THE LAST SWIDERIANS IN LITHUANIA

Gabrielė Gudaitienė, Justina Šapolaitė, Žilvinas Ežerinskis

Abstract


This paper focuses on an issue that was, and still remains, unsolved in Baltic Stone Age archaeology: the dating of the very end of the period of Swiderian culture. This time, the questions raised are what cultural unit (or units) should be considered as the last Swiderians, and who were the last tanged point users in general? In addition, the latest AMS 14C dates from the Mesolithic Pabartoniai 1 site in central Lithuania are taken into consideration within the archaeological context recorded during excavations in 2014–2016. Several archaeological objects – flint artefacts, knapped sandstone pebbles, burnt material and a few archaeological features – that were eliminated from the Late Mesolithic horizon and hypothetically interpreted as pre-existant, are discussed as maybe belonging to the Late Swiderian archaeological horizon. This data suggests some alternative insights into what was previously declared about the chronology of the last Swiderians: it brings up the very slight possibility that this culture could have lasted as long as up to the early Boreal period, or around 400 years later than the formerly agreed dating. However, this study should be seen as the very first step in the discussion, which still needs argumentation and other case studies to be carried out until the hypothesis is proven.

Key words: Swiderian culture, Mesolithic, Preboreal, Boreal, AMS radiocarbon dating, Lithuania.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15181/ab.v26i0.2021


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