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Archaeological investigations at Dzudzuana Cave, in the Republic of Georgia, have recovered flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibers from four Upper Paleolithic occupations. The earliest of the occupations at Dzudzuana is dated between 26,000 and 32,000 radiocarbon years before the present (RCYBP) which calibrates to between 31,000 to 36,000 cal BP. The fibers are among the oldest evidence of the use of fiber technology, but unlike other examples, Dzudzuana cave offers details about the use of fibers unrecognized to date. The Dzudzuana Cave flax fibers have clearly been modified, cut, twisted and even dyed gray, black, turquoise and pink, most likely with locally available natural plant pigments.
Perishable materials, including cordage, nets, wood and textiles, have long been recognized as an important piece of hunter-gatherer technology in the Upper Paleolithic; but it is a technology that is nearly invisible to modern archaeologists because the organic materials are so rarely preserved. Some instances of cord and textile preservation include Iron Age bog bodies, the Bronze Age Ice Man, and Archaic period Windover Bog; but for the most part, organic fibers do not survive to the modern day.
Dzudzuana Cave is a rockshelter with archaeological evidence of several Upper Paleolithic occupations, located in the western part of the Republic of Georgia, five kilometers east of the similarly dated Ortvale Klde rockshelter. Dzudzuana cave is a large karst formation cave, with the opening some 560 meters above modern sea level and 12 meters above the current channel of the Nekressi River.
Occupations at the site include early Bronze Age, Chalcolithic, and most substantially, 3.5 meters of Upper Paleolithic deposits, the oldest dated to between 27,000 and 32,000 RCYBP (31,000-36,000 cal BP). The site contains stone tools and animal bones similar to that of the Early Upper Paleolithic occupations of Ortvale Klde.
Dinner at Dzudzuana Cave
Animal bones showing evidence of butchering (cut marks and burning) in the earliest Upper Paleolithic (UP) levels of the cave are dominated by the mountain goat called Caucasian tur (Capra cacausica). Other animals featured in the assemblages are steppe bison (Bison priscus, now extinct), aurochs, red deer, wild boar, wild horse, wolf and pine marten. Later UP assemblages at the cave are dominated by steppe bison. The researchers suggest that may reflect seasonality of use: steppe bison would have inhabited the open steppe at the base of the foothills in early spring or summer, while tur spend the spring and summer in the mountains and come down to the steppes in late fall or winter. The seasonal use of tur is also seen at Ortvale Klde.
The occupations at Dzudzuana cave are from early modern humans, showing no evidence of Neanderthal occupations such as seen at Ortvale Klde and other Early UP sites in the Caucasus. The site reflects additional evidence of the early and rapid dominance of EMH as they entered into regions already occupied by Neanderthals.
AMS Radiocarbon Dates and UP Assemblages at Dzudzuana Cave
Unit A: ~5,000-6,300 RCYBP, 30 flax fibers, five dyed
Unit B: ~11,000-13,000 RCYBP: blades and bladelets from bi-polar cores; 48 flax fibers, three dyed (one black, two turquoise)
Unit C: ~19,000-23,000 RCYBP: dominated by blades and bladelets, microliths, flake scrapers, burins, "carinated cores"; 787 flax fibers, 18 spun, one knotted, 38 dyed (black, gray, turquoise and one pink)
Unit D: ~26,000-32,000 RCYBP: microliths, flake scrapers, thumbnail scrapers and double end scrapers, some bladelets, cores, endscrapers; 488 flax fibers, including 13 spun, 58 dyed (turquoise and gray to black), several exhibited cutting; some of the fibers are 200 mm long, others broken into shorter segments
Textiles at Dzudzuana Cave
In 2009, researchers (Kvavadze et al.) reported the discovery of flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibers in all levels of the Upper Paleolithic occupations, with a peak in level C. A few of the fibers in each of the levels were colored in hues of turquoise, pink and black to gray. One of the threads was twisted, and several were spun. The ends of the fibers show evidence of being purposely cut. Kvavadze and colleagues surmise that this represents the production of colorful textiles for some purpose, perhaps clothing. Other elements that may be related to the production of clothing discovered at the site include tur hair and the micro-remains of skin beetles and moths.
Мир построен по принципу аналогии.