Nowe wyjątkowe siedlisko osadnicze paraneolitycznej kultury Zedmar na wschodnim cyplu wyspy Szczepanki (sektor „A”) na Mazurach
A New Exceptional Dwelling Site of the Para-Neolithic Zedmar Culture in the Eastern Foreland of Szczepanki Island (Sector “A”), the Masurian Lake District, NE Poland
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Introduction Szczepanki (Site 8), analogously to previously excavated Dudka (GUMIŃSKI 1999a; 2005a) was an island in the large (not existing today) Lake Staświn in the Masurian Lake District, in north-eastern Poland (Fig. 1). In Szczepanki, the south-eastern shore of the island has been excavated so far (Sectors “S” and “E”), where set¬tlement traces from different periods of the Stone Age were discovered. However, by far the greatest number of finds came from the Para-Neolithic, i.e., the early and the classical zedmar Period (GUMIŃSKI 2004). A newly discovered dwelling site in the same island in Szczepanki (Sector “A”) (Fig. 2) turned out to have a completely different nature than hitherto excavated settlements of the zedmar Culture. Location and the general nature of the dwelling place The discussed dwelling site (Sector “A”) is situated in the low eastern foreland of the island, at the distance of ca. 150 m to the north-east of the previously excavated Para-Neolithic settlement at this site (Sectors “S” and “E”). The dwelling site in the eastern foreland occupies the shore stripe of land of ca. 15x10 m. It is therefore about 15 times smaller than the mentioned settlement in the south of the island (its dimensions were ca. 80x30 m) (Fig. 2). The local concentration ofmass finds, that is, pottery, flints and animal bones, is nearly 9 times lower than in Sector “E” (Fig. 3). It must be stressed that the discussed dwelling site is not a periphery of the settlement from the southern part of the island, as between them there is a zone which is entirely deprived of finds. Stratigraphy and content of layers in the littoral (L) and the bank (B) zone (Table 1, Fig. 4). Under the sod there is black peat (L1-B1), almost without finds, which was formed in the Sub-Atlantic Period (SA). The second layer from the top is granular black peat (L2-B2), and beneath it there is sapropel (L3- B3). In both these layers one can see a mass presence of charcoal, while finds (Neolithic pottery, flints and bones) are sparse, strongly fragmented and often burnt. This may have resulted from local burnouts, as in a core taken in the area of the former lake (ca. 100 m to the S of the island), a fire layer was identified. It was dated to 2900 ± 60 BP, i.e., to the Late Sub-Boreal Period (SB) and the Late Bronze Age (WACNIK, RALSKA-JASIEWICZOWA 2008). The sapropel, on its part, which continues from the littoral zone to the western ends of the trenches (AD, AG), demonstrates that a considerable part of the eastern foreland was boggy or flo¬oded at some point. Such a high level of the lake was dated to 3980 ± 40 BP in Sector “E” (black oak from the top of the platform), which corresponds to the Late Neolithic and the transition from the Early to the Middle SB. Under the sapropel there is detritus with pieces of wood (L4) or peaty detritus with sand, pieces of wood and stones (B4), which appeared there mainly in result of human activity. This is testified to by large logs of wood which are situated in parallel and perpendicularly to one another and at an angle to the shore line, stones deposited in concentrations and in short walls, as well as boulders with a diameter of ca. 0.5 m (Fig. 5). These were perhaps meant to facilitate dry-foot access to water. Detritus (L4- B4) is the most abundant in finds, and these are in fact only finds of the Zedmar Culture and few finds of the Globular Amphorae Culture (GAC) and the Post-Zedmar Culture. Pottery of the last two groups mainly occurs in the top of the layer and farther off from the shore line of the former lake. on the other hand, Early zedmar pottery occurs in the littoral zone (Trench AF) and in the very bottom of detritus (Fig. 3:a). This demonstrates that the detritus (L4-B4) formed in the second half of the Late Atlantic Period (AT) and in the first half of the Early SB, that is, from ca. 5500 to ca. 4500 BP. In the littoral zone under the detritus there is beige gyttja (L5). In its top there was still the earliest zedmar pottery (Fig. 6:a-h). In this gyttja an ornamented ash- wood paddle was discovered, which has already been publi¬shed (GUMIŃSKI 2011a). It was dated to 5360 ± 35 BP. This date is later than expected, which suggests that the gyttja formed almost to the end of