image/svg+xml7XIII/1/2022INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.euArchaeozoological Analysis of Animal Remains from the Mesolithic Site of Kukrek Culture Igren 8 (Ukraine)Alina Stupak1,2*, Leonid Gorobets1, Viktoria Smagol1, Leonid Zalizniak31Department of Paleontology, National Museum of Natural History, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, 01030, 15 Bohdan Khmelnitsky Street, Ukraine2Department of Archaeology, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Skovorody 2, Kyiv 0470, Ukraine3Department of Stone Age, Institute of Archaeology, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, 04210, 12 Heroiv Stalingrada Avenue, Ukraine1. IntroductionThe archaeological site Igren 8 is a seasonal settlement of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherer tribes of the Kukrek Culture. These former residents left behind some well-persevered remains of 10 pit-dwellings. Complete research of all categories of archaeological material has a high potential for the reconstruction of the economy and everyday life of the Mesolithic tribes who inhabited the river zones of the Ukrainian territory.The Igren 8 settlement belongs to the full-grown stage of Kukrek cultural development (Zalizniak, 2005, pp.74–82). The Kukrek Culture (10th– 7thMillenia BC) was developed on local bases of the Epigravettian Palaeolithic culture. The earliest sites of the Kukrek Culture were located in the territory of the Crimean Peninsula and the northern Black Sea region. As time progressed, Kukrek tribes appeared in areas of the Lower and Middle Dnieper River. They settled in such sites as Kamiana Mohyla, Dobrianka, Gorodock, Popovy Mys and others. The Kukrek Culture refects a basic development in the early Neolithic cultures of the Crimea and Middle Dnieper area, namely the Olexiivska and Surska Cultures (Yanevich, 1987, pp.7–18).This site is represented within the scientifc literature by two names: Igren 8 and Ogrin 8. The diference is due to the Russian and Ukrainian divergence in the naming of this location. In English-language publications, the name Igren 8 has been referred to the most. In this article, we will continue to use this name for convenience.The archaeological site is located in the Middle Dnieper area, which belongs to the forest-steppe temperate-climate ecotone. This settlement of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers was discovered in the Igren peninsula, the Samara district of the Dnieper site, in particular its left cape. At this location, the Samara River joins the Dnieper River (GPS coordinates: 48°26’34.2”N; 35°06’46.8”E).Sand deposits on rows of granite shaped the Igren peninsula. The granite ridges formed river rapids that lay along and across the Dnieper River. The sandy substrate of the peninsula had led to the formation of dunes. The peninsula Volume XIII     ●     Issue 1/2022     ●     Pages 7–17*Corresponding author. E-mail: lusyleakey@gmail.comARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 7thJune 2021Accepted: 31stJanuary 2022DOI: words:Mesolithicarchaeozoologypit-dwellingsIgren 8ABSTRACTIgren 8 is a settlement of hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic period. In total, 10 pit-dwellings were found, having been constructed by the people of the Kukrek Culture (the 8th– 7thMillenia BC). The present study focuses on revising the animal osteological material according to modern archaeozoological techniques. The study fndings are related to the seasonal fuctuations of the settlement, the hunting specialisation of its inhabitants, and the details of taphonomy of the bones found. Moreover, a group of bone fragments were distinguished that constituted the waste material from bone tool production. The major groups of osseous industry are also described.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2022 ● XIII/1 ● 7–17Alina Stupak, Leonid Gorobets, Viktoria Smagol, Leonid Zalizniak: Archaeozoological Analysis of Animal Remains from the Mesolithic Site of Kukrek Culture Igren 8 (Ukraine)8was connected to the natural ground of a geological plate covered by a loess plateau. The coast of the Igren peninsula was destroyed by the river over a long time period.1.1 Discovery and history of site investigationThe natural erosion of the bank of the Igren peninsula was the reason for the organisation of an exploration of the area by the archaeologist M. Miller. He worked as a member of an archaeological rescue expedition during the building of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station (1929 to 1932) (Miller, 1935, pp.162–177).From the territory of the Igren peninsula and the neighbouring area has arisen the discovery of ten diferent archaeological sites from distinct historical periods. The Mesolithic site was labelled number 8. During 1946–1947, excavation was continued by the archaeologist A. Dobrovolski. He was able to fx the layers with the remains of burned wooden elements of a pit-dwelling construction. The researcher thought that it was a part of the dwelling’s structure (Telegin, 2000, pp.1–86).These types of fndings became the reason to start regular excavations of the Mesolithic layers at the Igren 8 sites. Regular archaeological operations were held in 1973–1976, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1988, and 1990, in which D. Telegin led all these expeditions. Archaeologists L. Zalizniak and D. Nuzhnyi took an active part in the excavation and research.This work resulted in the discovery of the remains of 10 pit-dwellings (Zalizniak, 2018; Telegin, 2000). They were located along the river bank. The pit-dwellings number 5 and number 10 were complete, but the river water erosion had partly destroyed the others. All of the pit-dwellings had a round form that ranged from 7 to 10 m in diameter with the vestiges of a fre at their centre. The dwelling’s foor had been deepened to about 0.5–0.7 m lower than the former ground level.The flling of the dwelling surface consists of a humous layer of sand mixed with grey ash. Many gastropod freshwater molluscs, the large freshwater snail Viviparus viviparous, were found in the foor area of every pit-dwelling. The presence of this species of mollusc in large numbers in the Mesolithic cultural layers indicated a pit-dwelling. The molluscs got into the flling of the pit-dwelling naturally after the seasonal overbank fooding. The ground foor of every pit-dwelling was covered with microlithic fint, animal bones and tools. The big collection of fndings inside the pit-dwellings included animal bones, which were the kitchen waste of the site’s inhabitants.All groups of the material fnds were studied and published. The complete research was issued by the Igren excavations leader D. Telegin (Telegin, 2000, pp.1–86). Telegin defned the technocomplex of the settlement up to the late stage of the Kukrek Culture (8th– 7thMillenia BC). It is correlated with the Late Mesolithic period in the whole Ukrainian territory. The radiocarbon dating of the site was made in the laboratories of Berlin, Groningen and Oxford (Telegin, 2000; Biagi, Kiosak, 2010; Lillie et al., 2009). As a result, the leading group of dates lies between 8550 ±80 and 7640± 90 years BP. The earliest date is 9940 ±70 BP; it belongs to the dwelling number 2 (Table 1). As it appears from Telegin’s notes, such a big spread of dates might indicate multiple usages of this place for living purposes and a seasonal cycle of housing in this settlement.D. Nuzhnyi examined the features of the microlithic technocomplex. He also rebuilt a throwing weapon with microlithic elements. L. Zalizniak introduced a number of publications connected with cultural communications in the Igren settlement and a social reconstruction of the Mesolithic tribes (Zalizniak, 2018; Nuzhnyi, 2007; Benecke, 1997).In July 2018, Zalizniak organised and led an archaeological expedition to the Igren peninsula. The expedition’s principal goal implied a fxation of the Mesolithic cultural layer and the detection of new Mesolithic features. The results of the excavations were limited in the number of fnds: the specialists found only some microlithic fint tools in