archaeological sight photo

Kamyana Mohyla

Perhaps, there is no special need to tell the basics about such extraordinary monument as Kamyana Mohyla in Ukrainian Steppes. The information about its origin near 13 millions years ago as the monadnock of sandstone at the bottom of the Sarmatian Sea is well known. Giant blocks of sandstone with the high content of ferrous oxides occurred on the shallows. With the influence of wind, water, time and storms the stone was cracked, split by cracks, grottoes and hollows.

Later this site was visited by humans. Probably even in the Paleolithic Age, thousands years ago they climbed into the deepest grottoes. They lived traces of their residence everywhere and almost continuously here up to our times. Stone continued to crack, shape of the monadnock continued to change and the people continued to live here. They lived a lot of marks; the most interesting among them is petroglyphs. Rock art in the grottoes of Kamyana Mohyla is well known all around the world. “Pain bull”, “Veshap”, “Horse plates”, many solar signs and other pictures that reveal life and beliefs of the ancient people cover the surfaces of stones here. Interested information about the monument, legends of its origin and more can be found on the “Kamyana Mohyla” state reserve official website.

Story that interests New Archaeologic School is slightly different here. We are not only spending the time looking at the sandstone mound, but also paying the most attention to the sites near the Kamyana Mohyla. Mystic location on the beach of Molochna river (that was full-flowing earlier) creates all conditions for habitation and exploration the nearby area. Together with the Institute of Archaeology of NAS of Ukraine, Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University and the stuff of the reserve we participating the Ukrainian-Swiss project of the Kamyana Mohyla — 1 site investigation. Numerous cultural layers of the monument are located only a few hundred meters from the object itself. Archaeologists give attention to them for a long time. Many archaeological works was provided there by Valentin Danylenko at the middle of XX century. Slowly and cautiously making our way through the layers of settlements of the Bronze Age and the late Neolithic, we concentrate our scientific interests at the very beginning of the late Stone Age.

Among the huge variety of flint and bone materials we are searching for the evidence of domestication and neolithization here about VIII thousand BC. Research started in 2010 and every year we are participating in unexpected discoveries, local sensations and new information about the archaeology of Stone Age. During this time a lot of site space was investigated. However, a lot of work is still ahead. We are working also on the lot of sites nearby, for instance, Kamyana Mohyla — 2 and Kamyana Mohyla — 3, Semenovka 1, separate burials near the monadnock.

Every year we are coming here and participating in archaeological work. Members of NAS enjoy listening to Ukrainian specialist’s lectures and delight visiting the unique monument. Our camp is located two minutes walk from the site and in a few kilometers from the village and from the Molochna river. In 2013 the International archaeological conference with participants from Swiss, Denmark, USA, etc. took place here. In 2016 with the support of NAS the photograph from the National Geographic Remi Benali travelled and worked here searching for the traces of first Indo-Europeans.

Researches on the Kamyana Mohyla mean not only great time interesting experience, but also continuous unexpectable discoveries. Reports about NAS’s work can be found here and there, and more photos are located in our Gallery.


25 November 2020

A Complex Rock Art Object in Ukrainian Steppe

A new paper on the rock art of Kamyana Mohyla has been recently published in Rock Art Research Journal. The study has been performed by New Archaeological School.

21 September 2018

Lords of the Snakes

Team of Institute of Archaeology of Ukraine, New Archaeological School and the "Kamyana Mohyla National reserve" found two unique objects during the excavation of ancient settlement. Ophidian sculptures made of sandstone is dated approximately 7000 BC. This findings is unique for Ukraine Mesolithic Archaeology.

13 September 2018

IFRAO 2018. NAS in Italy

At the end of Archaeological season members of New Archaeological School finally participated international archaeological activity. This year we had presented a paper on the world biggest Congress about Rock Art — IFRAO 2018. This year it was helded in Valcamonica, Northern Italy.



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