the Late AT, and this part of the littoral zone was still flooded at that time. The gyttja (L5) can therefore be dated to the entire AT. Another layer of gyttja (L6) is grey-brown and it possibly comes from the Boreal and the Pre-Boreal Period (BO- PB). Sand in its bottom (L6b) suggests the Early PB, perhaps the Youngest Dryas (DR4). The lowest pale-grey gyttja with horsetail (L7) was palinologically identified as Late Pleistocene, that is, coming from the Allerod Period and the Younger Dryas (AL-DR3). In these gyttjas only sparse fish bones were found. In the bank zone under the detritus (B4) there are clayed sands with silts and remains of peat (B5b), and only in the top of this layer there are fragments of zedmar pot¬tery (Fig. 6:g), flints and bones. This layer may therefore be generally correlated with the AT, analogously to the beige gyttja (L5). Under Layer B5b there are compact clays (loams): yellow-green-grey one above (B6), and yellow one (B7) below. In the former layer a flint flake (Fig. 7:j) and few fish bones were found. These clays may come from the Early Holocene (BO-PB) or from the Late Pleistocene (DR3-AL). These are not, however, glacial boulder clays, as there are still sands (B8 and B10) under them. These sands are divided with grey-yellow loamy gyttja (B9) (Fig. 4:c). This gyttja may be dated perhaps to the Bolling Period. Pottery Pottery found in the eastern foreland comes mere¬ly from a dozen or so vessels. All found bottoms of these vessels are flat. The earliest Zedmar pottery which was found there is very diversified with regard to its technology and stylistics (Fig. 6:b-i). Vessels have admixtures of various kinds - plants, broken stone, fire-clay, shells and “hair,” or rather water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile). One vessel is rubbed (Fig. 6:b), another one is daubed with clay (Fig. 6:g). Rims of the vessels are smooth (Fig. 6:f-h) or cor¬rugated in various ways (Fig. 6:c-e). Only few vessels are ornamented. In the part between the neck and the body the ornament may be stamped or incised (Fig. 6:c,e), while on the body - diagonally incised (Fig. 6:i), or there may be rows of finger-nail impressions (Fig. 6:b). The latter ornament is related to the so-called coarse-ware in early Linear Pottery Cultures. There is also an interesting vessel whose style is related to early pottery of the Brześć Kujawski Culture (Fig. 6:h). Horizontal lines on the neck, which are typical for such pottery, were made not with the technique ofpuncturing, but were impressed with a cord, which resulted in a similar effect. The discussed vessel has shell admi¬xture, which is typical for the Zedmar Culture and implies local manufacture. The stratigraphic position (L5/L4) and the find place of this vessel (Fig. 3a:h) suggest that in all probability this is the earliest vessel in Poland which was ornamented with a cord. Of special significance is a fragment of a vessel (Fig. 6:a), which is a long-distance import from Ukraine, from the Early Neolithic Boh-Dniester Culture (B-DC) and its late Savran’ Phase. This is implied by the ornament of incised meanders and chevrons in the repeating pattern of so-called metopes, which is characteristic for this phase. This vessel was made in an exceptionally careful manner, with graphite colour and glitter, and with admixture of shell of auric-silvery colour. Such a technology, with admixture of graphite and shells, was applied in the B-DC (CERNYS 1996; DANILENKO 1969; 1985; MARKEVIC 1974). On the other hand, shells in Zedmar pottery are always matt-lime. If one assumes that this vessel in fact comes from the mentioned culture and phase, it must have gone a distance of ca. 800 km in a straight line from the ter-ritory upon the middle Boh and the Dniester (Fig. 16). It is noteworthy that B-DC pottery has not been recorded in the Plain so far, either in Linear Pottery Cultures or in the Para-Neolithic. The most distant contacts between the Zedmar Culture and the south or the south-east which have been pointed out so far reached the upper basin ofthe Wisła (Vistula) and the Bug (Fig. 16) (GUMIŃSKI 2001; 2004; 2011b). This vessel therefore demonstrates a much farther and a direct contact of settlers from the eastern foreland in Szczepanki with the forest-steppe zone of south-eastern Europe in the initial period of Zedmar pottery. The latest pottery in the eastern foreland of Szczepanki comes from the Post-Zedmar and the GAC Period (Fig. 3:a). The GAC is represented by sherds ornamented with a cord and with holes under the rim, as well as a fragment of an amphora with a handle (Fig. 