The pottery complex of the Mergen 6 Early Metal settlement in the Ishim area 

Zakh V.A., Volkov E.N.  (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


             page 520


In ancient times, two regions with different ornamental traditions were formed on the Tobol-Ishim territory. In the Early Neolithic Epoch, the tradition of combed ornaments began to develop in the Tobol area, whereas, at the end of the developed Neolithic period, the tradition of pit-comb pottery began to take shape in the Ishim area and in more eastern regions. These traditions had existed almost without mixing until the third millennium BC. Subsequently, pit-comb pottery complexes spread over the wide territory of Western Siberia from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the Taz peninsula, as well as from the Urals to the Yenisei. Since that time, comb impressions combined with pit rows along the vessel body had been observed in the ceramics of the Early Metal and pre-Andronovo Bronze periods in the Tobol area. In the late Bronze Age, the pit-comb ornamental tradition gradually started to restore its former borders. Bayryk culture complexes indicate that the population carrying pit-comb pottery started to spread in the western direction, including in the Tobol area. These complexes were in many respects similar to the pottery and inventory of the Mergen 6 settlement from the Ishim area. Due to the well-preserved state of organic remains (bone tools, actual bones of large and small mammals, as well as remains of fish bones and scales) in the cultural layer of the settlement, the complex is one of the most informative among the sites of the Early Metal Period. The ware found in the settlement has a wide range of analogies in synchronous cultures from forest and steppe territories. Judging by the site location (at the head of the river Mergenka outflowing from lake Mergen), osteological materials and inventory, the settlement population had appropriating economy, possibly with a predominance of fishing (weir fishing). A close resemblance of the Mergen 6 settlement ware and Bayryk complexes from the Tobol area suggests that the latter were formed on a local basis with the presence and adaptation of newly-arrived groups from the Ishim area among the local population.

Key words: Western Siberia, Tobol-Ishim area, Ishim area, Mergen 6, ceramics, comb-pit ornamental tradition, inventory, farming, migration.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-45-2-005-020


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Submitted: 04.03.2019

Accepted: 01.04.2019

Article is published: 28.06.2019


V.A. Zakh

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation



E.N. Volkov

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation