (Šatavičius 2005). In
contrast, the early Mesolithic Kunda Culture (Fig. 13)
demonstrates a highly regular blank production and
the use of pressure technique can sometimes be
Fig. 14. Examples of microblade/handle cores from northern Germany (1-4), Denmark (5-7), the Upper Volga region (8-9) and the southern
Transbaikal (10-11). 1-2. Stoltenberg L A 10. – 3-4 Dreggers LA 3; – 5 Holmegard I. – 6 Lundby I. – 7 Svaerdborg I. – 8 -9 Butovo 1; – 10 Stude-
noe 2; – 11 Ust-Menza 2, layer 24 (>17 000 BP) (after Henriksen 1976; Goebel et al. 2000; Žilin 2006; Hartz 2009). Scale 2:3.
Abb. 14. Beispiele von Mikroklingenkernen/sogenannten handle cores aus Norddeutschland (1-4), Dänemark (5-7), der Oberen Wolgaregi-
on (8-9) und dem südlichen Transbaikal (10-11). 1-2. Stoltenberg LA 10. – 3-4 Dreggers LA 3; – 5 Holmegard I. – 6 Lundby I. – 7 Svaerdborg
I. – 8-9 Butovo 1; – 10 Studenoe 2; – 11 Ust-Menza 2, layer 24 (>17 000 BP) (nach Henriksen 1976; Goebel et al. 2000; Žilin 2006; Hartz 2009).
Maßstab 2:3.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
Fig. 15. Preliminary map of the spread of microblade technology and pressure technique/regular blade technique in northern Europe.
Abb. 15. Entwurf einer Karte zur Ausbreitung der Mikroklingentechnologie und Drucktechnik/regelmäßigen Klingentechnik in Mittel und
distal part (Pulli type) which is known from many
Kunda sites in the Baltic (Ostrauskas 2002). At the
Tłokowo site in Olsztyn district, north-eastern Poland,
a slotted bone point of Kunda type was found with
identified at sites such as Pulli in Estonia (Fig. 15; Jaanits
& Jaanits 1978). The Pulli assemblage also shows close
similarities in the type of tanged points with ventral
retouch of the tang and ventral surface retouch on the
Quartär 57 (2010) S. Hartz et al.
typical microblade fragments still fixed in the grooves
(Sulgostowska 1996). This site marks the western
border of the Kunda Culture and the slotted bone
point is probably dated to the late Boreal
(c. 8 300-8 200 BP/c. 7 300 calBC; Schild et al. 2003,
154). The dating of the find might represent the phase
of transition of the microblade technology further
In the western Baltic there has been a long debate
as to the introduction of regular microblades and
pressure technique with special focus on the intro-
duction of handle cores (Callahan 1985).
Handle cores
are a specific type of elongated microblade core with
a narrow front (Fig. 14: 1-7). A re-evaluation of the
evidence by Olofsson (2002; 2003) argues for the
start of an elaborated microblade technology and
slotted bone tools in the younger Maglemose Culture
in southern Scandinavia (Fig. 13; Henriksen 1976;
Sørensen 1996). The same holds true for northern
Germany where on sites such as Loop 1 and
Lammershagen 10 an advanced macroblade produc-
tion developed in the late Boreal parallel to a micro-
blade technique with tiny regular microblades stuck
from single platform conical cores (Hartz 2009). These
sites are slightly older than Duvensee site 13 which
existed somewhat around 7 500 calBC while handle
cores were introduced at the transition to the Atlantic
period (Bokelmann et al. 1985; Bokelmann 1991, 91).
Unfortunately AMS-dated late Boreal and early
Atlantic sites with microblades are lacking so far both
for the Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-
Vorpommern regions. As mentioned above, in the
western Baltic the typical handle cores started during
the late Maglemose, and developed further into the
Kongemose Culture where it ends around the middle
of the 6th millennium calBC (Vang Petersen 1984;
Sørensen 1996).
