Usacheva I.V.


The article continues elaborating upon the topic of the Neolithic household of the Trans-Urals (Zauralye) and Western Siberia population. It aims at clarifying the chronological framework of the Sosnovoostrovskaya culture which occupies an area of the forest-steppe borderlands — South taiga zone of the Tobol river basin. For the first time, a complete summary and analysis of all currently available dates obtained by coal, ceramics and soil samples of palynological columns are presented in the article. The review is preceded by fixation of identification characteristics of dishes as the main cultural diagnostic criterion. The latter is particularly important in light of clearly denoted problems of the chronological framework appearance and local features of Neolithic ceramics ornamented with the use of a comb-stepping technique. Increasingly used radiocarbon dating of ceramics attaches particular topicality to choosing marker characteristics of pottery as the main factor for hasty conclusions about the process of neolithization in the region.

Indicator characteristics of Sosnovoostrovskaya pottery are defined as a combination of a number of morphological and decorative features. Besides, the extensive use of walking comb among them are form of vessels (wall-sided and semi ovoid with a round or a bit pointed bottom); the shape of the rim (without an influx, made with a bevel on the inside, and sometimes a little bent out); décor features (continuous ornamentation of the outer surface, often the edge of the vessel and inner side of the rim). Predominance of horizontal zoning with the use of horizontal, slanting, rarely vertical motives in a pattern. The step, unlike that one on the dishes of Kozlovsky-Poludensky circle, is characterized by a variety of modifications. The wide use of rows, less often zones of zigzag, prickings and geometric patterns is specific). A belt of pearls along the edge of the vessel from the outer or inner side is a universal marker of the culture.

Chronology of Sosnovoostrovskaya antiquities is updated. It is found that most of the dates gravitate to the first half of the V millennium BC and partly even to the turn of the VI–V millennium BC, which makes the existence of culture more ancient for at least half a millennium. This time interval corresponds to the period of the mid-Atlantic, which is characterized by excessive humidity in these areas. High hypsometric level of Sosnovoostrovskaya settlements arrangement is consistent with this fact.

Key words: the Neolithic, the Trans-Urals, the Sosnovoostrovskaya culture, comb-stepping technique, radiocarbon dates, the indicator signs of Sosnovoborsky pottery.


Tigeeva E.V., Novikov I.K., Shilov S.N.


The article deals with metal artifacts from an Alakul burial ground, which is considered to be one of the largest and brightest monuments of the Alakul culture in the Trans-Urals. There is a description of morphological and typological characteristics of the metal complex which determined the main types of objects, a circle of cultural analogies, and also artifacts which aren't found among materials of other monuments. The main raw materials for production of artifacts were tin bronze (71,6 %). Concentration of tin in jewelry markers of the Alakul culture (cross-shaped pendants) could reach 25–30 %. The obtained data reflect the extent of expansion of use of tin alloy with simultaneous reduction of number of products made of pure copper by the Alakul populations, in comparison with the previous Petrovka culture. This process was promoted by the established relations with sources of metal raw materials and, in particular, of tin alloy arriving in the form of small rectangular bars with concentration of tin of 2–5 %, possibly from centers of production of metal in Central Kazakhstan and the Altai.

The metallographic analysis revealed 8 technological schemes applied to produce an inventory complex and jewelry with a prevalence of high-temperature modes. The fact that masters of the Alakul burial ground chose from such big variety of technological schemes calls attention, because they adopted traditional methods of Petrovka metal working. However, the increase in share of forge technologies of molding in combination with forging hot metal processing at temperatures of full red heat, increase in application of preliminary homogenization annealing, which is necessary when working with high tin bronze, were, undoubtedly, a progressive phenomenon. The received data characterize the studied metal complex as traditional for the entire Alakul culture of the Tobol river basin, on the one hand, and as original and unique, on the other hand.

Key words: the Alakul culture, metal industry, morphological and typological characteristic, metallographic analysis.


Zakh V.A., Zimina O.Y., Ilyushina V.V., Danchenko E.M., Yen’shin D.N.


The article characterizes the ceramic complex of the Late Bronze Age from the settlement of Borki 1, located in Vikulovsky district of Tyumen region. The settlement is multilayer: it includes complexes of the Late Bronze Age, of the transitional time from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, and of the Middle Ages. The article deals with complexes of the border of the Bronze and Iron Ages. This period at the settlement includes a Suzgun culture dwelling, which has been partly studied, with separate fragments and broken vessels of the Suzgun culture at the bottom of the ditch. Ceramic fragments of the Krasnoozerka culture are found in the upper part and in the space between the dwellings. According to the analysis of morphology, ornamentation and technology of manufacturing of vessels, it was established that Suzgun ceramics dominate in the complex, Krasnoozerka vessels are not numerous, features of labour skills of potters of the both cultures are similar in all studied stages of pottery production. The authors present two points of view on the historical and cultural situation on the border of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, which is presented by materials of the settlement of Borki 1. One of them is the fact that the cape on which the settlement of Borki 1 is located, was developed twice at the End of the Bronze Age. First time, in the late period of the Late Bronze Age by representatives of the Suzgun culture, which could come into contact with populations of other cultures, which explains the co-occurrence of Suzgun pottery and ceramics with cross ornamentation in the same accumulation, and the presence of coal clay in a fragment of the Suzgun culture vessel with a partial imprint, reminiscent of a cross. Later, at the turn of the Bronze and Early Iron Ages, the site was shortly (given the small number of ceramics) visited by the Krasnoozerka culture representatives. One of the authors supposes that the entire complex of the final period of the Bronze Age of the settlement of Borki 1 can be attributed to the Krasnoozerka culture.

