Archaeology in the U.S.S.R.*
Arkhaeologiya v SSSR
Early Man in Transcaucasia
Palaeontological, archaeological, as well as geological evidence allow the supposition that Transcaucasia (that is the area south of the Caucasus range proper) was one of the areas where the transformation of ape to man could have taken place. In 1939 in eastern Georgia, at a place called Udabno, remains of apes with human features were discovered. These apes had  lived at the end of the Tertiary Period and are called scientifically from the place of discovery Udabnopithecus...
In 1946-8 on the hill of Satani-Dar (about 150 km. southwest of Tiflis) situated near Mt Bogutlu in Armenia, rough obsidian tools of the oldest type came to light, belonging to the Chellean Period. These are the oldest tools so far found in the USSR. This is a firm link in the chain of evidence supporting the view that the southern areas of the USSR lay in the area where the complete emergence of man from animal existence took place. [Chellean or Abbevillian, Acheulian and Mousterian are the most important divisions of the Lower Palaeolithic Period according to the types of tool in use. The tools from Satani-Dar are regarded as early Acheulian by some Western archaeologists, many of whom would not entirely agree with the author's observations. T.]
The oldest late Chellean tools in Satani-Dar are rough, large, almond-shaped hand-axes [the characteristic tool of the earliest Palaeolithic Period. T.]; thick flakes, lightly chipped around the edge and at the end; lumps of obsidian shaped into rough chopping tools (Fig. 5).
In 1946-7 a site with tools of a very archaic type was found at Luka-Vrub1evetskaya on the left bank of the Dnestr (about 300 km. north-west of Odessa). The classification of these tools as Chellean is uncertain, for it depends merely on the appearance of the tools. The fact is that archaeologists generally do not find Chellean tools in an undisturbed site but only as loose objects. This is because the layer of earth in which Chellean  tools were incorporated has been washed away by water, disturbed by movements of the earth's crust and other causes in the course of the hundreds of thousands of years that have elapsed since they were first discarded.
In Satani-Dar not only Chellean tools but also Acheulian tools of a later period were found. These bear witness to the long occupation of Armenia in the course of the Old Stone Age. Tools of the Acheulian Period were better finished, of  more regular shape, more carefully chipped. Acheulian hand-axes have a more definite working edge than was usually achieved in the rough work on Chellean hand-axes. This better finish is often unnoticed at first glance and even seems unimportant, yet it demanded considerable labour and time.
Other lower palaeolithic sites have been found in Armenia, and on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Here dozens of sites were found in 1934-6 by an expedition of the Academy of Sciences. The best studied site was Yashtukh (about 350 km. north-west of Tiflis). During Acheulian times when this area was occupied the level of the Black Sea was 60 m. higher than now. In Quaternary times terraces or raised beaches were formed 30-100 m. above present sea level and on one of these was the site of Yashtukh. [Raised beaches formed at a time of higher sea level and occasionally with an associated palaeolithic industry are known from elsewhere, especially by the Mediterranean coast. T.] Lower palaeolithic industries have also been found in several places in the Ukraine, and in Turkmenia on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
The Upper Palaeolithic Period lasted from 40,000 to 12,000 years ago. This is the so-called Late Glacial Period when the severity of climate was most extreme. In much larger areas of Europe and northern Asia than formerly, a landscape of tundra or cold steppe with islands of northern forest obtained.
Development of Primitive Man
The change to the Upper Palaeolithic Age was expressed in important changes in the way of life of primitive man. New techniques and forms of economy appeared and even the physical appearance of man underwent changes. Men made their appearance without the animal characteristics conspicuous in Neanderthal man; upright carriage was fully developed, as was the hand, to its modern form, allowing an exact command of movements. As a whole upper palaeolithic people hardly differed at all from modern people. The working of flint reached  a high level. In the Mousterian Period triangular flakes were struck from disc-shaped cores, but now cores were conical and elongated thin flakes called blades were struck off from one end (Fig. 6).