The site of Högland in Lapland, northern Sweden,
demonstrates the spread of this technology to the far
North at c. 6 600 calBC (Olofsson 2003, 5). However,
recent discoveries in Finnish Lappland provide new
information on the question of early settlement and
the introduction of microblades and pressure
technique in northern Scandinavia. The Sujala site
located at Lake Vetsijärvi is radiocarbon dated to
c. 8 250 calBC and is characterized by a chert industry
of extralocal raw material origin. Very regular blades
and microblades indicate that a ”considerable part of
the blades were most likely produced by pressure”
(Rankama & Kankaanpää 2008, 889). The presence of
microblades and pressure technique as well as the
type of tanged point with ventral surface retouch
(Rankama & Kankaanpää 2008, Fig. 8) is explained by
a colonisation of people from northern Russia of
Butovo-Kunda Culture origin.
In conclusion it appears a reasonable scenario to
propose the introduction of the microblade techno-
logy in the western Baltic from the east during the late
Preboreal to Boreal period, when this technology still
formed a typical element of the Kunda and Butovo
Culture (Fig. 15). If this scenario is correct, contacts to
eastern Baltic hunter-gatherers were very important
for the exchange of information and introduction of
technologies in the western Baltic Sea area long before
pottery was introduced as an eastern innovation.
A: The authors would like to thank Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft for financial support of the project
(HA 2961/2-1 and TE 259/5-1). Furthermore we would like to
thank Pieter Grootes and Matthias Hüls and the rest of the team
at the Leibniz-Laboratory Kiel for fruitful cooperation. We
really appreciate two unknown reviewers for their ver y helpful
Literature cited
Balkan-Atli, N. & Cauvin, M . C. (2007). Das Schwarze Gold der
Steinzeit. Obsidian in Anatolien.
Vor 12.000 Jahren in
Anaolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Karlsruhe,
Bokelmann, K. (1991). Duvensee Wohnplatz 9. Ein präboreal-
zeitlicher Lagerplatz in Schleswig-Holstein.
48: 75-114.
Bokelmann, K., Averdieck, F.-R. & Willkomm, H. (1985).
Duvensee, Wohnplatz 13.
42: 13-34.
Callahan, E. (1985). Experiments with Danish Mesolithic Micro-
blade Technology.
Journal of Danish Archaeology
4: 23-39.
Clark, G. (1958). Blade and Trapeze Industries of the European
Stone Age.
Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
24: 24-42.
Goebel, T. (2002). The Microblade Adaption and the
Recolonization of Siberia during the Late Upper Pleistocene.
R . G. Elston & S. L. Kuhn (Eds.)
Thinking Small. Global
Perspectives on Microlithization.
Archeological Papers of the
American Anthropological Association 12, 117-131.
Goebel, T., Waters, M. R., Bivit, I., Konstantinov M.V. &
Konstantinov, A. V. (2000). Studenoe-2 and the origins of
microblade technologies in the Transbaikal, Siberia.
74: 567-575.
Graf, E. (2009). Modern Human Colonization oft he Siberian
Mammoth Steppe: A View from South- Central Siberia.
M. Cambs & P. R. Chaubhan (Eds.)
Sourcebook of Palaeolithic
Transitions. Methods, Theories and Interpretations.
Spr inge r,
New York, 479-502.
Gronenborn, D. (1997). Sarching 4 und der Übergang vom
Früh- zum Spätmesolithikum im südlichen Mitteleuropa.
Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt
27: 387-402.
Hartz, S. (20 09). Towards a new chronology of the Late
Mesolithic in Schleswig-Holstein.
P. Crom , M . Van S tr ydo nk ,
J. Sergant, M. Boudin & M. Bats (Eds.)
Chronology and Evolution
in the Mesolithic of North-West Europe.
Cambridge Scholars
Publishing, Newcastle, 395-416.
Henrik sen, B. (1976).
Sværdborg I Excavations 1943-44.
A Settlement of the Maglemose Culture.
Studier 3. Copenhagen.
Inizian, M.- L., Lechevallier, M. & Plumet, P. (1992). A technolo-
gical marker of the penetration into North America: pressure
microblade debitage, its origin in the Paleolithic of North Asia
and its diffusion.
P. B. Vandiver, J. R . Druzik, G. S. Wheeler &
I. C . Freestone (Eds.)
Materials issues in art and archaeology III.
Material Research Society symposium proceedings 27.
Pittsburgh (Pen.), 661-681.
