The problem of interpretation of the Boborykino culture in the Middle Trans-Urals in the context of the latest discoveries

Kovaleva V.T., Zyryanova S.Y. (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation)


                      page 520


 The article deals with debating questions regarding research of the Boborykino archaeological culture. It gives a brief overview of historiography and characteristics of a unique Neolithic phenomenon of North Eurasia. The basis of sources for research of the Boborykino culture consists of more than 50 settlements in the Middle Trans-Urals. The paper emphasizes originalities of the Boborykino culture in pottery technology and typology. Boborykino pottery differs from other Neolithic Ural complexes. Similar pottery and objects for worship, as well as some peculiarities in ceramic production technology, have been found in Neolithic complexes of North Mesopotamia. Therefore, we may conclude that the formation of the Boborykino culture is the result of migration. The main features of the Boborykino culture remained almost untouched for more than one thousand years. It is extremely difficult to trace the internal dynamics of the Boborykino culture and its contacts with indigenous population. All this leads to the conclusion that the Boborykino culture is conservative by nature.

Over the last years new data were excavated in North Kazakhstan and Baraba forest-steppe region (Autodrome 2/2, Borly). New settlements are located outside of the main Boborykino cultural area. However, their material culture has significant typological similarity with the sites of the main Boborykino culture area. That is why we can assume that their populations have common origin from the Near East and we can determine the direction of migration paths. Migrants occupied vacant lands between indigenous settlements. Peaceful colonization of vast territories led to the discrete nature of cultural genesis.

The idea of the genesis of culture is connected to the understanding of culture. Ornamental compositions of ceramics and objects for worship become a source of interpretation of the Boborykino culture. The ornaments are treated as texts. Transcript of the ornaments is based on the analysis of geographical conditions, form of economy, social relations. The semantics of ornaments is revealed by the context. In this case, it is more important than the text. The main topics of the ornament reflect the ideas of water, rain, earth, grain and serpents, and give ground to associate them with the cult of fertility.

New results of carbon analysis of Boborykino antiquities confirmed the proposed earlier dating of the culture within the end of the V the end of the IV millennium BC.

Key words: Middle Trans-Urals, Boborykino culture, late Neolithic, migration, colonization, homogeneity.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2016-34-3-005-020




V.T. Kovaleva

Ural Federal University, Lenina prospect, 51, Ekaterinburg, 620000, Russian Federation



S.Y. Zyryanova

Ural Federal University, Lenina prospect, 51, Ekaterinburg, 620000, Russian Federation