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ʻ...Finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary’ – Non-utilitarian artefacts in the upper palaeolithic – A case study from Mogyorósbánya (Transdanubia, Hungary)

Markó, András and Dulai, Alfréd and Dobosi, Viola (2018) ʻ...Finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary’ – Non-utilitarian artefacts in the upper palaeolithic – A case study from Mogyorósbánya (Transdanubia, Hungary). Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 69 (2). pp. 227-252. ISSN 0001-5210

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Abstract

During the excavations of the Upper Palaeolithic site at Mogyorósbánya several non-utilitarian artefacts were found. Beside the earlier published piece of fossil resin (amber) and lumps of red ochre, more than one hundred Palaeogene and Neogene fossil molluscs, large foraminifers, corals and trace fossils from at least three different geological formations, as well as numerous fragments of phyllite were documented. Pebbles of this soft shale were most probably collected from the alluvium of the Danube river. The majority of the pieces show clear traces of scraping and along the periphery of the largest artefact rhythmic incisions are visible. Even if this piece is not a ready-made object, it can be compared to the limestone and sandstone pebbles found on the Epigravettian site of Pilismarót-Pálrét. Another interesting artefact of unknown function is a carefully shaped but strongly fragmented piece with sharp edge. Fossils of the Eocene Epoch were easily accessible in the region of Mogyorósbánya, while the nearest fossiliferous outcrops of the Oligocene and Pannonian sediments are found 15–17 km in south-eastern direction from the site. Few gastropod shells show unambiguous traces of human modification. Typically, among the 16 Melanopsis fossils found in a single square meter only three pieces were manufactured. On the other hand, the majority of the Dentalium and worm tube fragments were cut and their surfaces show intense rounding and shine. The not modified Nummulites, corals and large internal casts of gastropods were most probably collected by Prehistoric humans because of their unusual form. This interesting group of the Mogyorósbánya artefacts and are compared to the fossils published from the Pilisszántó I rockshelter and to the not modified fossils from Moravia and Romania.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: MTA KFB támogatási szerződés alapján archiválva
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History / történeti segédtudományok > CC Archaeology / régészet
Depositing User: Violetta Baliga
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2018 09:08
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2018 09:08
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/88511

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