Mining and Processing of Flint in Donbas in the Neolithic Era

Keywords: Donbas, Neolithic, Siverskyi Donets, flint processing, workshops, mining, Donetsk culture, chalk flint

Abstract

Donbas comprises two large geographical areas – elevated (Mohyla Mechetna – 368 m above sea level) Donetsk Ridge and the plain of the North-East Azov region. The outskirts of the Ridge contain numerous deposits of flint of the Cretaceous genesis. The highest quality flint in the form of large concretions is found in the deposits of the Turonian layer of the Upper Cretaceous. In the Neolithic, the occupation of Donbas is non-uniform and the valley of the Siverskyi Donets River is mainly developed.

The main cultural phenomenon of Donbas is the so-called Donetsk culture. The culture has mainly local genesis. In Neolithic times, Donbas becomes a major European center for mining and processing of mineral resources. The Neolithic population living in the Siverskyi Donets basin uses the local alluvial flint of poor quality, as well as flint originating from workshops in Donetsk Ridge area. In the areas rich in geological sources of flint, large crafting centers appear in the Neolithic. The main number of workshops is located in the interfluve of the Bakhmut and Torets on the right bank of the Siverskyi Donets. Here the prerequisites for the development of material-intensive crafting of a variety of flint produced items are formed.

Numerous workshops specialized in primary flint knapping are known in the area. Workshops produce blanks of prismatic cores and produced items with double-sided processing. Mining is developing and flint is extracted in various open-pit mines of simple construction (mainly in quarries on the slopes of chalk hills). The products of the workshops provide the needs of the local population and are spread over a distance of up to 200-300 km.

Some flint produced items get into hoards. The author supports the sacral interpretation of the flint produced items hoards.

At the Neolithic sites of the coastal zone, flint originating from remote geological sources of the South of Donbas is used, and the models of intensive use of raw materials are practiced.

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Published
07.04.2020
How to Cite
KolesnikA. (2020). Mining and Processing of Flint in Donbas in the Neolithic Era. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (1(29), 211-224. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2020.1(29).388
Section
Stone Age