6:m-q). Flint artefacts More than a half of 180 flints in the eastern fore¬land are small burnt crumbs. The raw material is quite diversified (Fig. 7). Attention is drawn to the presence of quartzite sandstone (Fig. 7:s-v), which is completely aty¬pical in this part of the Plain and has not hitherto been found at Dudka or Szczepanki. Ca. 10% of artefacts was made from this peculiar raw material, which necessitated different techniques of knapping. One flake of banded flint (Fig. 7:q) from Krzemionki in the south of Poland (a distance of more than 350 km) (Fig. 16) was found. There is no question that it should be related to the GAC. This is already a second case of that kind at Szczepanki (GUMIŃSKI2004: fig. 20:d). A half of tools are microliths and arrowheads, while the remaining ones are retouched blades, end-scrapers and flake-scrapers (Fig. 7:k-p,r-u). A majority of microliths and arrowheads (Fig. 7:a-f,h,i) was found in the top of or even above the layers with Zedmar and GAC pottery (B1- 3/4), so they are rather a secondary deposit. Only a trapeze (Fig. 7:g), found in the bottom of the detritus (L4) can be certainly related to the Early Zedmar Period (Fig. 3:a,b). A narrow triangle and a retouched blade (Fig. 7:a,k) may also come from the Late Mesolithic, while five truncations may come from the Mesolithic or the Zedmar Period (Fig. 7:b-f) . An elongated arrowhead with edge retouch may be related to the Classic Zedmar Period (Fig. 7:h), while an arrowhead with flat retouch which is similar to heart-shaped forms - to the GAC (Fig. 7:i). Bone artefacts In the bottom of the detritus (B4) a semi-finished T-shaped antler axe with no shaft-hole (Fig. 8) and a J-shap- ed waste from the manufacture of such axes (Figs. 9, 13) were found. Although these finds were situated close to each other (Fig. 3:c), they come from the manufacture of two different axes, as the diameter of the beam of both specimens is clearly different. This points to the existence of a workshop where T-shaped axes were manufactured. An entire red deer antler (GUMIŃSKI 2011a: fig. 3:c) may have been a reservoir of raw material (Fig. 3:c). The presence of such a workshop demonstrates that there was a separate dwelling site in the eastern foreland (not merely a temporal camp), which was inhabited concurrently with the settle¬ment in the southern shore of the island. This is because analogous workshops which manufactured such axes existed there (GUMIŃSKI 2004: 101, figs. 11-13). In the bottom of the same layer (B4) a bone point (Fig. 10:b) and a peculiar artefact made from boar tusk were found. The latter was a short but sharp side claw (Fig. 10:a). A unique find is a fragment of a turtle’s carapace with clear engravings on the internal side (Fig. 11). These are dense parallel lines which run diagonally from the edges and converge at an angle below a bone knob. Apart from that, a few wider grooves go below, intersecting natural fur¬rows. These engravings no questions went beyond the preserved fragment of the shell. The layout, regularity and density of these lines suggest that the find is a fragment of 1 The raw material was identified by Dr Marcin Górka from the Faculty of Geology of the University of Warsaw, for which I am indebted to him. an ornamented bowl. So far, bowls made from a turtle’s carapace which were ornamented this way have been discovered only at four Mesolithic and Para-Neolithic sites in the Plain - at Segebro in Scania, at Friesack in Brandenburg, at Kuzimici in Belarus and at Zamost’e upon the upper Volga (KONTE 2001; GRAMSCH, LARSSON 2001; KRIVALCEVIC ET AL. 2008). Wooden artefacts In the eastern foreland four fragments of birch- bark were found. They were provided with holes (1 to 3), arranged in one line (Figs. 12, 13). These fragments are perhaps remains of two kinds of containers (Fig. 3:c). One of them, probably in a shape of a flat box, had a convex bottom and was deposited upside down (Fig. 12:a,b). The hole was situated below a rectangular thickening, which originated in result of folding the surplus of bark together. Such holes may have served for threading a peg or a cord. Thanks to this, a desired shape of the container was form¬ed. The second kind of birch bark container was probably in conical shape and one ofsuch fragment with three holes, was found immediately at the afore-mentioned J-shaped antler waste (Figs. 12:e, 13). However, their mutual location may be incidental. Birch-bark containers of both kinds have hitherto been known only from Friesack in Germany and the first one also from Vis in Russia (BUROV 1998; GRAMSCH 1993; 1998). At Friesack, bark containers were discovered in small pits, where they probably served for filtering and drawing of clean water. In one of such pits a large fragment of a turtle’s shell was found. It displayed traces of “scraping” on the internal side and was considered to be a bowl for drawing and drinking of water (GRAMSCH 1998; GRAMSCH, LARSSON 2001). The case of Szczepanki may have been analogous, as fragments of bark containers and the turtle’s shell with engravings were found immediately at the shore line of the lake (Fig. 3:c). The already published (GUMIŃSKI 2011a) ash-wood paddle is a unique find. It had a spirally ornamented shaft and a blade which was painted in red. It has an outline of a slender leaf and it is hydrodynamically bent in its profile, analogously to present-day kayak or canoe paddles. A stone dagger A truly unexpected artefact is a stone dagger, made from a variant of slate (schist or finely laminated gneiss)1 (Fig. 14). Such rocks occur in Scandinavia, but they can very rarely be found in the Plain as erratics. All that survived from the dagger is its blade, which is 10.4 cm long, 3,6 cm wide and 1.2 cm thick. It has an outline of an elongated triangle with slightly convex arms. Its cross¬-section is flattened oval, with rounded lateral edges. This dagger was found in the top of the sand under the detritus (B5b/B4) (Fig. 15), and therefore it comes from the turn of the Mesolithic and the Early zedmar (the Mid-Late AT). The find place of the dagger is of particular interest. It was deposited a few cm - almost centrally - under a large boulder (>0.5 m in diameter), which can be seen in the upper right corner of the photo of Trench AD (Fig. 5). It is significant that there were practically no finds in this area, especially from the Zedmar Period (Fig. 3:c). It is, however, doubtful that the dagger was concealed here as a hoard. This is because the broken dagger had no actual utilitarian value. On the other hand, the boulder and the dagger which was deposited under it may have fulfilled a role of a symbolic border of the dwelling site and at the same time sealed rights to this place for its owner (cf. FISCHER 1995: 434; GUMIŃSKI 1995: 35, fig. 9; 1999a: 48-49; GUMIŃSKI, MICHNIEWICZ 2003:125, fig. 11; LARSSON 1990: 286). slate artefacts, including daggers, straight knives or broad blades (the terminology depends on the accepted classification) are typical for the Mesolithic in northern Sweden, the so-called Slate Culture (Fig. 16). Moreover, only six such finds are known from Finland, while there is a dozen or so specimens from southern Scandinavia, that is, to the south of the River Dal. A majority of them are stray finds, with no context. One dagger comes from the Mesolitic site of Jordbro in central Sweden, while another one is known from the site of the Erteb0lle Culture in Valse Vig in Falster Island. The latter dagger is at the same time the southernmost find of that type and the only one in Denmark (Fig. 16) (BAGGE 1923; BECKER 1952; HALLGREN 2008; in print; MEINANDER 1965; MULLER 1896; TAFFINDER 1998). Some artefacts known from the Slate Culture were not made from proper slate, but from other similar rocks, such as schist, as it is the case with the find from Szczepanki. With regard to the raw material, the following finds are the closest to our dagger: a knife from the Meso¬lithic site ofHagtorp in central Sweden (TAFFINDER 1998) and a preform of a knife-dagger from the site of Kittjarn in northern Sweden2 (Fig. 16). All these analogies with known locations are dated to the Scandinavian Late Meso¬lithic, i.e., before ca. 5200 BP - quite similarly as the dag¬ger from Szczepanki. It is worth mentioning that the width of such daggers from Sweden is mostly 36 mm (TAFFINDER 1998: 108), which perfectly matches the width of the find from Szczepanki. 2 Information on selected finds from the territory of Denmark and Sweden was provided by Dr. Fredrik Hallgren, Uppsala University, for which I am indebted to him. Animal bones In the eastern foreland at Szczepanki (Sector “A”) 663 animal bones were found. A majority (65%) can be dated to the Early and the Classic Zedmar Period (Table 2). Only 11% of bones comes from Mesolithic layers and these are almost exclusively fish bones. At the beginning of the Zedmar Period, apart from fish (71% of bones), there are mammals (23%), birds (2%), turtle (0.2%) and frogs (3%) (Table 2). Remains of fish in the eastern foreland are 76% of the total number of bones, which is almost three times more than at Dudka (27%) and five times more than at the southern settlement of Szczepanki (15%). On the other hand, their concentration (per 1 m2) is nine times lower as compared with Dudka (Table 7). The species composition of fish from the eastern foreland bears evidence for the use of different methods of fishing (Tables 3,7). This is demon-strated by: an unnaturally high proportion of predators (48%) - including pike (Esoxlucius) (44%), a considerable share of perch (Perca fluviatilis) (22%) in relation to cyprinids (Cyprinidae) (30%), the presence ofwels (sheat- fish, Silurus glanis) (3%), or even zander (pikeperch) (Stizostedion lucioperca) (0.3%). The last species is, as op-posed to the previous ones, not a littoral fish and requires fishing in the open waters of the lake. In the eastern foreland, fish waste, i.e., head and fin bones and scales, clearly dominate in comparison to verte¬brae and ribs, that is, bones from edible carcass. The pro¬portion is 88% to 12% (Table 4). The ratio at Dudka and in Sector “E” at Szczepanki is completely different. There, vertebrae dominate (75% and 67% respectively) (Tables 5-7, Fig. 17). This calculation does not include the first ray of pectoral fin of wels (pinna pectoralis 1, Silurus glanis), as this bone is a natural pin. This bone was used, i.a., for fastening clothes, which is testified to by its find at the right clavicle of a woman in Grave VI-3 at Dudka (GUMIŃSKI 2001: fig. 13). In spite of such a great predominance of fish waste, the dwelling site in the eastern foreland cannot be considered as a “fishing station” supplying neighbouring settlements, as fish bones are generally quite sparse there (Table 7). Remains of mammals in the eastern foreland are less than 20% of all bones, which is about 4 times less than in Sector “E” at Szczepanki (81%) and at Dudka (70%) (Table 8) . A general proportion between ungulates (70%) and fur-bearing animals (12.5%) is close to the value at compared sites (Table 8). Analogously, the structure ofun- gulate game is similar, as the first place is always occupied by red deer (in Sector “A” - 39%). In the next places there are roe deer (25%), elk (18%) and wild boar (11- 14%). Aurochs is always rare (3% in Sector “A”) (Table 8). A striking difference between the eastern foreland and the remaining settlements of the zedmar Culture is a complete lack of any domesticated animals. Even the presence of semi-domesticated pig (wild boar/pig, Sus scrofa) is doubtful here, though it is perhaps the result of local domestication ofwild boar (GUMIŃSKI 1995; 2005a). This kind of pig made up about 5% of bones of ungulates at Dudka, and in Sector “E” at Szczepanki - ca. 9% (Table 8). It is worth adding that in the southern settlement in Szczepanki the total share of pig (the Sus genus: wild boar, wild boar/pig and pig) was 32.5% of ungulates, which is even more than red deer (30%) at this site. On the other hand, in the eastern foreland of the same island the Sus genus takes only the fourth place (14%) among ungulates (Table 8). At Dudka, sheep/goat appears in the Classic Zedmar Period, while cattle - as late as the Late Neolithic (GAUTIER 2005). They constitute merely 2.6% of ungulate bones altogether (Table 8). On the other hand, in the southern settlement in Szczepanki (Sector “E”), there were fully domesticated pig (Sus scrofa f. domestica) (ca. 10% of ungulates), cattle (12%), as well as sheep and goat (both species, 4.3% altogether). Apart from that, it is significant that cattle bones appear in this settlement together with the earliest Zedmar pottery, which is dated to 5580 ± 40 BP, based on food-crust analysis (GUMIŃSKI 2004: 57). On the other hand, there were also quite numerous imports of Neolithic pottery of the Brześć Kujawski Culture (GUMIŃSKI 2011b). A relatively high share of these domesticated animals, with ca. 26% ofungulates (that is ten times more than at Dudka) is perhaps a result of close contacts of the population - of only this settlement in Szczepanki? - with the “Neolithic world” (Table 8). In the eastern foreland (Sector “A”) among the bones of ungulates there is an exceptionally high number of juvenile animals (ca. 30%). This generally concerns all species (Table 8). On the other hand, in the southern settlement of Szczepanki (Sector “E”) bones of juvenile animals were merely 1% of remains and these were first of all wild boar or pig (the Sus genus), which is typical for Mesolithic and Neolithic sites. This results from a large number of cubs in the litter, which are proportionally much more numerous than adult animals, and a greater profitability of slaughtering juvenile animals in the late Autumn, as anyway only a small number of them lives till the Spring. A tendency to hunt for juvenile animals, which is discernible in the eastern foreland, may have resulted from purposeful avoiding of large and heavy animals. This made sense in the case of hunting done by merely a few hunters for the needs of a small group of people. What is also of interest is the lack of dog bones in the eastern foreland. Dog bones were 21% of remains of fur-bearing animals at Szczepanki (“E”) and ca. 10% at Dudka (Table 8). Such a high share of dog bones in both these settlements results rather from burial practices, as secondary burials of dogs were discovered at the central cemetery at Dudka and at Szczepanki (“E”). It is perhaps for the same reason that there are no hedgehog bones in Sector “A” (Table 8), while hedgehog mandibles occur in every second grave at Dudka. Concerning other small animals, attention is drawn to a concentration of 16 frog bones, 14 of them coming from their legs, which may imply their post-consumption nature. A burnt mandible of shrew (Soricidae) (Tables 2, 8) can be similarly interpreted or rather this micro-mammal was used for special purposes taking into account its disgusting secretion of glands. Among the remains of birds, duck bones prevail. In this group, 5 out of every 6 bones of tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) belonged to juveniles (Table 9). A find of wax-wing (Bombycilla garrulus) is exceptional, as it is perhaps the first find of this species at a hunting site in the Plain, and waxwing is a migrant bird which appears here in the Winter. A comparison of the structure of animal bones from three different settlement sites upon the same lake - Dudka, Szczepanki, the southern settlement (Sector “E”), as well as the dwelling site in the eastern foreland (Sector “A”) - demonstrates that each of these had a different eco¬nomic strategy. At Dudka, hunting for ungulates (73% of mammals), as well as mass spawning fishing (27% of bone remains) played the main role, with an addition of primiti¬ve pig husbandry (4%). At Szczepanki “E” it was hunting and husbandry economy (52% and 28% of mammals respectively), which was supplemented with fishing (15% of bones). In the eastern foreland there was a fishing and hunting dwelling site (fish - 75%, game mammals - 20%) (Table 7). In the zedmar Culture such an economic diversity possibly yielded a surplus of given kinds of food in a given settlement in a given period of the year. This surplus may have been an object of exchange. For instance, this may have concerned fish, which is testified to by a high share of wels at Szczepanki “E” (18% of fish), although this settle¬ment did not specialise in fishing and wels is represented there almost exclusively by vertebrae and “pins” (95%) (Tables 5, 7, Fig. 17). This diversity and possible exchange of food may have been of key importance in the subsisten¬ce of the local population (what is more, for hundreds of years) upon the same lake. One should namely bear in mind unquestionable demographic boom as compared with the Mesolithic (GUMIŃSKI 1998: fig. 2) as well as ecological limit of continuous increase of food resources. Nevertheless, hunting (Tables 7,8) and possibly also gather¬ing still clearly prevailed in the local economy. Already in the Early Zedmar Period hazel cultivation disappears at Dudka (GUMIŃSKI 2005a; GUMIŃSKI, MICHNIEWICZ 2003), and practically up to the end of the Neolithic there are no traces of cereal growing upon the lake (MADEJA I IN. 2009; NALEPKA 1995; WACNIK, RALSKA-JASIEWICZOWA 2008). However, the dwelling site in the eastern foreland did not have the nature of one of settlements participating in such a mutual exchange. This is because the general number and concentration of bones, as well as their structure, imply a small scale economy - an individual and self-sufficient one. This was not a seasonal camp, either, which is implied, e.g., by the antler axe workshop. Seasonal indicators are also present there for different seasons of the year. The Autumn-Winter season is evidenced by: red deer antler, which was broken off the skull (GUMIŃSKI 2011a), the presence of juvenile ungulates, fur-bearing mammals, waxwing, as well as a considerable share of birds, particu¬larly tufted duck and its juveniles. On the other hand, the warm season ofthe year is testified by an exceptionally high share of fish bones and the presence of frog and turtle bones (Tables 2, 7-9). Discussion and conclusion This dwelling site in the eastern foreland of Szczepanki Island, small and separated from the settlement, is remarkable for a low concentration of