Geoarchaeology within the system of archaeological research in the territory of Baikal Siberia
Berdnikova N.E., Vorobieva G.A., Berdnikov I.M., Shchetnikov A.A., Filinov I.A., Lipnina E.A., Zolotarev D.P.
Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, ¹ 3 (54)
The value of geoarchaeology in archaeological research is discussed with an example of Baikal Siberia. Geoarchaeology is considered as an interface between archaeology and Earth sciences comprising a specific set of approaches, methods, and procedures. Nowadays, geoarchaeology constitutes a full-fledged research branch within the world archaeological practice. However, there are some problems in the determination of the essence and the role of geoarchaeology in archaeological studies, especially in Russia. In particular, the question whether geoarchaeology represents an independent discipline or an interdisciplinary approach has not been resolved yet. Moreover, archaeologists often focus on increasing the number of analytical methods to the detriment of their conceptual basis. In the Russian archaeological practice, the uncertain role of geoarchaeology is manifested by its perception as an auxiliary discipline with limited capabilities for the archaeological interpretations. As a result of many years of research on archaeological sites of Baikal Siberia, we have developed our own concept of geoarchaeology as a source study with a transdisciplinary character. It is based on four principles. Firstly, in our opinion, geoarchaeology constitutes a source study discipline with its own research methods. Geoarchaeological assessment represents one of the most important verification methods aimed at the determination of the degree of correspondence between the results of archaeological and natural science data. Secondly, the main object of research is a geoarchaeological object, which is a composite integral system with a mixture of traces of natural and anthropogenic events encrypted in it. We define the layer with cultural remains, where the natural component predominates, as ‘culture-bearing’. The layer with the predominantly anthropogenic component can be called ‘cultural’. Thirdly, geoarchaeology should be a transdisciplinary branch, the nature of which is determined by the complex origins of the geoarchaeological site. Such an amalgamation allows overcoming disciplinary differences and contradictions which leads to the formation of new knowledge levels. At fourth, geoarchaeological research should be based principally on the methods of actualism and stratigraphy in conjunction with overcoming misidentification of objects and phenomena, as well as on the pedolithological and event-driven approaches.
Keywords: geoarchaeology, Baikal Siberia, research concept, actualism, stratigraphy, pedolithologi-cal approach, event approach, transdisciplinarity.
Funding. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project No. 19-1950208 “Expansion” and by the state order of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia, project No. FZZE-2020-0021.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Article is published: 27.08.2021
Shchetnikov A.A., Irkutsk State University, K. Marx st., 1, Irkutsk, 664003, Russian Federation; Institute of the Earth's Crust SB RAS, Lermontova st., 128, Irkutsk, 664033, Russian Federation; Vinogradov Institute of Geochemistry SB RAS, Favorsky st., 1a, Irkutsk, 664033, Å-mail: email@example.com, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4591-6421
Filinov I.A., Irkutsk State University, K. Marx st., 1, Irkutsk, 664003, Russian Federation; Institute of the Earth's Crust SB RAS, Lermontova st., 128, Irkutsk, 664033, Russian Federation, Å-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7390-8373
Zolotarev D.P., Irkutsk State University, K. Marx st., 1, Irkutsk, 664003, Russian Federation, Å-mail: email@example.com,