Fossil Bone Implements in the Industry of the Early Paleolithic Site Bogatyri/ Sinyaya Balka (Taman Peninsula)
Fossil Bone Implements in the Industry of the Early Paleolithic Site Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka (Taman Peninsula)
S.A. Kulakov1, 2, E.Y. Girya2, and V.V. Titov3 1Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia 2Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dvortsovaya nab. 18, St. Petersburg, 191186, Russia 3Southern Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Chekhova 41, Rostov-on-Don, 344006, Russia
We describe three processed fossilized bones of sea mammals of the Miocene age, discovered in various years, but in similar stratigraphic and planigraphic contexts, at the Early Paleolithic site Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka, on the northern coast of the Taman Peninsula. We provide information on the age, stratigraphy, and planigraphy of the site, interpreted as a place for butchering carcasses of elephants and rhinoceroses (elasmotheres). Results of traceological analysis suggest that two fossilized seal bones had been split by the counterstrike technique on soft (wooden or bone) anvils, while the third bone had been more thoroughly processed. All three specimens may have been collected from coastal deposits. Fossilized seal bones were evidently used as raw material along with rocks and animal bones of the Taman faunal complex. Small and inconvenient as they are, such bones provided the hardest isotropic material available at the site. That their use was not incidental is convincingly demonstrated by artifact No. 1, found in 2005. The point made on this bone is situated in the middle of an intentionally prepared blade, in a notch fashioned by shallow retouch. This bone tool is quite similar to other points in the Early Paleolithic industry of Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka. Tools of that category differ in shape and size, but are similar because of a special morphological element— a point (bec, borer, etc.) shaped by a combination of retouch and small encoches at any suitable place in the blank such as jointing or spall.
Keywords: Early Paleolithic, Northern Eurasia, Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka, Paleolithic industries, fossilized bone artifacts, morphological and traceological analyzes