‘Polish-Lithuanian’ archaeological materials from the excavations of the town of Tara
Tataurov S.F., Tikhonov S.S.
Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, ¹ 2 (53)
In this article, the authors analyse materials from the excavations of the Tara fortress (Omsk Region, Wes-tern Siberia), founded in 1594 by Prince Andrei Yeletsky and functioned as the main outpost of the Russians in the Middle Irtysh region to counter Khan Kuchum, the Kuchumovichs, and then the newly-arrived population from Dzungaria and Kazakhstan, until construction of the Omsk fortress in 1716. The aim of this research is to identify amongst the finds the articles of Polish-Lithuanian origin, in outward appearance similar to Russian ones. Having studied the collections formed during the excavations of the fortress in 2007–2020, the authors came to the conclusion that such items are definitely represented by the signet rings with nobility coats of arms, coins, and baptismal crosses made according to the Catholic canon. Potentially, Polish-Lithuanian origin could be assigned to some types of fabrics and leather goods, such as a travel compass case with images of French fleur-de-lis, some types of shoes, and handgun holsters. The presence of Venetian glass ware and plinth bricks in the layers of the 17th c., according to the authors, is also associated with the arrival in Tara of the population that had previously resided in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or on the western borders of Muscovy. The owners of these items ended up in Tara (and in Western Siberia) because they were taken prisoners or sided with the Russians during the Russian-Polish wars. Over time, they formed a special category of service people called ‘Lithuania’. This is evidenced by numerous written sources. The basis for this conclusion is given by particular characteristics of Tara's trade relations established, primarily, with China, Lesser and Greater Bukharia, and the Uzbek Khanate, i.e., with the south in the 17th c., from where Chinese porcelain, silk and cotton fabrics, and some types of smo-king pipes came to Tara. At that time, weapons, bread, coarse fabrics, money for salaries of the servicemen of the Siberian garrisons, and cheap beads were imported to Tara from the west through Kazan, Kungur, and Lozva. In the 18th c., the main trade of the Russians began to concentrate in Troitskosavsk (Kyakhta since 1934) on the border with Mongolia, from where tea, silk, and porcelain were exported, whereas a flow of Russian-made goods, as well as European wines, sugar, some species of nuts, and spices, was established through Kazan into Siberia. Instead of ’Lithuania’, Germans started coming to Siberia. In the 19th c., Poles reappeared en masse in Western Siberia. However, those were no longer residents of Lithuania and Western Russian principalities, but ethnic Poles exiled to Siberia for participation in anti-Russian uprisings.
Key words: archeology of Western Siberia, Russian fortresses, ethnos, trade, “Lithuania”, Russians.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Article is published: 28.05.2021
Tataurov S.F., Omsk laboratory of archaeology, ethnography, and museology of Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch RAS, K. Marx av, 15/1, Omsk, 644024, Russian Federation, Å-mail: email@example.com, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6824-7294
Tikhonov S.S., Omsk laboratory of archaeology, ethnography, and museology of Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch RAS, K. Marx av, 15/1, Omsk, 644024, Russian Federation, Å-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6909-0727