Analysis of the shapes of clay vessels from the Chekanovsky Log-2 burial ground of the Andronovo (Fedorovo) Culture in the foothills of Altai

Savko I.A., Kholoshin P.R., Demin M.A., Sitnikov S.M.




              page 3244




The shapes of 32 vessels from the burials of Chekanovsky Log-2 cemetery were examined by a technique applied within the historical-and-cultural approach to study pottery shapes. The analysis was carried out at the levels of general proportionality of the shape, its natural structure, and the formedness of the functional parts. The aim of the study was to characterize the pottery traditions of the Andronovo population in terms of pottery shaping and to clarify their cultural dynamics. As the result, two mass traditions were identified, manifested by vessels of similar overall proportionality (35–36 degrees) but of two different structural types: ‘Lip+Neck+Pre-Shoulder+Body+Body Base’ (5 parts) and ‘Lip+Pre-Shoulder+Body+Body Base’ (4 parts). Comparative analysis of the vessels from two excavated sections of the burial ground (northern and southern), making use of the information about other morphological features of the vessels (decoration and surface treatment), as well as about the specifics of the burial ritual, enabled revealing the dynamics in the development of the considered pottery traditions and the cultural composition of the population that used the burial ground. It appears that the vessels of 5-part shapes with a fully formed body and a more pronounced neck tend to the classical Andronovo (Fedorovo) period. They are characterized by burnished surface and ornamentation with fine-toothed stamps in a variety of geometric motifs. The vessels of these shapes prevail in the burials of the northern dig, which demonstrated considerable cultural homogeneity. The vessels of 5-part shapes with a partly-formed body and a lower neck, along with 4-part shapes, probably became more widespread in the Late Fedorovo period. These items were less thoroughly burnished, but, more often, smoothed, with simplified ornamentation applied with a coarse-toothed or smooth stamp. These traditions are represented to a greater extent in the southern dig, which, in addition, appeared to be not so homogeneous due to the distribution of squater pots of various structures. This peculiarity may attest to the increasing complexity of the cultural composition of the population and intensification of cultural contacts at the late stage of the burial ground.

Keywords: forms of clay vessels, historical and cultural approach, Andronovo (Fedorovî) Culture, burial ground Chekanovsky Log-2, Altai foothills.


Acknowledgements. The authors would like to thank Dr Yu.B. Tsetlin, leading researcher of the Theory and Methods Department of IA RAS, Dr N.F. Stepanova and Dr O.A. Fedoruk, employees of the Barnaul Laboratory of the IAET SB RAS and Altai State University.

Funding. The work was financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project No. 20-18-00179 “Migrations and processes of ethno-cultural interaction as factors in the formation of multi-ethnic societies on the territory of the Great Altai in antiquity and the Middle Ages: an interdisciplinary analysis of archaeological and anthropological materials”.


Creative Commons License

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

Accepted: 25.09.2022

Article is published: 15.03.2023


Savko I.A., Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, SB RAS, Akademika Lavrentieva prosp., 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation; Altai State University, Lenina st., 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation; Altai State Pedagogical University, Molodezhnaya st., 55, Barnaul, 656031, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


Kholoshin P.R., Paleoethnology Research Center Novaya ploshchad', 12/5, Moscow, 109012, Russian Federation;  Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dm. Ulyanova st., 19, Moscow, 117292, Russian Federation, E-mail:,

Demin M.A., Altai State Pedagogical University, Molodezhnaya st., 55, Barnaul, 656031, Russian Federation, E-mail:,

Sitnikov S.M., Autonomous non-profit organization “Altai Archaeological Society”, Kovylnaya st., 76, Barnaul, 656902, Russian Federation, E-mail:,,