Chronological relationship between the fortified settlement of Kamennyi Ambar and the Kamennyi Ambar-5 cemetery in the Southern Trans-Urals: capabilities of the Bayesian statistics 

Chechushkov I.V., Epimakhov A.V.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 3 (54)


              page 4758




By means of the Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates, a comparison of chronologies of the Kamennyi Ambar settlement and the cemetery of Kamennyi Ambar-5 of the Late Bronze Age Syntashta-Petrovka period has been carried out. Both sites are situated in the valley of the Karagaily-Ayat River in Kartalinsky district of Chelyabinsk Region (Russia). Comparison of the pottery assemblages of the settlement and the cemetery demonstrates their similarity, which suggests existence of a genetic link between the sites. The purpose of this work is development of a generalized chronological model of the two monuments. This is achieved by comparison of uncalibrated intervals of radiocarbon dates and calculation of chronological boundaries of the existence of the settlement and cemetery by means of Bayesian modeling of the calibrated dates. The method consists in that, in the beginning, the stratigraphic position of each date is determined, and then the dates suitable for the analysis are arranged in the chronological order and calibrated, while the algorithm of the OxCal 4.4 calibration program is queried for calculation of the boundaries of the given periods and their duration. Also, the paper reports complete sets of the radiocarbon dates: 61 dates have been obtained from the materials of the settlement of Kamennyi Ambar, while 19 measurements originate from the Kamennyi Ambar-5 cemetery. Correlation of the radiocarbon dates and development of the Bayesian chronological models have demonstrated contemporaneousness of the settlement and the cemetery with slightly later beginning of the activity at the latter. This observation is in agreement with the concept of the genetic link between the sites and, arguably, can be extended onto other pairs of fortified settlement kurgan cemetery attributed to the Sintashta-Petrovka period. Our conclusion is also consistent with the concept of building the complex of monuments by a newly-arrived population, who founded a settlement, occupied the new territory for some time, while the first deaths occurred some time afterwards. That said, the settlement of Kamennyi Ambar existed for no longer than a century in the 1950s  1860s BC, while the cemetery of Kamennyi Ambar-5 was used for 7080 years within the same chronological interval.

Keywords: Late Bronze Age, radiocarbon dating, Bayesian analysis, Southern Urals, Sintashta.


Funding. The study is conducted with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 20-18-00402) The multidisciplinary analysis
of group migration and individual mobility in the light of archaeological data (the case study of the Bronze Age of the Southern Urals)
(Epimakhov A.V.).


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

Accepted: 27.05.2020

Article is published: 27.08.2021


Chechushkov I.V., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS,  Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Epimakhov A.V., South Ural State University, Lenina prosp., 76, Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russian Federation, E-mail:,