New data obtained on the archaeozoology of the Alakul population from the Middle Tobol area drawing on the excavation materials
 from the Zolotoye 1 settlement

Kostomarov V.M. (Tyumen, Russian Federation), Novikov I.K. (Kurgan, Russian Federation), Kisagulov A.V. (Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation)


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The article presents the results of a taxonomic study of the archaeozoological collection from the Zolotoye 1 settlement. The settlement is located in the steppe zone of the Tobol-Ishim interfluve (the Polovinsky District of the Kurgan Region). A significant part of artefacts, including bone remains, belong to the Alakul culture of the Late Bronze Age (17th16th centuries BC). A small collection (a total of 6 fragmented vessels) attributed to the Alekseyevka-Sargary culture was also identified. The relevance of this work is determined by the fact that data on the species composition of Alakul archaeozoological collections are predominantly obtained from necropolises, whereas economic characteristics are primarily reflected by materials from the settlements. The study in question was conducted using the paleozoological method. The taxonomic affiliation of bones was determined using the reference collection of skeletons from the Zoological Museum of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS along with corresponding atlases. The conclusion about the taxonomic affiliation of fossil remains was based on the similarities in composition and size between the morphological structures of bones. The age of the individuals was determined by the degree of tooth abrasion and by the attachment of the pineal gland. The studied osteological collection includes 2783 items. In order to define the features of its occurrence considering species composition, a planigraphic analysis was performed. To this end, we used data collected from a digital total station and field inventories. As a result, it was found that the bone remains belong mainly to domestic animals (99.5 %). Cattle bones (47 %) predominate, followed by the bones of small cattle (34 %) and horses (18 %). Jud-ging by age characteristics, cattle were kept for the production of milk and meat. The remains of wild animals are scarce (0.5 %). They include commercial species (elk, hare, waterfowl), which indicates that the Alakul population was engaged in hunting. The comparison of domestic and wild animals, the composition of the herd from the Zolotoye 1 settlement located in the interfluve area with the archaeozoological collections of the Late Bronze Age from the forest-steppe Trans-Urals revealed their similarity, first of all, with Alakul materials originating from the layer of settlements confined to river systems. This fact reflects the general line of development in livestock breeding of the period under consideration, which suggests that the carriers of the Alakul culture developed stable forms of adaptation to different living conditions.

Key words: Alakul culture, zooarcheology, herd composition, paleo-economics, animal husbandry, farming, Trans-Ural.


Funding. The article is written within the framework of the State Project No. -17-117050400147-2; the Basic Research project of the Russian Fondation No. 18-04-00982a.


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Submitted: 29.05.2019

Accepted: 30.09.2019

Article is published: 30.12.2019


Kostomarov V.M.

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



Novikov I.K.

Kurgan State University, Sovetskaya st., 63, p. 4, Kurgan, 640020, Russian Federation



Kisagulov A.V.

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