Jaanits, L. & Jaanits, K. (1978). Die Ausgrabungen der frühmeso-
lithischen Siedlung von Pulli.
Izvestia AN ESSR
27/1: 56–63.
Larsson, L . & Zagorska, I . (2006). Back to the Origin. New
research in Mesolithic-Neolithic Zvejnieki cemetery and
environment, northern Latvia.
Acta Archaeologica Lundensia
8/52. Lund.
Quartär 57 (2010)Origin of microblade technology in Upper Volga Mesolithic
Olofsson, A. (1995).
Kölskrapor, mikrospånkärnor och mikro
spån: En studie i nordsvensk mikrospånteknik.
studier vid Umeå universitet 3. Umeå.
Olofsson, A. (2002). Microblade Technology in Northern
Sweden: Chronological and Cultural Implications.
Swedish Archaeology
10: 73-94.
Olofsson, A. (2003).
Pioneer settlement in the Mesolithic of
Northern Sweden.
Archaeology and Envirnoment 16. Umeå.
Oshibkina, S. V. (2008). Mesolithic Burial Grounds and Burial
Complexes in the Forest Zone of Eastern Europe.
and Archaeology of Eurasia
46/4: 46-70.
Ostrauskas, T. (2002). Problems of investigation of the
Mesolithic Kunda Culture.
Lietuvos archeologija
23: 93-106.
Rankama, T. & J. Kankaanpää, J. (2008). Eastern arrivals in
post-glacial Lapland: the Sujala site 10 000 cal BP.
88 4- 899.
Rimantiené, R. (1995). Die Steinzeit in Litauen.
Berichte der
Römisch-Germanischen Kommission
75: 23-146.
Šatavičius, E. (2005). Swiderian Culture in Lithuania.
29: 167-170.
Savchenko, S. N. (2003). Colonization of the Middle Eastern
Urals area during the early Mesolithic – some approaches to the
H. Knutsson (Ed.)
Pioneer settlements and
colonization processes in the Barents region.
Vuollerim Papers
on Hunter-gatherer Archaeology 1. Vuollerim, 19-27.
Schild, R., Tobolski, K., Kubiak-Martens, L., Bratlund, B.,
Eicher, U., Calderoni, G ., Makowiecki, D., Pazdur, A .,
Pazdur, M. M., Schweingruber, F. H., van Neer, W.,
Winiarska-Kabacińska, M . & Žurek, S. (20 03). Harvesting
pike at Tłokowo.
L. Larsson, H. Kindgren, K. Knutsson,
D. Loeffler & A. Ǻkerlund (Eds.)
Mesolithic on the Move.
Papers presented at the Sixth International Conference on the
Mesolithic in Europe, Stockholm 2000. Oxbow Books, Oxford,
Sørensen, S. (1996).
Kongemosekultur i Syskandinavien.
Sulgostowska, Z . (1996). The earliest settlement of north-
eastern Poland.
L. Larsson (Ed.)
The earliest settlement of
Scandinavia and its relationship with neighbouring areas.
Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Ser. 8/24. Almquist & Wiksell,
Stockholm, 297-304.
Stupak, D. (2006). Chipped flint technologies in Swiderian
complexes of the Ukrainian Polissya region.
7: 109-119.
Šturms, E. (1970).
Die steinzeitlichen Kulturen des Baltikums.
Antiquitas Reihe 3/9. Habelt Verlag, Bonn.
Trusov, A. V. (20 06). The Final Palaeolithic site of Rostislavl
(preliminary report).
Archaeologica Baltica
7: 149-159.
Vang Petersen, P. (1984). Chronological and Regional Variation
in the late Mesolithic of Eastern Denmark.
Journal of Danish
3: 7-18.
Zaretskaya, N. E., Zhilin, M. G., Karmanov, V. N. &
Uspenskaya, O. N. (2005). Radiocarbon dating of Wetland
Mesolithic-Neolithic Archaeological Sites within the Upper
Volga and Middle Vychegda.
Geochronometria. Journal on
Methods and Applications of Absolute Chronology
24: 117-131.
Zhilin, M. G. (2007).
The terminal Paleolithic of the Yaroslavl
flow of the Volga.
