Seasons of Use of the Amvrosievka Upper Paleolithic Complex

Keywords: Upper Paleolithic, site, use season, bison



The information about the seasons of the use of the Upper Paleolithic sites allows us to determine their inhabitants’ strategies for providing the means of subsistence and the tenor of life. Stratigraphic and planigraphic methods of studying the cultural layer, as well as the nature of its components are important for determining the season of the site.

For the sites with well-presented faunal fossils, the archeozoological methods are applied – that is the defining of specific, qualitative and quantitative composition of faunal assemblages, study of demography and ethology of hunting objects. Among such methods, the important is the method of determining the age of the animals and the season of their death, based on the study of the correlation between the stages of cutting and wearing of the animals’ teeth in the places of their killing. The use of the method for archaeological material is possible under the condition of its comparing with the materials of a series of contemporary samples which age is known.

To determine the animal's diet and its seasonal changes, the method of determining the content of the remains of the solid radiocarbon, oxygen, and strontium, getting into the body, along with food, water and air, has been recently widely used. The largest amount of them is accumulated in the dental enamel of large herbivores during a fairly short period of teeth formation, in which the isotopic composition is then preserved almost unchanged.

None of the methods is universal or unambiguous. Only the use of a number of methods and their mutual verification can bring us closer to getting reliable results.

The seasons of the use of Amvrosievka Upper Palaeolithic Complex were determining by different researchers for decades applying different methods: warm (end of May-June) – based on the findings of the bones of calves of the «uterine age» (I.G. Pidoplychko); the end of the warm-cold (end of summer-autumn, winter) – based on the sex-age composition of the 1940s assemblage and the findings of the bones of calves under the age of several months (V.I. Zubareva (Bybykova)); cold (winter) – based on the age composition, wearing and cutting of the teeth from the assemblage of 1986-88 (N.G. Bilan, A.V. Starkin); cold (October, December, March) – based on wearing and cutting teeth from the assemblage of 1935, 1980-1990 (L.С. Todd); as a «palimpsest» from various hunting episodes that occurred in different seasons of the year – according to the applying of isotopic analysis based on the samples of dental enamel (M.-A. Julien et al.). All definitions supplement each other, providing a better understanding of the nature of the site and the possibility of its more correct interpretation.


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How to Cite
KrotovaO. (2018). Seasons of Use of the Amvrosievka Upper Paleolithic Complex. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, 3(3 (23), 84-88. Retrieved from
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