Topography of Stone Age Sites of the North-West Black Sea Region (on the Example of the Upper Paleolithic Sites of Anetivka Area)
A large number of Stone Age sites have been discovered so far in the steppes of the North-West Black Sea region. The gained evidence is widely used for cultural and historical as well as social and economic reconstruction of the life of prehistoric groups of people.
In the context of the discoveries of the Stone Age sites on the watersheds, a provisional hypothesis was put forward on the seasonal location of nomad camps at different hypsometric levels. According to this hypothesis, the camps on high terrain (on a plateau) were used for observation and were short-term seasonal nomad camps during the warm season. In the cold season, prehistoric people most likely lived in places protected from the winds, close to water and fuel sources on the terrace-like ledges of the banks.
During field surveys in the valley of the river Bakshala, near the villages of Anetivka and Shchutske, about 30 Paleolithic sites were discovered. At some of them (Anetivka-1, Anetivka-2, Anetivka-13, Anetivka-22) stationary archaeological studies were conducted.
According to the amount of gained evidence, the known sites of Anetivka area can be divided into two groups: the sites with different degrees of preservation of the cultural layer (at some of them the stationary archaeological studies were conducted) and sites with surface findings.
The sites are represented by different amounts of surface findings: from assemblages with dozens of flint items to assemblages with hundreds of produced items. At some sites, the prospect holes were sunk. Most of the sites preliminary, according to the flint complexes, can be dated to the Upper Paleolithic.
The sites are located at different hypsometric levels – from the watershed to the river floodplain, and some sites are associated with gully systems. Moreover, irrespective of the culture and chronology, the sites with a different number of assemblages are located at different levels.
At the moment, we have practically no (or they are very fragmented) reasons (except for the settlement of Anetivka-2) to identify the seasonal character of the Upper Paleolithic sites in the North-West Black Sea region. A similar situation is observed for the Mesolithic sites of the studied territory, where relatively complete information is available only about two sites of Bilolissya and Myrne, which were some time ago studied by V.N. Stanko.
The issues of seasonal character, duration of occupation, and similar aspects of the life of prehistoric groups in the steppes of the North-West Black Sea region are still far from their final solution. And they should be solved with the involvement and analysis of all available data for each site separately, and not by simply listing the species composition of the fauna. Using a modern database, with a certain degree of probability, we can only talk about the economic specifics of a site or a separate area.
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