Raw materials used for production of talc ware in the Neolithic Age at the area near Dniepr rapids

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I.S. Nikitenko, Cand. Sci. (Geol.), State Higher Educational Institution “National Mining University”, Senior Lecturer of the Department of General and Structural Geology, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine


Purpose. To draw conclusions about the use peculiarities of talc rocks by the Neolithic population of the Dnepr rapids area in 6th –5th millennium B.C., based on the mineralogical and petrographic research of available artifacts. Talc schist ware was spread on this territory at that time. In contrast to talc molds, which were produced in this district in 2nd millennium B.C., the Neolithic ware is not researched well with mineralogical and petrographic methods. It doesn’t let to have a concept about the mining peculiarities of this raw stone during the indicated historical period. For the investigation we received two typical products of the Neolithic epoch: a talc bowl and so-called “chovnyk” from the funds of Dnipropetrovsk National Historical Museum named after D.I. Yavornytskyi. The first one was found on Igren peninsula on the territory of the City of Dnipropetrovsk, the second item came from the village of Voloske near the mouth of Mokra Sura River.

Methodology. The material of goods was researched with mineralogical and petrographic analysis. As a result their probable provenance was determined.

Findings. It was established that both artifacts were made of similar tremolite-biotite-talc rocks. Inasmuch as in ancient times rocks could be mined only near the surface, for the determining of the provenance, the data of geological survey and investigations of natural outcrops was used. These works were carried out during the beginning stage of the Ukrainian Shield research in the middle of the last century. As well as similar varieties of talc schists in Kryvyi Rih district have deep bedding, and the outcrops of talc rocks in Transazovia are poor, it was established, that most probably the raw material of the ware is local, where nowadays there are many outcrops of talc rocks in the valley of the River Dnepr and its feeders. The fact that the stone materials of different goods which were found in different places have the same provenance can be the indirect evidence of specialized mining of talc rocks on the territory of the Dnepr rapids area in the Neolithic epoch.

Originality. For the first time talc artifacts of the Neolithic Age from the Dnepr rapids area have been researched with mineralogical and petrographic analysis and the oldest evidences of the beginning of mining in this district have been established.

Practical value. Received data can be used for the historical reconstruction of the origin of mining on the territory Middle Transdnepria.


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