Eastern Gravettian at Moravany Nad Vahom: the Banka-Site

moravani banka aggsbach commonsThese are upper Paleolithic artifacts, found during the last century at Moravany Banka. This site has been introduced into the scientific literature by Lothar F. Zotz and Wenzel Vlk in 1939 and has been reexcavated by an international team in the 1990ies. It has assigned to the Willendorf-Kostenki stage of the eastern Gravettian. This entity in the Vah Valley is characterized by:

  • large blades, sometimes pointed and with a marginal retouche
  • simple or double scrapers
  • mutiple burinations
  • shouldered points
  • rare backed pieces

According to Kozlowski, the Kostenki-Willendorf phase in the Moravany area is characterized by a dominance of extralocal, “northern” flint and a the domination of burins which does not continue in the following Epigravettian, where burins are a minor tool class.(http://www.aggsbach.de/2010/11/the-late-gravettian-of-middle-europe/)

At Banka, parts of a base camp, whose main area had been destroyed earlier, were investigated 20 yrs. ago.  The peripheral and undisturbed part of the camp covered an area of 14 sq.m and yielded 458 stone artifacts. A bone heap with the least useful parts of skeletons of rendeer, polar fox, hare, mammoth and bison was also discovered. The whole picture of the camp representing the shouldered point horizon could not,unfortunately, be reconstructed.

Polar foxes and Wolverines at several Moravany sites are interesting and they were certainly not used as food but evidently hunted for their skins, maybe in winter, what is consistent with the finding of wolverine in Moravany – Lopata II. The presence of animal’s furs is indicated by the high occurrence of autopodial bones (notably if they were found in anatomical position, like the bones of polar fox in the trench from 2008 in Trenčianske Bohuslavice – Pod Tureckom), because the lower parts of extremities – metapodials and phalanges were brought to the sites together with the skin.

 

The Kostenki-Gravettian

Suggested Reading (in German):

www.uf.uni-erlangen.de/quartaer/pdfs/1939/1939_05_zotz.pdf

www.uf.uni-erlangen.de/quartaer/pdfs/1941/1941_08_skutil.pdf

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