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Olenii ostrov: first radiocarbon dates from a major Mesolithic cemetery in Karelia, USSR

  • T. Douglas Price (a1) and Kenneth Jacobs (a2)

The first radiocarbon determinations for a large prehistoric cemetery in Karelia, USSR, have been obtained using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) of several organic fractions from prehistoric human bone samples. These determinations suggest an age of c. 7500 b.p. for the burials, definitely within the Mesolithic period. Additional information from skeletal and isotope evidence confirm Olenii ostrov as a very important Mesolithic site in northern Europe.

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Burials of the Mesolithioc period in Europe are scarce, and cemeteries are scarcer still. The large cemetery at Olenii ostrov in Karelia, the extreme north-west of the Soviet Union, is so unusual that its original excavator did not consider it Mesolithic at all. A series of 14C determinations now establishes its Mesolithic date and therefore confirms its important place in the study of early post-glacial Europe

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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