Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.238-244

УДК 903.01

Experimental Modelling of Bone Splitting Based on the Evidence of the Sibiryachikha Variant of the Altai Middle Paleolithic

Seletskiy M.V., Kolyasnikova A.S., Harevich V.M., Kolobova K.A.

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Experimental modeling makes it possible to reconstruct the processes of knapping lithic or bone raw materials with relative accuracy. Careful analysis of waste products remaining from manufacturing results in valuable scholarly information for reconstructing the functional features of Paleolithic objects. This article presents the preliminary results of experimental modeling of bone splitting for marrow extraction. Bones were split in three different ways using the stone anvil. The experiment was based on the Sibiryachikha variant of the Altai Middle Paleolithic and involved splitting 17 long bones belonging to two species: domestic cow (Bos taurus; 13 specimens) and horse (Equus caballus; 4 specimens). Based on experimental results, main stages of splitting bones belonging to large herbivores with the purpose of marrow extraction have been reconstructed. In addition, main metric parameters of bone fragments obtained from splitting the samples have been established. The Mann-Whitney nonparametric statistical test has shown that the method of bone splitting made a significant impact on the length of the fragments produced. Thickness values of bone fragments, distributed in accordance with splitting method, also showed significant statistical differences. It has been found that animal species, whose bones were used in the experiment, did not make an impact on this indicator. With the expansion of reference base, experimental data can be used to study the archaeological collection of the Chagyrskaya cave, including the reconstruction of taphocenosis and assessment of hunting activities of the Neanderthals.


bone splitting technology, Sibiryachikha variant of the Altai Middle Paleolithic, Chagyrskaya cave

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences