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Stratum plus. 2020. No1

D. L. Haskevych (Kiev, Ukraine)

Vasilyevka II Cemetery. Individuals of the Middle Danube origin on the Dnieper Rapids on the eve of the Neolithic?

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Pages: 147-184

Vasilyevka II cemetery dated to the late 8th—7th millennium cal BC was excavated by Abram Stolyar in 1953. Its anthropological materials are among the most studied in the Dnieper Rapids region. On the basis of their analysis, ideas were put forward about two craniological groups of the Meso-Neolithic population in the area, the significant role of plant food (including cereals) in the nutrition of some inhabitants, the possible presence of migrants among the latter. The development of these ideas is hindered by the extreme scarcity of data about the cemetery and inventory due to the lack of field reports and publication, as well as the loss of the finds.
Generalization of all available information and searching for analogues has enabled to suggest that several bearers of the Middle Danube Lepenski Vir culture were buried in the cemetery. This is indicated by mentions of numerous perforated cyprinid pharyngeal teeth and spiral shells of mollusks of possibly Mediterranean origin. Such beads of fish teeth are also found nearby in the cemetery of Skelya-Kamenolomnya. The proposed hypothesis is indirectly confirmed by similar funerary rites and craniological characteristics of the buried from Vasilyevka II and the Mesolithic settlements in the Iron Gates, the presence of carriers of the same DNA groups there, the frequent records of torus mandibularis and common δ13C values which are not typical for the buried in other Dnieper Rapids cemeteries.

Keywords: Northern Black Sea area, Late Mesolithic, Neolithic, cemeteries, body decoration, craniology, stable carbon isotope ratios, migration

Information about author:

Dmytro Haskevych
(Kiev, Ukraine). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Geroev Stalingrada Ave., 12, Kiev, UA-04210, Ukraine.
E-mail: [email protected]

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