Kostenki 12 biface
Bifacial tool, >40,000 years old
Kostënki 12 is a large site consisting of several different excavation areas. The most important excavations were those of A.N. Rogachev in the 1950s and early 1960s, which identified four archaeological layers. The lowermost (and therefore oldest) of these is among the oldest archaeological layers at Kostënki. Further important excavations at Kostënki 12 were undertaken by M.V. Anikovich during the 2000s.
Two layers at Kostënki 12 have historically been attributed to the Streletskian archaeological culture: Layer Ia and the older Layer III. This bifacial tool was found in a particularly poorly stratified part of the site, but as attributed to Layer III. Bifaces such as this are common in the Late Middle Palaeolithic, and would have been very efficient cutting tools.
(Artefact housed at the Institute for the History of Material Culture [Palaeolithic Division], Saint Petersburg.)