Structural and technical characteristics of the fortification system of the Dikaya Yama hillfort of the Early Iron Age in the Middle Tobol River area
Berlina S.V., Tsembalyuk S.I., Yakimov A.S.
Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, ¹ 3 (54)
The paper reports the results of the studies of the fortification system of the Early Iron Age Dikaya Yama hillfort situated in the Middle Tobol River region of the Western Siberian forest-steppe zone. The hillfort was built by the population of the Sargatka Culture, and it is dated to the 3rd c. BC — 1st c. AD. The defence lines at the junction of two adjacent fortified platforms have been studied. It has been determined that the earthwork of the first platform was built up from turfen blocks; the presence of traces of postholes suggests that the earthwork was reinforced with a wooden-frame wall — a wattle fence. The ditch between the platforms had a trapezoidal shape with the size of 3.2–4 m of the upper part and 1.2–1.6 m of the lower part. The soil from the ditch was placed into the mound of the rampart of the second platform. The mathematical analysis of the volume of earth making the mound of the rampart allowed establishing its height of 2.0 m. Analysis of the stratigraphy and planigraphy revealed the remains of a frame structure set on the rampart. The wattle fence on top of the rampart and the parapet along it have been reconstructed. Moreover, there have been identified the remains of a frame-and-pillar structure installed into the body of the rampart, which was aimed to strengthen the mound and prevent untimely slipping. A graphic reconstruction of the appearance of the fortifications existed on the studied site has been created. Carcass fortifications of the wattle fence type, a wall constructed in “zaplot” technique, set on the rampart, have analogies in the Early Iron Age hillforts of the Tobol-Irtysh interfluve: Kolovskoe, Rafailovskoe, Ak-Tau, and Pavlinovo. There existed a tradition of mounting a palisade into a ditch-trench — such structures have been recorded at the hillforts of Borovushka, Likhachevskoe, Bochanetskoe, Inberen 4 and Rozanovo, Mar'ino Ushchel'ye 4 and Malo-Kazakbaevskoe. The fortification system of the hillfort of Dikaya Yama, which, structurally, is represented by the earthwork ramparts on top of which there were mounted wooden walls in the technique of the wattle fence, is consistent with the traditional scheme of the fortifications of the Early Iron Age population. The question of simultaneous or sequential building of the platforms of the hillfort will be addressed in future work. However, the unified planning solution in organizing forms of the fortification structures implies, in our opinion, preliminary design of the whole settlement and its construction at one time.
Keywords: Middle Tobol area, Early Iron Age, hillfort, fortification system, Sargatka culture, stratigraphy, reconstruction.
Acknowledgements. The authors of the article express their gratitude to E.A. Alekseeva for the graphic design of the reconstruction of the fortification system of the hillfort and to V.M. Kostomarov for the photogrammetric model of the hillfort.
Funding. The work was performed according to state tasks No. 121041600045-8, 121041600042-7.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Article is published: 27.08.2021
Berlina S.V., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malyginà st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,