Zhilin, M. G. & Matiskainen, H. (2003). Deep in Russia, deep in
the bog. Excavations at the Mesolithic sites Stanovoje 4 and
Sakhtysh 14, Upper Volga region.
L. Larsson, H. Kindgren,
K. Knutsson, D. Loeffler & A. Ǻkerlund (Eds.)
Mesolithic on the
Papers presented at the Sixth International Conference
on the Mesolithic in Europe, Stockholm 2000. Oxbow Books,
Oxford, 694-702.
Žilin, M. G. (2006). Das Mesolithikum im Gebiet zwischen den
Flüssen Wolga und Oka: einige Forschungsergebnisse der
letzten Jahre.
Prähistorische Zeitschrift
81: 1-48.
Internationales Jahrbuch zur Eiszeitalter- und Steinzeitforschung
International Yearbook for Ice Age and Stone Age Research
Band –
Edited by
Miriam Noël H, Werner M,
Martin S, Gerd-Christian W
Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH . Rahden/Westf.
187 Seiten mit 118 Abbildungen
Manuskript-Richtlinien und weitere Informationen unter
Instructions for authors and supplementary information at
Bibliographische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
Haidle, Miriam Noël / Müller, Werner / Street, Martin / Weniger, Gerd-Christian (Eds.):
Quartär: Internationales Jahrbuch zur Eiszeitalter- und Steinzeitforschung; Band 57
International Yearbook for Ice Age and Stone Age Research; Volume 57
Rahden/Westf.: Leidorf, 2010
ISBN: 978-3-86757-923-0
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliographie.
Detaillierte bibliographische Daten sind im Internet über abruf bar.
Gedruckt auf alterungsbeständigem Papier
Alle Rechte vorbehalten
© 2010
Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH
Dr. Bert Wiegel
Stellerloh 65 - D-32369 Rahden/Westf.
Tel: +49/(0)5771/ 9510-74
Fax: +49/(0)5771/ 9510-75
ISBN : 978-3-86757-923-0
ISSN 0375-7471
Kein Teil des Buches darf in irgendeiner Form (Druck, Fotokopie, CD-ROM, DVD, Internet oder einem anderen
Verfahren) ohne schriftliche Genehmigung des Verlages Marie Leidorf GmbH reproduziert werden oder unter
Verwendung elektronischer Systeme verarbeitet, vervielfältigt oder verbreitet werden.
Umschlagentwurf: Werner Müller, CH-Neuchâtel, unter Mitwirkung der Herausgeber
Redaktion: Miriam Noël Haidle, D-Tübingen, Werner Müller, CH-Neuchâtel,
Martin Street, D-Neuwied und Gerd-Christian Weniger, D-Mettmann
Satz, Layout und Bildnachbearbeitung: Werner Müller, CH-Neuchâtel
Druck und Produktion: druckhaus köthen GmbH, Köthen
Quartär 57 (2010)
Inhalt -
New information on the Havelte Group site Ahrenshöft LA 58 D (Nordfriesland, Germany) -
Preliminary results of the 2008 fieldwork
Neue Informationen zum Fundplatz der Havelte-Gruppe Ahrenshöft LA 58 D (Nordfriesland, Deutschland) -
Vorläufige Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen 2008
Mara-Julia W, Ingo C, Rupert A. H, Christopher E. M, Felix R
With the collaboration of Hartmut U .............................................................................................7-24
Bladelet production, core reduction strategies, and efficiency of core configuration at the
Middle Palaeolithic site Balver Höhle (North Rhine Westphalia, Germany)
Lamellenproduktion, Strategien der Kernzerlegung und Effizienz der Kerngestaltung an der mittelpaläolithischen
Fundstelle Balver Höhle (Nordrhein Westfalen, Deutschland)
Andreas P & Yvonne T
In cooperation with Alexandra K & Jacqueline R................................................................25-41
Recurrent occupations of the Late Middle Palaeolithic Station Kabazi II, Unit II, Level 8 (Crimea,
Ukraine) – Seasonal adaptation, procurement and processing of resources
Wiederholte Belegungen der spät-mittelpaläolithischen Station Kabazi II, Unit II, Level 8 (Krim, Ukraine) –
Saisonale Adaptation, Beschaffung und Verarbeitung von Ressourcen
Guido B........................................................................................................................................43-77
Geißenklösterle. The Swabian Gravettian in its European context
Geißenklösterle. Das schwäbische Gravettien im europäischen Kontext
Luc M.............................................................................................................................................79-93
Palaeoenvironment at Gravettian Sites in Central Europe with emphasis on Moravia
(Czech Republic)
Die Paläoumwelt mitteleuropäischer Gravettien-Fundstellen mit Schwerpunkt in Mähren (Tschechische Republik)
Rudolf M..........................................................................................................................................95-123
The Late Upper Palaeolithic in the catchment area of the River Saale – facts and considerations
