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Mezine is a place within the modern country of Ukraine which has the most artifact finds of Paleolithic culture origin.[1][2][3][4] The Epigravettian[5] site is located on a bank of the Desna River in Novhorod-Siverskyi Raion or Chernihiv Oblast, northern Ukraine, near the village of Mezine.[6] The settlement is best known for an archaeological find of a set of bracelets engraved with marks possibly representing calendar lunar-cycles.[7] Also found near Mezine was the earliest known example of a swastika-like form, as part of a decorative object dated to 18,000 BCE. It was described (see references for illustrations) as an object carved from ivory mammoth tusks to resemble[8] an:

Ice age Bird ... with Inscribed Swastikas...[9]

The bird is understood as an inherently shamanistic animal, often being a symbol of the soul or of the spirit experienced in flight (from death).[10]

Second site[edit]

Remains of housing from mammoth bones

The site now known as Mezin 22 was found in the Dnieper valley of Ukraine in 1908. At this site, archaeologists discovered a shelter constructed of mammoth bones and skin, showing the importance of the mammoth to nomadic European cultures of the early Holocene.[11]


On Mezine and other sites at Yeliseevici and Timovka, Joseph Campbell comments:

It is impossible not to feel, when reviewing the material of these mammoth-hunting stations on the loess plains north of the Black and Caspian Seas, that we are in a province fundamentally different in style and mythology from that of the hunters of the great painted caves. The richest center of this more easterly style would appear to have been the area between the Dnieper and Don river systems - at least as far as indicated by the discoveries made up to the present. The art was not, like that of the caves, impressionistic, but geometrically stylized, and the chief figure was not the costumed shaman, at once animal and man, master of the mysteries of the temple-caves, but the perfectly naked, fertile female, standing as guardian of the hearth. And I think it most remarkable that we detect in her surroundings a constellation of motifs that remained closely associated with the goddess in the later epoch of the neolithic and on into the periods of the high civilizations: the meander (as a reference to the labyrinth), the bird (in the dove- cotes of the temples of Aphrodite), the fish (in the fish ponds of the same temples) , the sitting animals, and the phallus. Who, furthermore, reading of the figure amid the mammoth skulls, does not think of Artemis as the huntress, the lady of the wild things;[12]


  1. ^ Harald Haarmann Foundations of culture: knowledge-construction, belief systems and worldview in their dynamic interplay 311 pages Peter Lang, 2007 ISBN 3631566859 [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  2. ^ ZA Abramova, G.V.Gregorieva, G.I.Zaitseva - 2006 The Age of Upper Paleolithic Sites in the Middle DNeiper Basin of Eastern Europe Institute for the History of Material Culture, The Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, Dvortsavaya Nab 18 191186 Russia RADIOCARBON Vol.43, Nr 2B, 2001, p.1077-1084 Proceedings of the 17th International 14C Conference edited by I Carmi and E Boaretto © 2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  3. ^ Miles Crawford Burkitt Prehistory: a study of early cultures in Europe and the Mediterranean basin 438 pages Select Bibliographies Reprint Ayer Publishing, 1925 ISBN 0-8369-5972-8 [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  4. ^ flore18_3 [1] [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  5. ^ Martina LÁZNIČKOVÁ-GALETOVÁ (September 2010) Technological aspects of the engraving in mammoth's ivory Mezin ( Ukraine) - IFRAO Congress [permanent dead link] Retrieved 2012-01-12
  6. ^ Eugenii Alexandrovich Golomshtok The Old Stone Age in European Russia - 278 pages AMS Press, - 1 Apr 1983 ISBN 0404159273 [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  7. ^ The Iryna B. Vavilova and Tetyna G. Artemenko (2009). The ancient cultural framework of astronomy in Ukraine. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 5 , E7 - Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System [2] doi:10.1017/S1743921311003279 [Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  8. ^ Joseph Campbell 16 May 2002 - The flight of the wild gander: explorations in the mythological dimension : selected essays, 1944-1968 - 192 pages New World Library ISBN 1-57731-210-4 [Retrieved 2012-01-08]
  9. ^ J.J.White the IIIrd [from earlier research of F.Hancar & (separately) F.K.Volkov,] Midwestern Epigraphic Society Archived 2012-01-17 at the Wayback Machine 2012-01-08
  10. ^ Joseph Campbell 1959 MASKS OF GOD: PRIMITIVE MYTHOLOGY p.257-258 LONDON : SECKER AND WARBURG : 1960 Archived 2012-04-17 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2012-01-12 (see also: The Bollingen Foundation)
  11. ^ Valery Alexeev - Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) in Eurasia reviewed by Geraldine Reinhardt Harvard University Lectures - 26 June 1991[Retrieved 2012-01-05]
  12. ^ Campbell, Joseph (1987). Primitive Mythology. Arkana. pp. 327–8. ISBN 0-14-019443-6.

External links[edit]

  • (Don Hitchcock ed.) - Hitchcock Lane,Armidale NSW 2350, Australia donsmaps [Retrieved 2012-01-05]