Upper Palaeolithic Sites
The Upper Palaeolithic Period in the USSR is well studied. Systematic and planned researches have led to the discovery of a great number of sites of different dates, in some cases in the same area, which has allowed study of the peculiarities of development of palaeolithic culture in a particular region. Soviet archaeologists have discovered the most northern palaeolithic sites in the world, such as Talitskaya near Perm (named after the archaeologist who first dug the site and was killed in the Second World War) and a series of sites on the river Lena in the Yakut SSR. As a result of many years' work by several expeditions, compact groups of sites have been found and studied. Thus at Voronezh, on the Don, in a length of 30 km. along the riverside no fewer than twenty palaeolithic stations of different periods have been found. The Kostenki-Borshevo region on the Don contains one of the most important concentrations of upper palaeolithic sites in the world. On the banks of the Desna near Novgorod-Seversk some seventeen sites are known.
These groups of sites are generally situated in the valleys of large rivers, and they testify to an appreciable growth in the primitive population, especially in favourably situated areas. In the European part of the USSR sites are known from an [89-illustration]  extensive area, from south White Russia [Belarus] to West Georgia. A glance at the distribution map (Fig. 4)
One of the most interesting problems studied by archaeologists of the Palaeolithic Period relates to local variations in culture of primitive society.
Soviet scholars have come to the conclusion that none of the observable differences of culture in primitive society is original. These differences are due to historical causes. Throughout lower palaeolithic times the technical equipment of primitive man was so weak, the culture so backward that the latter was expressed in similar forms in widely separated parts of the globe. Only because of dependence on varying natural environments several local variations of culture made themselves felt. The higher cultural level of upper palaeolithic man led to different results and in this case several important cultural areas can be distinguished which owe their differences to prolonged geographical influences experienced by man in each area. These areas are: the African and Mediterranean area, the European periglacial area, and the Chinese and Siberian area. ...
In the opinion of Soviet scholars the Upper Palaeolithic Period in our country can be divided into three great regions: (1) east European plain; (2) Siberia; (3) southern regions, which did not experience direct influences of glaciation, that is, the Crimea, Caucasus, and central Asia. In each of these some local peculiarities of technique, economy, and culture were manifested. Although both the east European plain and Siberia were partially glaciated, the differences in culture between the two areas are fairly significant. Evidently this was due to the fact that Siberia was isolated from Europe by the southward movement of the ice sheet and the northward transgression of  the Caspian Sea, which produced a difference of culture on either side of the barrier. The inhabitants of the third area enjoyed an environment in which warmth-loving animals and plants also lived, so that here gathering of plants was carried out to a greater extent than in the north, while fishing and the use of the bow and arrow were started earlier. Each area was occupied by a large number of small primitive clan communities separated by extensive unoccupied areas.
As was said above, upper palaeolithic sites are very widely spread in the European part of the USSR. This is not the place to list all or even the most important of them. It is desirable only to remark that in other Soviet republics outside the RSFSR [which includes Siberia. T.] research is carried out on palaeolithic sites. In the Ukraine a large group of scientists is at work; in White Russia (Belorussia, north of Ukraine) work is also carried on; while mention has been made above of researches in Armenia. In 1926 an aurignacian deposit was discovered in the cave of Devis-Khvreli (in west Georgia), when  the existence of palaeolithic remains in Georgia was first proved. In 1936 an upper palaeolithic cave site was excavated at Sakazhia (about 200 km. west-north-west of Tiflis) and other sites have since been excavated. In 1951-3 archaeologists of the area carried out excavations at the cave of Sagvarjile. This contained numerous layers from the lower palaeolithic to the first centuries A.D. In the upper palaeolithic levels, together with obsidian and flint tools were also found bone darts and awls. One awl made from a long bone was in the form of a fish, whose tail was decorated with herring-bone ornament. There were pendants of plaster decorated in the same way, a bone pin, and a necklace of nineteen perforated shells from southern seas was also found. The search for palaeolithic remains in Georgia continues.
