Korolevo II

The site of Korolevo II in Transcarpathian Ukraine, located in the border area between Central and Eastern Europe, is mainly known for its Early Upper Palaeolithic assemblage, argued in the past to represent an assemblage at the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic. The site holds a potential for a better understanding of the the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic transition and the replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans. Korolevo II is located on the northern outskirts of the village of Veryatsa (Vinogradiv district, Transcarpathia, Ukraine), about 10 km from the town of Vinogradiv. It is situated on the 20-meter terrace of the left bank of the Tisza River. Nowadays the site is in a quarry, approximately 1,000 m SW of the well-known site Korolevo I. Both sites are located close to the southern edge of the so-called Khust Gate, where the Tisza River valleyopens onto the Transcarpathian Lowland linked to the Carpathian Basin or Pannonian Plain. Today the site presents itself as a rather flat area, about 25-30 m wide in west to east direction and 35-40 m in south to north direction, which was shaped by earthwork of the adjacent quarry and, thus, does not represent the original slope. 

The site has been excavated in the 1970s and 1980s and since 2008 by Vitaly Usik; and since 2010 by our team. Our excavations have resulted in (i) a new sequence for the site improving our understanding of the upper part of the sequence, (ii) an enlarged assemblage for the early Upper Palaeolithic CL D/II, (iii) several new Upper Palaeolithic cultural layers (CL C to A), (iv) for the first time presence of Gravettian in Transcarpathia, (v) a new combustion structure in the youngest cultural layer (CL A), and (vi) new radiocarbon ages for the upper three cultural layers (CL A to C). 

This project is a collaboration with Vitaly Usik (Museum of Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences). Further partners are: Natasha Gerasimenko (University of Kyiv) and Roman Garba (Czech Academy of Sciences).

All images © by Philip R. Nigst and Vitaly Usik, unless otherwise stated.