Kostenki 17 tooth pendant
Pierced fox canine, 41,000 years old
Kostënki 1 has a long history of excavation through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. P.P. Efimenko’s campaigns during the 1920s and 30s unearthed the first of Kostënki’s famous mammoth-bone structures in the site's uppermost Layer I, as well as a stratigraphic sequence of several different archaeological layers. A.N. Rogachev excavated the site periodically from 1938 until 1976, and in 1948 recognised for the first time five archaeological layers. Later excavations by N.D. Praslov (1978-1994) focused mainly on Layer I’s second mammoth-bone structure, while those of M.V. Anikovich (2004-2012) focused instead on the site’s lower layers.
Rogachev’s excavation of his Layer III recovered a large assemblage of retouched small bladelets and their cores, which are characteristically Aurignacian. All are made on good quality flint that is thought to have been imported to the site from many kilometres away. This particular artefact was found in Layer III by Praslov, but it is match for those Rogachev had found earlier. Due to the similarity in production of these bladelets at Kostënki 1 and those in the “Layer in Volcanic Ash” at Kostënki 14, it is likely they both belong to the same period of occupation.
(Artefact housed at the Institute for the History of Material Culture [Palaeolithic Division], Saint Petersburg.)