Kunda culture

The Kunda culture, originating from the Swiderian culture,[1] comprised mesolithic hunter-gatherer communities of the Baltic forest zone extending eastwards through Latvia into northern Russia, dating to the period 8500–5000 BC according to calibrated radiocarbon dating. It is named after the Estonian town of Kunda, about 110 kilometres (70 mi) east of Tallinn along the Gulf of Finland, near where the first extensively studied settlement was discovered on Lammasmäe Hill and in the surrounding peat bog.[2] The oldest known settlement of the Kunda culture in Estonia is Pulli. The Kunda culture was succeeded by the Narva culture, who used pottery and showed some traces of food production.

Kunda culture
Geographical rangeEurope
PeriodMesolithic Europe
Datesc. 8500– c. 5000 BC
Type siteKunda, Estonia
Major sitesPulli settlement
Preceded bySwiderian culture
Followed byNarva culture
The Mesolithic
Upper Paleolithic
Mesolithic Europe
Fosna–Hensbacka culture
Komsa culture
Maglemosian culture
Lepenski Vir culture
Kunda culture
Narva culture
Komornica culture
Swiderian culture
Epipaleolithic Transylvania
Mesolithic Transylvania
Tardenoisian
Schela Cladovei culture
Mesolithic Southeastern Europe
Epipaleolithic (Levant)
Levantine corridor
Natufian
Khiamian
Caucasus
Trialetian
Zagros
Zarzian culture
Neolithic

CultureEdit

 
Tools of Kunda Culture

Most Kunda settlements are located near the edge of the forests beside rivers, lakes, or marshes. Elk were extensively hunted, perhaps helped by trained domestic hunting-dogs. On the coast seal hunting is represented. Pike and other fish were taken from the rivers. There is a rich bone and antler industry, especially in relation to fishing gear. Tools were decorated with simple geometric designs, lacking the complexity of the contemporary Maglemosian Culture communities to the southwest.

Origin of cultureEdit

The Kunda culture appears to have undergone a transition from the Palaeolithic Swiderian culture located previously over much of the same range. One such transition settlement, Pasieniai 1C in Lithuania, features stone tools of both Late Swiderian and early Kunda. One shape manufactured in both cultures is the retouched tanged point. The final Swiderian is dated 7800–7600 BC by calibrated radiocarbon dating, which is in the Preboreal period, at the end of which time with no gap the early Kunda begins. Evidently the descendants of the Swiderians were the first to settle Estonia when it became habitable. Other post-Swiderian groups extended as far east as the Ural mountains.[3]

GeneticsEdit

In a genetic study published in Current Biology in February 2017, it was determined that peoples of the Kunda culture and the succeeding Narva culture showed closer genetic affinity with Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHGs) than Eastern Hunter-Gatherers (EHGs).[4]

In a genetic study published in Nature Communications in January 2018, the remains of a male and female ascribed to the Kunda culture was analyzed. The male was found to be carrying haplogroup I and U5b2c1, while the female carried U4a2. They were found to have "a very close affinity" with WHGs, although with "a significant contribution" from Ancient North Eurasians (ANE). Their ANE ancestry was lower than that of Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers, indicating that ANE ancestry entered Scandinavia without traversing the Baltic.[5]

A genetic study published in Nature in February 2018 included an analysis of a large number of individuals buried at the Zvejnieki burial ground, most of whom were affiliated with the Kunda culture and the succeeding Narva culture. The mtDNA extracted belonged exclusively to haplotypes of U5, U4 and U2. With regards to Y-DNA, the vast majority of samples belonged to R1b1a1a haplotypes and I2a1 haplotypes. The results affirmed that the Kunda and Narva cultures were about 70% WHG and 30% EHG. The nearby contemporary Pit–Comb Ware culture was on the contrary found to be about 65% EHG.[6]

Locations of sitesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Niskanen, Markku (2002). "The Origin of the Baltic-Finns" (PDF). The Mankind Quarterly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  2. ^ Shaw, Ian; Jameson, Robert, eds. (1999). A Dictionary of Archaeology. Blackwell Publishing. p. 346. ISBN 0-631-23583-3.
  3. ^ Šatavičius, Egidijus (2005). "Swiderian Culture in Lithuania". Lietuvos archeologija. 29. ISSN 0207-8694.
  4. ^ Jones 2017.
  5. ^ Mittnik 2018.
  6. ^ Mathieson 2018.

SourcesEdit