Moscow University

“Hoards” of the flint tools of the Upper Paleolithic settlement of Avdeevo at the Seym region

Kolesnik A.V. (1), Yaniushkina A.S. (2)

1) Donetsk National University: Universitetskaya st., 24, Donetsk, 283001; 2) Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anuchin Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Mochovaya st., 11, Moscow, 125009, Russia

Kolesnik Alexander, Doct. Hab.,; Yaniushkina Anastasia,


Materials: The Upper Paleolithic population of Eastern Europe, which belonged to various cultural traditions, practiced a custom to hide treasures of flint tools, various on their contents, in the ground. Nearly all such hoards were found on settlements of Kostenki-Avdeevo and Kamennaia Balka and the hoards are rarely found outside settlements. About 15 complexes that can be defined as hoards of flint tools have been found during the archeological excavations of the Avdeevo settlement. In different years, M.D. Gvozdover, G.P. Grigoriev and E.V. Bulochnikova worked at the Avdeevo archeological site on Seym River. The most of treasures come from pits-storages. These hoards include specially selected large high-quality flint plates and tools made of them. A lot of plates were found in blocks. Flint plates from hoards are bigger in size than average lithic cores from an occupation layer of the settlement. It is possible that some of the high-quality flint plates arrived at the settlement in already finished form. A considerable part of plates has the processed ends that are characteristic of Kostenki type knives. Probably, hoards were composed of half-finished knives and knives at an initial stage of use. Results: Based on the archival materials and archaeological collection from funds of Scientific Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology of MSU, the complexes from some squares (“Э-12”,“Д-11”), pits-storages N 68 and 288 were analyzed. These complexes can be divided into two groups. The first variant is small portable sets of plates, i.e. backpack sets. The representative hoard is one from sq. Д-12 that contains 13 plates chopped off two lithic cores. These treasures are found as small compact congestions of tools. The second variant is sets of complex structure that were intentionally laid out at the bottom of pits-storages. Expensive products made of bone or mammoth tusk can accompany these sets. These complexes have internal structure. The complex in the lower part of pit №288 consisted of flint tools laid out horizontally on the painted surface, a block of four plates standing vertically near the pit wall, and other objects. Half-finished knives of Kostenki type prevail among plates. A specific place is held by a complex from sq. “Д-11” were a figurine made of mammoth tusk, bone artifacts, and two flint plates that lied directly under the figurine was found. Both plates are chopped off from one lithic core. Conclusion: We suggest that this type of an archaeological source has a complex semiotics status.


archaeology; Upper Paleolithic; Kostenkovsko-Avdeevo culture unity; toolkits; the Kostenki type knife; Museum of Anthropology of MSU

DOI: 10.32521/2074-8132.2018.3.141-152

Цит.: Kolesnik A.V., Yaniushkina A.S. “Hoards” of the flint tools of the Upper Paleolithic settlement of Avdeevo at the Seym region // Moscow University Anthropology Bulletin (Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seria XXIII. Antropologia), 2018; 3/2018; с. 141-152

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