Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii

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«Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii»                                                                      

Summary and keywords for the last 2 years

¹ 4 (63) (2023);   ¹ 3 (62) (2023);   ¹ 2 (61) (2023);   ¹ 1 (60) (2023)

¹ 4 (59) (2022);   ¹ 3 (58) (2022);   ¹ 2 (57) (2022);   ¹ 1 (56) (2022)

¹ 4 (63) (2023)  



Enshin D.N., Skochina S.N., Ilyushina V.V.

Complexes with flat-bottomed pottery from the early 7th millennium BC settlements of the Mergen archaeological microdistrict (the Lower Ishim River basin)

An analysis was carried out on the materials from the settlements of the Early Neolithic period at Lake Mergen (Mergen 3, 7, 8) in the Lower Ishim River basin (Western Siberia). The aim of the research was the consolidation of the obtained data and its preliminary correlation with synchronous complexes of the forest-steppe zone of the Trans-Urals and Western Siberia. The source base of the work was constituted by the Early Neolithic pottery collections, stone goods, and planigraphic drawings of the archaeological sites. The pottery-making traditions of the ancient population were analysed from the standpoint of syncretising two approaches — formal classificatory, and historical and cultural — in several stages: comparative-typological analysis of the morphology and ornamentation, and preliminary conclusions of the technical-technological investigation of artefacts. The stone goods are presented from the results of the typological and traceological investigation and using the data of the petrography. The house-building traditions have been considered in terms of a thorough analysis of the planigraphy and stratigraphy of the buildings, as well as taking into account the established classification of the archaeological sites. As the result, it has been found that for the ancient communities at Lake Mergen characteristic were the dwellings with ditches of a rounded shape, contralateral recessions, and drains in the floors. Predominant were open thick-walled flat-bottomed pottery vessels of potted-jarlike shapes, with a rounded cut of the rims, ornamentation, in the stroke or streak technique. About a third of the items were without ornamentation. The straight line, sparse pitted indentation, and zigzag constitute the principal element of decoration. Nearly half of the ornamented vessels feature compositions elaborated with geometrical figures (triangles, rhombi, parallelograms), rhombic lattice etc. As the raw moldable material in the ware fabrication, potters used highly oversanded silty clays, to which chamotte and organic compound were added. Scrap was the main building material. The firing was carried out in the natural conditions under the effect of temperatures no less than 650°C. The dominant raw material in the stone industry is represented by local run-of-river quartzose sandstone. Also identified were rocks related to the South-Urals jasper province, Kazakh Uplands. The complex is lamelliferous, dominated by the items of a width up to 1 cm (60%). On the basis of the obtained data, there has been established the chronological priority of the considered materials with respect to the complex of the settlement of Mergen 6, whilst in the pottery making the link with its pottery group I (Boborykino). There have been confirmed the analogies with the Boborykino complex of the settlement of Yurtobor 3 (the Lower Tobol River basin). A hypothesis has been drawn on the synchroneity with the Barabino antiquities (the Barabino Culture of the Neolithic), similarity of the Neolithic with flat-bottomed pottery with them within the Western Siberian affinity, but not on the cultural unity.

Key words: Early Neolithic, Western Siberia, Mergen, flat-bottomed ceramic complexes.


Kupriyanova E.V., Solomonova M.Yu., Trubitsyna E.D., Kashirskaya N.N., Filimonova M.O., Afonin A.S., Sharapov D.V., Ivanov S.N., Ryabogina N.E.

Interdisciplinary research of ash heap sediment near Stepnoye settlement (Chelyabinsk Oblast)

An ash heap is defined as a specific object at an archaeological site, usually in the form of a separate hillock containing a layer of finely-dispersed greyish-yellow or ash-coloured soil. The existing assumptions about the formation and functional purpose of ash heaps, as special archaeological objects found near the Bronze Age pastoral settlements, have so far been poorly supported by scientific data. At the ash heap near the Sintashta fortified settlement of Stepnoye, Chelyabinsk Oblast, for the first time, large-scale and comprehensive studies were carried out on the structure of these deposits, their granulometric and geochemical composition, in combination with the analysis of plant macroremains, paleoparasites, microbiomorphic and palynological complexes, indicative bacterial groups, and keratinophilic fungi. Judging by the archaeological materials, it is patently obvious that this was a multifunctional object that developed over many centuries and played different roles at different stages. The results of the conducted analyses showed that the 45 cm thick “ash” horizon in the Stepnoye ash heap contains a significant proportion of a fine sand fraction, and not a silty fraction. An increase in the biophilic elements (predominantly calcium, as well as phosphorus and sulphur), accumulated mainly in the organic matter of faunal origin, was noted in the upper bench of the ash layer. However, the high concentration of phytoliths in the “ashy” deposits indicates that the layer was formed mainly as a result of the accumulation of a large amount of plant organic matter. The absence of charcoal and the scarcity of charred macroremains indicate that the deposited organic material was not burnt but decomposed naturally. The increased content of saprotrophic bacteria in the “ashy” layer also supports the natural decomposition of an organic matter. The composition of the phyto-lithic and pollen spectrum of the “ashy” horizon is not typical for the steppe of the south of Western Siberia, since it is dominated by a group of mixed herbs with elements of a ruderal flora, and not by cereals. All the data supports the hypothesis that the ash heap is the result of regular practice of cleaning of the floor and interiors of the buildings of the fortified settlement of Stepnoye. This is evidenced by the increase in the number of keratinophilic fungi, which decompose wool and hair and therefore accumulate in the occupational layer of the structures. Based on the results of the study, the hypotheses that the Stepnoye ash heap is a place of consolidated ash removal or composting of stable manure were rejected.

Keywords: ash heap, Bronze Age, Southern Trans-Urals, Sintashta settlement, phytoliths, pollen, geochemical composition, saprotrophic microbes, keratinophilic fungi, functional purpose.


Degtyareva A.D.

Technology for the production of sickles and knives of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals (by the results of metallographic analysis)

The data of the metallographic study of sickles and knives (37 pcs) of the Petrovka Culture from the Southern Trans-Urals and the Middle Tobol River basin of the 19th–18th centuries BC are reported. The implements originate from settlements (Ustye 1, Kulevchi 3, Starokumlyak, Kamyshnoe 2, Ubagan 2, Nizhneingaly 3) and burial complexes (Ozernoe 1, Krivoye Ozero, Verkhnyaya Alabuga). The reconstruction of the manufacturing technology of the Petrovka Culture tools from the Southern Trans-Urals was carried out by both taking into account the results of the surface visual inspection, as well as by the data of the microstructural study of the metal. The metallographic analysis was conducted at the Tyumen Scientific Center of the Siberian Branch of the RAS (microscope Axio Observer D1m from Zeiss; microhardness tester PMT-3M from LOMO). A certain correlation was revealed between the functional purpose of the product, type of the raw material, and the tool manufacturing flowchart. The sickles and knives with handles are produced primarily from pure copper (including oxidised) both in the process of casting in mould with subsequent finishing, as well as in the result of the forming forging. The tools obtained in the casting process often had casting defects, accompanied by the phenomenon of shrinking warpage of the metal. The finishing of the copper tools was taking place in most cases either in the regime of incomplete hot forging at 300–500 C, or hot forging at 600–800 C and at near-melting temperatures of 900–1000 C. Most of the sickles in the forging process were purposefully hardened by forging on the cold metal. Unlike the sickles and knives with handles, shank knives are made mainly of low-alloyed tin bronze. Apparently, this category of tools was given a special ritual significance, especially considering the fact that about a third of the tools came from burial complexes with a specific selection of the related implements. The use of tin bronze in the production of knives significantly contributed to the fabrication of high-quality castings with the smooth surface without metal warping defects. The finishing of the knives after casting was carried out with heating up to 600–800 C or 900–1000 C (44 % of the tools) or in the regime of incomplete hot forging (25 %). The forging on the cold metal with annealing was rarely used. Thus, at the basis of the choice of the technological traditions of the metal production lies the availability of a certain raw material base, the type of the metal obtained from this ore, as well as the inheritance of the technologies from the preceding cultural communities. Technological innovations in the processing of non-ferrous metal, associated with the supply of Sn-bronzes in the form of ingots or finished products from Central Kazakhstan to the Southern Trans-Urals, led to the significant increase in the quality of the produce.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Petrovka Culture, Southern Trans-Urals, Middle Tobol region, metal production, metallographic analysis, production technology, sickles, knives.


Kuzminykh S.V., Degtyareva A.D., Orlovskaya L.B., Vinogradov N.B.

Non-ferrous metal tool complex of the Petrovka Culture of Northern Kazakhstan: morphological and typological characteristics

Tools and weapons made of copper and bronze from the Petrovka Culture of the Northern Kazakhstan of the 19th–18th centuries BC are presented, originating mainly from sites complexes explored in the 70–80s 20th century G.B. Zdanovich and S.Ya. Zda-novich. When distributing tools and weapons by type, methods of typological division of equipment were used, taking into account the configuration of the product, the presence or absence of certain qualitative features, the design features of the handle, the handle, the area in the area of the transition of the blade part to the handle, the shape and section of the blade. The sample is represented by tools, weapons, ingots, semi-finished products, analytically studied in the 70–80s 20th century in the Laboratory of Natural Science Methods of the Institute of Archeology of the RAS (109 copies). Most of the products come from the sites Novonikolskoe 1, Petrovka 2, Bogolyubovo 1. The study of the typology of North Kazakhstan metal showed that in the practice of metal production in the region, they adhered to the general standards for the types of tools and weapons (adzes, chisels, knives, sickles, hooks) adopted in the Petrovka communities of the entire area. Such a general stereotypical set of implements, inherent in the forest-steppe and steppe cultures of Northern Eurasia, can be explained by the common genetic roots of the carriers of these cultures and by the fact that the metalworking of the circle of chariot cultures inherits the traditions of metal production in the hearths of the northern zone of the CMP. At the same time, the specificity of the production of the hearth of Northern Kazakhstan was discovered, which is associated with the appearance of forms of sickle-plows, hooks, massive knives with a subtriangular blade and an elongated handle, unknown in the monuments of Central Kazakhstan and the Urals, razors with asymmetrical blades. The penetration of these forms into the Ishim region is associated with the Late Yamnaya-Poltavka, Catacomb, Abashevo stereotypes and influences in the process of the genesis of the forest-steppe and steppe metal complex of the Late Bronze Age.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Petrovka Culture, Northern Kazakhstan, non-ferrous metalworking, typology, morphology.


Berseneva N.A.

