Economic and production activities of Late Bronze Age populations (on the basis of materials from the Bochantsevo-1 settlement)

Ilyushina V.V., Skochina S.N. (Tyumen, Russian Federation), Kisagulov A.V. (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation)



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Field research conducted at the Bochantsevo-1 settlement lead to the discovery of a cultural layer containing pottery, bone remains, bone and clay inventory of the Late Bronze Age. In addition, spore-pollen data for this period were obtained.  Analysis of the application technique, ornamental elements of the found fragments, along with some features of the form allowed the authors to link the findings to the antiquities of the Alakul and Fedorov cultures. Analysis of the spore-pollen data obtained from the Late Bronze Age layer and of the discovered sterile interlayer shows that Bochantsevo-1 inhabitants chose to settle in an open place, i.e. a grass meadow with birch outliers growing nearby. In all likelihood, such a landscape and vicinity to the lake were most attractive for the sedentary population engaged in breeding cattle near the house. The analysis of faunal remains aimed at determining species and their age indicates meat-and-dairy orientation of the settlements cattle breeding in the Late Bronze Age. The role of appropriating economy branches was insignificant. The study of the inventory reveals that bone was the main material for making necessary tools involved in various areas of economic and production activities. The discovery of throwing weapons, fishing sinker weights, as well as tools for cutting the prey meat indicates the population's engagement in hunting and fishing. At different stages of pottery production, bone spatulas were used. The tanning industry was also important, as evidenced by the discovery of bone tools used for piercing leather. The discovery of ceramic spindle whorls indicates the settlement inhabitants to have been also engaged in weaving. One of the activities was metal production, as evidenced by splashing droplets and a double-blade knife found at the settlement. Typological and morphological characteristics of the knife correlate with materials from earlier periods of the Bronze Age (Sintashta culture). At the same time, the specifics of the production technology used at the Bochantsevo-1 settlement is comparable both to the Petrine tradition of metalworking and to the Tobol-Ishim culture of the Late Bronze Age. As a result of comprehensive studies, the question remains whether the Alakul and Fedorovo groups lived simultaneously in the settlement. At the current stage of research, it is possible to speak of the cultural affiliation of the settlement and materials with Alakul and Fedorov groups.

Key words: forest-steppe Tobol river basin, the Late Bronze Age, Alakul culture, Fedorovo culture, economy, production activity.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-45-2-021-035


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Submitted: 11.03.2019

Accepted: 01.04.2019

Article is published: 28.06.2019


V.V. Ilyushina

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



S.N. Skochina

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



A.V. Kisagulov

Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of Ural Branch RAS, March 8 st., 202, Ekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation