Archaeological collections from Isker: new view on the significant site

Tataurov S.P., Tataurov Ph.S. (Omsk, Russian Federation)



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Isker is the capital of the Siberian khanate at the initial stage (15821584) of the Russian conquest of Western Siberia. After Tobolsk was founded in 1587, Isker was abandoned. In the XVIIIXX centuries numerous amateur excavations were carried out on its territory, which, along with a natural factor (the River Irtysh washed out the part of a rock terrace where the ancient settlement is located) led to a severe destruction of the site. Professional archaeological researches were carried out only at the end of the XX century; however, they didn't give any significant result. All earlier collected collections were partially lost by the beginning of the XXI century. Th importance and status of the city in the Siberian khanate are still not defined. In this regard there was a need for an in-depth study of the available materials in order to understand specific characteristics of this complex and its place among other archaeological monuments of that time. This article represents in detail the results of an analysis of two collections of archaeological artifacts, which were collected in Isker by N.I. Butakov in 1896 and by A.F. Palashenkov in 1938 and which are stored in Omsk State Regional Historical Museum. The following groups of subjects were analyzed in detail: ceramics as the main marker of belonging of the Isker population to the Turkic Tatar society of Siberia of the XVI century; fighting and throwing knives; metal and bone arrowheads and bow plates; fragments of fishing tackles; locks and handles of storage chests; accessories; imported items. In general, it should be noted that composition of this complex of items does not differ from similar Tatar monuments of the period. Basing on the archaeological material, it is possible to conclude that the residents of the ancient settlement had a rather high social status, which is testified by the types of items (porcelain ware, bronze mirrors, rings, etc.) and high technology of their production. However it doesn't give the grounds to believe that the city was the constant capital of the Siberian khanate. Perhaps, it was only one of temporary headquarters of the khan. This research shows ambiguity in interpretation of the role of Isker in the Siberian khanate, and, therefore, it is important in terms of studying medieval Turkic-Tatar state.

Key words: Siberian khanate, Isker, archeology, history of study, arms and everyday items, status items.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2016-33-2-077-085




S.P. Tataurov

Omsk filial of Institute of archaeology and ethnography of SB RAS, Karl Marx, 15, Omsk, 644024, Russian Federation



Ph.S. Tataurov

Omsk filial of Institute of archaeology and ethnography of SB RAS, Karl Marx, 15, Omsk, 644024, Russian Federation