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Problems of chronology of cultural monuments of shnurovy ceramics of the Southeast Baltics

UDK 902.6


E.B. Zaltzman


A new series of radio-carbon dates in the context of chronology of seaside culture in the Southeast Baltics is presented. The early nature of radio-carbon definitions in comparison with dates of seaside culture is emphasized.

The article presents new series of radiocarbon dates in the context of the South-Eastern Baltic maritime culture chronology. The author emphasizes the antiquity of the radiocarbon dates in comparison to the maritime culture period.

Chronology of seaside (zhutsevsky) culture of shnurovy ceramics which existence keeps within a framework 2900/2800 — 2100/2000 BC1 (caliber.), was under construction generally on the basis of the radio-carbon dates received from monuments in the territory of the Western Lithuania until recently. The chronological scheme which is in detail developed by R. Rimantene meets the settled expectations of the beginning and further cultural development of shnurovy ceramics (further KSK) in the Baltics [3, page 160]. The majority of the radio-carbon definitions happening from settlements of seaside culture are distinguished with nothing against the background of dates of KSK in Europe.

No. Monument Datiruye-my material 14C age of BP Intervals caliber. age, VS Laboratory index References

1 Nida Coal 4460 ±110 3360 — 2920 Vs-632
2 Nida Coal 4070 ± 50 2830 — 2500 V1p-2592
3 Nida Tree 3470 ± 70 1878 — 1690 Vs-320
4 Sharnyale Tree 4260 ± 90 2970 — 2700 Vs-318
5 Sharnyale Tree 4040 ± 50 2610 — 2472 Le-1787 [4]
6 Shvyantoy 1A Tree 4120 ± 80 2880 — 2500 TA-246
7 Shvyantoy 1A Tree 4100 ± 60 2880 — 2490 Vs-22
8 Shvyantoy 1A Tree 3860 ± 50 2460 — 2210 Le-835
9 Daktarishke Tree 4020 ±100 2830 — 2460 Vs-813

The visually earliest stage KSK is presented in materials of Shvyantoyi 1A (The A-axe, the A-amphora, vessels from nalepa) [9, B. 183].

1 BC — Before Christ (English "B.C."); BP — Before Present (English "years ago").

Bulletin of the Russian state university of I. Kant. 2009. Issue 12. Page 52 — 56.

Single questions arise by consideration of materials from widely known settlements of KSK — Nida and Sharnyale.

Two dates, one of which corresponds to the initial stage of KSK (No. 4), occur from the settlement of Sharnyale. However materials of a monument differ in almost total absence of silicon stock in the presence of a large number of various tools from a bone and a horn that is not characteristic of KSK [5, 8. 179 — 185]. The ceramics connected with an early complex is presented by mainly slaboprofilirovanny vessels of the average sizes decorated with ranks of poles or simple horizontal prints of a cord. Also the remains of construction of Stolbova of the design having the extended form remained.

The classical stage of seaside culture is known for the settlements of Nida and Daktarishke. The overall picture is broken by only one date from Nida (No. 1) who attracts attention among other radio-carbon definitions, being too early. On the contrary, in Central and Northern Europe the beginning of KSK is the share of 2900 — 2800 BC [7]. Only the insignificant number of burials is dated within 3000 — 2900 VS [10, river 104].

The possible answer to the arisen questions are recently received radio-carbon dates from the territory of the Kaliningrad region. Systematic researches of monuments of KSK on the northeast coast of Vistula Lagoon within the Kaliningrad region were developed from the second half of the 1990th years that led to opening of the large settlement of the Neolithic era — Coastal (Wald-burga) [1]. The remains of 19 constructions of a design by Stolbova which part was an apsidoobrazny form are revealed. Features of inhabited structures and also the shnurovy ceramics and products from a stone found in these constructions have sharp differences from the archaeological complex known to us characteristic of seaside culture. Existence of other settlements of this sort in coastal areas of the Southeast Baltics allowed to rank them as so-called monuments of valdburgsky type [2, page 134].

Surprise was not only the originality of cultural image of the settlement Coastal, but also excessively early nature of radio-carbon definitions in comparison with dates of seaside culture. So far for this settlement there is a series of radio-carbon dates most of which keeps within a framework of 3300 — 2800/2700 VS.

Two dates from the centers revealed in interhousing space correspond still to the end of the early Neolithic and are the earliest for coastal areas of the Baltics (No. 1; 2). They are accompanied by the fragments of porous ceramics (about 60) which are occasionally found in the lower part of a cultural layer, is closer to an edge of the coast of the gulf. Taking into account separate signs (the flat bottom, an ornament in the form of yamchaty vdavleniye, the With-shaped and-shaped nimbus) they are probably connected with presence in this area of the settlement of the temporality concerning the Narva or tsedmarsky cultures of the forest Neolithic.

No. The dated material Structure 14C age, BP sa_vs Weninger, 1994 The laboratory index

1 Coal Cultural layer, horizon 6 5890 ± 45 4770 ± 50 Le-8463
2 Coal Center No. 6 5690 ± 70 4540 ± 90 K_-9950
3 Hatchet handle Center No. 9 4290 ±110 2910 ±180 Le-7034
4 Coal Construction 2 (center A) 4220±40 2810 ± 80 Le-6217
5 Bone Construction 2 (lower level) 4470 ± 60 3170 ±130 K_-11352
6 Coal Construction 2 (lower level) 4670 ±160 3380 ± 220 Le-7035
7 Coal Construction 3 (lower level) 4410 ± 80 3120 ±150 Le-6218
8 Bone Construction 3 (lower level) 4530 ± 60 3220 ±110 K_-11351
9 Coal Construction 3 (lower level) 4880 ±130 3670 ±160 Le-7036
10 Coal Construction 4 (center) 4570 ± 60 3280 ±140 K_-10581
11 Coal Construction 4 (center) 4510 ± 60 3210±110 K_-9948
12 Bone Construction 6 (lower level) 4570 ± 60 3280 ±140 K_-9949
13 Coal Center No. 8 4505 ± 60 3200 ±110 K_-10580
14 Coal Center No. 8 4430 ± 60 3120 ±150 K_-9947

The following 12 radio-carbon definitions, belonging to the main archaeological complex, are divided into two unequal groups, obviously, indicating existence of two following one after another of stages in development of the settlement. Nine dates belong to the first stage (No. 5 — 8; No. 10 — 14) which do not go beyond 3300 — 3000 VS.

