Pottery-making technology used by Alakul and Fedorovo groups of the Bochantsevo-1 settlement 

Ilyushina V.V. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)



             page 3648


In the archaeology of Northern Eurasia, the relationship between the Alakul and Fedorov cultures (Andronovo cultural-historical community of the Late Bronze Age) remains an issue. In order to resolve it, a detailed study of pottery complexes, namely, the technology of pottery making used by these cultures is required. This work presents new data on the technologies of pottery making used by the Alakul and Fedorov groups of the Bochantsevo-1 settlement as well as their comparison. Thirty fragments from different vessels of the Fedorov and Alakul cultures were subjected to technical and technological analysis using the approach developed by A.A. Bobrinsky. The material analysis reveals the similarity of potters' skills at all the studied stages of pottery making. Alakul and Fedorov potters used exclusively silty clay containing river mollusc shell for making ware. The information obtained on the chamotte composition indicates that both cultural groups had accepted views of using silty clay as pottery raw material. In the preparation of moulding materials, chamotte and organic additives were mainly used. The use of crushed calcined bone is recorded in Alakul vessels. The analysis of clay (with chamotte inclusions) indicates the traditional nature of these skills among the Alakul and Fedorov potters. In addition, an admixture of talc is registered in the chamotte composition. Presumably, the use of talc was characteristic of these groups. The potters smoothed the finished ware with their fingers, cloth and spatulas, subsequently consolidating or polishing them to add shine. Consolidating vessel walls without polishing them was more characteristic of Alakul potters. The character of painted surfaces and fractures of vessels show them to have been baked in fire-pits or hearths. Most of the time, vessels were exposed to an incandescence temperature for a short period of time; however, fractures inherent in some Alakul pottery fragments indicate them to have been fired at lower temperatures. The comparison of the pottery making technology of the Alakul and Fedorov groups (Bochantsevo 1 settlement) with previously obtained results reveals similarities with other complexes from the Tobol area near Tyumen. Preliminary results of studying materials from the Bochantsevo 1 settlement show that the eastern part of Bochantsevo 1 was settled earlier and was reclaimed by the Alakul group. The western part of this monument was settled later by the representatives of the Fedorovo culture. The presence of an insignificant number of Alakul vessel fragments in the Fedorovo complex may be indicative of the existence of the group representatives, which may also be evidenced by the results of studying the ware making technology.

Key words: forest-steppe Tobol area, the Late Bronze Age, Alakul culture, Fedorovo culture, cera-
mics, technical and technological analysis.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-45-2-036-048


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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