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Among the subjects of the Palaeolithic art one can distinguish signs – the geometric figures of a symbolic character. Complicated geometric ornamentation tools, weapons, objects of everyday life, and on fragments of tusks, antler and bones, was widely spread in portable art of Eastern Europe. The present article is devoted to the single find of the kind on the Middle Dniester region at the site Doroshivtsy III site, layer 6 (22 300±100 (GrA)BP). This artefact with a complex geometric ornament can be classifi ed as unique. The intact part of the outer surface of the handicraft is almost completely covered with geometrical images in the form of fi gures, which have received the conventional names “labyrinths”. In total, there are 16 similar images of different degrees of preservation and completeness. Only 13 such “labyrinths” provide independent complete, holistic images. Each of the “labyrinths” is a rectangle, inside which are inscribed several, sometimes connected by one line or successively inscribed into each other, images from bracket-shaped fi gures with a protrusion in the middle part, rectangles, simple double, single or double with an angular protrusion “brackets”, stylized deer heads, longitudinal line with notches on one side, rhythmically short parallel cuts and signs resembling a meander.

The cultural context of the artefact could be defi ned as a variant of the Late Gravettian with points, with a hollow one side, different from the Gravettian of Kostenki-Villendorf-Pavlov unity. The ornamental composition on the artefact is unique and fi nds no analogies in geometric art of the Eastern Gravettian sites of the Russian Plain synchronous with the site Doroshivtsy III.


The Upper Paleolithic Age, Eastern Europe, the Gravettian period, Doroshivtsi III site, the portable art, geometric images

Larisa V. Kulakovska, Vitaly I. Usik, Institute of Archeology NAS of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gennady A. Khlopachev, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera), Russian, Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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