Valkov I.A.

Bracelet from an Elunino burial at the Teleut Vzvoz-I site

The article studies a stone bead bracelet found in an Early Bronze Age burial of the Elunino archaeological culture during the excavation of the Teleut Vzvoz-I burial ground (heterogeneous in time) in the south of Western Siberia (Forest-Steppe Altai). According to a series of calibrated radiocarbon dates, the Elunino burial ground at the Teleut Vzvoz-I site was used in the 22nd18th centuries BC. The artefact under study was found in double burial No. 16 of the indicated burial ground, on the wrist of an adult (gender is not established). The bracelet includes 66 stone beads, as well as one stone base. This piece of jewellery is unique in terms of technique, as well as the sacral meaning embedded in it. The ornament found on the beads bears no analogies to those discovered in the well-known Bronze Age archaeological sites of Western and Eastern Siberia. The present publication considers the morphological and raw material characteristics of the bracelet, as well as the specifics of its production and use. In this study, trace analysis was performed, i.e. the analysis of macro- and micro-traces left on the surface of the item as a result of its production and subsequent use. All traces were examined using an MBS-10 stereoscopic microscope at a magnification of ×1656. It was found that some of the beads in the bracelet were made of serpentinite. The nearest sources of this stone are at least 250300 km away from Teleut Vzvoz-I. The beads are made by counter-drilling, drilling of blind holes, polishing and grinding. This find is unique due to ornamental compositions found on several beads in the form of oblique notches on side faces. The extremely small size of the beads (average diameter of 3.3 mm; average thickness of 1.4 mm) makes the pattern invisible to the naked eye. Thus, it is concluded that the ornament had a sacred meaning, and the bracelet itself served as an amulet. Despite no finds of ornamented bracelets dating back to the Bronze Age in Western Siberia and adjacent territories, typologically the bracelet bears analogies to the antiquities of the Okunevo culture, the Yamna cultural and historical community, as well as in the materials of the Bronze Age archaeological site of Gonur Depe (Turkmenistan). The study of the bracelet demonstrates the relevance of performing trace analysis of such items from other archaeological sites.

Key words: Bronze ge, Forest-Steppe Altai, Elunino culture, burial ground, jewelry, bracelet, beads, ornament, traceology.


Soldatkin N.V.

Architecture of fortified settlements belonging to the Sintashta-Petrovka type in the existing versions of visual reconstructions

The article analyses the main visual reconstructions of settlements belonging to the Sintashta-Petrovka type (SPT settlements): dwellings, fortifications and entire settlements. SPT settlements are located in the Southern Trans-Urals and Northern Kazakhstan. The stage of their habitation, which includes the use of fortifications and the regular layout of settlements, is associated with the materials of the Sintashta and Petrovka cultures, dating from the end of the 3rd to the first quarter of 2nd millennia BC. Traces and remains of buildings, preserved in a strongly transformed form in the occupation layers of sites and discovered during excavations and remote studies, constitute sources for reconstructions. The fragmented state of the sources explains the highly conditional character of reconstructions of entire structures. Early reconstructions appeared in the early to mid-1990s. They show the architecture of two settlements (Sintashta and Arkaim), whose dwellings are depicted with standardised layouts, flat roofs and shared longitudinal walls made from soil blocks. The fortifications were depicted as massive, complex structures, styled after the concept of the Country of Towns. These images have become classic, and authors of all future versions made a start from them. Most versions are dedicated exclusively to Arkaim and are rather controversial, often exaggerating the monumentality and complexity of the architecture of this site. The proposed reconstructions of Arkaim are not accompanied by a reliable study of archaeological sources. There are reconstructions of other SPT settlements exhibiting some differences from classic visualisations. They constitute 3d models of individual sections of buildings (dwelling No. 5 of Kamenny Ambar, dwellings and fortifications of Ustye I), images of two different phases in the life of the entire Kamenny Ambar settlement, as well as a series of sketch drawings depicting these sites as settlements of pastoral farmers that have fairly simple fortifications rather than grand proto-cities. Due to the fragmented state of sources, the lack of procedures for reconstructing such architecture and insufficient argumentation, the existing reconstructions constitute largely a visual form of transla-ting subjective ideas of different authors about the architecture of SPT settlements.

Key words: Southern Trans-Urals, Northern Kazakhstan, Bronze Age, Sintashta-Petrovka type settlements, Sintashta culture, Petrovka culture, Bronze Age architecture, reconstruction of architecture, 3d reconstruction.


Kulakov V.I.

Charm pendants found among the Roman-time antiquities of the south-eastern Baltic region

The article is aimed at tracing the origin of Roman pendants (referred to as charms in Baltic archaeology), dating them and, if possible, determining their semantic meaning. The analysis of these artefacts, found among the antiquities from the mouth of the Vistula River and south-eastern Baltic states, leads to the following conclusions. Hellenistic glass pendants in the form of amphorisks were supposedly the predecessors of charm pendants in question. In the early Roman time, German masters began to imitate them in the form of amber 8-shaped pendants. On the western edge of the Baltic world, these pendants appeared in phase C1b. In the Masurian Lake District, bronze charm pendants of the subtypes Mączyńska 530a, 530 spread somewhat earlier. They were a symbol of the divine power of Donar/Heracles, displaying his club. Pendants in the form of pinheads, occasionally found among the antiquities of the Aesti in the final phase of Roman time, are genetically ascending to these finds. Presumably, they can be associated with Scandinavian two-eyed hollow pendants, which were used to keep incense. In the Merovingian era, the tradition of using these types of pendants among the Prussians faded.

Key words: south-east Baltic, pendants, Mace of Heracles/Donar.


Seregin N.N., Fokin S.M., Klyuchnikov T.A.

Early plate stirrups from the sites of Central and North Asia: new finds and possibilities of cultural-chronological interpretation of products

The article presents two previously unknown stirrups from the collections of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum of Local Lore and the Minusinsk Regional Museum of N.M. Martyanov. These items are accidental finds discovered in the pre-revolutionary period in the territory of the Minusinsk District. Both stirrups belong to the rare group of flat plate stirrups having a T-shaped footplate. The front side of these items is almost completely covered with an ornament in the form of triangles. In this study, we analysed information on all known early plate stirrups from the sites of Central and North Asia. The number of finds amounted to more than 30 items. While a significant part of this collection (about 20 items) is made up of accidental finds and objects from destroyed sites, only 11 stirrups are recorded in closed complexes. The analysis of available materials helps identify key typological features of items demonstrating the evolution of the morphological characteristics of objects, as well as the traditions of their use. It has been established that flat plate stirrups existed in Central and North Asia in the second half of the 5th beginning of the 7th centuries AD. The distribution analysis of finds in archaeological complexes suggests that early plate stirrups are associated with various population groups of nomads from Central and North Asia. These stirrups from museum collections can be preliminarily associated with the material culture of Tashtyk population. It is likely that the appearance of such items in the territory of the Minusinsk Hollow is due to contacts with more southern territories. A further increase in materials, primarily due to field research in Mongolia and Northwest China (Xinjiang), will contribute to a more thorough cultural and chronological interpretation of early plate stirrups.

Key words: stirrups, museum collections, Early Middle Ages, Central Asia, North Asia, Tashtyk culture, chronology, Türks.


Matveeva N.P.,Tret'iakov E.A., Zelenkov A.S.

Chronology of a medieval complex from the Papskoye settlement (forest-steppe of Western Siberia)

A large number of imported items found in the occupation layers of archaeological sites in the Trans-Urals and Western Siberia suggest that, in the Middle Ages, these regions were on the periphery of trade routes and were involved in global historical events. In this connection, the dating of material culture provides details about trade and economic, as well as social and political, aspects of the life of communities of the past. One of the new archaeological sites allowing the dynamics of material culture to be traced is a multi-layered Papskoye settlement. This site constitutes a fortification having two areas and powerful defensive lines, located on top of the right-bank terrace of the Iset River. In this study, structures attributed to different chronological periods were analysed and artefacts were collected (7th century BC 14th century AD). Nevertheless, collections of items dating back to the High Middle Ages (late 9th early 14th centuries) are the most representative as they most objectively reflect the historical and cultural processes that took place in this region. Most of the finds of arrowheads, elements of clothing and horse harnesses, as well as household items, in the Papskoye settlement belong to this time. In this study, we used a comparative-typological method followed by the identification of the types of things. In order to establish the most accurate chronological framework, as well as to determine the primary centres for the production of certain items, we applied the method of analogy using a wide range of material culture from the neighbouring territories, which include Altai, Mongolia, Volga region, Kama area, the Caucasus, the north of Western Siberia, etc. In this study, we identified two chronological phases within the High Middle Ages using the materials of the Papskoye fortified settlement: 1) late 9th 12th centuries; 2) late 12th early 14th centuries. They correspond to the period when the carriers of the Yudino and Chiyalik cultures inhabited this site. In addition, a large number of direct analogies with the neighbouring territories suggests that the territory of the forest-steppe Trans-Urals was located on the periphery of trade routes through which imports came from Southern Siberia, Volga Bulgaria and the Upper Kama area.

Key words: Trans-Urals, arly Middle Ages, material culture, chronology, Yudino culture, Chiyalik culture.


Bachura O.P., Lobanova T.V., Vizgalov G.P., Martynovich N.V., Gimranov D.O.

Economic activity of the Berezov posad population in the 17th18th centuries (on the basis of osteological materials from excavation site No. 2)

Berezov is one of the first Russian towns in the north of Western Siberia (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area). This article is aimed at describing the household structure, the commercial activities of the population inhabiting the posad of the town on the basis of animal bone remains, as well as at determining the degree of integration of the Russian and native population in the region. The study was carried out using the osteological collection (approximately 12,000 items) obtained during the excavations on the site in 20082018. Having compared the materials belonging to different construction layers, we identified three chronological periods covering the time from the mid-17th (the moment this site was built) up to late 18th centuries. When describing bone remains, species composition, skeleton element, as well as the degree of fragmentation, were determined. The age structure of domestic animals was described. During the period under review, as the urban economy was developing, foraging activities decreased in the town of Berezov, whereas production increased. Cattle and reindeer played a dominant role in the diet of the posad population. Starting from the end of the 17th century and later in the 18th century, the raising of predominantly beef cattle was gradually giving place to the raising of dairy cattle. Simultaneously, the region was witnessing a rapid development of large-scale reindeer herding, with the involvement of the Russian population of northern towns in this process. Thus, the lack of domestic meat was compensated for by domestic reindeer meat. The population of the posad kept a small number of pigs, sheep, horses and hens. Dogs were used for hunting and transportation. Game hunting (especially wild geese, ducks and capercaillies), as well as fishing, played an important role in the economy of the population. The population fished mostly large species of fish (sturgeon, pike, nelma) and hunted for elks, hares, as well as fur-bearing animals. The analysis of archaeozoological materials, as well as archaeological data, revealed that mixed Russian and original population resided in the posad of Berezov in the 17th18th centuries. The economy of the population was typical for Russian towns, exhibiting local natural characteristics and involving the use of all available commercial resources, as well as active cooperation with the original population of the region.

Key words: the Western Siberia, Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Area, the Late Middle Ages, Russian and original population, domestic animals, hunting.


Zinyakov N.M., Poshekhonova O.E.

Forged products by Russian craftsmen of the 17th19th centuries on the basis of materials from the Kikki-Akki burial ground of Upper Taz Selkups: technological characteristics

The article studies the technology of making iron and steel items of Russian origin, discovered in the Kikki-Akki burial ground of Northern Selkups (18th19th centuries) in the north of Western Siberia in the upper reaches of the Taz River. In the study, we established the origin and chronology of Russian industrial goods in Western Siberia, as well as factors under the influence of which they appeared among the indigenous Siberian population. We examined knives and axes (17th early 19th centuries) using the methods of metallographic analysis including macro- and micrographic examination, as well as microhardness testing. They provide an opportunity to determine the structure of the metal, which in turn helps determine chemical composition, physical and mechanical properties of the product. The analysis of forged products revealed that they were made according to the technological traditions of Russian metalworking production existing in the 17th early 19th centuries. Its distinctive features included the development and widespread practice in applying the modifications of two technological schemes for producing items from ferrous metal. The former was based on the welding either of iron and steel or of different grades of steel, whereas the latter involved all-steel structures. The former technological scheme predominated in the production of items found in the Kikki-Akki burial ground. Moreover, the production of welded structures lacked standardisation. The following techniques were used in the production of knives: two-layer wel-ding of iron and steel, three-layer welding, V-joint welding, oblique welding, built-up welding at the ends and wel-ding of the steel blade. The use of soft quenching was noted as an additional operation that improved the operational properties of the household tool. This variety of used technological schemes reflects the complex nature of the formation of the industrial goods market in Western Siberia. The selection of items made using different welded technologies is associated with the intention to use metal products of the highest quality for the fur trade and yasak collection. However, all-metal structures predominated in the main centres for the production of forged goods cities of European Russia and Western Siberia.

Key words: Western Siberia, the Late Middle Ages, Upper Taz Selkups, ferrous metal, Russian products, metallographic analysis, production technology.