Zakh V.A., Zimina O.Yu.


The transition period from the Stone Age to the Metal Era was an important stage, as it is characterized by the spread of new technologies and industries. However, only minor changes occurred in the life of the West Siberian population. They affected only some areas of the life support system. The population continued to use mainly tools made of stone. Few tools of copper, and later of bronze, appeared only at the end of the III millennium BC. That time, which coincide with the beginning of the subboreal period with unstable climate and landscapes, is characterized by significant population movements. The comb-and-pit ornamental tradition was spreading in Western Siberia during that period, and it filtered into the territory of the Lower Tobol River basin. We suppose that the groups of population with the pit-comb ceramics penetrated to the north-west of Western Siberia close to that period, and after that they appeared in Tobol basin. Probably, they came from the north-western regions of Eastern Europe (Karelia). Groups of bearers of the false-cord ornamentation of ceramics (Lipchinskaya culture) also appeared in the Lower Tobol River basin coming from the highland and forest Trans-Urals. Probably, the initial stage of interaction between the population of the Andreevskaya and the Lipchinskaya cultures is represented by the materials of Velizhany 1 settlement in the Lower Tobol River basin. These materials show a fusion of ethno-cultural massifs with an exchange of technologies, in particular, metal production. The Mysaevsky complexes with the pit-textile ornamentation of ceramic, spread mainly in the Ishim River basin, are a continuation of the sociocultural adaptation of the population and the rapprochement of Andreevskaya and Lipchinskaya cultural massifs. They demonstrate a combination of Andreevskaya and Lipchinnskaya ornamental motifs.

Key words: Trans-Urals, the Lower Tobol River basin, Velizhany 1, Andreevskaya culture, Lipchinskaya culture, pit-comb complex, false-cord complex, interaction, adaptation of cultural traditions.


Kupriyanova E.V., Taskaev S.V.

A dAGGER from stepnoye VII cemetery as AN indicator of intercultural contacts in metalworking IN the bronze age of THE southern trans-urals

The aim of the article is to describe the results of multidisciplinary analyses of a unique bronze  dragger from the bicultural cemetery of Stepnoye VII in the Southern Trans-Urals. This item was found in an Alacul’ burial which was attached to a Petrovka burial complex. There were graves of two sub-adult individuals in richly ornamented costumes with a pair of horses sacrifice and expensive grave goods in the burial. The burial built in the Petrovka burial complex demonstrates the Alacul’ population’s desire to show their belonging to the Petrovka cultural tradition. The dagger is a bronze weapon with a cut pseudo-molded-on metal handle. The suffice optical microscopy has allowed to determine the dagger production technology — lost loam mold process without further perfection. Second use traces of the object are practically absent. The dagger was made by a high-level professional especially for a certain sacrificial ritual. The material elemental analysis was identified by Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) method, also roentgenostructural analysis and X-ray phase analysis were used. The dagger was made out of medium tin bronze alloy. Stannery (tin metal) concentration in the alloy amounts to 7,9–10 %, copper amounts to 88,6–90,9 %. Other elements admixtures are negligible — 1 % and less. The dagger metal chemistry is similar to a set of tools from the graves of the Petrovka cemetery of Stepnoye VII, some of them are analogues with the goods from the Seima-Turbino (circle of) burial sites, according to their typology. Two items are close analogues of the dagger according to its look: the daggers from the Gladunino hoard (Kurgan oblast) and from Shaitanskoye Ozero II site (Sverdlovsk oblast). However, a comparison of the look and production technology of the Stepnoye IV dagger with its close analogues shows higher professionalism it was made with. Obviously, there was a vast contact zone which connected different metallurgical production centres during the Bronze Age. The Stepnoye region belongs to the boarder-zone of the forest-steppe world and the steppe inhabitants, and it had been a contact zone among tribes with different economic systems at all times. The people who lived in the boundary zone (Petrovka tribes that built the sites at Stepnoye village, in particular), were the mediators of an exchange in metalwork technology between the southern and northern areas and, probably, they mediated tin alloys supply from the Northen Ural mines. From all appearances, the dagger from the complex 8 of the cemetery of Stepnoye VII was made by the local masters. The model embodied in this dagger having wide parallels does not speak for import of items, rather for import of ideas and images, common environment and relations between northern circumference metal-makers from Petrovka-Sintashta world and Seima-Turbino transcultural phenomenon representatives.

Key words: Bronze Age, Southern Trans-Urals, metallurgy, dirk, Petrovka culture, Alakul’ culture.


Kukushkin I.A., Dmitriev E.A.

EARLY ALAKUL ANTIQUITIES OF TANABAI BURIAL GROUND (based on the materials of the mound 4)

The article introduces into scientific circulation the results of the researches of Tanabai burial ground obtained by the expedition of Saryarka Archaeological Institute at Buketov Karaganda State University. The mound 4, with a diameter of 14 m, height up to 0,4 m, was chosen as the object of the work in 2014. Five altars related to post-mortuary rituals were revealed during the removal of the embankment. An oval fence was found at the under-mound site, with a size of 13×9 m, consisting of vertically installed granite slabs. 13 burial chambers, located in two groups, were found in the inner space, at the level of the mainland. The bulks of the graves were made in stone boxes, less frequently in graves. The orientation of the graves is diverse: north-east — south-west, north-west — south-east, and north — south. The undisturbed tombs 4, 11, 13, 14 are most informative. It is determined that the deceased were laid in a crocheted position, mainly on the left side, head to the western sector. A burial of a warrior or a hunter was found in the tomb 13, at the feet of which a set of bone and metal arrowheads, probably placed in a quiver, was discovered. Metal bracelets with spiral ends, paste and metal beads, pendants of animal fangs are observable in female burials. The resulting ceramic complex and inventory according to formal typological characteristics refers to the early stage of the Alakul culture. The absence of an empty zone along the neck of the vessels is a long-known specific Central-Kazakhstan feature, which may be explained by a further transformation of the Petrov culture of the region into the Alakul culture, preserving the ornament along the neck. In the matter of dating the investigated burials, in view of the almost complete absence of radiocarbon dates, it can be stated that they are chronologically somewhat later than the early materials of the Central Kazakhstan Bronze Age (Petrov culture), according to recent natural science studies. Most likely, our materials can be dated back to the end of the first quarter of the 2nd millennium BC.

Key words: Central Kazakhstan, the Bronze Age, the Alakul culture, burial ground.


A.D. Degtyareva, S.V. Kuzminykh


There were various models of metal production among the population of the Itkul and the Savromat archaeological cultures during the Early Iron Age in the Central and South Urals. The Itkul culture is a culture of miners and metallurgists. Its basic fraction — the Itkul or Trans-Ural center of metallurgy — was initially focused on mi-ning and metal production. The main collections of Itkul copper and bronze products were found at the objects related to production activity (settlements and hillforts of metallurgists) and cult practice (sanctuaries). Itkul tribes had a clearly expressed metallurgical specialization in production, ore processing (generally malachite) in huge scales, melting of oxidized copper and production of a wide range of products with a subsequent active participation in trade and exchange transactions. The metal of early nomads of the Southern Urals and Western Kazakhstan comes from funeral complexes, where representatives of military and priestly estates were often buried, with unique and sacral significant products. Relatively progressive models of production with accurately traced correlation of product type — chemical composition of a metal — technology were developed in West Kazakhstan-Southern Ural center of metal production of the Savromat archaeological culture. All sacrally significant objects are made of tin and tin-arsenic bronze. At the same time, share of tin impurities was often unfairly high, up to 31%, which resulted in fragility of metal even after it was subject to a special heat treatment. Casting on lost wax models, casting in unilateral, two-or three-leaved forms (often metal) with plug-in inserts remained the dominant scheme of receiving products. The authors describe the main vectors of historical and metallurgical contacts of the Savromat tribes with production centers of Ore Altai and Central Kazakhstan, from where tin and tin-arsenic alloys arrived. Their northern neighbors, miners and metallurgists of the Itkul culture, were the main suppliers of copper to the early nomads of the Southern Urals and Western Kazakhstan.

Key words: Urals, Early Iron Age, Savromat culture, Itkul culture, metal production models, non-ferrous metal, manufacturing techniques.


Golovchenko N.N.


Purpose: The purpose of the present work is to introduce into scientific circulation the results of technical and technological analysis of tissue samples found during excavation of Novotroitskoye-1 burial ground and to discuss some issues related to their interpretation. The paper deals with the fragments of pants, and hems of the items from a tomb of one of the Mound 15 of the necropolis of Novotroitskoye-1, discovered during the excavations by A.P. Umansky, in Talmensky district of the Altai territory. Currently, these findings are stored in the Historical Museum of the Altai State Pedagogical University (funds numbers: 39, 40, 44).

Results: the study found out that the raw material basis of the fabric is wool. The threads are twisted. Their colours are various shades of brown. The threads of the supposed «basics» and «duck» are indistinguishable, their thickness in the samples is almost the same. Total slack strands in the leaf tissue must be an evidence of that they were made on a simple fixture without fixing, perhaps, on a vertical loom, although due to the lack of edges we won't discuss it in oreder to be on safe side. The studied object is small in size, has no obvious errors in weaving, but is excessively damaged by negligent storage. The first fragment of the study, most likely, refers to men's pants. The second and third fragments probably relate to the hem of a female waist (skirt) or shoulder (dress) clothing. The main difference between the considered fragments is that the cloth of men's clothing is linen, and the one of women's is twill. This is probably due to the gender differentiation of clothing among the population of the Upper Ob River Basin in the Early Iron Age.

Conclusions: The analysis of findings provided a new perspective on design methods for making hem shoulder or waist clothing, traditional casual clothing of the population of the Upper Ob River Basin in the Early Iron Age. The data obtained in the course of the study make it possible to consider in more detail the issues related to the study of archaeological textiles within the complex subject of clothing of the ancient population of North Asia.

