Chronology of a medieval complex from the Papskoye settlement (forest-steppe of Western Siberia) 

Matveeva N.P., Tret'iakov E.A., Zelenkov A.S. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


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A large number of imported items found in the occupation layers of archaeological sites in the Trans-Urals and Western Siberia suggest that, in the Middle Ages, these regions were on the periphery of trade routes and were involved in global historical events. In this connection, the dating of material culture provides details about trade and economic, as well as social and political, aspects of the life of communities of the past. One of the new archaeological sites allowing the dynamics of material culture to be traced is a multi-layered Papskoye settlement. This site constitutes a fortification having two areas and powerful defensive lines, located on top of the right-bank terrace of the Iset River. In this study, structures attributed to different chronological periods were analysed and artefacts were collected (7th century BC 14th century AD). Nevertheless, collections of items dating back to the High Middle Ages (late 9th early 14th centuries) are the most representative as they most objectively reflect the historical and cultural processes that took place in this region. Most of the finds of arrowheads, elements of clothing and horse harnesses, as well as household items, in the Papskoye settlement belong to this time. In this study, we used a comparative-typological method followed by the identification of the types of things. In order to establish the most accurate chronological framework, as well as to determine the primary centres for the production of certain items, we applied the method of analogy using a wide range of material culture from the neighbouring territories, which include Altai, Mongolia, Volga region, Kama area, the Caucasus, the north of Western Siberia, etc. In this study, we identified two chronological phases within the High Middle Ages using the materials of the Papskoye fortified settlement: 1) late 9th 12th centuries; 2) late 12th early 14th centuries. They correspond to the period when the carriers of the Yudino and Chiyalik cultures inhabited this site. In addition, a large number of direct analogies with the neighbouring territories suggests that the territory of the forest-steppe Trans-Urals was located on the periphery of trade routes through which imports came from Southern Siberia, Volga Bulgaria and the Upper Kama area.

Key words: Trans-Urals, arly Middle Ages, material culture, chronology, Yudino culture, Chiyalik culture.


Funding. The reported study was funded by RFBR and FRLC in Hungary according to the research project  1959-23006.


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

Submitted: 29.09.2019

Accepted: 19.12.2019

Article is published: 02.03.2020


Matveeva N.P.

University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation



Tret'iakov E.A.

University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation



Zelenkov A.S.

University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation