Late Gravettian

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Antropark was created as part of the website of the Academy of Sciences in Brno in 2005.

Translated and modified by Vít Lang after discussions with the author,

second translator Tereza Štréglová.

© Update Antropark 2013, Author and Illustrations © Libor Balák

Contact - Libor Balák: antropark@seznam.cz

 

 

 

 

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The era of the great European cultures of the Northern - type hunters

 late  GRAVETTIAN

The youngest phase of the Upper Paleolithic, 22,000–12,000 years ago 

Gravettian The map represents the borders of Europe after the glacial moved more in the North after the glacial maximum. The dashed line borders the area of the late Gravettian, the circle indicates the Mezin locality and the arrows points in the center of Siberia, in the middle of Asia and symbolises the locality of Malta and Bureť.

 

 

The culture of the Malta and Buret

The culture of the Malta and Buret archaeological sites – Surprisingly, this culture of Eastern Siberia has a lot of things in common with the European Gravettian cultures, even if it is younger – about 18,000 years old (about 15,000 RCYBP). The Cullture of the Malta and Buret sites is highly praised, the most famous artefacts being many specific woman figurines – Venuses. These Venuses were carved of reindeers antlers and are thus rod-shaped. You can see a lot of imaginative hairstyles in these Venuses. Some of the Venuses do not represent naked bodies. You can recognize the cut and decorations of their clothing, e.g. transverse stripes and denoted crotches.

Clothing of Malta and Buret   (a reconstructional transformation of a figurine)  

The picture of arctic clothing reconstructed from the artefacts found in Malta and Buret shows the originality and decoration of the clothing. Each of the Venus figurines from the Malta and Buret sites differs a little from the others.

 

An imaginative complicated hairstyle   (a reconstructional transformation according to a fragment of a figurine)

The archaeological material from the Malta and Buret sites is rich in samples of different hairstyles – straight cut hair, plaits, chignons, elaborate French plaits, sometimes with nice little buns above the forehead.

 

Decorating - pendants

      

Gravettian The map represents the borders of Europe after the glacial moved more in the North after the glacial maximum. The dashed line borders the area of the late Gravettian, the circle indicates the Mezin locality and the arrows points in the center of Siberia, in the middle of Asia and symbolises the locality of Malta and Bureť.

 

Many of the Malta-bureť artefacts are manufactured as lockets. The shaman wore them as a decoration or for protection and driving away the demons. 

 

The level of the latte Gravettian industry - design, workmanship, and artistic quality

        

        

We can see an excellent workmanship in the small artefacts  (decorative plates, pins, shaking hoops and figurines of water birds) made of hard, durable material (ivory, antlers) from the Malta and Buret sites. These artefacts suggest us of the quality of the objects that did not remain (e.g. boats, oars, sledge, ski, winter boots, bags, baskets, etc.)

The quality of the Gravettian products was dictated by the harsh arctic conditions. Everything had to be light, ingenious, well made and, above all, extremely reliable. Nobody surely wanted to lose a glove during a several days long expedition. This would have surely meant a frostbite and loss of several fingers. Unreliable boots or sledges would have certainly meant death. That is why archaeologists find so many proofs of the meticulous work of the Gravettian designers, craftsmen and artists, all these skills often represented probably one and the same person.

 

The most recent Upper Palaeolithic of Eastern Europe

“Miss meander", a picture of a girl with bracelets    (a reconstructional imitation)

 

One of the well-known sites of the Late Upper Palaeolithic is Mezin in the Ukraine. The site is renowned for the usage of meander patterns. These patterns were modified in various ways and formed a whole artistic system. The depicted girl wears two decorated ivory bracelets, one of them with a meander pattern. Both bracelets are tied with small straps.

 

This image reconstruction shows the decorative textile belts, with patterns typical for the Mezin culture. The fabric is in contrast to other patches lightweight and does not burden the wearer too much. Even though the first archaeological evidences about the textile in Gravettian come from the turn of the 20th and 21th century, they have most probably always been the sociobiologic equipment of the modern human. 

 

The Venus of Mezin    (a reconstructional transformation)  

Meander was used also for decoration of the Mezin Venuses, as the reconstructional transformation shows. This woman figurine reminds of a mixture of the Gravettian and Magdalenian styles. She stands upright as a Gravettian Venus and, at the same time, she sticks out her bottom as a Magdalenian Venus.

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Solutrean

 

 

The Gravettian of Moravia – the Pavlovian

Another, related articles

 

 

Persona of gravettian - article - http://www.paleoetnologie.wz.cz/anglperson.htm

 

 

Persona of gravettian - basic professional work. zThis work handles the appearance and the ability of people of ancient cultures of the Upper Palaeolithic (only in Czech version - use online translator) - www.tvarpraveku.wz.cz

 

 

 

 

The largest image exhibition of Venus  (only in Czech version - use online translator) - Venus - the path of time

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to reconstructive paleoetnologie - reconstructive paleoetnologie textbooks for high schools, the basic methodology for dealing with materials around the capabilities and behavior of ancient ethnic options rekonstrukční paleoetnologie (only in Czech version - use online translator) - www.rekonstrukcepraveku.wz.cz

 

 

 

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History - Paleolithic- www.paleoetnologie.wz.cz/mat_ot.htm 

 

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The lord of the world (the first pictorial reconstructional project of Antropark, 1998)

Antropark Home Page

Contact - Libor Balák:  antropark@seznam.cz

© Update Antropark 2013, Author and Illustrations © Libor Balák