Palaeolithic Calendar

25 Feb 2018

At ... a Palaeolithic camp site found in the Ukraine in the 20th century is perhaps the oldest known human settlement site known - or is not too far from that status. It dates back 18 to 20,000 years ago. Finds included 2 intricately carved mammoth bones bracelets - which led to an amazing line of research. Back in 1908 archaeologist Fedir Vovk found an interesting piece of worked flint and decided to probe the ground to find some more examples - eventually uncovering the Palaeolithic village. There were five round dwelling, around 23 feet in diameter, and the village comprised a total area of 270 square feet.


 ... the dwellings incorporated mammoth bones in their construction and were covered, it is thought, in hides of animals. They actually resemble the houses of northern peoples built of wooden poles and covered in skins, externally bound with animal bones and horns etc. Also found were artifacts made out of ivory (mammoth tusks), an early musical instrument, and the bracelets. The design on the bracelets was deeply etched - and red dye was also used. Soviet historian Boris Frolov drew attention to patterns and compared them to early lunar calendars in use by northern peoples. This indicates people were drawn to the sky even prior to the end of the Ice Age and the same calendar system continued into the relatively recent past.