L. Demay. The status of canids in the economy of the Epigravettian groups of the Desna valley

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Demay Laëtitia. NationalMuseum of Natural History (Paris, France).

E-mail: laetitia.demay @ mnhn.fr

ORCID: 0000-0003-4930-7030



The Upper Palaeolithic sites of the East European Plain are well known for the high level of exploitation of mammoth and other big mammals by human groups. Indeed, most of the studies focused on the big game economy. However, canids (fox and wolf) are represented in significant numbers at the sites, particularly at the Epigravettian sites of the Desna valley. The goal of the study was to reveal the role of canids in the economy of the Upper Pleniglacial human groups from the Desna valley comparing to the data obtained from the sites of the Eastern European Plane. The results of our analysis of Epigravettian sites in comparison to the Gravettian sites of the Desna valley showed that canids were increasingly involved in human activities during the second part of the Upper Pleniglacial. The zooarchaeological analysis of the faunal remains from the Eliseevichi 1 site (excavations of 1935–1936) highlighted the modalities of acquisition and use of canids both as food and non-food resources. We conclude that canids were significantly exploited not only as a result of a secondary activity but also as a main one.


Key words:  Epigravettian, Desna valley, zooarchaeology, canids, Paleolithic, East European Plain.


DOI: 10.31250/2658-3828-2019-2-66-86



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