Medvedeva P.S., Alaeva I.P.


In this paper, we explore the technological characteristics of the Bronze Age cloths produced by the Sintashta, Petrovka and Alakul archaeological cultures. It employs a detailed structural analysis of textile prints on ceramic vessels which were found in cemeteries from the Southern Trans-Urals and Northern Kazakhstan, dated back to the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. Plain weave dominates in the fabric and is divided into four types according to morphological features (density of working threads per 1 cm2, distance between working threads, thickness of the thread). It can be concluded that there are significant similarities in the textile characteristics of Sintashta, Petrovka and Alakul cloth. However, the samples at the Petrovka-Alakul sites, compared with earlier Sintashta-Petrovka sites, demonstrate a clear tendency to growth of the average density of working threads per 1 cm2. This is due to a greater proportion of rare type of plain weave in the Sintashta-Petrovka textile. This trend can be associated with a variety of weaving devices, manufacturing tradition or the presence of imported fabrics.

Key words: the Bronze Age, weaving, textile prints, the Sintashta culture, the Petrovka culture, the Alakul culture.


Demakhina M.S.

The KATKOVO-1 BURIAL MOUND (on the upper date of the Verkhneobskaya culture of the Novosibirsk Ob basin)

The article presents the materials of the burial mound of Katkovo-1 (excavations by Durakov I.A.), located in Kochenevsky district of Novosibirsk region, for the first time. A brief history of the changing views of researchers on the dating of the Verkhneobskaya culture gives us the basis for identification of the following issues: a definition of the upper date of the existence of the culture and a cultural and chronological definition of the monuments where a combination of the Verkhneobskaya culture material and later material complexes was found out, which greatly complicates its dating. A similar situation is observed at the settlement of Yurt-Akbalyk-3. Originally, the complex was considered as Yurt-Akbalyk stage of the Verkhneobskaya culture (VIII–IX centuries AD.). The cemetery is characterized by a combination of the material of the Verhneobskaya culture with a later material complex, which dates back to the X–XI centuries AD. The purpose of the work is to clarify the dating of the burial mound of Katkovo-1. The vessels found at the monument by their morphological characterstics and ornaments can be attributed to the Verkhneobskaya culture, however, there are some changes in the ornamentation observed, due to the influence of Northern tribes, while morphological characteristics are largely unchanged. One decorative element isn`t typical of the Novosibirsk Ob basin, it was brought by the Northern tribes of the Lower Ob river. Weapons, in particular, some flat iron arrowheads and spearheads are dated back within the VI–X centuries AD by the researchers, elements of harness date back to the IX–XII centuries AD. Bronze jewelry belongs to the VIII–X centuries AD. The ceramic material found, as well as items of armaments and harness, in comparison with their analogies found in Southern Siberia, the Ob river basin near Tomsk and Novosibirsk, and other adjacent territories, confirmed their dating back to the the Yurt-Akbalyk stage of the Verhneobskaya culture, but afforded ground for extension of the datings’s top limit of the burial ground up to the X century AD. This situation allowed us to question the IX century AD as the top date of the Verkhneobskaya culture. Presence of the materials used in the X–XI centuries AD on the monuments gave us an opportunity to expand the upper limit of the existence of the Verkhneobskaya culture up to the X century AD.

Key words: the Verkhneobskaya culture, chronology, funerary complex, dating material, Yurt-Akbalyk stage.


Nikitina T.B.


Sacrificial complexes in the intersepulchral space (SC) as explorative signs of the Mari Medieval burial grounds were designated by the author in the 90-s. Four variants of the SC are singled out, among which the variants III and IV are the most characteristic and mass scale for the Mari culture monuments. The article describes and introduces into scientific discourse 26 complexes from Rusenikhinskiy and Vyzhumskiy burial grounds, excavated by the author of this article in 2010–2015. Emergence of additional materials has allowed disclosing semantics of these objects in a new way. Internal contents of the complexes are represented by dishes, instrument of labour or welfare items, clothes and jewelry. With the help of an improved technique of excavation of these objects, opening and fixing by layers from 1 to 3 cm, level bedding of jewelry and elements of clothes in vertical direction from the head the legs is found out. Elements of headdresses and footwear, caftans, dresses or rectangular pieces of fabric were successfully distinguished among the fragments from certain objects. Judging by the external signs: abundance of fabrics, fragments of clothes (doth underclothes and top garments), structure and localization of jewelry in certain vertical zonal distribution corresponding to the place of a certain ornament or suit element — it is possible to assume that a doll made of clothes of a dead person was placed in these complexes. Connection of the soul of a dead person with clothes of the Maris is confirmed by ethnographic and folklore data. The ceremony of making dolls from clothes of the dead is known at Ugrian (Khanty, Mansi) and Turkic people. In spite of the fact that this ceremony has different names and various material forms of expression at diffe-rent peoples, but its essence is the same: the doll is a temporary receptacle of soul the of the dead. It is obvious that the complexes at the intersepulchral space or stock lines of sepulchral holes with a set of clothes in the Mari Medieval burial grounds were commemorative, they served as a receptacle of the souls of the ancestors and contributed to the transition of souls to the other world after a certain time period. This ceremony could appear under the influence of the Ugrian or Turkic tradition. The word for a doll — «kurchak» — favours the last version, because it corresponds to the Kyrgyz word for a doll («kkurchak») and coincides with the name of images of female ancestral spirits at the Shors (qurtujaq), the Kumandins (urtyjaq), and the Barabinsk Tatars («kurtsak»).

Key words: funeral and memorial rites, the Mari, the Mordovians, the Middle Ages, the Turks, sacrificial complex, clothes, seat of the soul.


Kiryanov N.S.


For the first time, this paper reports on and describes the data on three Yakutian burials of the Late Middle Ages (the 17th–18th centuries): Ebyuge I-II and Sobolokh (Neleger), discovered  during research work of the International Sakha-French archaeological expedition in 2014 in Oimyakon district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (basin of the upper reaches of the Indigirka river). Before the beginning of the expedition, the Medieval (preliterate) history of the entire North-East of Yakutia was mainly based on the data on folklore, toponymy, and certain archival documents, according to which the settlement of those territories by the Yakuts, probably, dates back to the period of internecine wars of the 16th–17th centuries.  However, certain archaeological monuments of that period were not known. The analysis of the discovered objects and items shows their chronological and typological affinity with the data on the monuments of the 17th–18th centuries, belonging not only to Central Yakutia, but also to its other districts — Vilyuysky and Verkhoyansky. The only noticeable difference of the Oimyakon monuments from the others is its lack of funerary dishes, a usual attribute of almost all known Yakutian burials. This fact could be a result of the predominance of horse breeding (its products) over cattle breeding during that period in Oimyakon.

Key words: Oimyakon, Indigirka, North-Eastern Yakutia, the Sakha-French archaeological expedition, Ebyuge, Sobolokh (Neleger), burials, the Yakuts.