On the earliest evidence of the middle Dnipro area non-flint rocks use

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I.S.Nikitenko, orcid.org/0000-0003-4207-2427, Dnipro University of Technology, Dnipro, Ukraine, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

V.N.Stepanchuk, orcid.org/0000-0002-5476-2284, Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

V.I.Ganotskiy, orcid.org/0000-0003-0154-3579, Dnipro University of Technology, Dnipro, Ukraine

повний текст / full article

Naukovyi Visnyk Natsionalnoho Hirnychoho Universytetu. 2022, (5): 005 - 011



Purpose. To determine the rock composition and origin of raw materials of non-flint stone products found during the study on the Mira Upper Palaeolithic archaeological site in the Middle Dnipro area.

Methodology. The research on the artefacts was carried out using the mineralogical and petrographic methods. The rocks were studied in transparent thin sections using a polarized microscope. To verify the accuracy of the petrographic analysis of some specimens, the XRD and XRF methods were applied. Establishing the provenance of the rocks was performed using comparative mineralogical and petrographic analysis, for which the specimens of samples from the outcrops were used, as well as geological survey and literary data.

Findings. To conduct petrographic research, seven specimens of stones with traces of processing, found during archaeological excavations of the Upper Palaeolithic Mira site, were taken. As a result of the petrographic analysis, it was established that the stones with traces of processing are represented by the aplitoid two-feldspar granites, altered dolerite, quartz arenite, quartz rock, amphibolite and actinolitite. All the mentioned rocks are typical for the Middle Dnipro area. The specimens of the granites, dolerite, and arenite, by their petrographic features, have analogues among the rocks of the region and, more likely, are of the local provenance. Most likely, a quartz sample comes from the territory of the Ukrainian Shield. The types of amphibolite and actinolitite, which are analogues to the studied artefacts by their petrographic and chemical features, do not occur today among the rocks that form natural outcrops in the Middle Dnipro area. Thus, the specimens of the amphibolite and actinolitite may have both local and other origin. More accurate determination of the provenance of the amphibolite and actinolitite samples requires further study involving sample collections from other regions, wherefrom these rocks could have been carried.

Originality. For the first time, the Upper Palaeolithic Mira archaeological site stone artefacts were studied in thin sections and with the application of XRD and XRF analyses, which made it possible to make more precise findings on their petrographic properties and origin. The studied samples are of great importance because, today, they are the earliest non-flint stone artefacts from the Middle Dnipro area to be studied by means of petrography, particularly those made from crystalline rocks of the Ukrainian Shield.

Practical value. The results obtained can be used in performing studies on archaeology and the history of mining, as well as in popular science works.

Keywords: stone artefacts, petroarchaeology, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Mira, Ukraine


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