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2019-10-31 08:36:36   •   ID: 2131

Gravettian from the Middle Dnjestr Valley

Figure 1
Figure 1 and 2: This is a pointed blade with dorsal semi-abrupt retouches and flat retouches at the apical ventral side from the Middle Dnjestr Region, diplaying the characteristics of a "Point de Pavlov".

These designation is sometimes used in textbooks, dealing with the Central / Eastern European Gravettian. A similar item can be found in the book of M. Oliva about the Paleolithic and Mesolithic of Moravia and his Monograph about the Milovice I site (p178) and multiple examples are displayed in the Předmostí Monograph of Absolon and Klima.

Not every Pointed blade is a "Pavlov Type Blade". A Point de Pavlov is a pointed blade with bilateral direct semi-abrupt retouches on the dorsal side and a flat retouche on the apical and/or basal ventral side. Smaller examples, made from bladelets were described as "Point de Milovice" in the thesis of Michaela Polanska (2019)

Notably I did not found any detailed description in the literature nor microtraceological studies. Some Authors suggest the use as an armature.

Central and East Europe during the Gravettian are characterized by different local developments in lithics, lifestyle, ritual and art. The Middle Danube cluster (with the Wachau and Pavlov / Dolni Vestonice clusters) is in many respect different from the Molodova / middle Dnjestr clusters.

Figure 2
Pointed blades with lateral retouches are an important component in some “Pavlovian / Eastern Gravettian” ensembles (for example at Willendorf II and Aggsbach / Lower Austria) and are common in the “Facies II” of the Pavlovian which is characterized by the use of marginal retouches, pointed blades and by a reduced number of microliths (Předmostí; Dolní Věstonice II middle and upper strata, Willendorf II; 6/7/8 and Langenlois).

At Moravany nad Vahom in Slovakia, Zotz illustrated a lot of large pointed and retouched Blades from a Willendorf -Kostenki context, some with a „Pavlov“ aspect (see attached file).

During the Gravettian of Molodova (Molodova V, Stratum 10 and 8) these Pavlov Points are common. While they play an eminent role before 25 k.a., they are more rare during the later ensembles with shouldered points (Molodova V, Stratum 7).

A similar phenomenon was reported from Mitoc-Malu Galben (Romania)

D. Nuzhnyi noticed that the data base has broadened during the last 30 years, leading to a much more differentiated picture about the Gravettian in the Western Ukraine. He proposes 2 Gravettian-Facies probably with chronometric meaning.

A total of thirteen eastern Gravettian assemblages are currently known from western Ukraine, most of which are situated in the basin of the Middle and Upper Dnestr river: Molodova 5, layers X – VII; Molodova 1, layers I and II; Korman 4, layers VII and VI; Oselivka 1, layers III and II; Babin 1, lower and middle layers; Voronovitsa 1, lower and upper layers; and Mezhygirtsy 1.

"The main difference between these industries is seen in the typology of various backed microliths and points (e.g. bifacial points, Pavlov-type points or shouldered points, fléchettes etc.). In contrast to marked differences in these lithics, which are interpreted as projectile implements, other tools (e.g. burins, scrapers, truncated blades, awls etc.) show surprising similarities, an observation that also accounts for the reduction sequences of prismatic blade cores.

Figure 3
During the first phase, dated to 28 700 to 27 070 BP and found at Molodova 5, layer X (and layer IX ?) as well as Mezhigirtsy 1, rare leaf shaped or sub-triangular shaped bifacial points with biconvex cross-section coexist with short “Pavlov points” and small backed or truncated microliths. The latter include microgravettes, fléchettes, rectangles, “denticulated” backed forms and shouldered bladelets.

The second phase falls within the time range 25 000 to 23 000 BP and is observed at Molodova 5, layer VII and possibly layer VIII. It is at this point in time that the first shouldered points appear in the Dnestr basin. In addition, the most representative microlithic assemblage of Molodova 5, layer VII includes numerous “Vachons” points of various sizes, and long “Pavlov points”. Whereas bifacial points are absent, unifacial tools characteristic for the first phase are less numerous
". (D. Nuzhnyi 2009)

The richness of these ensembles is astonishing and the non-excavated sites at the Dnjestr bear enormous Archeological potential for future excavations.

Figure 3: A View on the Middle Dnjestr Valley (Wikipedia Commons; Author: Julian Nyca)