Die späte Altsteinzeit im Einzugsgebiet der Saale – Fakten und Überlegungen
Mario K....................................................................................................................................125-137....................................................................................................................................125-137
Between East and West – a new site of the Federmessergruppen in Poland
Zwischen Ost und West – eine neue Fundstelle der Federmessergruppen in Polen
Jacek K & Iwona S-T....................................................................................139-154
New AMS-dates for the Upper Volga Mesolithic and the origin of microblade technology
in Europe
Neue AMS-Daten zum Mesolithikum der oberen Wolga und das Aufkommen der Mikroklingentechnik in Europa
Sönke H, Thomas T & Mikhail Z.............................................................................155-169
Art as a biological adaptation, or: why modern humans replaced the Neanderthals
Kunst als Anpassung, oder: Warum moderne Menschen die Neanderthaler ersetzten
Thomas J.....................................................................................................................................171-178
Quartär 57 (2010)
Surface scanning of anthropological specimens: nominal-actual comparison with low cost laser
scanner and high end fringe light projection surface scanning systems
Oberflächenscannen anthropologischer Objekte: Soll-Ist Vergleiche mit einem niedrigpreisigen Laserscanner
und hochpreisigen Streifenlicht Scanner Systemen
Astrid S, Martin F & Patrick S..............................................................................179-187
... Other researchers have suggested links between production of microblades, inset bone tools and high residential mobility, as raw material efficiency and serial production reduce tool-stone carrying costs and provide a means of reducing the risk of ending up with no suitable tool-stone when mobility is high and the foraging range large (e.g. Goebel et al., 2000;Hartz et al., 2010;Yi et al., 2013). Barton et al. (2007) also note that there is evidence suggesting a continuous use of composite tool technology over the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM) in northern China, and that the expansion of microblade technology after the LGM was based on a substrate of composite tool technology employing bipolar-on-anvil reduction on various materials in pebble form (see also Brantingham et al., 2004;Madsen et al., 2001). ...
... As a result, the artefact was assigned to the Kunda complex and dated to the Preboreal (Schild et al., 2003;Sulgostowska & Hoffman, 1993). Based on the same premises, some researchers shifted the relative age forward to the Boreal period, dating it to ca. 9300 cal BP (Hartz et al., 2010). Currently, the point is in the collection of the Archaeology Department of the Museum of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (inv. ...
... Its use seems to correlate with high mobility (Hertell & Tallavaara, 2011). The narrow-face cores yielded blades of more uniform dimensions and can be considered a standardized serial production strategy suited especially for inset production (Hartz et al., 2010). The dataset analysed by Hertell and Tallavaara (2011) shows a rising trend for narrow-face core use between ca. ...
Full-text available
Slotted bone tools are an iconic example of composite tool technology in which change in one of the components does not require changing the design of the other parts. Commonly, slotted bone tools are seen through the lens of lithic technology, highlighting organizational aspects related to serial production of insets, reliability and maintainability. In this framework, slotted bone tool technology is associated with risk aversion in demanding environmental settings. Here, we provide the first overview of radiocarbon-dated slotted bone tools in northernmost Europe and the East European Plain, including 17 new direct dates on pitch glue, and show that the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene period of inset slotted bone tool use in this area shows marked variation and idiosyncrasy in associated lithic technology against a trend of continuously warming climate. We suggest that historical specificity and path-dependence, rather than convergent evolution, best explain the variability seen in slotted bone tool technology in the studied case, and that slotted bone tools in general formed an organizationally flexible, adaptable and hence likely adaptive technological solution that met a wide variety of cultural and technological demands.
