(ORDO NEWS) — In the Severshchina, not far from the village of Mizin in Ukraine, there is one of the oldest and most unique human settlements – and it was discovered in the parking lot.
The now known archaeological site, known simply as the Mizinskaya site, dates back to 18-20 thousand years. Two elaborately carved mammoth bone bracelets were found at this site, leading to the unraveling of a fantastic Stone Age find.
The beginning of research on this site dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century, in the summer of 1908, in the neighboring village of Psarivka (today near Desnyansk). Archaeologist Fyodor Vovk and his student Sergei Rudenko hired a farm for their summer vacation.
In a nearby forest, he found a small flint of obviously deliberate splitting. This prompted the scientist to investigate the situation at the site, and he was able to identify the find as belonging to “a Paleolithic site of the late Paleolithic of the Madeleine era.”
Vovk presented a report on the finds at a congress of archaeologists at the end of that year. In addition, he exhibited 72 animal bones and several small showcases with flint tools as an exhibit.
With these clues pointing to ancient activity in the area, excavations begun in 1908 were continued under the direction of Vovk, and in 1909 by his students P. Efimenko and V. Sakharov.
A selection of prehistoric tools from a similar period
One of the most characteristic features of the dwelling that archaeologists found at the Mizin site were five round dwellings, each of which had a diameter of about seven meters and an area of up to 25 square meters.
Reconstruction of a Paleolithic dwelling in Mizyn
These domed dwellings included mammoth bones in their construction and resembled the “plagues” of the northern peoples: they were built from wooden poles, covered with animal skins, and outside they were sheathed with animal bones and horns. Nearby were places for processing stone and bones.
In addition to residential and utility buildings, many original highly artistic products made from mammoth tusk were found in this area: idol sculptures, stylized female figurines, figurines of animals, birds, skillfully engraved mammoth bones, the world’s first ensemble of musical instruments, bracelets with, perhaps, the first world ornament.
It is not known how the bracelets were made, and in particular how they were bent using the limited technology available 18,000 years ago.
The patterns on the bracelet were made using deep engraving and red dye on flat plates of mammoth tusk.
Bracelet from Mizyn
Studying the bracelet, the Soviet historian Boris Frolov drew attention to the fact that the ornament of the bracelets has five zones, three of which consist of a meander in the form of a swastika, and two of zigzags.
Studying the first three zones, in which there were 30 meanders, which in turn consisted of 12 lines, the researcher drew attention to Ancient Egypt, where the calendar was created by Egyptian priests in the 4th millennium BC, had 360 days a year and consisted of 12 months .
Later they began to add 5 additional days, which were not included in any month and were dedicated to the memory of the deceased.
Based on this, he suggested that 30 meanders mean the days of the month, and 12 lines – the months themselves. And if you multiply 30 by 12, you get 360, that is, the ancient Egyptian year. Based on this, it can be assumed that the Egyptian calendar could have originated in the Stone Age.
Next, the researcher focused on two zones, which consist of zigzag lines. In the first zone – 6 zigzags with 7 lines in each, therefore, 42 lines.
In the second zone – 8 zigzags on 7 lines, 56 lines in total. And in general – 14 zigzags, 98 lines. Frolov knew that in the archaic lunar calendar of the Chukchi people living in the far east of Asia, there were 14 weeks of 7 days, a total of 98 days.
A Chukchi family in front of their home near the Bering Strait. Drawing by Louis Choris in the summer of 1816
Thus, the ancient lunisolar calendar arose before the researcher. One can imagine the surprise of other scientists when they learned that the bracelet is an ancient calendar!
Another ancient calendar
However, this is not the only Paleolithic complex where the oldest calendar was found. In 1871, between the villages of Dukhov and Ginchi (now the Lubensky district of the Poltava region), a Paleolithic site was found, the excavations of which began in 1873 by the Lubensky archaeologist and teacher F. I. Kaminsky.
Academician Vladimir Vernadsky attracted all the attention to this parking lot. Like the researcher of Poltava antiquities Alexander Suprunenko, V. Vernadsky began the study of the monument in 1915.
During the expedition of the Natural History Museum of the Poltava province, excavations of one of the Ginchi dwellings of the late Paleolithic camp were provided, organized by V. M. Shcherbakovsky, who obtained ancient materials.
Excavations at the Ginchi site are ongoing to this day, and the most valuable find that was discovered there is an engraved mammoth tusk aged 10-15 thousand years.
Based on the research of the American historian and archaeologist Alexander Marshak, it was found that the alternation of long and short marks on the tusks is a lunar calendar that reflects the observations of the primitive man on the phases of the moon.
Unfortunately, at a key moment, the artifact was lost. According to one version, the monument was destroyed by a fire that arose after the bombing during the Second World War.
According to another version, the artifact was destroyed even earlier, during the civil war of 1918-1920, or taken abroad for preservation in 1922, when the researcher of the aforementioned site V. Shcherbakovsky emigrated to Prague.
Historians and archaeologists still cannot understand why primitive hunters needed a calendar, and how they knew the exact time of the phases of the moon and the period of rotation of the Earth around the Sun, which is equivalent to a year. But this mystery is yet to be solved.
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