Dwellings of the Gorokhovo culture in the Trans-Urals

Berlina S.V. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


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This article generalizes data on the previously studied dwellings of the Gorokhovo culture of the Early Iron Age 7th and 2th centuries BC (Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Tyumen regions), as well as gives their description and characteristics. Following the analysis of the remnants and the features of wall construction, the author distinguishes three types of buildings: walls erected using a post-frame, zaplot (blind pole-and-board construction) and log stacking techniques. A number of buildings from fortified and unfortified settlements were graphically reconstructed. Post-frame dwellings constituted buildings of a rectangular shape with walls made of vertical poles connected by beams at the top. The space between the frame elements was insulated with vertical poles, half-logs, grass and soil. Dwellings with walls erected using a zaplot technique repeated the construction of post-frame houses; however, the space between the frame elements was insulated with horizontal logs fixed between the frame posts. The log houses had a rectangular shape; the walls and roof could have been supported by vertical posts. The roof of the houses did not depend on the wall construction and was represented by gables and hipped roofs. Three groups of buildings were identified: large elite buildings of a rectangular shape with their walls frequently being made using a zaplot technique; medium-sized buildings of a rectangular shape having extensions and utility rooms; as well as light-frame houses with uneven outlines. The presence of elite and ordinary buildings, stationary dwellings and temporary ones, which were probably used during cattle grazing, suggests a social stratification of the society. Due to the absence of radiocarbon dates for the majority of settlement complexes, a question was raised about the degree to which the Gorokhovo tradition of house-building affected the Sargat architecture. A hypothesis has been put forward that the influence of the Sargat population on the Gorokhovo traditions consisted in the appearance of zaplot dwellings with long corridors. Such structures were common for the Sargat population in both fortified and unfortified settlements during the existence of this cultural formation. Further study and age determination of the Gorokhovo complexes will allow this issue to be resolved.

Key words: Trans-Urals, Early Iron Age, Gorokhovo culture, dwellings.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-46-3-062-074


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


Berlina S.V.

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