Key words: the Low Ishim river basin, Borki 1, the Suzgun culture, the Krasnoozerka culture, cera-mics, technical and technological analysis.


Kostomarova J.V.


The work is aimed at summarizing studies of the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age on the territory of the Ishim river basin. We address this subject for several reasons. Firstly, this period is characterized by increased migration activity of the population, which is reflected in the multicomponent archaeological material and ambiguity in interpretation. Secondly, in archaeological terms, the Ishim river basin has long remained poorly understood, but recent works have significantly changed this situation. There is a need to summarize all available information on the topic under consideration. Therefore, the data on the study of monuments were collected in chronological order; existing points of view on their origin, chronology, and cultural attribution are systematized. The history of the study on the topic is divided into two stages. The first one covers the 60s — the early 80-s of the XX century. In this period, there were occasional studies of the monuments we are interested in, the first publications of their materials and diagrams of historical and cultural development. The lower chronological limit of the second stage can be considered the beginning of 80-s of the last century. Since that time, the field work has been activated, research has acquired a systematic and focused character, there have been debates on the cultural background of the monuments, their history and origin. These trends are ongoing. The paper points out the key challenges and suggests areas for further research.

Key words: the transition period from the Bronze to the Iron Age, the Ishim tiver basin, cross cera-mics, the Krasnoozerka culture, history of the study.


Vodyasov E.V., Gusev An.V.


For the first time, the article reveals the ancient iron metallurgy sources discovered in 2010–2012 in the sacrifice site of Ust-Polui (Salekhard). Ust-Polui archaeometallurgical objects date back to the 3rd century BC — 1st century AD and they are the earliest evidence of ferrous metallurgy in the Ñircumpolar zone. Discovery of the new Early Iron Age ferrous metallurgy site demonstrates the specific way of human adaptation to the conditions of Extreme North. Ust-Polui materials push the origins of metallurgic technologies in the North of Western Siberia virtually several centuries back in time and significantly expand the geography of ferrous metallurgy at the cusp between the eras. All bloomery slag and ruins discovered in 2010–2012 were associated with an ancient moat, at the edge of which the bloomery process must have been organized. Basing on the thickness of bloomery walls (1,5–3 cm) and slag morphology, it is suggested that Ust-Polui metallurgists used small smelting furnaces (1 m high at the most) without special canals for draining liquid slag. Archaeological and geochemical analysis proves that all slag described in this article was produced as a result of developing the same iron ore deposit. The new evidence of Early Iron Age ferrous metallurgy at the Arctic Circle opens up new horizons for research. We have not seen any other similar evidence of ferrous metallurgy that far North at the cusp of the epochs. It was only in the Middle Ages that smelting furnaces began to appear in the Circumpolar zone of Scandinavia, the largest metallurgic region of Northern Europe, and furnaces of the Early Iron Age were found much further South from the Arctic Circle. No Early Iron Age smelting furnaces were discovered at the Arctic Circle latitude of Alaska, Northern Canada or North-Eastern Siberia. Therefore, Ust-Polui is probably the most Northern point on the Earth where ferrous metallurgy was developed by ancient people.

Key words: Ust-Polui, Circumpolar zone, iron production, the Early Iron Age.


Zakh V.A.

ANDREEVSKOIE LAKE SYSTEM (hydrology and use of natural resources according to archaeological and cartographic materials of the XVIII‒XX centuries)

The article is dedicated to fluctuations in the water regime in the Andreevskoie Lake system and, particularly, to Bolshoi Andreevskii Island, which serves as a kind of indicator of the fluctuations. According to cartographic materials, the island was connected with the mainland in some periods, and other times it was an island. The water level in the lake system could change in the range of 2–2,5 m. The change of the water regime led to landscape changes. Aridity and humidification of the climate determined the primacy of economic trends in the life supporting systems of the societies with appropriating and producing economy. So, periods of flooding contributed to the rise of appropriation forms, i.e. hunting and fishing, and aridity in the middle of the II millennium B.C. brought cattle breeding and, probably, agriculture to the Andreevskoie Lake system. Besides, the change of water regimes influenced the forms of economy, first of all fishing. Periods of floods included small rivers and channels between the lakes and the Duvan river into economic activities, on these small rivers they built special blocking constructions for catching fish. In aridity periods, even the Duvan river was probably blocked. Nets and traps were probably used during all periods. 

Key words: Andreevskoie Lake system, Bolshoi Andreevskii Island, hydrological regime, aridity, humidification, appropriating forms of economy, producing forms of economy.