Inventory complex of the Zhuravlevo culture in the Lower Ishim river areas (based on the 2012–14 research at the Borki 1 site)

Kostomarova Yu.V. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


             page 51–60

This article presents the results of a study carried out to investigate the tools of the Zhuravlevî culture discovered in the Borki 1 settlement in 2012–14. This site is located on the territory of the Lower Ishim river. The economic activity of the Zhuravlevo population has not been studied enough, which determines the relevance of the work. The economic activity of the Zhuravlev population was investigated exclusively on the example of the Bogochanovî culture of the Early Iron Age. On the basis of stratigraphic and planigraphic observations, artefacts reliably correlated with the Zhuravlevo building horizon of the site were selected for analysis. The primary classification of the artefacts was conducted using the typological method. Subsequently, in order to determine the functional area of the artefacts, we applied use-wear analysis. Stone and bone tools were investigated by the technological method. The tool wear was determined using an MS-2 ZOOM microscope with a ×10–40 magnification. The functional classification of the tools made of various materials has provided additional information on the economic activity of the Zhuravlevo culture groups, confirming its diversified nature and determining the inventory of specific industries. The importance of bronze casting has been established, with almost complete absence of tools for refining castings. These findings, along with the results of the metallographic analysis of metals in the transitional period, indicate the predominant use of casting technologies without further refining operations. A significant amount of spinning tools, such as spindles and their typological analogues, has been indicated. This supports the idea, frequently advanced by researchers, that weaving is likely to have developed at the beginning of the Early Iron Age. In addition, it is by the Zhuravlevî materials that the replacement of bone tools with ceramic ones during the processing of hides is recorded. According to indirect data, the technology of processing stone and bone can be reconstructed. The number of stone tools, which were manufactured by lithic reduction or abrasive techniques, is insignificant. For bone carving, cutting and chopping metal tools were used, as well as various tools made of bone. Various treatment technologies, such as cutting, drilling, abrasive machining, are recorded. These techniques are traditional and characteristic of Bronze Age cultures (Transitional Period); however, the range of bone tools is limited and associated exclusively with the hunting industry. Therefore, the Zhuravlevo culture inventory features, on the one hand, the continuity of a number of Bronze Age technologies, and, on the other, the appearance of Early Iron Age features. In addition, it is obvious that the Ishim river lands were part of the nomadic traditions of the Early Iron Age, which is confirmed by a number of items that can be dated to 7th–6th centuries BC.

Key words: Lower Ishim river areas, ancient settlement Borki 1, Zhuravlevo antiquities, tools, typo-logy, technology, traceological analysis.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2018-43-4-051-060




Yu.V. Kostomarova

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS

Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation