The use-wear analysis of pebble tools from the Bronze Age settlement of Konoplyanka 2

Kostomarova Yu.V., Bulakova E.A.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2022, 1 (56)


              page 6272




The use-wear analysis of pebble tools from the Bronze Age settlement of Konoplyanka 2 The article presents the results of the study the tools made of pebble from the settlement of Konoplyanka 2. The site is located in the Kartalinsky district of the Chelyabinsk Oblast, Southern Trans-Urals. A collection of pebble tools (n = 26) was acquired during excavations of building 1 of the Srubnaya-Alakul and Cherkaskul Cultures, 14C dated to the 18th16th c. BC. The aim of the research was to undertake the experimental-traceological study of pebbles with traces of wear from this site. To achieve this, the signs of utilizing of work surfaces of the tools were studied; a series of experiments were carried out on the use of pebble tools in pottery making and in the proces-sing of bone articles; their work surfaces were also analyzed, and the signs of wear in archaeological and experimental tools were compared. Trace analysis and photomicrographs of traces of wear on the tools were performed using Olympus BX-51 metallographic microscope with ProgRes C10 camera and MC-2 Z00M pancratic microscope with Canon EOS-1100 camera. The experimental part of the work was carried out by the authors in 20192020. As a result of the traceological analysis of the collection, four groups of wear traces were identified on tools made of pebbles. The experimental part of the work allowed proposing the interpretation for these traces. The tools of the first group were used in pottery production at the stage of surface treatment for smoothing the walls of vessels. The second group was used to burnish the dry surface of the vessels. Pebbles of the third group were used both for smoothing the surface of vessels and for polishing them. Tools of the fourth group are most similar in their microscopic features to experimental tools used for processing of skins and leathers or polishing bone products. Therefore, the majority of the studied pebble tools were used by representatives of the Cherkaskul Culture of the Konoplyanka 2 settlement in the process of making pottery vessels, at the stage of mechanical treatment of surface Three pebbles were used for processing of skins, leathers or for polishing of bone tools.

Keywords: Late Bronze Age, Cherkaskul Culture, Southern Trans-Urals, tools from pebbles, use-wear analysis, production of ceramics.


Acknowledgments. We express our sincere gratitude to S.E. Panteleeva (Institute for History and Analysis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) for the opportunity to work with unpublished materials from the unfortified settlement of Konoplyanka 2.

Funding. The work was carried out within the framework of state assignments: project No. 121041600045-8 (Kostomarova Yu.V.); project No. AAAA-A19-119080590022-9 (Bulakova E.A.).


Creative Commons License

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

Accepted: 16.12.2021

Article is published: 21.03.2022


Kostomarova Yu.V., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, Email:


Bulakova E.A., Institute of History and Archaeology, Urals Branch of the RAS, S. Kovalevskoj st., 16, Ekaterinburg, 620108, Russian Federation, Email:,