... Standardized microblade production on single fronted cores occurs in Siberia and in the south-eastern Trans Baikal area c. 17,000 BP (Hartz et al. 2010;Medvedev 1998;Tabarev 2012). Jeffrey Flenniken (1987) proposed that these cores, i.e. wedge-shaped cores, had been reduced by the use of clamp device. ...
... His experimental results were later replicated successfully by Andrej Tabarev (1997Tabarev ( , 2012. This technological concept spread to what is today recognized as the Butovo culture in the Moscow region and the Veretye culture located south-east of the Onega Lake, where it became predominant within blade producing communities (Hartz et al. 2010;Sørensen et al. 2013). In these areas, partly also in Finland, a rising trend of single fronted microblade cores is observed in the succeeding period, c. 8600-7600 cal BC (Hertell and Tallavaara 2011, 106). ...
Full-text available
The study of Mesolithic blade industries in northern Europe has contributed to gaining a deeper insight into prehistoric technological choices by applying a dynamical technological approach. In this study, the authors applied this approach to Middle and Late Mesolithic microblade industries in eastern Norway in order to study regional developments. A total of 45 pressured cores derived from seven open-air sites excavated by the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo (2010–2012) were analyzed taking into account metrical values and technological traits. The results show three distinct phases in the studied material. The earliest phase (c. 7500– 7200 cal BC) was characterized by a standardized conical core concept. The second phase (c. 7200–6100 cal BC) showed both conical and single fronted cores, while in the youngest phase (c. 5400–3900 cal BC) the single fronted core concept was predominant. Based on previous experimental research, the authors argue that this reflects a slow transition from the use of V-shaped holding devices in the Middle Mesolithic to pocket devices and handheld reduction techniques in the Late Mesolithic.
... One hundred samples from 16 different archaeological sites across Eastern Europe and Urals (see Table S1, Table S2 and Figure 1) were included in this study: Kunda Lammasmägi (Sander & Kriiska, 2018), Pärnu river (Bliebernicht, 1924), Pulli (Jaanits & Jaanits, 1978), Sindi-Lodja I (Kriiska & Lõugas, 2009), and Ulbi (Bjørnevad et al., 2019) from Estonia; Aziarnoje 2B (Kryvaltsevich, 1996) and Michnievičy (Charniauski, 1992) from Belarus; Borovoye Ozero VI (Vybornov et al., 2019), Ileksa IV (Lobanova, 1997), Shagara lake (Emelyanov & Kashina, 2005), Shaytanskoye Ozero II (Korochkova & Stefanov, 2010), Shigir (Savchenko et al., 2015), Beregovaya 2 (Zhilin et al., 2014), Stanovoye 4 (Hartz et al., 2010), Veretye I (Oshibkina, 1997), and Volodary (Tsvetkova, 1973) from Russia. The majority of samples (n = 88) are from composite tools in which lithic inserts have been attached to bone or antler artefact using organic adhesives, but samples were also collected from the surface of F I G U R E 1 A -map of archaeological sites, Notes: 1Ο -composite tool, 24 À lump of adhesive, 3□-pottery, 4◇bone figurine, 5■ -10th millennium BC -the second half of the 6th millennium BC, 6■ -stone age (without exact dates), 7■ -the second half of the 4th millennium/the first half of the 3rd millennium BC -2nd millennium BC. ...
Full-text available
Attenuated total reflection‐Fourier transform‐infrared spectroscopy (ATR‐FT‐IR) analysis of 100 adhesive samples from different prehistoric composite artefacts, pottery and amorphous lumps across Eastern Europe and Urals were conducted with the aim to establish a fast analytical screening method for adhesive assignment. The ATR‐FT‐IR analysis allowed the identification of major chemical components of the adhesive samples which were assigned to three main groups: birch bark tar without major additives, birch bark tar with additives and minor/non‐birch bark tar samples. ATR‐FT‐IR spectra were further analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA)‐based discriminant analysis (DA) that allowed additional refinement of adhesive classifications. The ATR‐FT‐IR results and the DA classification were confirmed by analyzing a selection of samples with gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry (GC‐MS). Results demonstrate that ATR‐FT‐IR coupled with DA classification allows fast and reliable preliminary identification of the major components in archaeological adhesives and their further classification. As such it is a considerable and faster alternative to more laborious GC‐MS analysis, especially in the case of very small samples.
