To the study of economic activities of the population of the Saka period in Central Kazakhstan (on the materials of traceological studies) 

Beisenov A.Z., Gorashchuk I.V.




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The Tasmola Culture of Central Kazakhstan, dated to the 8th5th centuries BC, was discovered more than half a century ago by M.K. Kadyrbaev. He studied dozens of kurgans, on the materials of which he characterized the mortuary rites and funerary equipment of the new culture at a high professional level. On the basis of the materials from the burial sites, he for the first time considered the features of the economic activity of the population of the Saka period in Central Kazakhstan. Recent materials, including those obtained from the settlements, make it possible to largely extend the existing conclusions and assumptions of those years. At the settlement of Abylai, located in the territory of the Karaganda Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan, six seasons of archaeological excavations were carried out in 20162021. First results of the traceological analysis of stone tools from this site have already been published by the authors. In this paper, we report the results of the traceological study of a new series of stone tools from the Abylai settlement. In 2021, 254 stone objects were examined, functions of 202 of which were determined. As the analysis showed, 185 tools were used in various economic areas. The remaining 15 items were identified as kitchen utensils; there was also one mortar for grinding paints and one small altar (credence), which is very often found in the burials of this culture. The 185 tools are divided into 5 classes, each of which belongs to a certain area of economic activity (ancient industries). Among those, 92 articles (49.73 % of the total number) are tools for the earthworks. Fifty articles (27.03 %) belong to the class of grinding tools. These are pestles and upper and lower grindstones, which were used for grinding plant products. Next 26 tools (14.05 %) were used in the processing of skins (tanning industry). Thirteen tools (7.03 %) were used in metalworking, including the work with iron products. Four tools (2.16 %) were used to process bone and wood. Among the results obtained, of a particular importance are the finds of numerous hoes and grating tools, as well as tools for metalworking, on which traces of iron surface are clearly identified. In addition to the whetstones, used for dressing knives and other iron objects, the new series of tools contains stone anvils, on the working surface of which some iron scale preserves.

Keywords: Central Kazakhstan, Tasmola Culture, Saka era, burial ground, settlement, traceological analysis, classes and types of stone tools, economy.


Creative Commons License

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

Accepted: 30.05.2021

Article is published: 15.09.2022


Beisenov A.Z., NITSIA Begazy-Tasmola, Zhambul st., 175, kv. 61, Almaty, 050008, Kazakhstan, E-mail:,


Gorashchuk I.V., JSC VolgoNIIgiprozem, Stavropolskaya st., 45, Samara, 443063, Russian Federation, E-mail:,