The artifacts discovered during the excavation of an ancient humans' camp site in the Ust-Kova area back in the 2000s turned out to be unique. They can reveal the secrets of the history of the development of Siberia. Scientists from the Siberian Federal University (SFU) and the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) have published their research results in the scientific journal Archaeological Research in Asia. They believe that the artifacts confirm previous hypotheses about the high level of technological development of the ancient inhabitants of the region.
The Ust-Kova site is located in Krasnoyarsk Krai at the mouth of the Kova River. Seven years ago it was flooded during the construction of the Boguchansk hydroelectric power station. The scientists have been exploring this place since the middle of the last century, but archaeologists made a significant part of the excavations in the period from 1980 to 2000. To this day, the experts are studying the found artifacts. With the help of radiocarbon analysis, the researchers were able to establish that the site is more than 20 thousand years old.
According to preliminary data, the age of the finds may be more than 24 thousand years. Nikolai Drozdov, doctor of Historical Sciences, professor at the Department of Russian History of the Siberian Federal University, co-chairman of the Historical, Archaeological and Ethnographic Commission of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, indicates that in the Paleolithic era the region was a major center of civilization.
One of the finds is a mammoth figurine made from a large fragment of a tusk. The scientists, having processed microscopic images, restored the manufacturing technology used by the ancient masters.
"The research team conducted a detailed microscopic analysis of each object, including two figurines carved from mammoth ivory, to see traces of the tools used to make them. The study was supervised by Lyudmila Lbova, doctor of Historical Sciences, professor at the Department of Archeology and Ethnography of Novosibirsk State University," said Nikolay Drozdov.
The methods and techniques for processing mammoth bones used by the inhabitants of Ust-Kova make these artifacts related to ancient works of art from the Malta site in the Irkutsk Oblast on the Belaya River.
"The found figure of a mammoth is painted on both sides: one side is red, the other is black. This indicates the origin of religious views among ancient people associated with life and cosmic ideas, because red is the color of blood and life, and black is darkness and death," commented Nikolai Drozdov.
In his opinion, this proves the existence of cultural and technological ties between the ancient inhabitants of Siberia, who established river communication many millennia ago.