Palaeolithic items are represented by artifacts from the Caucasus, Crimea, Russian steppes, Siberia and Altai. These are characteristic stone implements 500,000 to 350,000 years old excavated in Armenia, the Kuban and Altai regions, and in the vicinity of the River Dnestr.
Varied artistic objects from the Stone Age were found in the Malta (Siberia), Maininsk (Siberia) and Kostenky I (River Don) Settlements.
Female figurines from the Malta dwellings are worthy of particular attention; amongst them are exceptionally rare early Palaeolith figurines wearing some form of garments. Plates made from a mammoth tusk with depiction of a mammoth and snakes, and figurines of flying birds were also discovered in this settlement.
Artistic objects made during the Palaeolithic era occupy an important place in the collection, since this is the only source from which we can reconstruct and study the culture of ancient peoples. For instance there are small figurines from Kostenky I and an anthropomorphic figurine from a Mainisk dwelling. The meaning and purpose of such objects from the Palaeolithic era are usually identified with ancient cults.
Many objects are decorated with ornamental patterns: from Malta these tend to be depressions and notches forming spiral compositions; from Kostenky I come more geometrical patterns.
Kostenky I settlement
20th-18th millenium BC
22th-21th millenium BC