... These are finds from small habitation sites on the west coast of Lithuania, at Palanga and in the 30 Oshibkina 1989. 31 Hartz et al. 201032 Zagorska/Zagorskis 1989David 2006. 33 Zagorskis 1973Loze 1988, 23-30, Plates IV-XIII. ...
A collection of 141 bone and antler tools and debitage pieces recovered from the River Užava at the village of Sise constitutes the largest Mesolithic osseous assemblage in western Latvia. Radiocarbon dating of 12 pieces suggests that most of this collection dates from the 6 th millennium calBC. We present a general analysis, highlighting typical and unique tool forms, ornamented and sculpted pieces, and assess the corpus in a wider geographical context. Predominant in this rich and diverse collection are heavy duty antler tools: various forms of adzes, axes and hammers as well as sleeves, made either from shed antler or antler of hunted animals. They include two pieces classifiable as T-axes. Spear- and arrowheads as well as daggers are also present, along with chisels, wedges, awls and other tools. Artistic representations include five sculpted and engraved objects. The heavy duty red deer antler tools have parallels in the region south of the Baltic Sea, whereas the bone projectile forms are familiar from Kunda and Narva Culture sites of the East Baltic; the closest similarity is with osseous assemblages from coastal western Lithuania.
Full-text available
Introduction. The paper deals with the issue of pressure blademaking emergence chronology in the North-Western Caucasus. The possible paths of the innovation diffusion are discussed. Materials and methods. The study of the lithic technology is based on the materials from the Early Holocene layers of the Dvoinaya Cave and the Chygai Rockshelter. The series of AMS dates were obtained for the layers. The earliest use of pressure blademaking was revealed in the layer 4/5 of the Dvoinaya Cave and the layers 3-5 of the Chygai Rockshelter dated to 11,3–8,5 cal kyr BC and 11,1–8,5 cal kyr BC respectively. Results. The full technological context of the bladelet and microbladelet production with the use of pressure was revealed at the Dvoinaya Cave. The blanks were produced from the conical cores with faceted platforms. In layers 3–5 of the Chygai Rockselter the pressure bladelets and microbladelets were discovered. In both cases the metrics of the pressure produced blanks indicate the use of Mode 3 of the pressure technique (pressure with the use of short crutch in a sitting position). Discussion. We don’t consider possible the diffusion of the technique from the Elbrus region of the North Caucasus as there were two technologically distinct traditions that were partly synchronous. The lower chronological range of the Mode 3 pressure emergence in the North-Western Caucasus roughly coincides with the Early Mlefaatian and the Nemrikian in the south and the Early Butovo in the north. The possible intermediate industries dated to the Early Holocene have not been discovered so far in the neighboring regions to the south or to the north of the North-Western Caucasus. Conclusion. The early timе of the complex mode of the pressure technique emergence in the North-Western Caucasus is indicative of the external adoption and an extremely fast pace of the innovation diffusion in the Early Holocene.
Full-text available
An illustrated summary in Swedish of the preliminary results from the excavation of Norje Sunnansund, a Mesolithic site from 7600-6600 cal BC.
Full-text available
Population genetic studies often overlook the evidence for variability and change in past material culture. Here, the authors use a Mesolithic example to demonstrate the importance of integrating archaeological evidence into the interpretation of the Scandinavian hunter-gatherer genetic group. Genetic studies conclude that this group resulted from two singleevent dispersals into Scandinavia before 7500 BC. Archaeological evidence, however, shows at least six immigration events pre-dating the earliest DNA, and that the first incoming groups arrived in Scandinavia before 9000 BC. The findings underline the importance of conducting careful archaeological analysis of prehistoric human dispersal in tandem with the study of ancient population genomics.
