Studies in the Final Paleolithic Settelment of the Great European Plain
Kobusiewicz M., Kabaciński J. [red.]
This volume is the outcome of the meeting of scholars interested in the Late Paleolithic on the European Plain. The conference was organised on 5-8 June 2003 in Poznań by Commission XXXII ("Late Paleolithic of the Great European Plain"), set up within the International Union for Pre-and Protohistorical Sciences (UISPP), with the cooperation of Archaeological Commission of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań Branch, Poznań Prehistoric Society, and Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań Department. The conference, entitled "Late Paleolithic of the Great European Plain - New Discoveries and Ideas", was attended not only by Polish archaeologists, but also scholars from Great Britain, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia. Discussions during a three-day meeting embraced a whole range of topics, from Late Magdalenian sites from Dryas I period to the last traces of the tundra reindeer hunters from Dfyas III period and the beginnings of Holocene. On the last day a field trip was organised, which aim was to present excavated Late Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Paraneolithic sites from west Wielkpolska and Lubusz Land. The participants saw the sites situated by the water reservoir that originated as a result of melting dead ice, at river terraces and dunes, often located at strategic places. Some sites existed close to organogenetic deposits such as peat and gyttja, where the stratigraphy was preserved, together with objects made from organic materials and well- dated objects. Apart from the papers gave by the participants of the conference, we publish also papers on the Late Paleolithic of central Russia and south Scandinavia, or on the process of disintegration of the cultures of the period and processes leading to the origin of European Mesolithic that were sent to us. We hope that the published volume will be of use for all scholars interested in the development of the cultures of the end of the Pleistocene, as it introduces some up-to-date information on the subject. The discussions during the conferences confirmed once again that the prehistory of the Late Paleolithic of the European Plain is a separate, to same extent integral period of prehistory. Not always are the approaches to studying the period in question relevant to the approaches engaged to studying other periods of the Paleolithic. Our conference was the fifth meeting of experts organised by Commission XXXII of UISPP since it was set up in 1998. It confirmed the need and usefulness of such meetings, as they enable up-to-date presentation of the latest discoveries and exchange of experience between interested scholars. We hope that our conference fulfilled those functions at least to some extent.
Michał Kobusiewicz, Jacek Kabaciński