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Stratum plus. 2013. №1

V. N. Stepanchuk (Kiev, Ukraine)

Mira: Early Upper Palaeolithic Site in the Dnieper Valley




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Pages: 15-110


The monograph studies the materials of Mira, a highly informative multilayered Early Upper Palaeolithic site in the Sub-Rapids area of the Dnieper river. The site is characterized by a unique preservation of both stone and organic objects. Chapter І contains natural science data about the geomorphological situation in the site area, gives an account of the history of archaeological explorations at Mira, and describes the methodology of excavation. Chapter ІІ deals with the site stratigraphy as well as paleoclimatic and paleolandscape evidence. Chapter ІІІ presents a detailed analysis of the site taphonomy, leading to the conclusion that both cultural layers dated to 28—27 ky 14 C BP are homogenous. Chapter ІV provides a description of the spatial structure of the studied cultural layers, with primary attention given to the object distribution patterns and the remains of a dwelling construction. Chapter V analyzes in detail the faunal series, and contains an attempt to reconstruct the econiche characteristics, season, and duration of habitation. In particular, it is concluded that layer I of Mira represents the remains of a seasonal (probably fallwinter) camp of hunters, whose main prey were wild horses. Chapter VI analyzes lithic and bone industry of the site. The closest analogy to Mira, layer I can be seen in the archaic EUP of the Kostenki area, especially in the Gorodtsovskaya industry. The bifacial technology of layer I of Mira and the morphology of bifacial tools demonstrate analogies with some regional Middle Palaeolithic industries with bifacial points. Layer II/2 Mira finds good analogies in the Aurignacian of the Apennine peninsula. Chapter VI summarizes the evidence provided by the site, defines the position of Mira among the East European sites dating to the period of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, and reconsiders some problems associated with the study of this period in the light of new data.


Keywords: Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Mira, Early Upper Palaeolithic, chronology, stratigraphy, taphonomy, stone and bone industry


Information about author:

Vadim Stepanchuk
(Kiev, Ukraine). Doctor of Historical Sciences. Archaeology Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Geroev Stalingrada Pr., 12, Kiev, 04210, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]

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