PLoS One 2017 4;12(10):e0184560. Epub 2017 Oct 4.
Institute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland.
This article describes evidence for contact and exchange among Mesolithic communities in Poland and Scandinavia, based on the interdisciplinary analysis of an ornamented bâton percé from Gołębiewo site 47 (Central Poland). Typological and chronological-cultural analyses show the artefact to be most likely produced in the North European Plain, during the Boreal period. Carbon-14 dating confirms the antiquity of the artefact. Ancient DNA analysis shows the artefact to be of Rangifer tarandus antler. Following this species designation, a dispersion analysis of Early-Holocene reindeer remains in Europe was conducted, showing this species to exist only in northern Scandinavia and north-western Russia in this period. Therefore, the bâton from Gołębiewo constitutes the youngest reindeer remains in the European Plain and south-western Scandinavia known to date. An attempt was made to determine the biogeographic region from which the antler used to produce the artefact originates from. To this end, comprehensive δ18O, δ13C and δ15N isotope analyses were performed. North Karelia and South Lapland were determined as the most probable regions in terms of isotopic data, results which correspond to the known distribution range of Rangifer tarandus at this time. In light of these finds, the likelihood of contact between Scandinavia and Central Europe in Early Holocene is evaluated. The bâton percé from Gołębiewo is likely key evidence for long-distance exchange during the Boreal period.