The Age of the 'Anosovka-Tel'manskaya Culture' and the Issue of a Late Streletskian at Kostënki 11, SW Russia

Rob Dinnis* (Corresponding Author), Alexander A. Bessudnov, Natasha Reynolds, Katerina Douka, Alexander E. Dudin, Gennady A. Khlopachev, Mikhail V. Sablin, Andrei A. Sinitsyn, Thomas F.G. Higham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Triangular, concave-base 'Streletskian points' are documented in several assemblages from the Kostënki complex of Upper Palaeolithic sites in south-western Russia. Some of these assemblages have been argued to evidence very early modern human occupation of Eastern Europe. However, Streletskian points are also recorded from younger contexts, notably at Kostënki 11, where examples are attributed both to Layer V and the stratigraphically higher Layer III. The apparent relatively young age of Layer III has led some to view it as the latest manifestation of the Streletskian, although its assemblage has also been compared to the non-Streletskian Layer I of Kostënki 8, with the two described together as the Anosovka-Tel'manskaya Culture. Radiocarbon dates of 24-23,000 bp (c. 28,500-27,000 cal bp) for a Wolf burial associated with Layer III of Kostënki 11 confirm the layer as younger than other Streletskian assemblages at Kostënki. New radiocarbon dates for Kostënki 8 Layer I show that the two layers are broadly contemporary, and that both are close in age to assemblages of Kostënki's (Late Gravettian) Kostënki-Avdeevo Culture. In the light of these new radiocarbon dates the context of the Streletskian point from Kostënki 11 Layer III is considered. Although firm conclusions are not possible, unresolved stratigraphic problems and the lack of technological context for this single artefact at the very least leave a question mark over its association with other material from the layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-40
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Early online date15 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Maria Medvedeva
and Natalia Lazarevskaya for their generous help with the
IHMC RAS archive material. We are also thankful to several
colleagues who commented on an earlier draft of this paper.
Radiocarbon dates for Kostënki 8 are courtesy of the ‘Ancient
Human Occupation of Britain’ project. AB’s work is supported by the RFBR grants 14-06-31134_mol-a and 17-06-
00319a. NR is supported by a Postdoctoral Study Grant from
the Fondation Fyssen, and also thanks the ‘PalaeoChron’project (ERC grant 324139 awarded to TH) for time spent
undertaking this research. AS acknowledges grant RFBR
17-06-00319a, and the participation of ZIN RAS (state
assignment No.АААА-А17-117022810195-3) to this research
is also duly acknowledged. RD is grateful for the support of
the Leverhulme Trust. This publication is a contribution to
the Leverhulme Trust project RPG-2012-800.


  • Eastern Europe
  • Kostënki
  • radiocarbon dating
  • Russia
  • Streletskian
  • Sungirian
  • Upper Palaeolithic
  • Wolf burial


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