The coal samples from the center of construction 4 divided into two parts relatives among themselves showed dates. The coal and bones coming from constructions 2 and 3 and dated a radio-carbon method stratigraphically were at one level. At the same time the majority of dates well coordinate among themselves. Only one date from construction 3 does not meet criterion of simultaneity (No. 9).

Other dates (No. 3; 4) are connected with the subsequent stage which framework corresponds to 3000 — 2800/2700 VS. Differences in material culture among two allocated malosushchestvenna stages that gives the grounds to assume absence between them any break.

It is necessary to emphasize that the samples which are selected for the radio-carbon analysis never mixed up. The alien materials connected with the previous cultures close or directly in filling of ditches of the specified inhabited structures it is not revealed. At the same time the constructions dated a radio-carbon method have radio-carbon definitions similar among themselves. Most ve-

royatno that they existed approximately in one time interval or, at least, the time difference between constructions was insignificant. As the proof of their simultaneity serves the fact that inhabited structures do not block each other as it is observed, for example, on the settlement of seaside culture Sukhach [6, S. 59 — 60, Taf. 13: 2]. Probability is not excluded that these constructions stopped the existence at the same time (as a result of the fire).

It is important to note that the dates received from different material i.e. on coal and bones, were close each other. Reliability of radio-carbon definitions confirms the fact of lack of noticeable contradictions between the dates received in the Kiev radio-carbon laboratory and the dates coming from the IIMK RAS radio-carbon laboratory (St. Petersburg).

Comparing dates of the settlement Coastal to dates for monuments of seaside culture, it is easy to find a difference between them. All radio-carbon dates of the first stage of existence of the long-term settlement Coastal were much earlier. Compliances have only the earliest dates from Nida and Sharnyale. It is necessary to notice that among monument ware, let and in the fragmented state, as well as in a set of the cutting tools, the separate forms similar to extended in Coastal [8, S meet. 120—122]. If it is not accident, then facts of this sort can indicate existence of earlier stage and in existence of the settlement of KSK Nida. Mixture of raznokulturny materials could be promoted by sandy soil.

In Sharnyala where the dual nature of materials seems obvious that emphasize also dates sharply excellent from each other, the most part of ceramics relating to the first phase of existence of a monument poorly differs from a similar form of vessels in Coastal. Also the ornament and also composition of impurity in the test of vessels (prevalence of a dresva) [5, S coincides. 185 — 187]. In Coastal where, unfortunately, there are no due conditions for safety of organic materials, as well as in Sharnyala, at absolutely limited set of products of flint presumably tools from a horn and a bone prevailed. It once again emphasizes the special nature of the specified settlements, their difference from actually monuments KSK and possible relationship.

It is not necessary to doubt that opening of the last years will introduce serious amendments in our ideas of the beginning and the subsequent development of KSK in the Southeast Baltics. Recently received series of radio-carbon dates for the settlement Coastal can play a special role in it. At the same time the subsequent large-scale researches (and not only within the Kaliningrad region) which will allow to answer the questions posed are necessary.

List of sources and literature

1. E.B. Zaltzman. Settlements of culture of shnurovy ceramics in the territory of the Kaliningrad region. Kaliningrad, 2004.
2. E.B. Zaltzman. To a question of monuments of valdburgsky type / / the Russian archeology. 2008. No. 3. Page 134 — 139.
3. R.K. Rimantene. Chronology of the Neolithic of the Western Lithuania//Problem of chronology and ethnocultural interactions in the Neolithic of Eurasia. SPb., 2004. Page 155 — 162.
4. Antanaitis-Jacobs I., Girininkas A. Periodization and Chronology of the Neolithic in Lithuania//Archaeologia Baltica. 2002. No. 5. P. 9 — 39.
5. Butrimas A. Sarneles neolito gyvenviete//Lietuvos Archeologija. 1986. No. 14. S. 174 — 191.
6. Ehrlich B. Succase//Elbinger Jahrbuch. 1936. Bd. 12/13. S. 1 — 98.
7. Furcholt M. Die absolutchronologische Datierung der Schnurkeramik in Mitteleuropa und Südskandinavien. Bonn, 2003.
8. Rimantiene R. Nida. Sen^j^ balt^ gyvenviete. Vilnius, 1989.
9. Rimantiene R. Die A-Horizont-Elemente in der Haffküstenkultur in Litauen//Early Corded Ware Culture. The A-Horizon — fiction or fact? Esbjerg, 1997. S. 181 — 184.
10. Wlodarczak P. The absolute chronology of the Corded Ware Culture in Southeastern Poland//The absolute chronology of Central Europe 3000 — 2000 BC. Poznan; Bamberg; Rahden, 2001. P. 103 — 129.

About the author

E.B. Zaltzman — an edging. east. sciences, dots., RGU of I. Kant,


Dr. E. Salzman, Associate Professor, IKSUR,

Mathiasen Georg
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