Mammoth hunters

Society mammoth hunters among the most mysterious, as difficult to reconstruction. However, more than centennial excavation sites with bones of mammoths in Eastern and Central Europe and the efforts of various scientists in understanding their results brought us closer to understanding the lifestyle glacial hunters of mammoths. Of particular scientific importance are almost completely Ukrainian archaeologists investigated (first Shovkoplyas IG and IG Pidoplichko) communal settlement with dwellings of mammoth bones – Mizyn, Dobranichivka, Mezhyrich, Radomishl.

Hunters mammoths lived in the middle Mammoth steppe zone, which stretches from the Upper Don by Desna, Middle Dnieper, Volyn, Upper Vistula to the Morava. The basis of their economies were collective hunting mammoths and other large gregarious, seasonally migrating herbivores. Parking lots are usually located in the valleys of the rivers that flow in meridian direction (Don, Desna, Dnieper, Dniester). After all river valleys were by mass spring and autumn migrations of animals. In winter it sheltered from the cold north winds all residents glacial steppe.

Mammoth was the main source of food and other livelihood glacial society. The main weapon for hunting of elephants was cold-loving spear. For example, in North America on the river Naco studied the remains of a young mammoth eight flint-tipped spears in the body.

In 1985 the famous American etnoarheoloh G. Frizon held in a national park Zimbabwe experimental hunt elephants using spears tipped with flint type Clovis [223, p. 766-784]. According to traditional methods of African elephant hunters in hunting involved two to several men. One of them was armed with heavy barbed spear, the other – throwing darts and spysometalkamy.

Elephants grazed family groups of 10-20 animals, which protected the adult females – the leaders (matriarch). Adult males fed separately. One or more spears thrown from a distance of 15 to 20 meters using spysometalky enough to severely injure the animal. In this case, the latter quietly departed from the herd and become easy prey for humans. However, this often occurred only a few days when the animal finally znesylyuvalasya wound. Shoot the entire family of elephants was possible only under the condition that the first kill herd matriarch and will be disorganized.

So spears tipped with flint – effective weapon for hunting elephants. The traditional idea of ​​a collective unit to the mammoth ravine or a bog contradict real strategy hunt elephants.

If the spear hunting mammoths America had with flint tips, in Europe they were made of tusk. This usually large fusiform edge length of 40 cm. Or more. At the funeral in the parking lot Sungir found numerous series of heavy piercing spears of mammoth tusk length rectified to 2.4 m.

Annual economic cycle mammoth hunters divided into two main periods: summer and winter (236, pp. 348, 425, 477). In winter, they lived on the banks of rivers in the communal camp, which consisted of 4-6 round dwellings in terms of diameter 4.5 m. The house had a wooden frame covered with animal skins. Ground obkladalasya of skulls and other large bones of mammoths. Bones are widely used not only as building material, but as a fuel and raw material for making tools, household items, works of art and even for lighting homes. The latter had domed roof outlets mainly in the south, the internal and external focus.

To build housing first mammoth bones were collected around the camp. Finish building it by mammoth bones vpolovanyh [162, p. 21]. Around each dwelling was from two to five so-called meat pits – rounded in terms of diameter and a depth of about 1 m., Which were intended to preserve winter stocks of meat. After the winter community there by reserves taken in autumn in collective hunt migrating north along the year of mammoths and other grazing herd.

With the onset of spring, people leaving basic winter housing of mammoth bones and the entire community moved to the older settlements located in the valley of the river, but topographically higher winter. An example of a summer camp can be a parking lot near the village. Chulatovoho on the gums, which found no remains of fundamental dwellings or meat pits. The absence of the latter shows that the summer diet played an important role fresh meat, vpolovane on summer pasture grazing.

Housing of mammoth bones were of great value to humans because their construction required certain knowledge, effort, scarce building materials (wood, bone, skin). With the onset of autumn primitive groups moved to last year’s winter camps repaired and upgraded housing. On their re-settlement by the fact that the cultural layer on the floor often consisted of several thin horizons [163, p. 91].

Safely wintering dependent on the success of the autumn hunting and stockpiling meat. Migratory animals slaughtered on the north near the winter camp, because in the absence of vehicle shipping large quantities of meat and heavy mammoth bones to park far been impossible. For example, an adult mammoth skull weighs more than 100 kg., And some parking lots found dozens of skulls.

With winter and summer settlements carried out various industrial expedition (hunting, by flint and ocher, etc.). So at a certain distance from these large temporary encampments there were small parking with few residues, short hunting parking places dismemberment of slaughtered animals, extraction of ocher, silicon, silicon processing workshops.

Periodic hunters return to the traditional place of fall and spring hunting led to the formation of multi-sites and groups of sites, such as the numerous camp near the villages of Kostenki on the Don, Pushkar on the gums, Molodove on the Dniester and others.

Characteristic for the mammoth hunters village with 4 b monumental dwellings researchers believe the community. their internal diameter of less than 5 meters. That is the area of ​​family housing were hunters and gatherers all natural and landscaped areas. They lived groups up to 10 people. Thus, the average community mammoth hunters was about 30-40 people [69; 71; 162, p. 48],

The community consisted of several related families were exogamous and patrilokalnoyu, that marriage partners sought outside the community, and in creating a family woman goes to the team man, and not vice versa. This is according to archeology. In particular, the difference between flint products

some houses one village negligible. If men moved to the community of women, each of them would bring with it a tradition of processing silicon, that every housing starts would have a specific flint tools [69, p. 64].

Housing mammoth hunters in the parking lot near the village. Mezhyrich Russia decorated by various ornaments. In addition, traced parallels between the architectural designs of housing and female figurines found in it [210, p. 19]. Tradition group, where a woman came to the community of man ornament displayed in a home full of mistress she was, and the sculpture of a female deity of housing.

Because of the very low density of Late population (one man per 100 km2) communal camp were removed from each other by at least 40-50 km. [11; 60]. They were located along major and secondary rivers that divided the desolate expanse watersheds. Contacts between communities utrudnyuvalysya absence of any means of transport. However, finding parking at some rock crystal, sea shells, ocher, amber, exits are located a few hundred kilometers from the parking lot, showed a very distant likely to exchange links glacial hunters. Parking oldest mammoth hunters of Moravia (Pshedmost, Pavlov, Dolni Vestonytsi) dating from 25-20 thousand., In Ukraine – 20-14 thousand. Years ago.

Society hunters of mammoths disappeared 14-13 thousand. Years ago due to the extinction of the object fisheries. In central Europe, particularly in the Ukrainian steppes and Polesie, the era of reindeer.