Pottery from the Vak-Kur cemetery of the Yudina Culture (based on materials from excavations 36)  

Turova N.P. (Tobolsk, Russian Federation)


              page 8397


Researchers associate the medieval archeological artifacts of the Middle Trans-Urals, whose pottery bears cord impressions, with the Chiyalik, Molchanvo and Yudina Cultures. Despite the large number of artifacts that have been studied, many questions remain open. These include the status, chronology, and interaction of the Molchanovo and Yudina antiquities, as well as the evolution and specifics of their pottery complexes. Publication and analysis of the ceramic collections from Vak-Kur, the largest burial ground of the Yudina Culture, contribute to addressing some problems related to the Corded Ware cultures. The Vak-Kur burial ground is dated to the 10th11th centuries based on the assemblage of the associated goods. It is located in the south-eastern part of the Yudina Culture areal, on the right shore of the Tobol River. For all the time of excavations in the area of the necropolis, 220 burials have been studied. The dead were buried in shallow pits according to the ritual of inhumation, on their backs. A specific feature of the funeral ritual is breaking of a part of the accompanying equipment and use of funerary masks. Decorative and morphological features of 143 Yudina vessels have been examined. The tableware has been categorized according to four topographic groups after excavations 3 to 6. It has been noted that, despite the similar shapes of pots, and ornamental proportions and patterns, the pottery from excavations 3 to 6 demonstrates a different frequency in use of such elements in the décor as the cord and figured stamps. The biggest differences were detected between the ceramic artifacts found in excavations 4 and 6. It was suggested that the differences in décor between pottery from different excavations are determined not by their asynchronous nature, but by the existence of several tribal sites in the area of the Yudina necropolis. The comparison of ceramic collections from the Vak-Kur burial ground with those from the medieval burial and settlement sites of the Yudina Culture showed that the pottery from the necropolis is most closely related to collections from the Plamya Sibiri 6 and 7, and Antonovo 1 settlements located in the Tura River basin. These sites were dated by their investigator to the earlier period (6th to 9th centuries) and attributed to the Molchanovo Culture. Based on the significant similarity between the pottery of the named sites and the dishware of the 10th to 11th centuries from excavation 4 of the Vak-Kur burial ground, a revision of the chronology and cultural attribution of these sites has been proposed.

Key words: Western Siberia, Trans-Urals, Middle Ages, Yudin culture, burial ground Vak-Kur, ceramics.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Accepted: 02.03.2020

Article is published: 05.06.2020


Turova N.P.

Tobolsk Complex Scientific Station of the Ural Branch of the RAS, Acad. Yu. Osipova st., Tobolsk, 626150, Russian Federation