The objective of the present study is to estimate the species composition and relative abundance of wild ungulates in the Eurasian forested steppe on the basis of fossil zoological evidence. We used an extensive data set of ungulate remains from more than 570 archaeological sites dated to the Middle and Late Holocene. While the ungulate composition was similar in most forested steppe provinces, our analysis revealed spatialdifferences in the relative abundance of most typical species such as the Wild boar (Sus scrofa), the Red deer (Cervus elaphus), the Elk (Alces alces), the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and the Siberian roe deer (Capreolus pygargus). According to the results obtained, in the western part of the forested steppe zone, from the Pannonian province to the Central Russian one, the relative abundance of the Red deer and the Wild boar was higher than in the eastern part of the forested steppe from the Zavolzhskaya province to the Ob province. Temporal changes in ungulate compositions occurred in the Neolithic and Bronze ages and resulted in the extinction of the European wild ass, the Giant deer, and the Auroch.
Full-text available
This article deals with Mesolithic microblade technology in northern Sweden. The artifacts in question are keeled scrapers, microblade cores, i.e. handle cores (also called wedge-shaped cores) and conical/cylindrical microblade cores, and microblades from Norrland and the provinces of Dalarna and Värmland. It is proposed that microblade production from handle cores was introduced perhaps as early as 7700/7500 BP in northern Sweden, but at least some time during the period 8000—7000 BP. It is possible that this type of core survives right up to ca. 5500 BP. The north Swedish handle core tradition is compared with its neighboring cultures. It is argued that microblade production from oblong handle cores was an innovation that spread from southern Scandinavia or southeastem Norway/western Sweden to northern Sweden during the Early Atlantic period. The Scandinavian handle core tradition as a whole is further compared with its counterparts in northeastern Asia and North America
Full-text available
Wetland sites are widespread through the central and northeastern European Russia. We performed a detailed radiocarbon dating on four such sites within the Upper Volga river basin, and one site within the middle Vychegda river basin (Komi Republic). Most of the sites contain cultural layers documenting human occupation in the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. A variety of sample types were collected: archaeological (bones, bone artefacts, worked and unworked wood, charcoal, carbon residue etc.) and enclosing organic deposits (peat, gyttja, mud). We paid special attention to the stratigraphic relationship of the samples, concerning their archaeological context. Plant macrofossil analysis of organic deposits was performed towards determining their origin and depositional features. This work resulted in a chronology of full Mesolithic and early Neolithic settling within the Upper Volga area, together with new data on Neolithic settling of the Sub-Ural region.
Full-text available
This paper presents new accelerator (AMS) 14C age estimates for the site of Studenoe-2, located in the Transbaikal, southeast Siberia (54°4'N, 108°13'E). Dated samples were collected from clearly defined hearths and living floors, and were unequivocally associated with wedge-shaped core and microblade industries. Resulting age estimates suggest that late Upper Palaeolithic microblade technology emerged in the Transbaikal immediately after the last glacial maximum, as early as 17,800 years ago (BP). On this basis we argue that the Studenoe-2 materials are among the earliest unequivocally dated microblade assemblages in northeast Asia.
Full-text available
The Sujala site in northern Finnish Lapland is a reindeer hunters’ camp from the early postglacial period, discovered by the authors in 2002. The site was originally linked with the Preboreal occupation of the north Norwegian coast, but further excavations and analyses indicate that it actually represents a totally new phenomenon: evidence for an eastern influx into Lapland around the Preboreal–Boreal transition. This discovery has far-reaching implications for the colonisation of north Scandinavia, but also for the subsequent development of Early Mesolithic settlement in northern Finland and Norway.
Until recently ¹ it was admitted that the pressure debitage technique had been invented at the end of the Upper Paleolithic, and its presence in different geographical zones was difficult to explain. Now that we are able to recognize it thanks to advances in experimentation, its invention seems to have been made some 20,000 years ago in the vast area where the Mongoloid people, who were to occupy the Far East, the Beringian zone and America, first appeared. We are going to describe the methodological approach which allowed us to imply pressure debitage as a cultural marker in the history of prehistoric penetration into North America and to show the specificity of this technique in the Paleolithic of North Asia. Our proposal is a development of an unpublished paper presented at the Novosibirsk Symposium in 1990 ² . The opportunity we had then to examine lithic industries from Siberia convinced us of the early use of the pressure technique.