Extensive searches for palaeolithic remains are being made in central Asia. Outside Uzbekistan, which was mentioned above, palaeolithic remains have been found in Tajikistan, Kirgizia, Turkmenia, and Kazakhistan. As the result of work in 1938-53 the following parts of central Asia and Kazakhistan yielded evidence of occupation in the Old Stone Age: the western part of Turkmenia along the shores of the Caspian Sea, the district of Baisun-Tau, the lower parts of the rivers Vakhsh and Kapirnigan, the central part of Tien-Shan, the valley of the Irtysh between Lake Zaisan and Samipalatinsk.
At the end of the Upper Palaeolithic Period great changes took place in the economy and way of life on the east European plain. The Ice Age drew to a close, the climate became warmer. Hitherto the characteristic large settlements with dwellings had as their basis the hunting of mammoth; now at the end of the Palaeolithic Period mammoth and woolly rhinoceros were encountered less frequently and the smaller animals were hunted instead. For hunting large animals like mammoth none of the lower palaeolithic implements had been effective. In upper palaeolithic times more accomplished implements appeared, capable of piercing the thick skin of a mammoth, but the basic method of hunting remained the battue, whereby the hunted  beasts were driven into a vulnerable position. An illustration of such hunting is provided by the conditions on the site found at Afontova Mountain near Krasnoyarsk. Mammoths were driven to a precipice over which they fell and broke their limbs. Success in the hunting of small animals on the other hand depended to a significant degree upon the refinement of the hunting weapon. Flint arrowheads were improved and bone began to be used also. Together with hunting, fishing became important.
The large settlements with permanent winter dwellings disappeared, and occupation became less fixed, or even migratory. The picture of such changes became clear from observations on the cultural layers at the site of Gontsi in the Ukraine on the right bank of the river Udai. In the lower layers remains of permanent settlement came to light including winter earth- houses, burnt material, and great piles mammoth bones. The upper cultural layer was thin and contained remains of only a light hut and material burnt in the open fire.
In the post-glacial period a gradual transformation to a new historical epoch took place, the so-called Neolithic Period (New Stone Age). This transitional stage constitutes a separate period which is called the Mesolithic Period (from the Greek words mesos middle, and lithos stone), or Middle Stone Age (called epipalaeolithic by those who regard it as the final phase of the Palaeolithic Period. This period covers the time between 10,000 and 5,000 B.C.). In the Mesolithic Period there is a significant movement of people northwards to the areas formerly occupied by ice sheets. In eastern Europe people pushed forward in a comparatively short time to the shores of the Baltic, the upper reaches of the Dnepr and Volga, and farther north.
The most important change in technique in the Mesolithic Period was the general adoption of the bow and arrow, raising immeasurably the productivity of hunting economy. There is evidence that the dog was now first domesticated by people living mainly by hunting and fishing. Together with hunting an important part was again played by gathering. Man ate edible  molluscs, fruit, and berries in great quantities in the more favourable natural conditions of post-glacial times.
The Mesolithic Period is less well studied throughout the world than the Old Stone Age [except in Scandinavia and the British Isles. T.]. This is because hunters and gatherers of the Mesolithic Period lived a semi-nomadic life, and the cultural deposits they have left contain few remains. Many settlements or temporary camps were set on sand dunes where the cultural deposit is subject to wind and is easily eroded. Sites of longer occupation are often in caves.
In the USSR remains of the Mesolithic Period are well known in the Crimean caves of Shan-Koba and Murzak-Koba, in Georgia, on the river Oka and the upper Volga, and elsewhere.
Soviet archaeologists have not only advanced the study of the Palaeolithic Period by their discoveries, but have brought about a transformation in the study of the social development, economy, and ideology of the period. The general works of Soviet archaeologists have not only solved problems of the Palaeolithic Period in the Soviet Union but have put these problems in their world setting...
Problems of the most ancient history of Europe cannot be settled without study of its eastern parts, above all of the European part of the USSR. In order to resolve many problems of world history in its initial stages Soviet and foreign scholars will have to collaborate. ...
Soviet archaeologists have traced out the earliest history of the USSR beginning with the first appearance of man on its territory, and the undoubted fact is established that the culture of the most ancient population of the country did not fall below the level of culture of any other areas occupied in the Old Stone Age.
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