Metal forge products at the Maray 1 hillfort

Zinyakov N.M. (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Tsembalyuk S.I. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


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The article considers the problem of the origin of iron-processing production in the Tobol-Ishim interfluve during the Early Iron Age, which has yet to be fully studied. The absence of iron items in the monumental materials of the beginning of the Early Iron Age meant that questions concerning iron processing methods, sources of the metal and the time of the origin of the ferrous metallurgy in this territory were not raised. Until now, it was believed that all iron items found in Tobol-Ishim basin were imported. It is probable that the absence of finds of iron objects is related to the mode of occurrence under conditions of sandy soils. This means that their absence may be due to the fact that they have simply not survived to our present time. Analysis of forged products found at the Maray 1 site allows conclusions to be drawn about local iron and iron production. Metallographic studies of ferrous metal products show that the population of the Maray 1 settlement was at the initial stage of the development of iron. In this early smelting industry, a relatively soft bloom iron containing a significant amount of slag impurities was used as a raw material. Occasionally partially carburised iron was used. The smiths of this time were not yet familiar with the methods of manufacturing steel, but were familiar with techniques for working with metal in the forging process. Findings on the site of slags, iron bursts, drops and balls indicate the presence of domestic iron metallurgy among the Baitovo population. The process of metalworking and the manufacture of objects made of iron occurred directly on the territory of the settlement. The data obtained, in conjunction with the available materials on the presence of iron and iron processing industries among the population of the Sargatka culture of Tobol and Kulayka in the Lower Ob, led to a conclusion about the beginning of active development of iron production in Western Siberia in the Early Iron Age. The chronological framework of the study is 4th2nd cc. BC.

Key words: Lower Ishim river, the Early Iron Age, iron products, metallographic analysis.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-44-1-015-024


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Article is published 2.04.2019 .


N.M. Zinyakov,

Kemerovo State University, Krasnaya st., 6, Kemerovo, 650043, Russian Federation



S.I. Tsembalyuk

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation