10,000-year-old Mesolithic Settlements discovered in Russia

The mystery behind the modern-day human civilisation’s evolution still has many layers that haven’t been explored even after years of research in the field. New discoveries and research often expose us to some of the other interesting facts. The latest addition to this list is the unearthing of a 10,000-year settlement that was recently discovered by a team of Russian archaeologists. The team from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Science recently excavated traces of Mesolithic settlements near the Veletma River in Russia, reported the heritagedaily.com. The settlement reportedly dates back to over 10,000 years ago and is from the early stages of the Butovo culture which is described as the communities of Mesolithic hunter‐gatherers that primarily occupied the upper catchment area of the forest zone in Western Russia. During this period.

Glaciers covering major parts of Eurasia have already retreated, and the region’s megafauna is mostly extinct.

While evidence of Mesolithic activity in the region had previously been identified in the 1970s and 1980s, it’s the first time that a systematic excavation has been conducted. The excavation was conducted to estimate the extent of archaeological remains before the construction of the M12- Moscow -Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan highway.

During the excavation process, the team of archaeologists studied five sites spanning over an area of more than 10,000 square metres. The sites included Maloye Okulovo – 10, Maloye Okulovo -11, Maloye Okulovo -19, Maloye Okulovo – 20 and Malookulovskaya – 3

The findings featured objects of later eras from the Neolithic, Bronze, and Early Iron Age.

While researchers found traces of possible dwelling at Malookulovskaya-3, findings at Maloye Okulovo -11, Malookulovskaya-3 and Maloye Okulovo -19 suggested that they were probably seasonal Mesolithic sites. The materials discovered at these sites indicated hunting and fishing by the accumulation of flint artefacts and a large number of animal and fish bones.

At almost all the sites, the team unearthed various flint artefacts including scrapers, arrowheads, punctures and fragments of an axe. Meanwhile, Maloye Okulovo-19 also had a large accumulation of waste from flint production suggesting that the site was the centre for manufacturing weapons and flint tools

Speaking about the findings, Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Navashinsky detachment of the IARAS said that findings near the sites fit into the character of the Butovo archaeological culture which was common during that time in the Volga-Oka interfluve.

He added that the findings will help to compare the features of this Mesolithic culture with objects from earlier, and later periods of human history.

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