finds. This implies that it was inhabited by a low number of people. Nevertheless, it stands out with regard to a relatively high share of unique finds. Two of these are imports from a distance of ca. 800 km. What is more important, each of them comes from the opposite direction and from a different “exotic” zone. One of these finds is the exclusive vessel from the territory upon the middle Dniester or the middle Boh in Ukraine, and the other is the stone dagger from cen¬tral Sweden (Fig. 16). The dagger (the blade only) was deposited under the large boulder, though it rather was not a hidden place of a hoard, but this had most probably a symbolic significance of socio-political character concer¬ning rights to the dwelling site. The third unique find is the wooden paddle. Its blade is painted in red - which may have been an indicator of a person with a special status, while its shaft is ornamented with yellow and black stripes. The latter feature, even in the animal world, is a sign of warning and “inviolability.” A person who travelled with such a paddle could be recogni¬sed from afar. Another unique feature of the paddle is a hydrodynamic profile of the blade, thanks to which one could row much more quickly and easily. It can be assumed that the two afore-mentioned imports were brought there by the owner of the paddle, who lived in the eastern foreland. It is more than 800 km in a straight line to the River Dal, that is, to the border of the Slate Culture, where the discussed dagger may have come from. Such a distance, however, may be covered by kayak or canoe, rowing 30-40 km per day in favourable weather (BENGTSSON 2003). The most difficult to cross was a 250 km long high sea part of this route, between Sambia and Gotland (fig. 16). Next, on the inland route (also ca. 800 km long) to Ukraine there was an obstacle of the watershed of the Rivers Bug and Boh - ca. 100 km, or the Bug and Seret (tributary of Dniester) - merely ca. 10 km (fig. 16). Therefore, one way travel took about four weeks, so the entire journey, for instance to Sweden, could practically take the entire Summer. On the other hand, it seems much less probable that these exotic artefacts were brought to Szczepanki by foreign incomers. In such a case, they would have probably stayed in one ofthe two large settlements - in Dudka or in the south of Szczepanki, and not in the “hermitage” in the eastern foreland. Importation of the vessel by a farmer from the south is especially doubtful, as there are no other imports from the B-DC in the Plain. Furthermore, farmers were per se not very mobile, as they were “tied down” to their lands and herds, which they needed to tend. It is per¬haps for this reason that there are no domesticated animals in the eastern foreland - at the most few people who inhabited this dwelling site did not keep herds purposefully, in order to be able to undertake long-distance expeditions. It is also doubtful that the eastern foreland was inhabited by incomers from central Sweden. Apart from the dagger and possibly a dozen or so artefacts made from quartzite-like raw material, all the other flint and bone artefacts and the pottery which were discovered here are evidently local (of the Zedmar Culture). The paddle is also no question of local manufacture. This is testified to by the find of an ash-wood fishing rod (?) with an analogous spiral ornament, which was discovered at Dudka in the Late Mesolithic layer (E/M.AT) (GUMIŃSKI 1999a: 49, note 17). Who was then the putative founder of this small dwelling site in the eastern foreland, who perhaps was also the owner of the mentioned unique paddle ? He was perhaps a person of high social status, e.g., a son of a “chieftain”. It is doubtful, however, that he was himself a “chieftain” or a “shaman,” as he would rather not have left his community for so long. He perhaps himself decided on establishing his seat at some distance to other settlements, but at the same time in a strategically convenient location. From the eastern foreland one could see both the southern settlement in Szczepanki, as well as the settlement and the main cemetery in Dudka (figs. 1, 2). It is also significant that the time of occupancy of the eastern foreland fell to the very beginning of the Para-Neolithic, when the com¬munity inhabiting the vicinity of the Lake Staświn com¬menced to manufacture pottery and breed domesticated animals. In this period, one permanently occupied attractive sites, which were previously used only in a recurrent and seasonal way (GUMIŃSKI 1995; 1999a; 2004). 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