Key words: Upper Ob region, Early Iron Age, archaeological fabrics, technical and technological analysis, textiles.


Borzunov V.A.


In 1974 and 1977, archaeologists of the Ural State University excavated plots (441 m2) of the defensive system and the inner site of a fortified center of the Early Iron Age, located at the Bagariak River in the foothill part of the forest Trans-Urals. Ceramics of the Itkul culture, animal bones, a bone triangular arrowhead were found in the layer of the early unfortified settlement, under the embankment; pottery of the Itkul culture (first type), including production vessels, were found in the embankment; animal bones and slags were found in the ditch. Fragments of an Itkul «dining-room» (first type) and industrial ceramic ware, bones of domestic and wild animals, slags, a flat-bottomed «censer» made of stone talc, ceramic and clay discs — «spindles» with a hole in the center (probably, details of an archery device for obtaining fire), a bone piercer, a dagger-like point, copper or bronze objects — a wheel-shaped casting (ornament or psaltery) and a rectangular ornamented buckle with a hook, as well as heavily drained iron knives and shards with iron «rivets» of unclear purpose were found at the inner site of the hill-fort. A part of the Itkul ceramics and bones of animals lay under adobe platforms. An imported antique bead of orange carnelian was found near the embankment. The slag bulk was concentrated between the clay pads, they were not found in the embankment. Bones belonged to wild and domestic species: wolf, bear, roe deer, elk, large and small cattle, horse. Remains of domestic animals prevailed (227 bones from 18 individuals against 71 bones from 16 individuals). Horse bones (159 from 8 individuals) and roe deer (52 bones from 10 individuals) represent the major part of the collection. The Gamayun (VII–IV centuries BC), Vorobyevo and Gorokhovo (VI–IV centuries BC) ceramics of the Early Iron Age, medieval pottery, and products of XIX–XX centuries are represented by single findings. The Itkul’ complex dates back to the IV–II centuries BC.

Key words: forestry Trans-Ural region, settlement of metallurgists, the Early Iron Age, ceramics, tools, ornaments, osteological remains.


Kubayev S.Sh.


The article is dedicated to the study of the details of the material culture of the monument of Khantepa, located in the ancient capital center of Sogd Erkurgan. Materials from the monument gave interesting data, confir-ming ethnocultural relationships of the ancient population of the Kashkadarya Oasis. Archaeological findings from the monument of Khantepa allow us to trace the influence of nomadic cultures on the culture of the agricultural oasis. Such influence can be traced in the ceramics of everyday life and for religious purposes, as well as in terracotta. A tripod leg is of particular interest among the findings. It is thought to be a portable altar or a censer. The study of portable altars and censers of Central Asia proves that finding to appear with the nomads coming from Eastern Europe. The article describes the history of appearance of portable altars and censers in Central Asia from the Bronze Age to the Early Middle Ages in order to confirm this theory. In addition, the remaining terracotta of the monument also requires a special scientific approach. An important place is given to one of such terracotta, which complements the history of the development of the worldview of the population of Southern Sogd.

Key words: tripod, sanctuary, brick, Southern Sogd, Erkurgan, Bronze Age, migration, altar, censer, tower, Early Middle Ages.


Tikhonov S.S.


The specifics of ethnographical and archaeological research is such, that it requires use of new sources for a more detailed analysis. So, potentially, the books, created in the late XVII — early XVIII century by Siberian cartographer S.U. Remezov are very important in modern science. The author of the article examines one of the map of the late seventeenth century, which became a source for a compilation of several pages by S.U. Remezov. The author sees several methodological bases of a research in the field of ethnoarcheology. They are system approach, synergetics, and world-system analysis. However, in this case, the author uses the theorem of Gödel, which he considers possible to adapt for the Humanities in order to justify the need to involve a wide range of sources. The methodology of the study is to compare the same geographic features on past and present maps, as well as to use written sources for analysis and interpretation of data maps. After examining it and comparing it with a modern version, the author concludes that the accuracy and reliability of the map by Strunin is undeniable. This allowed us to draw conclusions about the natural and geographical situation at the end of the seventeenth century, formed by the systems of communication, patterns of settlement of the Russians and their art of war in the defense of the border lands. The author believes that the system of the Russian settlement on the Tobol River banks is a variant of the settling on the banks of large rivers and lower reaches of their tributaries. In this case, the first settlements were founded on the most liveable places. The system of communications between the settlements had been established by the natives before the Russians arrived, they adapted them to fit their needs, and they mainly survived to the present day. As for the military, defending the border lands at the Tobol River, the Russians put an emphasis on constructing fortified settlements, and moving the equestrian army. The author pays great attention to one of the events at the end of the XVI century, the battle of Tobolsk nobleman Vasily Shulgin with the nomads. The author considers the place of the battle, the reasons for its sad outcome, and its importance for the subsequent development of the Tobol region.

Key words: Tobol, maps by S.U. Remezov, ethnographical and archaeological research, methodo-logy, methods, sources.