The ceramic complex of the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1

Chikunova I.Yu., Ilyushina V.V.


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


              page 5976




This paper presents the results of the study of the ceramics collection from two periods Eneolithic and Medieval, assembled during the fieldwork at the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1 in the Northern Priobye (Western Siberia). The Eneolithic ware is represented by fragments of 30 vessels decorated with alveolate, rhombic, nail-imprints, and corner patterns. There are fragments of a boat-shaped vessel and vessels with handles. The complex has analogies in the materials of the settlement of Gorny Samotnel-1 and is dated to the end of the 4th3rd centuries BC. The Medieval ceramics are represented by 296 vessels. On the basis of typological analysis, two groups of vessels have been identified: group 1 ware with sparing ornamentation comprising 14 lines of the ornament; and group 2 ware with an ornament comprising 58 and more lines. A characteristic feature of the group 2 vessels is the use of a cord and various shaped stamps. In the cultural layer of the settlement, ceramics of both groups was deposited side by side, which suggests their contemporaneity. In order to determine the degree of similarity/difference of the derived groups of vessels, a technical-technological analysis was carried out on 20 items. It appeared that potters who manufactured the group 1 vessels routinely used blend compositions of grus and grus with wool. Organic mortars were rarely used. The smoo-thing of the vessels was performed mainly with a wood splinter, knife, or spatula. The craftsmen who manufactured the vessels of group 2 used medium to heavily oversanded clays along with slightly oversanded material. While making the molding compositions, a blend of grus and organic mortar was used more often. Wool was rarely utilised. The vessels were smoothed with soft materials and a knife or spatula, the outer surfaces were subjected to hand tamping. The noted differences suggest, that in the Middle Ages two groups of potters, who had distinctive pottery-making skills, were living at the settlement. Vessels of the group 1 have similarities with materials of the Bichevnik type from the Pechersky Trans-Urals, whereas vessels of the group 2 in the materials of the Yarsalinsky, Ust-Poluisky, and Yudinsky Cultures of the Iron Age and Early Middle Ages of the Middle and Lower Priobye and Lower Tobol River region. Obtained radiocarbon dates and some artefacts (a bronze signet ring and an iron dagger), which have analogies in the Middle Trans-Urals, define the time span of the activity for the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1 within the 7th13th centuries.

Keywords: Northern Ob region, Eneolithic epoch, Medieval epoch, ceramic complex, technical and technological analysis.


Acknowledgements. We express our sincere appreciation for the assistance and advice to S.F. Koksharov (Institute of history and archaeology, Ural branch,
Russian Academy of Sciences), O.S. Tupakhina (Scientific centre for the study of the Arctic), O.E. P
shekhonova and S.N. Skochina (Tyumen scientific centre SB RAS).

Funding. The work was carried out under the state task, the project Western Siberia in the context of Eurasian relations: man, nature, society.


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

Accepted: 27.05.2020

Article is published: 27.08.2021


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


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