The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Upper Paleolithic site at the village of Gagarino in Lipetsk Oblast, RSFSR, on the left bank of the Don River. The site was discovered in 1926 and excavated by S. N. Zamiatnin in 1927 and 1929 and by L. M. Tarasov from 1961 to 1969. The bones of a mammoth and a polar fox, flint tools, bone awls, spearheads, needles, pendants made of pierced animal teeth, nine realistic figurines of naked women made of mammoth tusk, and one unique twin figurine were found. The Gagarino site yielded the remains of the first Paleolithic dwelling (a semi-dugout sunk 0.4—0.5 m in the ground with an oval-shaped foundation 5.5 and 4.5 m in diameter) found in the USSR. The walls and roof were constructed of poles, probably covered by branches and skins, anchored in the foundation with stone slabs and large bones.


Zamiatnin, S. N. “Raskopki u sela Gagarina.” Izvestiia Gosudarstvennoi Akademii istorii material’noi kul’tury, 1935, issue 118.
Efimenko, P. P. Pervobytnoe obshchestvo, 3rd ed. Kiev, 1953.
Tarasov, L. M. “Paleoliticheskaia stoianka Gagarino.” In Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, no. 131, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Salvador Inigo and Cpl Francis Gagarino of the Baseco PCP then went to the area to investigate.