Archaeologist Lubin: I am a hundred years old, and still need to dig for a very long time

© Photo from the personal archive of V. Luminaries Basil LubinArchaeologist Lubin: I am a hundred years old, and still need to dig for a very long time© Photo from personal archive of V. Lubin

13 January, Russian and international scientific community celebrates the 100th anniversary of the oldest Russian archaeologist, Professor Basil Lubin. The scholar remains in good health and still works at the Institute of history of material culture Russian Academy of Sciences (IIMK ran, St. Petersburg). RIA Novosti asked the celebrant about the caves, mammoths and human longevity.

‒ I doubt it. For example, in France there is a very elderly archaeologists. By the way, one of them even promises to come to my birthday. We communicate with him from the 70-ies, when the first French-Soviet field seminar two seasons we worked in France, and the next two in the USSR.

Oh, as we were interested in! In France, archaeology is highly developed, and my French colleagues was useful to look at our top-quality materials found in the caves of South Ossetia.

‒ The discovery of prehistoric man in the cave Kudaro in the mountains of South Ossetia at an altitude of 1600 meters above the sea level. This cave is about 500 thousand years. I opened Kudaro in 1955, and then for many years it was excavated and researched.

© From the personal archive of V. Luminaries Basil LubinArchaeologist Lubin: I am a hundred years old, and still need to dig for a very long time© From the personal archive of V. Luminaries Basil Lubinskas we found large number of bones of cave bear, rhinoceros, bison, red wolf, lion. In addition, we found stone tools of ancient man, characteristic of the Paleolithic era. Yes, ancient man gathered suitable stones, split them, and manufactured the guns of some form.

All the materials are unique, because these sites are very, very few.

‒ Technically passed the cave excavation?

‒ Sat all day. For the year, digging in a small area. Worked with knifes and brushes. All carefully portrayed and photographed. You know, in this business always need maximum reliability.

It’s hard, I would say, piece of work. In the cave, as a rule, the heavy deposits. It happens that the deposits reach up to 7-8 meters. We all capture in different layers, all encrypted. The materials obtained after processing the pass to the Hermitage.

‒ You headed the Sector of the Paleolithic in the Institute, studied the evolution of primitive people from the animal to the primitive communal system. What can You say about modern homo sapiens? In Your opinion, we evolyutsioniruet or, excuse me, degrade?

‒ Of course, evolyutsioniruet. Stagnation is not. The man, who lived 2 million 500 thousand years ago, modern man and the man of the future… we just think that everything is frozen, and we have reached the optimal stage of development.

In fact, it is only time. Person will develop, as all living things in nature. The movement forward will be observed in human consciousness and on the mental level. All this will have an impact on the image of man.

‒ You are one of the world’s leading experts on the image of a mammoth in the Paleolithic. What are the key insights You came in this theme?

‒ Yes, I studied a unique image of the mammoth in the cave of Kapova in the southern Urals. The images were coated with calcite film. We very carefully and methodically cut the tape as long as the shape of the mammoth is completely naked. We looked at each mammoth individually, then in group of available angles, juxtaposing mounted osteological remains with their artistic portraits.

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Listenpreise in fotobiennale the paintings in Kapova caveArchaeologist Lubin: I am a hundred years old, and still need to dig for a very long time© RIA Novosti / Alexander Listenpreise in fotobiennale the paintings in Kapova pedersore are of great scientific value. First, they illustrate the true appearance of a mammoth. Second, they provide information about the hunt for him. Thirdly, we came to the conclusion that the ancient man had a perfect visual memory.

He reproduced the smallest details of the mammoth structure, the most realistic passing not only the anatomy of the animal in dynamics, but also behavioural in nature.

It is extremely important that these images are preserved.

‒ What are the scientific challenges now facing archaeologists? They will be able in the near future something else to open or have it open?

‒ Open a lot of monuments of the Paleolithic, but there is more to find. For example, in southern regions of Eurasia, in particular in the Caucasus there are a number of buried caves, which at one time collapsed. Perhaps soon these caves will be open.

Many valuable research materials buried under various sediments. I made excavations, not only in the Caucasus but also in Armenia, where he found the Park of a man who lived about two million years ago. This is one of the oldest places in the world.

There at a depth of 10-12 meters were buried thousands of stone tools. The materials were layered under a layer of volcanic ash and very well preserved. Excavation is far from complete.

‒ So You haven’t unearthed all what you wanted, and You are left with unrealized dreams related to archeology?

‒ Of course! I am a hundred years, and the need to dig for a long time and a lot. Cultural remains are fairly large depths, but we dig slowly. The work is in year two feet deep.

‒ Vasily Prokofievich, tell me, what is your pension?

‒ A good pension. More than 40 thousand. Is a military pension. I the war at the front were (fought in the Western, Bryansk, the First and Second Baltic fronts, has two orders of the red Star and the order of the Patriotic War of 2 degrees approx.).

But You still continue to work at the Institute of history of material culture Russian Academy of Sciences. You are of sound mind and memory. Finally, You have 58-year-old wife, archaeologist Elena Belyaeva with which You still write co-written books on archeology. Brewing main question: how do You manage in 100 years to be in such good spirits? Your recipe for longevity.

‒ It is necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. I don’t drink or smoke. Do not eat food that is full of all sorts of carcinogens. Do not eat fried meat. Avoiding the food «unhealthy». Food I have a very simple, but always lots of veggies and fruits.

© From the personal archive of V. Lebensfreude Russian archaeologist, Professor Basil LubinArchaeologist Lubin: I am a hundred years old, and still need to dig for a very long time© From the personal archive of V. Lebensfreude Russian archaeologist, Professor Basil Luminoskan walk, I think walking is extremely useful. I always walked a lot, in any weather, in winter and in summer, often over long distances.

I think that archeology is tempered and strengthened my health, because I really spent a lot of time in the mountains in the fresh air.

‒ A memory train?

‒ No special exercises do not, but I should have. Memory weakens, years me a lot.

‒ Perhaps a hundred years for You lot? Usually You appeal to hundreds of thousands and even millions of years.

‒ I have everything goes by itself. All natural.

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