Recent Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Finds from the Polish Bieszczady Wysokie – the Region Wetlina-Moczarne
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Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego, ul. Moniuszki 10, 35-015 Rzeszów
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2014;LXV(65):211–217
A 2014 surface survey made on the Solinka and the Beskidnik streams in the eastern area of the Polish Bieszczady Wysokie mountain range resulted in a discovery of five previously unknown prehistoric archaeological sites (Fig. 1). They are represented by cores of siliceous sandstone (Fig. 2 & 3): single platform flake cores and flake cores with changed orientation. They were discovered along the course of the Solinka and the Beskidnik, on the river terrace within a narrow zone about 300 m in length, close to the outcrops of siliceous flint. The broad dating proposed for the finds is Late Neolithic and the onset of the Bronze Age. Chronologically, they correspond to the earliest manifestation of human activity recorded in the pollen diagrams secured in the Bieszczady region: Tarnawa Wyżna and Wołosate, Bieszczady County, and Smerek, Lesko County. The finds can be interpreted in two ways. They could document seasonal livestock grazing activity carried out far from a permanent habitation area. Transhumance was frequently practiced in mountainous regions of Europe starting from the Late Neolithic. An alternate explanation, one that does not rule out the earlier interpretation, would link at least some of these finds with a route running in a north-south direction through the Czerteż Pass. The flints would be the remains of camps, set up in convenient locations, with easy access to water but safe from flash floods in the Solinka and the Beskidnik, and close to a lithic resource which could be used, when the need arose, to make simple, possibly disposable, tools. In each case the flint finds are an important confirmation of diverse human use of this part of the Bieszczady in the Late Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age. Their discovery shows also that there may be more similar material awaiting discovery to add to the understanding of the prehistory of this region. Fieldwork in the area around Wetlina is to be continued in the coming years. A recently formulated interdisciplinary project includes different kinds of fieldwork and analyses using data from “bird’s eye view” photographs, with special emphasis on data from LIDAR laser scanning.