Semiyarka IV burial complex of the Middle Bronze Age (Eastern Kazakhstan) 

Grushin S.P., Merts I.V., Merts V.K., Ilyushina V.V., Fribus A.V.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 2 (53)


              page 5265




The paper is aimed at the analysis of the Middle Bronze Age materials from the Semiyarka IV burial ground in East Kazakhstan. In 20162018, two stone fences on the site were investigated by a joint expedition of the Altai and Pavlodar State Universities. The two fences contained human burials, inhumed in a wooden structure and in a composite stone cist box. The purpose of this work is to determine regional features and chronology of the Semiyarka IV funerary complex, as well as details of the ethnocultural development of the local population in the Middle Bronze Age. The research methodology includes analyses of the planigraphy and stratigraphy, comparative and typological study of the artifacts, anthropological investigation, examination of the pottery manufacturing technology, and radiocarbon dating. The technical and technological analysis of the pottery production was carried out using the method of A.A. Bobrinsky. Radiocarbon dates from wood and human bone samples were obtained by the liquid scintillation method in the archaeological technology laboratory of the Institute for the History of the Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The dates were then calibrated using CALIB 8.2 program and IntCal 20 calibration curve. The body of collected data allows us to conclude that the Andronovo burial ground of Semiyarka IV is distinguished by its syncretism which is manifested in two different cultural components. The first component, Central Kazakhstan, is represented by the architectural traditions of building stone fences and graves cemented with a clay mortar, as well as by the presence of chamotte in the pottery containing additives traditional for the population of Central Kazakhstan. The second component, Siberian, is represented by the tradition of building wooden crypts, and in the ceramics complex, by some peculiar ornamental patterns typical of the eastern Ob River valley. The site is dated to the turn of the 18th/17th 16th c. BC. The architectural similarities of the Semiyarka IV burial ground structures with the Yenisei sites suggest that their origin is associated with the Irtysh River region. The migration period of the mobile Andronovo communities to the northeast is dated to the 17th c. BC.

Key words: East Kazakhstan, Middle Bronze Age, Andronovo cultural and historical community, funeral rite, migrations, ceramics.


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

Accepted: 25.02.2020

Article is published: 28.05.2021


Grushin S.P., Altai State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656099, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Merts I.V., Toraighyrov university, st. Lomov, 64, Pavlodar, 140008, Kazakhstan, E-mail:,


Merts V.K., Toraighyrov university, st. Lomov, 64, Pavlodar, 140008, Kazakhstan, E-mail:,


Ilyushina V.V., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Fribus A.V., Institute for the History of Material Culture RAS, Dvortsovaya nab., 18, St. Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation, E-mail:,