Production activity of the Maray 4 fortified settlement of the Early Iron Age in the Lower Ishim area: use-wear analysis

Kostomarova Yu.V.  (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


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The present paper is aimed at studying a tool collection from the Maray 4 fortified settlement dating back to the beginning of the Early Iron Age. The settlement is located in the Lower Ishim area (Kazansky District , Tyumen Region). Its materials, which culturally belong to Zhuravlevo antiquities, date back to the 7th5th cen-turies BC. The relevance of this work is determined by the lack of data, as well as little knowledge of the production activities of different archaeological cultures having lived on the territory in question at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. In this study, the author employs use-wear analysis, which involves examining the surface of tools and identifying their functions. For their verification, the author employed the results of experimental works on the use of tools from ware fragments in the processing of hides and wood, abrasive treatment of bronze and making pottery vessels. When studying the stone items, their technological characteristics were considered. In order to identify production sites, a functional and planigraphic analysis was used. A traceological analysis and micrographs of use-wear traces were produced using a MS-2 ZOOM microscope with a magnification range of 1040× and a Canon EOS-1100 camera. The use-wear analysis of the tool collection from the Maray 4 settlement allowed the data on the integrated livestock paleo-economy of the Zhuravlevo population to be supplemented. Judging by the number of tools ceramic hide scrapers stands out. They could be applied in the processing of hides and skins or ceramic ware making. These tools are established to be related to the boundaries of structure 1, whereas stone items were concentrated near structure 2. Data on to which extent Zhuravlevo population from the ancient settlement of Maray 4 was engaged in bronze casting are scarce. The development of spinning and weaving is another significant feature of the economic and production activities of the population (final stage of the Bronze Age to Iron Age transition beginning of the Early Iron Age), which is confirmed by the tool complex from the Maray 4 settlement. The rest of the industry is represented by occasional tools. The collection of tools from the Maray 4 settlement is more typical of the beginning of the Early Iron Age in the Tobol-Ishim and Ob-Irtysh areas, which is evidenced by the late Itkul, Baitovo and Bogochanovo materials, as well as the results of radiocarbon dating for the materials from the Maray 4 settlement. In addition, this collection of tools indicates that the population of the period under study, which occupied a vast territory, had a developed integrated economy.

Key words: Lower Ishim river areas, the beginning stage of the Iron Age, the Maray 4 site, instrument of labour, the use-wear analysis, functional-planigraphics analysis.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-46-3-048-061


Funding. The article has been written within the State Project No. -17-117050400147-2.


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Submitted: 20.05.2019

Accepted: 10.06.2019

Article is published: 26.09.2019


Kostomarova Yu.V.

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