Children’s burials of the Alakul Culture in the Southern Trans-Urals: reconstruction of age groups

The proposed study concerns the Alakul Culture whose sites are located in the forest-steppe and steppe zone of the Southern Trans-Urals and are dated to the 18th–17th cc. cal BC. The work is based on the materials of the published burial grounds: Urefty I, Êulevchi VI, Stepnoye VII, Òasty-Butak 1, Lisakovsky I, Alakul, and Tashla 1. One of the most remarkable features of the Alakul cemeteries is that children constitute between 50 % and 80 % of all the interred. In this work, 212 burial pits (242 individuals) were analysed. The aim was the reconstruction and interpretation of children’s age groups of the Alakul population in the Southern Trans-Urals by means of the analysis of the specifics of the children’s burial rites and grave goods. The children’s burials were divided into three groups in accordance to the age-at-death: infants (0–2 years old), children (2–10 years old), and adolescents (10–15 years old). Next, the grave goods of children from the different groups were studied; specifics of the deposition of grave goods for the different age groups were analysed. Comparing the variations in the children’s burial rite, it can be concluded that the place of children in the social structure of the Alakul society was quite important, despite the differences in the structure of the burial pits and the content of the grave goods. First of all, this is evidenced by the number of children's burials at the sites, which exceeds the number of the adult’s burials, and secondly, by the presence of the children's burials performed in accordance with the ‘adult’ version of the rite, including the position in the grave pit and the sets of jewellery. The youngest age group (infants, from the birth to two years old) was the most numerous. Sixty one individuals (69.3 %) from this group were buried only accompanied by pottery or with gender-neutral grave goods. In the older children's age group (2–10 years old), a third of the individuals were buried with a large amount of jewellery, a third without grave goods, and the rest with astragali or with gender-neutral grave goods. The adolescents (10–15 years old) is a relatively small category in terms of the number of the interred; their funeral rite, judging by the few well-preserved burials, was identical to that of the adults (for example, the Alakul burial ground, mound 13, pit 9). We can conclude that by the age of 13–15 adolescents were reaching the full social adulthood.

Keywords: Southern Trans-Urals, Bronze Age, Alakul culture, children’s burials, age groups.


Ilyushina V.V., Klimova A.D., Novikov I.K.

Traditions of creating the form and ornamentation of the pottery vessels of the Alakul Culture in the Alakul burial ground (a case study for the burial mounds 1 and 14)

This paper reports on the results of the analysis of the form and ornamentation of the pottery vessels of the Late Bronze Age Alakul Culture from the burial mounds 1 and 14 of the Alakul burial ground (the Trans-Urals). The study was carried out within the framework of the historical-cultural approach developed by A.A. Bobrinsky. The work is aimed at the identification of pottery-making traditions of creating the form and ornamentation of pottery vessels amongst the population who built the burial mounds 1 and 14. In the result of the analysis, there has been identified the cultural core of the traditions of the form-making of the pottery vessels in the population who built the burial mounds 1 and 14. The vessels are primarily of medium proportions and quinquepartite structure — ‘lip + neck + brachium + body + base’. Also, the dominant parameters of the functional parts appeared to be similar amongst the vessels from the different burial mounds. These data indicate relatively high uniformity of the composition of the consumers of the ware. The study of the ornamentation revealed that smooth stamp, which was used in the techniques of stamping and drawing, served as a traditional tool for the application of ornament. Toothed stamp was less frequently used in the techniques of stamping and drawing. The main ornamental elements were a ‘short straight line’ and a ‘long straight line’. Twenty two ornamental patterns have been identified; the widespread ones were the ‘horizontal zigzag, ‘horizontal straight line’, ‘cross-hatched isosceles triangle with point upwards’, and ‘cross-hatched isosceles triangle with point downwards’. Most of the identified leading and infrequent ornamental patterns functioned as a main motif. In the complementary motif, the widespread one was the pattern ‘horizontal straight line’. In the composition of the ornament, traditional was the placement of the ornamental motifs in the upper part of the neck and on the upper and lower parts of the body, with the allocation of a “free band” in the lower part of the neck and brachium. In the result of the correlation of the obtained data on the pottery vessels from the burial mounds 1 and 14, certain dissimilarities have been noted. In the burial mound 14, a large quantity of the vessels have a relatively higher neck; the vessels with the lowest index of the proportionality and the slope angle of the body are also present; in the ornamentation, toothed stamp was employed more frequently in the technique of drawing, which was used to apply only ‘horizontal zigzag’ and ‘horizontal straight lines’ patterns. The correlation of the data on the form and ornamentation of the vessels for the burial mounds 1 and 14 revealed that toothed stamp in the technique of drawing was used to apply ornaments mainly to the vessels with lower indices of proportionality and angel of the body. A hypothesis has been put forward on the increasing complexity of the composition of the studied group of the Alakul Culture population during the period of construction of the burial mound 14, which may explain the noted nonuniformity of the pottery-making skills.

Keywords: forest-steppe zone of the Tobol river, Bronze Age, Alakul Culture, Alakul burial ground, ceramics, historical-and-cultural approach, vessel shapes, ornament.


Kukushkin I.A.

Main characteristics of burial complexes of Central Kazakhstan in the Late Bronze Age

The main factual basis of the research comprised the materials of 25 necropoleis of the Late Bronze Age examined in the Karaganda and Ulytau regions of Central Kazakhstan. The total number of the investigated burials amounts to 167 individual structures. There were 190 burials recorded. Since the 2000s, nine cemeteries belonging to the Late Bronze Age have been investigated. There were 72 burial structures studied, including one of the eight largest mausoleums in the region — Karazhartas, excavated in 2016–2017. All known burial structures were divided into three groups: surface stone boxes, boxes imbedded in the bedrock, and ground graves, which, according to the characteristic above-ground structures, were divided into ten types of burial structures. It has been noted that for the first group of the burials, the most characteristic are quadrangular funeral structures erected using the masonry technique. The second group is dominated by quadrangular fences built from vertically set slabs, less often from stone laid on flat. The third group is clearly dominated by a ring-shaped layout in the form of the stones selected according to their dimensions, laid in a circle. The most numerous appeared to be the first group, for which the characteristic feature is the arrangement of the burial chambers in the form of stone boxes raised above the ground. The less representative was the second group with subsurface burials, including those that had a form of composite stone boxes. The third group comprised the burials in ground graves. It is assumed that in the first two groups, the westward orientation of the interred is predominant, with a certain role of the northeastern sector. The third group is characterised by the invariable orientation of the deceased in a southward direction with the sleeping position of the skeleton laid on the right side.

Keywords: Late Bronze Age, funerary architecture, typology, ceramics, inventory, mausoleum construction.


Kostomarova Yu.V. , Sechko E.A.

Tools for the metal processing of the Alakul population of the foreststeppe Tobol River basin

The paper presents the results of the study of a tool complex associated with metalworking from the sites of the Alakul Culture of the forest-steppe Tobol River basin — the settlements of Kamyshnoe 1 and 2, Uk 3, Nizhneingalskoe 3, and Zolotoe 1. The Alakul antiquities, in general, date to 1900–1450 BC. The purpose of this work is the consolidation and clarification of information on the metalworking of the Alakul population of the forest-steppe Tobol basin. For this purpose, collections of trade tools of the aforementioned Alakul settlements were revisited; the tools used in the production in question were identified; the signs of their wear, documented by a series of microphotographs, were characterised; and groups of the tools were identified according to their functional feature. The main research method was experimental-traceological. It implies, firstly, the study of traces of wear, their mutual occurrence and specifics of the location on the tools; secondly, the comparison of the obtained characteristics with experimental data. In the work, theoretical and experiential concepts of the methodology and classification schemes developed by S.A. Semenov, G.F. Korobkova, and V.V. Kileynikov were employed. To verify the traces of wear on archaeological tools, experimental reference samples of the tools were used, obtained during many years of work and stored in the Tyumen Scientific Centre SB RAS. As analogies, published results of the experiments and experimental and traceological studies of similar tools from territorially close Bronze Age sites were used. As the result, forging tools (hammers for cold and hot forging of castings, smoothers) and abrasive tools were identified; their technological characteristics and distinctive signs of wear marks were clarified. A set of tools in one quantity or another was recorded at each of the studied sites; therefore, the blacksmith production was quite developed also on the periphery of the Alakul Culture. Additional arguments were obtained in favour of the hypothesis that the ore processing was taking place in the immediate vicinity of its sources, and the metal could have been supplied to the remote villages already in a ‘finished’ form; there, the products were cast, forged, and finished. Analogies to the studied tools are known from the earlier Petrovka and Sintashta complexes of the Southern Trans-Urals. Thus, we can talk about common patterns in the manufacture and use of metalworking tools during the Bronze Age in the Trans-Urals territory.

Keywords: Tobol region, Alakul Ñulture, metal processing tools, hammers, abrasives, experimental traceological analysis.


Zimina O.Yu., Zakh V.A., Skochina S.N.

The ceramic complex of the Transitional Period from the Bronze to the Iron Age of the settlement of Mergen 6 in the Lower Ishim River basin (Western Siberia)

The settlement of Mergen 6 is located in the Ishim District of the Tyumen Oblast on the northeastern shore of Lake Mergen by the head of the river Mergenka. It was studied in 1990 and 2002–2011 under the direction of V.A. Zakh and S.N. Skochina. On the site, 1494 m2 were examined. The settlement is multi-layered and contains the materials from the Neolithic Period through to the Middle Ages. The research is aimed at the detailed characterisation of the ceramic complex of the Transitional Period from the Bronze to the Early Iron Age (TPBIA), dated to the 8th–7th cc. BC. The TPBIA ceramic complex is a large one (approximately 7.5 thousand items identified), deposited at a depth predominantly no more than 60 cm from the surface in the layers disturbed by ploughing. It is highly fragmented; whole forms are lacking; in some cases, ceramics was deposited in clusters. Therefore, the object of the research was a subset from the TPBIA ceramic complex of the settlement of Mergen 6 which was analysed on the basis of the formal-classificatory and cultural-historical approaches. With the aid of the methods of mathematical statistics, possible interrelations between the morphological and ornamental traits of the object of the research were established. In the TPBIA ceramic subset, the fragments of the pottery vessels which can be correlated with the ceramics of the archaeological cultures of Krasnoozerka (335 vessels identified by the necks), Gamayun (no more than 8 items), and Itkul (37 items), and a ceramic group designated as ‘synchretic’ (102 items) were identified. The analysis of the morphological and decorative features of the TPBIA ceramics showed quite a close interaction of the diverse population during the considered period. Elements of the ornament and morphological features of the pottery vessels, constituting the specifics of both the syncretic group of the ceramics, characterised by mixed Krasnoozerka-Gamayun-Itkul traits, as well as by the individual traits of the main cultural groups of the site — on the pottery vessels of the Krasnoozerka group, some elements characteristic of the Gamayun-Itkul decorative patterns; the vessels of the Gamayun-Itkul group have been produced with a deviation from the typical canons — served as markers of the mutual influence.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Ishim River region, Lake Mergen, Mergen 6 settlement, Transitional Period from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, Krasnoozerka Culture, Gamayun Culture, Itkul Culture, ceramics.


Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al.

The burials of the kurgan 2 of the Menovnoe VII burial ground (Eastern Kazakhstan)

Emerged in the beginning of the 2nd millennium AD, the nomadic confederation of the Kipchaks up until the beginning of the 13th c. dominated the Eurasian steppes, which became known from the 11th c. as Desht-i Qipchaq or Kipchak steppe. The oecumene occupied by the Kipchak tribes covered, according to the experts, vast areas from the Irtysh River to Ural Mountains, but there is no consensus amongst researchers as to where the formation of the Kipchak traditions, which were part of the Kimek Khanate, was taking place. Kipchak sites of the 11th–12th cc. in the steppe zone are very few, but they are considered, as a rule, in the context of the transformation of the earlier traditions of the Oghuz, whereas the medieval burials of the Mongolian period, studied in the steppe zone of Kazakhstan, are considered apriori as Kipchak’s. The materials obtained during the study of the Menovnoe VII burial ground reveal peculiar features, both in the elements of the funeral rites, as well as in specific components of the material culture, allowing one to consider this site as a funerary monument built by a group of the early Kipchak population who lived in the pre-Mongol period in the territory of Eastern Kazakhstan. The burial ground of Menovnoe VII is located 1.5 km east-southeast of the village of Menovnoe of the Tavrichesky District of the Vostochno-Kazakhstanskaya Oblast. Within the burial platform, 24 mortuary structures have been recorded: 5 Early Medieval kurgans and 19 stone heaps of the Late Middle Ages period. The article concerns the kurgan 2, which had a diameter of 8 m at a height of 0.25 m. The mound was spanning over an oval fence measuring 7.1×6.5 m. Two pits were examined within the fence: one, located in the centre, contained a paired burial of a man and a woman; the second, located by the south wall of the fence, contained a paired burial of horses. The deceased were accompanied by a broadsword, iron arrowheads, an iron cauldron, bone buckles, iron knives, and remains of a saddle. The specifics of the funeral rites and the analysis of the material obtained during the study make is possible attributing the burial of the kurgan 2 of the Menovnoe VII burial ground to the Kipchak cultural tradition developing within the final stage of the early Turkic era, which allows it to be dated to the 11th — beginning of the 12th c. CE.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh region, the Middle Ages, Kipchaks, burial mound, funeral rite, paired burial, clothing inventory.


Kharitonov R.M.

On the genesis of the bow designs from the “Old Buryat” burials

In the paper, the finds of fragments of bows from the “Old Buryat” burials of the 17th–18th centuries from the Baikal region are analysed, and an attempt is made to determine their genesis from the data on their technological features. On the basis of the conventional method of weapon-analysis classification, two types were distinguished by the set of the reinforcing onlays. To understand the missing structural elements, the data is drawn in on more recent fully preserved items produced locally in the 19th — early 20th c. from the museum and private collections from the territory of the Baikal region, since a genetic affinity can be traced between them and the earlier products by the available onlays. This allows one to speak about similar morphological and metric characteristics between the Buryat bows of the 19th — early 20th c. and the objects from the “Old Buryat” burials. In the result of the conducted analysis, the relationship between the distinguished type 1 and items of the 12th–14th cc. of the population of the Ust-Talkinskaya Culture of the Cisbaikalia region has been established by the onlays used and the structure of the wooden base (in comparison with the products of the Buryats of the 17th–18th cc. associated with the bows of the 19th — early 20th c.), on the basis of which it was concluded that the design evolved in the Mongolian period from a local prototype. The type 2 is also associated with ‘Mongolian type’ bows by the presence of the median frontal remiform onlay, although it has the features of Yakut’s ‘Central Asian’ bows (the end frontal straps made of staghorn with a wide and a narrow areas). In the course of the study, it has been revealed that the design of the objects of the 19th — early 20th c., predominantly Transbaikalian bows of the Selenga Buryats, has features of both the type 1 as well as the type 2, and it evolved from a local basis as a result of the synthesis of the elements of these types, thus combining the features of the northern and local workmanships. In the result, the structures appeared, which were reinforced with long end straps made of staghorn, with a long wide area creating transitional zones, and a short narrow one reinforcing the rigid limb tips. In the Cisbaikalia region, modifications of the type 1 bow were further developed by means of combining materials in the onlays of the transitional zones. All of the recorded bows, in terms of the shape of the ends and transitional zones, are much closer to the Mongolian bows of the 12th–14th c. from the rock burials of Mongolia, than to the Manchurian-Mongolian bows widespread in Central Asia since the 17th c.

Keywords: traditional bow, Transbaikalia, Cisbaikalia, “Old Buryat” burials, Buryats, Ust-Talkin Culture, Yakuts.


Tataurov S.F.

Archaeological evidence for Domozhirov's campaign of 1595 at the Nadezhdinka IV burial ground in the Tara-Irtysh basin

The study deals with the events that took place in the forest-steppe zone of Western Siberia, in the Tara-Irtysh basin, in the spring of 1595, associated with the campaign of the Tara detachment led by B. Domozhirov to the middle reaches of the Tara River and to the Baraba forest-steppe. During this campaign, the fortress of Tunus was taken by storm. The aim of the work is to trace, with the example of the burials of the Nadezhdinka IV burial ground, the fate of the defenders of the town and, in general, of the Tatar population living in the Tara-Irtysh basin. The capture of the fortress is described in detail in the memorandum report of the Tara vaivode. The archaeological investigations confirmed the information of the written source. The article is based on the materials from the Nadezhdinka IV burial ground excavated by the author in 2004–2006. In particular, a series of graves were investigated, in which the defenders transferred from the fortress were buried. The analysis of the burials allows the reconstruction of individual elements of the funeral rite, and exposition of the accompanying grave goods. The result of the study was the assessment of the situation developed at the end of the 16th c. in the Irtysh basin and the reasons for the retreat of the Russians to the north to the fortress of Tara. In the result of this campaign, Tatar settlements of this volost were plundered and this region of the Tara basin was appreciably depopulated. By the end of the 16th c., the Russians occupied the lands up to the river Om from its mouth to the middle course. However, the migration of the Kalmyks from the east to Western Siberia forced the Russians to abandon this territory and retreat essentially down to Tara. The reason for that was the lack of human resources both in the town of Tara as well as in the local population. Only towards the end of the 17th c. the Russians began to move southwards — this was the price of the cruel treatment of the Siberian Tatars in the spring of 1595. The burnt fortress of Tunus and the graves of its defenders at the Nadezhdinka IV burial ground have become a testimony of the ill-thought policy of the Tara vaivodes. The local Tatars, after waiting a certain time following the departure of the Tara detachment, visited the fortress and buried the remains of the defenders on the cliff of the Tara River. After that, most of them left the Irtysh basin and went to their historical homeland in the Southern Trans-Urals.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Moscow, Russians, Tunussky town, development.



Leybova N.A., Chirkova A.Kh.

Results of the analysis of intra-observer and inter-observer discrepancies in the assessment of some non-metric dental traits

For the first time in Russian odontology, this paper presents the results of the analysis of intra-observer and inter-observer discrepancies in the determination of non-metric dental traits. The basis for the work was the materials collected in 2022 in the western regions of the Republic of Tuva during the Tuva ethnographic and anthropological expedition of TuvSU-CPI under the direction of E.V. Ayizhy (Candidate of Historical Sciences, TuvSU). The aim of the expedition was comprehensive biological and anthropological investigation of the local population. The programme included collecting the data on somatometry, cephalometry, cephaloscopy, odontology, dermatoglyphics, panoptic anthropological portrait photography, and social survey. Due to the fact that two experts in odontology worked in the expedition, it was possible to conduct a comparative analysis of their independent determinations. An important factor appeared to be that in the Tuva expedition, for the first time in the practice of mass population-anthropological investigations, an intraoral 3D scanner was employed, which provided a rare opportunity to test the field determinations made by the researcher. This paper is concerned with the results of intra- and inter-observer correlations in the determination of non-metric dental traits by different recording techniques. Following the programme adopted in Russian odontology, during the expedition, there were 504 people examined and 331 wax impressions of teeth obtained. The complete programme of the odontological examination included visual inspection and description of the traits with the aid of a dental mirror. Using the intraoral 3D scanner Medit I500, in total 202 scans were obtained. The analysis consisted of several levels of intra- and inter-observer correlations and included three stages of connexive experiments aimed at the assessment of the nonmetric dental traits observed in the expedition and on the 3D models. The study is based upon the use of the empirical and statistical methods. At all stages of the analysis, there were no intra- and inter-observer discrepancies recorded in the assessment of the diastema, crowding, and reduction of lateral incisors. The most difficult feature for recording appeared to be the prominence of the shovelling of upper incisors. In its assessment, statistically significant differences were revealed during the intraobserver correlations. The results of the observation of the odontological traits obtained by different recording techniques, showed some systematic deviations at the individual researcher level, manifested in an overestimation of frequencies of the shovelling when determining by scans and underestimation of frequencies of the shovelling determined with the aid of the dental mirror.

Keywords: biological anthropology, anthropological variability, dental anthropology, connection, intra-observes comparisons, inter-observes comparisons.


Kishkurno M.S., Sleptsova A.V.

Craniological and dental non-metric data on the problem of the interaction between the representatives of the Sargatka and Bolsherechenskaya Cultures of the forest-steppe of the south Western Siberia

In the present paper, fully based on previously published craniological and dental non-metric data, the origins of common morphological elements in the compositions of representatives of the Sargatka and Bolsherechenskaya Cultures are investigated. An attempt is made to assess the available data with the aid of the integrated analysis, implying combined examination of craniological and dental non-metric data for each population. The previous studies of the craniological and dental non-metric data showed that the series are significantly distinct in the differentiation by the vector ‘west-east’, or, in other words, Caucasoidness-Mongoloidness. Despite this, their certain affinity was recorded repeatedly, both in the analysis of craniometric data as well as in the study of odontoscopic data, but no explanation of this peculiarity has yet been proposed. The craniological sample of the Sargatka Culture comprised 158 crania and the dental non-metric one — 424 crania. The boundaries of the areal of the Sargatka Culture encompass the forest-steppe zone of the south of Western Siberia: the basins of the rivers Tobol, Ishim, and Irtysh, and the Baraba forest-steppe. The examined materials were divided in four groups corresponding to these territories. The craniological sample of the Bolsherechenskaya Culture comprised 118 crania, and the dental non-metric data amounted to 326 crania. The Bolsherechenskaya Culture materials originate from 11 burial grounds in the territory of the Novosibirsk Ob basin. All data were previously published. In the results, the population interaction of the bearers of the Sargat and Belsherechenskaya Cultures has been recorded, in which some representatives of the Kamenskaya Culture of the forest-steppe Altai were also involved, which is confirmed by archaeological data. However, it should be emphasized that this interaction was not so widescale. The Sargatka series, being located near to the Bolsherechenskaya ones, are also located in the same field with autochthonous Siberian groups. This becomes the evidence of the fact that not only the interaction in the Early Iron Age binds together the representatives of the Sargatka and Bolsherechenskaya Cultures. The fact is that the specificity of the anthropological composition of the Bolsherechenskaya people is directly related to the most ancient autochthonous Siberian populations, whereas the specific features of the Sargatka people — to southwestern migrants. However, an important result of the conducted analysis is that the composition of the Sargatka series retains the specific elements which are characteristic of the autochthonous populations of Western Siberia and which do not disappear under the influence of foreign migrant groups — this is the maturised structure of the lower molars.

Keywords: south of Western Siberia, Bolsherechenskaya Culture, Sargatka Culture, craniology, Dental nonmetric, integration.


Slepchenko S.Ì., Filimonova M.O.

Results of the archaeoparasitological analysis of soil samples from the necropolis of the 2nd c. AD settlement of Pantikapaion

In the paper, the results of an archaeoparasitological analysis of a population group from the ancient Greek city of Pantikapaion, located in the historical centre of the modern city of Kerch (Republic of Crimea), are presented. The aim of the study is to obtain information about the parasitic diseases, state of health, nutrition, and hygiene in a part of the population of the city. The materials for the study were soil samples obtained during the treatment of the human sacra from 31 burials of the necropolis, dated to the 2nd century AD. In the result of the conducted investigation, the parasitic spectrum of the studied population group was determined. Eggs of three species of helminths were found. The discovery of eggs of broad tapeworm (Dibothriocephalus latum) in the soil samples indicates the presence in the diet of the studied population group freshwater fish that were not sufficiently thermally treated. The archaeoparasitological data from archaeological sites of a chronologically close period in the territory of the Northern Black Sea region suggests that diphyllobothriasis was a decease far from being rare in this area. The presence of eggs of human roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) in the samples likely indicates the challenging sanitary-hygienic environment in the city and insufficient hygienic skills in the studied group. The analysis of the archaeoparasitological data within the historical context and utilisation of the archaeopathological material from the archaeological sites in the Northern Black Sea region permitted to identify the factors that had an influence on the wide spread of geohelminths. The humid and warm climate facilitated maturation of geohelminth eggs in the soil, while the human activities concerned with the irrigation of the territory, building public water collection points, and waste buildup in the streets, in combination with the high population density, were causing the rise of the infectious hazard. The relatively high incidence rates of Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides may indicate a high prevalence of certain bacterial intestinal infections transmitted by the identical route. The occurrence of geohelminths, alongside the archaeological data, can indicate a low social status of the studied population group.

Keywords: àrchaeoparasitology, intestinal parasites, Northern Black Sea Region, Panticapaeum, bioarchaeological reconstruction, Dibothriocephalus latum, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura.



Adaev V.N., Konev A.Yu.

An unknown early 19th c. historical source on the subsistence activities of the population of the Lower Irtysh River basin: analysis of the information potential

This paper reports on a previously unpublished document — a survey of the traditional subsistence activities of the population of the Lower Irtysh River basin and the adjacent part of the Ob River (Denshchikov Commissariat of the Tobolsk Governorate, Russia), prepared in 1805 by a local official, D.S. Kochetovsky. The survey contains detailed information on fishing, hunting, and gathering practices of the Russian and Ugric populations, and it was intended for the preparation of the Governor's report to the Minister of Internal Affairs. The study is aimed at assessing the information potential of the historical source and determination of the socio-political context of its production. In the paper, a historical-ethnographic analysis of the document has been carried out against other sources of the 18th–19th centuries, and its main text with annotations is published. The document attests to a high level of competence of the government official in the subsistence economy of the region accountable to him, although that was not fully detailed knowledge. It is not replete with unique data, but at the same time confirms the deep historical tradition and conservatism of the local subsistence economy in which the ethnically mixed population was occupied. Unlike most of the published sources of the second half of the 18th c., the survey describes the economy of the clearly defined area of Northwestern Siberia, notably, as a whole complex, with the seasonal distribution of activities. Particularly valuable is the information characterising the flexibility of the economic structure, depending on the annual specifics of the fluctuation of natural resources. The authors of the paper concluded that the document under study constitutes one of the early experiences of compiling a survey of the economy at a lower managerial level, marking the formation of a new model of interaction between state institutions and local communities. The model was based upon the collecting of statistical and factual data on all Russian regions, which towards the middle of the 19th c. adopted by then a regular and formalised order.

Keywords: Northwestern Siberia, Tobolsk gubernia, materials of the governor's reports, socio-economic characteristics, Russians and Siberian natives.


Rud’ A.A.

Deities and spirits in the ideas of the Khanty of the Surgut Ob region (based on materials from 2002 to 2017)

The research is aimed at the characteristics of deities and spirits in the traditional beliefs of the Khanty of the Surgut Ob basin (the territory of Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk, and Nefteyugansk Districts of KMAO — Yugra and Uvatsky District of the Tyumen Oblast). The common traits are identified and differences between the categories of deities and spirits clarified; the transition of personified spirits to the category of deities is shown, as well as the transfer of the forgotten deities to the category of spirits. The sources for the research are represented by publications of the scientists of the late 19th — early 21st c., as well as by the author’s field materials collected in 2002–2017 amongst the Surgut Khanty on the rivers of Lyamin, Pim, Tromyogan, Agan, Bolshoy and Malyy Yugan, as well as on the Demyanka River (the right-bank tributary of the Irtysh River). The comparativehistorical approach is employed in this work. Concerning the study of the communicative nature of the relationships between the man and supernatural beings, the concept of M. Salinz (1999) on reciprocal relations and the theory of gift-exchange of M. Moss (2011) are used. Also used are the theoretical and practical exploratory work of E.S. Novik (2004) and E.P. Martynova (2021, 2022), who observed a close link between the traditional perceptions of the peoples of Siberia and the reciprocal and giftexchange relationships between the human world and the characters of traditional beliefs. Traditional beliefs of the Surgut Khanty include the narratives of a series of supernatural beings who influence all aspects of human life and environment. The author proposes the revision of the intension of the term ‘spirits’ frequently used by the majority of researchers to denote the whole variety of the characters of the traditional beliefs of the Khanty of the Surgut Ob basin. Taking into account the social significance, characteristics, functions, as well as the terminology of the Surgut Khanty, the author proposes to return to the division of their traditional characters into two categories — the łungx (“deities”) and the spirits (“demons” “the evil spirit”), including kułet, yelek-kanlekh otet, kaltet, potchek, por ne, mengk, yuli, ves etc. Despite the difference of the characteristics of the personages of both categories, the landscape-geographical and morphological characteristics of the places of living of the deities (yimung togi) may have features similar with places of living of the spirits (atym togi). In the study, specifics of the reciprocal and gift-exchange relationships between humans and characters of the categories of deities and spirits are recorded.

Keywords: Surgut Khanty, traditional beliefs, deities and spirits, reciprocity.


Masharipova A. Kh., Fedorov R.Yu.

Specifics of settlement and numbers of armoured boyars in the Tobolsk Governorate in the second half of the 19th c.

On the basis of the archival sources, for the first time an attempt is made to reconstruct settlement of the migrants from the Vitebsk Governorate — the armoured boyars — in the territory of Siberia. The armoured boyars was a category of servicemen who guarded the borders of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later — of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the annexation at the end of the 18th century of the eastern territories of the Commonwealth by the Russian Empire, the armoured boyars joined in the peasant estate. The resettlement to Siberia of separate groups of armoured boyars in the 1840s–1850s caused by the land shortage may be considered as one of the first experiments in organised peasant resettlements to the territory of the Asian part of Russia. The foundation of the source base of this study comprises documents from the holdings of the state archives of Omsk, Tobolsk, Chelyabinsk, and St. Petersburg. Most archival documents are introduced into scientific discourse for the first time. The main stream of the migrants was directed to the Ishim and Tara Uyezds of the Tobolsk Governorate. According to the statistical data, more than 3000 armoured boyars arrived in Siberia with the permission from the government. The largest parties of the migrants were domiciled in Utchanskaya and Ilyinskaya Volosts of the Ishim Uyezd. In various developed places of their compact residence, the living conditions had significant differences. Different settlement models were implemented there, including co-settling armoured boyars with old-settlers, founding villages populated by different groups of resettlers, as well as a separate domicile. The most stable were the large groups of armoured boyars living in relatively favourable conditions. Such examples include the places of their compact residence in the territory of the Ilyinskaya and Loktinskaya Volosts of the Ishim Uezd. In the meantime, small groups of the migrants, who found themselves in less favourable conditions, were much quicker assimilating in the new ethnic environment.

Keywords: Belarusians migrants, resettlement to Siberia, peasant migrations, Siberia.


Mavlyutova G.Sh.

The social portrait of the Muslim clergy in the Tobolsk Governate in the 19th — early 20th century

The Muslim clergy is analysed as one of the social groups. In Muslim communities, the clergy could comprise khatibs, imams, muezzins or adhan-caller, mujtahids, and ahuns. The congregation usually called all clergymen of mosque as mullah. In the course of research, it has been found that the majority of the clergymen worked in the countryside. The clerical staff of countryside mosques was few. Generally, there were one or two clergymen in service: an imam and a muezzin. Sometimes, two imams worked in the house of worship. In the period under study, mosques operated in the towns of Tara, Tobolsk, and Tyumen. The clergy staff in the urban mosques in different periods included 1–4 people. In most cases, the religious community elected clergymen, although there were situations when the congregation were asking the Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly to appoint them a mullah. The clergymen began religious activities at a relatively young age (28 years old). The average age of the imams was 45. Normally, they occupied clerical posts for the whole life. The Muslim clergy was not receiving allowance from the state. Usually, the religious community took the maintenance obligations towards the mullah. The clergy had different well-being levels. Part of the clergymen were living well. For example, they could afford to build religious houses at their own expenses. In the meantime, some mullahs lived in need, especially, in the time of natural disasters and poor harvests, when the members of the congregation did not support them with resources. A large part of the clergymen carried out educational activities, teaching children in a maktab or a madrasah. The Muslim clergymen were family people. In the second half of the 19th c., a trend towards establishing the dynasts of imams emerged in the Tobolsk Governate. The Muslim clergy had an immense authority amongst the population. Meanwhile, the facts are known when some imams discredited themselves by their behaviour. The religious community and individuals criticised them and composed complaints on them. Petitions against the Muslim clergy were written not only by the congregation, but also by clergymen against each other.

Keywords: mosque, Muslims, mullah, imam, muezzin, azanche, Muslim community, Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly.


Anoshko O.M.

The influence of natural forces and the ways of adaptation to them by Tobolsk residents in the 17th–19th cc. (by the archaeological and historical evidence)

The architectural appearance of Tobolsk was developing and changing throughout the period of the 17th–19th cc. In the history of the city, there were impeding factors of this process associated with the activity of natural forces. Its lower quarter, located on the alluvial plane, was regularly subjected to the floods of the Irtysh River. They caused substantial physical damage to the city, eroded the loamy riverbank, and damaged roads, structures of the bridges, shops, churches, and residential houses. The upper quarter, on the contrary, suffered from the lack of water, which had to be delivered from the piedmont part. This situation was exasperated by the high overcrowding of the population and timber-housing density. Therefore, fire accidents were a real scourge of Tobolsk. The paper concerns the causes of the regular occurrence of natural disasters in Tobolsk, their influence on the development of its urban-planning structure and formation of adaptation processes with respect to them in the subsistence culture of Tobolsk residents. The novelty of the research is due to the fact that the historical and archaeological materials are considered in the synthesis. The historical sources contain information on the construction and renovation of the main city buildings, their destruction in the result of fires and floods, and refer to the measures taken by the authorities to counter these events. The archaeological data shows how the residents of Tobolsk were coping with the destructive power of natural elements. The research revealed the measures undertaken by the Tobolsk residents towards the reduction of the fire hazard: police surveillance, street planning, stone building, change of the structural features of ovens, house thermal insulation, building of Nikolsky Vzvoz and a water tower. Protection from snowmelt floods, highwaters and the high level of the ground waters centred around the bank strengthening of the Irtysh and its tributaries by ramming in poles and timber logs with tamping the free space with stone, digging ditches for water diversion, backfilling certain platforms with subsoil, and by building timber houses on subcletions, houses with stone foundation on stilts or ground sills. In general, using the archaeological and histrorical materials, the mechanisms of the adaptation of the Tobolsk population to the natural-climatic environmental conditions have been identified.

Keywords: Tobolsk, 17th–19th centuries, floods, fires, adaptation processes, historical and archaeological sources.


Poplavsky R.O.

Religiosity: fomation of the concept and first research in the late 19th — beginning of the 20th century

This article attempts to fill a gap in currently available literature on the history of the study of religiosity fitting it into a more general context of the formation of a scientific approach to the study of religion. This is the first review covering the second half of the 19th and the first two decades of the 20th century. The first part of the article explores the term “religiosity”. The issue was brought up at the initial stage of the history of Religious Studies. Nevertheless, the term wasn't immediately accepted by the scientific community. Its meaning was clarified as opposed to the term “religion”. This opposition is rooted in the German philosophy of the 18–19th centuries and was manifested in the 1860-1870s debates about religiosity as a distinctive feature of a human being in anthropology and, since the late 19th century, in psychology. An understanding of religiosity as a subjective side of religion became dominant in 1910s and provided a basis for later typologies and classifications of religiosity. The second part aims to describe some early studies on religiosity. Attendance to worship services was measured through statistical surveys. Conversion studies focused on various religious practices and beliefs, as well as factors that made people convert. Teachers and priests organized surveys among students in the United States trying to respond to a religious crisis and low level of interest in religion among children and adolescents at the turn of the century. Some studies grouped believers based on the frequency of religious practices, thus creating the first typologies of religiosity. The author analyzes the works of Russian researchers, too. He concludes that the theoretical understanding of religiosity went hand in hand with international science, although the term itself was used less. The lack of empirical studies of religiosity in Russia in the studied period was due to the state policy and the attention of theorists to other issues in relation to projects for the future Russia.

Keywords: religiosity, anthropology of religion, psychology of religion, religious studies, methods, history of religious studies.



Liskevich N.A.

Book review: Economic development of the Nadymsky District in the first third of the 20th century

In this article, we present the analysis of publication of the “Project of the Simplest Land and Water Arrangement of the Nadymsky District of the Yamal (Nenets) Okrug of the Omsk Oblast”, prepared on the basis of the outcomes of the 1933–1934 Nadym Land Management Expedition, the materials of which are stored in the funds of the State Archives of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The compiler and executive editor of this volume is E.A. Volzhanina, a well-known specialist in demography and land use of the Nenets, as well as in land management of the northern boundaries of Western Siberia. The scrupulous source study analysis of the archive of the Nadym Land Management Expedition, a description of the methodology for systematization and classification of documents, an overview of the cartographic materials available in the archive, and population censuses indicating the occupation, social status and places of residence or wandering, by the national councils, represent a particular value. Publication of the documents of the “Project of the Initial Land and Water Arrangement of the Nadymsky District of the Yamalo-Nenets Okrug” includes an introduction and three parts: “A Brief Physical and Geographical Review of the Nadymsky District”, “Economic Description of the Nadymsky District” and “Land Distribution Project”. The high standard of systematization of the archival material, the presence of notes that allow comparing and synthesizing data from different documents, as well as the high information potential of the published sources that could be in demand in historical, ethnographic, socio-economic, and socio-geographical research, are being noted.

Keywords: historical sources, indigenous peoples, traditional farming, land management, regional economics, land use.


¹ 3 (62) (2023)


Enshin D.N., Skochina S.N.

The Lower Ishim Basin in the Sociocultural Space of the Trans-Ural Neolithic (based on data from the Mergen archaeological microregion)

The Neolithic period in the Lower Ishim Basin (Western Siberia) is represented by several cultures and pottery groups (Boborykino, Koshkino, the group of the cordoned ware, Kozlovo, Mahanjar, comb ceramics with the features of the Sosnovoostrovskaya Culture, Kokuy, and Ekaterininsk). The reference territory for the study of the period comprises the north-eastern shore of Lake Mergen. Basen on the study of the settlements of Mergen 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 the vectors and nature of the relations between the Lower Ishim Basin population and that of the adjoining territories have been identified. The aim was set by the need for tracking their dynamics in retrospective — from Neolithisation of the region to the final stage of the period, and in the context of the extant V.S. Mosin’s hypothesis of the sociocultural space of the Trans-Urals. As the basic markers of these processes, the following have been considered: raw material preferences within the lithic industries; morphological, ornamental, and technological specifics of the featured ceramic complexes; and specifics of economic adaptation. The data analysis has revealed that in the early and middle Neolithic (7th — mid to the third quarter of the 5th mil. BC) the dominant direction of contacts was south-south-western, western, and, probably, north-western (the Upper Ishim River and the Turgay Depression, the Tobol-Iset and Upper Miass River regions, the Lower Tobol River Basin, left bank of the Irtysh River, and, probably, the Konda lowland). The population of the Ishim River valley during this period constituted an integral part of the sociocultural space of the Trans-Urals. At the end of the Neolithic (the third quarter of the 5th — first quarter of the 4th mil. BC), the principal vector of the relations of the population of the Lower Ishim Basin shifts to the east, which resulted in the formation of the syncretic Kokuy complexes (on the basis of the Artyn Culture of the right-bank Irtysh Basin and Baraba and in the penetration into the river valley of the bearers of the comb-pit (Ekaterininsk) tradition of the Middle Irtysh River Basin.

Keywords: Lower Ishim region, Neolithic, settlements of Lake Mergen, vectors of connections, sociocultural space.


Khramcov M.V., Chairkina N.M., Dubovtseva E.N., Myznikov S.A.

Stone-tool assemblage of the Eneolithic settlement of Tolum-1 in the Konda River Basin

In 2020, the expedition of Poengurr and the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Ural Branch of RAS investigated the settlement of Tolum-1, which functioned during the Neolithic, Eneolithic, Bronze and Early Iron Ages. The site is located in the north of Western Siberia, in Kondinsky District of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug — Yugra. Structure (dwelling) No. 3 containing a complex of stone tools and pottery of the Enyi type, as well as the adjoint area, were investigated by an excavation trench of an area of 499 m2. On the settlement, 108 stone items were found, the large part of which concentrates within the boundaries of dwelling No. 3. The research is based upon the method of technical and typological analysis of stone-tool assemblage, implying the development of a typology of stone tools and the study of their production technology taking into account the quality of the ornamental raw materials used by the ancient population. According to the raw-material composition of the stonetool assemblage, mainly represented by soft rocks (grey-green slate, burgundy schist, etc.) and, to a lesser extent, by flint of various colors, quartz and quartzite, the ancient population of this region did not have continuous sources of high-quality ornamental raw materials. Prevailing on the settlement are the tools for woodworking (drillbit-shaped tools, adzes, chisels), and also found were knives and a representative collection of arrowheads. Items for stone processing are few: a hammer-stone, a retoucher, and two cores. There is a higher presence of unprocessed pebbles and tiles, and chips and fragments of polished products. The main technological chain on the site was production of polished tools from local gray-green slate by chipping off and subsequent grinding. The production of flint tools by splitting and retouching was insignificant. The stone assemblage of the Tolum-1 settlement finds analogies in the complexes of the Enyi type of the north of Western Siberia. Certain categories and types of products are more widespread — double-sided retouched fish-shaped arrowheads are found in quantity in the Trans-Urals, polished leaf-shaped arrowheads with a groove — in the Eneolithic sites of the north of Western Siberia, while polished arrowheads with a tapered truncated base were found among the Eneolithic materials of the Surgut Ob Basin and on the sites with the Ushya ceramics of the Neolithic Period of the Konda lowland. Polished rounded and teardrop-shaped pendants are found in the funerary and, to a lesser extent, settlement complexes of the Trans-Urals and Western Siberia in the Late Neolithic — Eneolithic. A series of radiocarbon dates obtained for the settlement of Tolum-1 and other sites of the Enyi type in the north of Western Siberia, as well as the technical and technological characteristics and morphology of the stone inventory of the settlement under consideration, and a wide range of analogies leave open the possibility of attributing the structure No. 3 to the Eneolithic Period, within the span of the calibrated dates in the interval of 3600–2600 BC.

Keywords: north of Western Siberia, stone tools, typological analysis, technological analysis, Eneolithic.


Epimakhov A.V.

Pro et contra of frontier interpretation of Sintashta antiquities (Bronze Age in the Southern Urals)

The practice of archaeological research often illustrates situations where the sum of facts does not correspond to the cultural-historical approach; it is impossible to squeeze this sum into the framework of the term “archaeological culture”. Deviations from his canonical understanding of the term may relate to the duration of the phenomenon, its spatial distribution or the degree of stereotyping of material culture and rituals. The frontier can be one of the options for interpreting such non-standard groups of archaeological objects. The purpose of the study is to test the possibilities of using the concept for the interpretation of the Sintashta sites of the Bronze Age of the Southern Urals (the turn of 3rd — 2nd millennium cal BC) in the light of new data from a comprehensive study (paleogenetics, chronology, etc.). Sintashta settlements and cemeteries are located on the compact territory of the northern steppe: settlements in the Trans-Urals, the burial ground — on both sides of the Ural Mountains. Previous studies have accumulated a huge amount of data on all major aspects, but the general concept remains debatable. The new data comes from mass radiocarbon dating, which allowed to use Bayesian modeling. New data of mass radiocarbon dating confirm the brevity of the functioning of the Sintashta settlements and burial grounds, as well as the possibility of partial synchronization of this tradition with others. Paleogenetic analyzes (more than 50 samples) have shown the heterogeneity of the Sintashta population. Peleogenetic data made it possible to diagnose traces of a subtratian population absorbed by the main migratory group. In material culture, The evidences in material culture are not traced. The same data confirmed a special scenario for the formation of necropolises, weakly associated with the consanguinity of the buried individuals. Only 1/5 of the deceased turned out to be relatives of the first and second degree. The new data significantly complement the previously formulated criteria, which allow us to consider the group of Sintashta sites as a reflection of the situation of the frontier. The Sintashta society in the frontier was formed as complex society. But it did not have the prospect of forming statehood.

Keywords: archeology of stateless societies, frontier, Bronze Age, Southern Urals, Sintashta, paleo-DNA, chronology.


Mimokhod R.A, Usachuk A.N.

Bone tools for leather processing (blunt knives and curriers knives) in the funeral rite of the Post-Catacomb period as cultural and chronological indicators

In the paper, the burials of the Post-Catacomb period (2200–1800 cal BC), whose inventory included large bone tools for leather processing, are analysed. Most of them are represented in the Lola Culture circle (Ciscaucasia and the Volga-Urals), and only in few instances they have been found in the burials of the Babino Culture circle (the Lower Volga and the Lower Don regions). The mapping indicates that in the latter case we are dealing with the evidence of intercultural contacts between the representatives of the Lola and Babino traditions. The analysis of the materials shows that the tradition of using large tools for skin processing in the funeral rite developed at the end of the Middle Bronze Age in Ciscaucasia within the Lola Culture circle. The Lola Culture was the main generator here. Its materials contain the largest number of such tools and their greatest variety. To such an extent, it is not represented within the materials of any other cultural formation of the Post-Catacomb period and in any of the cultures of the Late Bronze Age, where this tradition was inherited and rooted itself. It is noteworthy that in the Post-Catacomb burials, large leather-processing tools in most cases were present in the toolsets alongside other production implements, most often with stone tools. Besides, the functional relation between the bone and stone components of such toolsets is either not obvious or completely absent. It is possible that the interred with the attributes of different crafts might have been associated with the variants of the well-known Cult of Demiurge, well represented in archaic societies. The analysis of some features of the rite and combinations with other categories of the inventory in the burials of the Lola Culture circle shows that there is a correlation between the types of the large leather-processing tools and particular specific features of the ritual practice. Thus, the tools made from the lower jaws and pelvic bones of large ungulate animals clearly correlate with the southward orientation of the skeletons in the burials. The leather-processing tools made from the ribs of the large ungulate animals were seen predominantly in the burials with northward orientations. It is still difficult to say what lies behind such steady correlations, but it should be noted that in a reduced form they recur in the subsequent Late Bronze Age. The answer to the last question requires further expansion of the source base.

Keywords: leather-processing tools, funeral rite, Lola cultural circle, Post-Catacomb period, chariot cultures, continuity.


Stefanov V.I., Stefanova N.K., Korochkova O.N.

On the lunula stone pendants and their taiga counterparts

The paper provides brief information about crescent-shaped or moon-shaped stone pendants from the Bronze Age sites of Southern and Western Siberia. These artifacts belong to the category of rather rare finds. Across the vast territory from Cisbaikalia in the east to the Middle Irtysh Basin in the west only about 50 such items are known from the complexes of Glazkovo, Okunevo, Elunino, Odino, Krotovo, and Stepanovo archaeological cultures. In most cases, lunula pendants originate from the burial complexes. Particular attention is paid to the items associated with the archaeological cultures of the taiga zone of Western Siberia (Kulyegan, Polymyat, and Vary-Khadyta). The context of 13 finds, their raw material and shape has been characterized in detail. The items of the forest series feature small dimensions: a length from 4.7–5 to 8.5 cm and a thickness from 0.17 to 0.45 cm. In comparison with the larger artefacts of the Glazkovo, Krotovo, and Odino Cultures, the taiga pendants look like their miniature imitations. Most of the items were found in the settlements. The Eneolithic — Early Bronze Age archaeological sites of the taiga Ob Basin, whose materials contain lunula pendants, belong to the 3rd — early 2nd mil. BC. This chronological range coincides with the presence of such artifacts in the forest-steppe zone. The peculiar stone pendants are interpreted as an attribute of a new symbolism in the cultures of the forest communities, introduced by the Seima-Turbino groups of the population. Migrations of the Seima-Turbino populations along the Ob and Irtysh Rivers were accompanied by the mass distribution in the taiga zone of large fortified dwellings, new types of metal tools and weapons, advanced metal production technologies, and the widespread use of tin bronzes. They explain the similarity of the pottery materials and stone inventory of the taiga and the forest-steppe sites. The discovery of stone pendants in various forest zone regions, including its Arctic outskirts, allows one to interpret them as a characteristic Siberian symbolic attribute of the Palaeometal Period.

Keywords: Bronze Age, West Siberia, taiga, Seima-Turbino, symbolism.


Sataev R.M., Sataeva L.V.

Morphometric characteristics of the bovine bones from the excavations of the Bronze Age site of Gonur-depe

Gonur-depe is a Bronze-Age archaeological site in Turkmenistan, the presumable center of Ancient Margiana (the Bactrian-Margiana archaeological complex), located in the South-Eastern Karakum. The proto-urban center was functioning from 2500 to 1500 BC. The basis of the economy of the ancient population was mixed farming, including irrigated agriculture and livestock. Cattle was used as the source of meat, milk, skins, as well as draft animals and in rituals. In terms of the number of bones from the excavations, cattle is inferior to small cattle. However, in terms of the meat production, the contributions of bovine cattle and small cattle to the diet of the inhabitants of Gonur-depe were commensurable. Bones of older individuals predominate amongst the animals slaughtered for meat. Bones of bovine cattle are found in all excavation trenches of the site in garbage layers and ritual structures. At the same time, information on the morphological features of the cattle has been extremely limited until recently. Therefore, this study was aimed at the analysis of the morphometric characteristics of the skeletal remains of cattle from the excavations of Gonur. These data give an idea of the size of the cattle bred by the ancient population. Complete skeletons are of particular interest for the morphological study. We have studied the skeletons from burial No. 3895 of Northern Gonur, tomb No. 12 of Gonur-21, and remains of a dismembered carcass from burial No. 3890. The first skeleton belongs to an adult bull, the second to a calf, and the dismembered carcass belongs to a young cow. The size of the bull, measured by the skeleton, is quite large. It reached a height of at least 136 cm. Comparison of the measurements of disparate cattle bones from Gonur and other sites of the Bronze Age shows that they are on average larger than those of cattle of the Late Bronze Age of Eastern Europe, close in size to the bones of cattle from the Trans-Urals, and slightly smaller than the Eneolithic cattle of Southern Turkmenistan. The sizes of the metapodia, talus bones and first phalanges were used to calculate the height at the withers by disparate bones. The average height at the withers of the cattle from Gonur, reconstructed on the basis of the measurements of the skeletons and scattered bones, was at least 120 cm for cows, at least 130 cm for bulls, and 132 cm or more for oxen. Therefore, the size of the cattle bred by the inhabitants of Gonur in arid conditions was not smaller, and in some cases even larger than that of cattle of some other cultures of the Late Bronze Age and differed insignificantly from the Eneolithic cattle of Southern Turkmenistan.

Keyword: Turkmenistan, Bronze Age, Bactrian-Margiana archaeological culture, ancient animal husbandry,


Ankushev M.N., Alaeva I.P., Ankusheva P.S., Artemyev D.A., Blinov I.A., Varfolomeev V.V., Panteleeva S.E., Petrov F.N.

The nature of some Late Bronze Age iron-bearing artefacts of the Ural-Kazakhstan region

The problem of the beginning of iron production in the Late Bronze Age of the Ural-Kazakhstan region is discussed. For this, 13 iron-bearing artefacts from nine settlements that functioned in the 2nd mil. BC were studied using the SEM-EDS and LA-ICP-MS methods: metal objects, metallurgical slags, and a bimetallic droplet. Most of the studied artefacts are not related to the iron metallurgy. High ferric impurities in copper metal products of the Late Bronze Age on the territory of the Southern Trans-Urals are caused by the use of iron-rich ore concentrates. The raw materials for these products were represented by mixed oxidized-sulphide ores from the cementation subzone of the volcanogenic massive sulphide and skarn copper deposits. Iron droplets, frequently found in the Late Bronze Age copper slag in the Ural-Kazakhstan region, are not directly related to iron metallurgy. They are by-products of the copper metallurgy formed in the process of copper extraction from the iron-rich components of the furnace charge or fluxes (brown iron ore, iron sulphides). The only artefacts that indicate direct smelting of metal from iron ore are the slag fragments from the Kent settlement. Presumably, oxidized martitized ore of the Kentobe skarn deposit or its nearby analogues was used to extract iron at the Kent settlement. Rare finds of iron slags from the Late Bronze Age, known only in the territory of Central Kazakhstan, confirm an extremely small scale of iron production. Iron ore had been already deliberately used for these experiments. However, iron metallurgy in the Ural-Kazakhstan region developed into a mature industry much later. The discovery of iron metallurgy based on the smelting of copper-sulphide ores in the Ural-Kazakhstan steppes is doubtful. The use of sulphide ores here is known from the 20th c. BC, and it was widespread. In the meantime, the first iron slags and products appear much later, and their finds are sporadic. The development of iron metallurgy on the basis of experiments with iron ores seems more likely.

Keywords: iron metallurgy, copper metallurgy, Late Bronze Age, Final Bronze Age, South Trans-Urals, Republic of Kazakhstan.


Zakh V.A.

Zhuravlevo complex of the of Borki 1 hillfort in the Lower Ishim River Basin

At the end of the Late Bronze Age, there were events taking place in the history of the Eurasian steppes that manifested the beginning of the formation of cultures of the Scythian type. These processes, in many aspects triggered by the climate changes, spread into both southern taiga and forest-steppe territories of Western Siberia. In understanding the processes of the transitional period from the Bronze to Early Iron Age and beginning of the Early Iron Age in the southern taiga and forest-steppe Ishim River Basin, a major role pertains to the materials of the multi-layered hillfort of Borki 1, in the study of which, as well as of the cultures of the concerned period in general, a significant contribution was made by E.M. Danchenko (1991, 1996). The site is located nearby the village of Borki of Vikulovo District, Tyumen Oblast. This paper aims at the analysis and introduction into the scientific discourse of the materials of the Zhuravlevo type from the excavation trench of 2014 with the clean archaeological layer of the beginning of the Early Iron Age. During this period, the fortified platform of the hillfort was overbuilt with dwellings of the above-ground type, probably timber crib. The Zhuravlevo ware of the settlement finds its closest similarities in the materials of the sites of the Lower Ishim Basin: the settlement of Borovlyanka 2, hillfort of Lastochkino Gnezdo 1, fortified settlement of Maray 4, as well as the sites of Yamsysa 7, Kip 3, Novonikolskoe 3 and others in the southern-taiga Ishim-Irtysh area. Differences in the pottery and material culture assemblages even within a range of the Zhuravlevo complexes, not to mention the later ones of the Bogochanovo type, which have certain continuity with the aforementioned complexes, help to reveal evolutionary development of the culture of the transitional period in the Lower Ishim Basin and to raise the issue of the revision of its chronology and periodization. Giving the studies of E.M. Danchenko credit for unification of the Zhuravlevo and Bogochanovo types within the framework of the Bogochanovo Culture of the Early Iron Age, we believe that it would be more logical to consider earlier, Zhuravlevo, materials as a stage in the development of the Krasnoozerka Culture. The existence of the latter we tend to define from the mergence of the Suzgun and Atlym complexes to the formation of the steady Sargatka Culture. In spite of certain dissimilarities in the ware originating from the forest-steppe territories of the Lower Tobol River Basin, Ishim-Irtysh interfluve, Baraba and the Ob River Basin, it still seems that the processes of the development of the cultures of the concerned period in these regions have similarity in many aspects. There is a notable uniformity in the bronze assemblages of the sites of these and much wider territories. Products, similar to those found at the hillfort of Borki 1, are present in the complexes of the steppe belt of Eurasia from Tuva to the Circumpontic area and date to, most likely, the period within the 8th–6th cc. BC.

Keywords: Lower Ishim River Basin, Borki 1 settlement, transitional period from Bronze to Early Iron Age, Zhuravlevo ware, inventory, beginning of the Early Iron Age.


Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al. A Êipchak burial of the Menovnoe VII burial ground in the Upper Irtysh River Basin

In this paper, the materials of one of the burial mounds of the Early Kipchak cemetery of Menovnoe VII dated to the turn of the 1st–2nd mil. AD are introduced into the scientific discourse. It was the time of transition in the steppes of the Upper Irtysh River Basin of the hegemony from the Kimaks to Kipchaks; it is scantily addressed in the scientific literature, although, according to the written sources, it was specifically in the steppes of Eastern Kazakhstan where the Kipchaks started dominating; the vector of power changed, and the genesis of the Kipchak Khanate took place. There was the beginning of the Kipchak migration into the bordering regions of Kazakhstan, Central Asia, steppes of the Volga region, and Northern Circumpontic region, where they became known in history as Polovtsy, according to the Russian chronicles, or Cumans in the Byzantine sources. Materials from the burial mounds of the Menovnoe VII cemetery are indicative of the earliest period of the emergence of the Kipchak traditions, which further developed already outside the region of their formation.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh region, the Middle Ages, Kipchaks, burial mound, funeral rite, clothing inventory.



Morgunova N.L., Faizullin A.A., Mustafin H.H., Alborova I.E., Kiseleva D.V., Chechetkina O.Yu., Mednikova M.B.

On the status and selectivity of the infant burials of the Yamnaya Archaeological Culture of the Southern Urals (based on the excavation materials of the burial mound No. 1 of the Boldyrevo-4 group)

Bioarchaeology is an important field of interdisciplinary research based upon the contextual study of anthropological materials. In particular, bioarchaeology of childhood appears to be the most specialised area of research, addressing quality of life and social patterns of ancient groups. In this paper, we continue the study of the infant remains from the burial mound No. 1 of the Boldyrevo-4 burial ground — one of the elite and largest burial mounds of the Yamnaya (Pit Grave) Culture in the northern part of the Volga-Urals. It was located on the left bank of the Irtek River, a tributary of the Ural, and had a diameter of 62 m and a reconstructed height of 8 m. The earliest horizon was represented by mounds Nos. 1 and 2 with close parameters. They contained one burial each (burials Nos. 3 and 4, respectively), located in the centers of the mound platforms, which belonged to children. Based on the results of our preliminary study, the child from burial No. 3 died of metastatic cancer (the most probable diagnosis is lymphocytic leukaemia). Burial No. 4 contained remains of two children. Child No. 1 from burial No. 4, represented only by the cranium, had possibly suffered from scurvy. Here we publish the results of the analysis of ancient DNA aimed at identifying the sex of the interred, as well as the results of the Sr isotope analysis, which allows determination of their ‘local’ or ‘distant’ origin. The quality of the ancient DNA was evaluated by targeted sequencing carried out using a specially designed panel of probes that allowed the selection of target sections of the genome for subsequent enrichment using the method of hybridisation, followed by the target NGS. The genetic data confirm that all three individuals belonged to the female sex. On the basis of Sr isotope ratios, the girls from burials Nos. 3 and 4 (No. 2) were born in the territories with different geochemical signals. Unfortunately, for the child No. 1 from burial No. 4 such observations could not be obtained. The biological age (around 6 years old), female sex attributes, and the presence of serious health conditions allows one to pose the question on the selective nature of the children burials in this mound of the Yamnaya Culture. Moreover, they could have received a special hereditary social status, which influenced the further erection of the burial mound for members of the elite.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Yamnaya Culture, ancient DNA, strontium isotope analysis, paleopathology, bioarchaeology of childhood.


Shirobokov I.G.

On the use of collections with unreliably determined sex and age characteristics in model training for sex determination by traits of the standard craniometric program

The study is concerned with the feasibility of applying machine-learning methods to determine the sex from craniometric features when working with materials from archaeological excavations. A specific feature of such materials is subjectively estimated sex and age characteristics of individuals. The main object of the analysis was a sample measured by V.P. Alekseev and comprised of 258 crania (137 male and 121 female) characterising Russian population of the European part of Russia in the 17th–18th cc. As a test sample, a group of crania of the Russians with documented sex and age, registered within several collections of the Kunstkamera’s repository, also measured by V.P. Alekseev, was used. The series includes 89 male and 10 female skulls, which came to the museum from the Military Medical Academy in 1911–1914 by the effort of the Russian anatomist K.Z. Yatsuta. The models were trained, validated, and tested using four different methods, including discriminant analysis, logistic regression, random forest, and support vector machine. Thirty-three craniometric traits were included in the analysis, from which a group of five features with the highest differentiating ability (Nos. by Martin) — 1, 40, 43, 45, 75(1) — was chosen. When both sets of traits were used for the models commensurable performance indicators were obtained. According to the results of the cross-validation, in 85–88 % of cases, on average, all four models accurately predicted the sex estimates given by V.P. Alekseev. When the models were applied to the test sample, the proportion of accurate classifications did not change and stood at 87–88 %. At the same time, the machine-learning methods did not reveal any noticeable advantages in the level of the classification accuracy over the linear discriminant analysis. In general, the efficiency of the obtained models corresponds to the average value of the indicators calculated from the materials of 80 publications (86 %). It is likely that the crania, whose sex cannot be correctly classified neither by the models nor by visual assessment, constitute overlapping sets, which have some common morphological features assimilating them to individuals of the opposite sex. Application of the models to the skulls of the test sample, re-measured by the author, revealed some deterioration of the model performance indicators in all four cases. The decrease in the proportion of accurate classifications is caused mainly by discrepancies in the estimation of the nasal protrusion angle, as well as subjective errors in the size estimation under insufficient preservation of the crania and partial atrophy of the alveolar process.

Keywords: sex estimation, craniometrics traits, discriminant analysis, support vector machine, logistic regression, random forest, machine learning methods.


Kitov Ye.P.

The population of the middle course of the Ural River in the Early Iron Age (by the data from the Industrialnaya Zona cemetery)

Presented in the publication are the craniological data on a series of early nomads of the Sarmatian type from the Industrialnaya Zona (Poyma) cemetery in the territory of Terekti District of Western Kazakhstan Oblast. Age and sex determinations were given for 61 burials of the Early Iron Age and five of the Bronze Age. The craniological series is represented by 32 crania, of which 20 are male and 12 are female. They are characterized by similar morphological features characteristic of the population of the Ural River Basin. As of today, this series is one of the largest, and it dates to a rather narrow chronological period of the 4th–3rd cñ. BC. The ‘Sauromato-Sarmatian’ population across the whole territory of its settlement demonstrates biological unity, which is also confirmed by the palaeogenetic data. It is likely that the Volga-Ural and Cisaral regions constituted the hearth of the racial genesis, which is associated with the origin of the early nomads of the arid zones from the Urals to Ancient Khwarazm and from the Turgay to the Lower Don regions and the formation of the specific craniological complex, with large latitudinal characteristics of the cranium and facial region. The angles of the horizontal profiling feature significant flattening at the upper level, while at the lower level it is at the borderline between the Caucasoid and Mongoloid types with the nasal bones protruding prominently in profile. Also presented in the publication is the graphic reconstruction of the face from the cranium from burial No. 3, mound No. 10. The features presented in the physical appearance of the reconstruction reflect what the ancient nomads of the Ural River Basin looked like. The comparison of the craniological characteristics of the Industrialnaya Zone cemetery against a broad background of the comparative materials, generalised from the cultures of the Early Iron Age, showed that the craniological features of the group do not differ from the surrounding population with similar cultural characteristics of the Volga-Ural region, Western Kazakhstan, and the Lower Don region at the end of the 6th — 3rd c. BC.

Keywords: Sarmatians, Early Iron Age, craniology, early nomads, anthropology, Western Kazakhstan, Volga-Ural region.



Fedorov R.Yu.

Adaptation of the traditional culture of subsistence of the Ukrainian peasant-migrants in the south of Western Siberia (late 19th — early 21st century)

Presented In the paper, are the results of a field study of the adaptation of the traditional culture of subsistence of the Ukrainian peasant-migrants of the late 19th century, who lived in Odessa District of Omsk Oblast. It has been established that due to the lack of constructional timber descendants of the migrants continued building adobe houses up until the 1990s. Despite a number of innovations and borrowings, many of the original elements of the traditional dietary culture of the migrants retained. This phenomenon was caused by that, for a long time, personal allotments continued to play an important role in the subsistence of the migrants, as well as by that the food preferences usually constitute one of the sturdiest elements of family traditions. As compared to dwellings and food, clothing turned out to be the least invariant element of the traditional life-sustaining culture of the Ukrainian migrants. This was caused by the difficulty of growing flax and relative availability of purchasable fabrics. It has been concluded that the peculiarities of the local natural resources in most cases turned out to be the determining factor of preservation or transformation of certain elements of the traditional culture of subsistence of the migrants. At the same time, this model carried on until the moment when, alongside these resources for the sustenance of the local community, substitute materials and products, obtained in the result of the industrial production, were becoming available.

Key words: Ukrainian migrants, Odessa district of the Omsk region, natural resources, adaptation processes, dwelling, food, clothing.


Erokhina O.V, Shaidurov V.N.

Russia Germans in the Turkestan Governorate-General: resettlement and economic activity (the last third of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century)

The paper is concerned with the history of the resettlement of Germans to the Turkestan Governorate-General in the last third of the 19th — beginning of the 20th c. This territory was actively developing after the accession to the Russian Empire. This process was joined also by German settlers from the Ekaterinoslav, Taurida, Samara, and Saratov governorates. Some of them sought to acquire land, as they suffered from the land scarcity or even its total lack in the ‘mother colonies’. Others wanted to obtain easement in the military service for religious reasons. The aim of the research is the analysis of the economic activity of the Germans and their adaptation to the new natural-climatic and agricultural conditions. The paper is based on various sources: publications of the 19th — early 20th century, reports of the officials, and archival materials. Methodologically, the authors draw upon the theory of modernisation and consider the resettlement process through the prism of the Central Asian model of frontier modernisation at the turn of the 19th — 20th century. This enabled us to reconsider the topic, which is partially covered in Russian and foreign historiography. It has been found that there were two waves of resettlement to the Central Asian region. The first one is related to the acquisition by the German colonists of the status of resettlers-proprietors in 1871 and to the military reform conducted in 1874. The second reason is related to the famine that affected the European part of the country. The Germans could get land plots in this region in several ways: from the authorities, or by buying or taking them on lease from the local population. The Germans managed the land reserves at their own discretion, distributing them for domestic purposes amongst the members of the settlements or keeping them for the community. First years were difficult for the Germans because of the lack of funding and knowledge of farming conditions. However, following the financial assistance from the authorities and familiarisation with the area, they managed to decide on the management model. Cereal crops and potatoes were grown on the land suitable for agriculture. In other areas, they started breeding improved livestock of cows and horses. Agricultural products and animals were in high demand at the local markets. Moreover, the local population adopted many agricultural improvements from the Germans. The economic and natural-geographical surveys of this region conducted by the authorities demonstrated that the German settlers by the beginning of the 20th century managed to set up prosperous farming units. Their products won numerous awards at agricultural exhibitions.

Keywords: mennonites, Central Asian region, resettlement, adaptation, agriculture, modernization.


Antonova N.A., Dubova N.A., Navruzbekov M.N., Nickiforov M.G.

Modern Pamir house and calendar and astronomical views of the Pamiris

This paper presents the evolution of the Pamir house over the past 100 years since the explorations of the Russian ethnographer Mikhail S. Andreev took place. Despite the availability of the studies of the 1920s–1950s on the Tajik traditional dwelling (Pisarchik, 1958a; Voronina, 1951, 1975; review studies: Mamadnazarov, 1978; Muradov, 2021), the classical Andreev’s work (1958), conducted in the valley of the Khuf River (Pamir), remains topical. The Gorno-Badakhshan variant of the house construction (Pamir and Pamir region), distinguished on the basis of its ingenuity, stands apart amongst the other four geographical types. The paper concerns the comparison of the main elements of the contemporary dwelling of the population of the Western Pamir with the traditional ones. A special attention is given to the calendar and astronomical matters that relate the design of the Pamiri house to timekeeping. Our research is based upon the results of the study of 26 residential houses in the village of Midensharv (located 20 km southeast of Khorog in Roshtkala District of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Okrug) and several buildings in the villages of Parzudzh, Barodzh, and Tusen. Most of the houses were built in the 1960s–1980s. Modern Pamiris know the places in the house where the sunbeam falls on one or another special day, but in modern buildings there are no marks for the days of Nowruz, and summer and winter chillas, which were reported by Andreev. The methods of mathematical modeling show that in some cases the informants are accurate with the dates, but sometimes they confuse the holidays. Over the last hundred years, the Pamir house has undergone certain changes associated with the natural development. The changes of the traditional society, the beginning of which was noted by M. Andreev, have led to the widespread use of the Gregorian calendar, whilst the functions of individual timekeeping have lost their value. Nowadays, amongst local residents few people would remember the timekeeping by the human body ‘mard’, whilst the modern Pamir house has not preserved the marks of certain days of the year that were present earlier. Nevertheless, it can be argued that the Pamir inhabitants have retained quite a lot of knowledge and traditions. Although there are already no signs in the modern Pamir house, people continue to navigate in time using sunlight marks, which give an accuracy of about 20 minutes, which is enough for a rural lifestyle. All new houses are built according to the Pamir canon, and not by the projects of modern designers.

Keywords: Pamir house, ethnoastronomy, timekeeping, calendars, Shugnan, Tajikistan.


Istomin K.V.

When the connectivity is lost: infrastructural uncertainty and reaction to it amongst the tundra nomads of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

The present paper contributes to the study of ‘infrastructural failures’ as one of the rapidly developing in recent times areas of the anthropology of infrastructure. In the focus of the research is a ‘failure’ of the satellite telephone communications in Russian Arctic, which occurred as a result of the decision of one of the providers, Globalstar inc., to withdraw from the Russian market in March 2022. This provider was particularly popular amongst the groups of the native population of Russian Arctic due to low prices for the service and equipment. In the paper, the ethnographic data collected during a fieldwork amongst reindeer herding nomads of Nadym District of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia, are used, on the basis of which the study is carried out on how the tundra nomads were adapting to the failure and overcoming its consequences. The paper starts with a short historical review of the development of long-range communications in tundra and the social norms, strategies, and behavioural patterns formed at different times amongst the reindeer herders in respect to these communications. This review, the materials for which comprised published literature and fieldwork records of the author collected in the late 1990s — early 2000s, demonstrates that up until the arrival of mobile and satellite telephones in tundra during the second decade of the 21st century, radiocommunications of the reindeer herders were, firstly, public and, secondly, relied in messaging on the social networks and mutual obligations of the nomadic groups with regard to transferring information. The review is followed by the description and analysis of the field data collected by the author during the fieldwork in August 2022. It is shown that the loss of the satellite connectivity in the spring of that year disturbed the reindeer herders very much and even caused a change in the movement routes of some of their groups. However, the herders soon managed to adapt to the new conditions. For that, the mobile phones, which were working on a part of the migration territory of the herders, were employed, as well as, importantly, there were restored the social networks and obligations with respect to the information transfer that allowed reliable and relatively fast communications with the locations where the mobile connectivity was lacking. As the result, the communications once again became public, but the serious problems, which might have been caused by the interruption of the satellite connectivity, were able to be avoided. Meanwhile, the acute feeling of uncertainty that the herders were experiencing after the failure of the satellite connectivity, shows that the role of the long-range radiocommunications in their lives has increased significantly over the last two decades. The results of the study are also discussed in the context of the recent hypothesis on the “societies of the failure normality”.

Keywords: satellite phones, infrastructural failure, uncertainty, reindeer herding, Nenets.


Klyuchareva V.V., Korusenko S.N.

Modernisation of the historical memory and national identity in the Republic of Kazakhstan: a means of the formation and translation

In this paper, the problems of the construction of civic identity in the Republic of Kazakhstan are addressed. As the area for the research, Akmola Oblast was chosen. The purpose of the study is to identify the key means of the formation and translation of the historical memory and to determine the role of their influence on the change of the national identity of the population of Northern Kazakhstan in the 1990s–2020s. The sources for the research include state strategies and programs, statutory legal documents, and materials of ethnographic expeditions. The methodological basis of the study was formed by the theoretical developments of P. Nora, estimates of the theory of ethnicity and identity by V.A. Tishkov, and the research insights of L.P. Repina. The authors identify the main means of the formation of historical knowledge: state strategies and programs; names of the localities and streets; textbooks on the history of Kazakhstan; national and state holidays; and monuments to national heroes/events. The result of the study is the periodisation of the modernization of the historical knowledge in Kazakhstan. In the first period (1991–2001), the creation of a historical narrative was taking place. Renaming the administrative units was the most efficient means of the formation of the historical knowledge. During this period, new holidays symbolising the sovereignty of Kazakhstan emerged. In the second period (2001–2012), there was observed the consolidation of the foundations of the national policy of independent Kazakhstan. The state holidays are approved at the legislative level; the textbooks on the history of Kazakhstan are continuously developed, the state programs are aimed at studying the historical and cultural heritage. New memorial complexes appear in the republic, the process of the street renaming continues. The third period (2012 — present time) is associated with the dramatic modernisation of the historical consciousness of the Kazakhstanis. The state programs “Strategy-2050” and “Rukhani Zhangyru” form the basis for the modernisation. The renaming of the streets and localities continues, which is aimed at “reviving the indigenous Kazakh names”. History textbooks hold a prominent place in the modernisation of the historical memory of the younger generation. With the help of the public holidays, the foundations for national identity and patriotism are being laid.

Keywords: historical memory, places of memory, national politics, Northern Kazakhstan, Akmola region, post-Soviet period.


Rashevsky V.V.

Leisure practices of geological explorers of Western Siberia based on the narratives of pioneers (1950s–1960s)

In this paper, the main leisure activities of the geologists, identified by the author on the basis of collected interviews with those involved at the initial stage of geological explorations in Tyumen Oblast during the 1950s–1960s, are presented. The organisation of the leisure activities, as well as the complex development of the social and domestic sphere amongst the geological prospectors, in one of the perspective regions in terms of the availability of hydrocarbons, was not amongst the priorities of the state at the dawn of the oil exploration and was a prerogative of the geological community. The trade unions of geologists, who were overseeing social matters, including leisure activities, due to low funding and a lack of adequate personnel and material-and-technical potential did not always successfully cope with the tasks set. The leveling of the shortcomings in this development was imposed on the initiative of the oil prospectors themselves, who were interested in improving conditions of their stay at the work sites. It is noted that the initiatives of the geologists expanded the possibilities of organized forms of leisure activities both at stationary places of residence and ’in the field’. The variability of leisure activities at the locations of geological parties, including residential places, was significantly higher than in the places of work ― ‘in the field’. However, even in conditions of remoteness from the centres of ‘culture’, oil prospectors carried out improvement of the quality and diversity of their leisure time on their own. The demand for and variability of the leisure practices were taking place in line with the ‘concept of culture’, depended on the degree of qualification and level of education of the specialists, personal development and attitude of the employees, and their environment. The implementation of leisure practices was necessitated by the need for compensating limited opportunities of the socio-cultural environment against the background of the dominance of the strenuous daily work, as well as the confrontation in the archaisation of the daily routine due to the prevalence of the deviant forms of behaviour. Many changes emanating from the oil prospectors and taking place in the socio-cultural sphere later took root and became an asset of the local population. The initiative of the geologists made it possible to expand and diversify leisure practices under the lack of opportunities and financial support of the social sphere, which facilitated positive changes in the daily life of the geologists themselves and population of the places where the oil prospectors were staying.

Keywords: geologists, oil explorers, leisure, social practices, anthropology of professions, field work, biographical narratives.


¹ 2 (61) (2023)  


Kotov V.G.

Engraved images of the Shulgan-Tash (Kapova) cave, Bashkortostan, South Ural

The cave of Shulgan-Tash (Kapova) with wall drawings of the Upper Paleolithic is located in the mountain course of the River Belaya in the Southern Urals, nearby the village of Gadelgareevo, Burzyansky district of the Republic of Bashkortostan. In the process of more than 50 years of studying the cave sanctuary, the search for engraved images has been carried out. Two compositions with engraved images were discovered in 2008. Composition No. 1 is located in the Main Gallery, 100 m from the entrance, in a niche on the western wall at a height of about 2 m above the floor level. It consists of the elements located on two levels. At the lower level, a number of elements are confined to the natural fracture and a chain of caverns. Parallel to the horizontal crack, five lines were drawn. The lines connect to a quadrangular shape filled with vertical and horizontal lines. Behind it, the crack merges into a chain of caverns. The upper tier consists of four oval artificial recesses. The fourth groove is located under the engraved anthropomorphic figure, between the legs. This indicates that this is a vulva-shaped symbol. The grooves are connected by deeply incised lines to the quadrangular figure and caverns of the lower tier. Lines also run from the chain of the caverns downwards. Thus, these groups of artificial and natural elements were combined into a single composition. Composition No. 2 is located in the Dome Hall, 150 m from the entrance, above the Chapel of Skulls in the western wall, nearby the colorful wall images in the shape of splashes. It was made on a 16 cm × 14 cm rock surface leveled and cleaned of calcite deposits. The composition consists of three pictorial elements made in three different ways. The first element is represented by two parallel arcuate bands of comb lines of 4 cm wide and about 30 cm long made with a serrated stone tool of 4 cm wide in the soft mondmilch. Under them, with finger impressions in the mondmilch, a circle of about 6 cm in diameter was made of round dimples; rows of engraved straight lines and zigzags were applied to the right of the circle. At present, the composition is held together by calcite incrustation and has completely hardened. The use of stone tools to create the engravings and grooves, the calcite crust inside the engraved lines, the use of the natural forms of the wall relief in the pictorial ensemble, the similarity of the quadrangular figure with the quadrangular symbols painted with ochre in the same cave, and the presence of a vulva-shaped symbol — all this indicates the Upper Paleolithic Age of these compositions.

Keywords: Southern Urals, mountain course of the Belaya River, Shulgan-Tash (Kapova) cave sanctuary, engravings, Upper Paleolithic.


Zakh V.A., Efremov M.I.

The Neolithic and Early Metal complexes of the Chepkul 5 settlement in the North of the Andreevskaya Lake System

The problems of development of the early Neolithic and Early Metal Age complexes in the Tobol-Ishim interfluve are still insufficiently studied. A certain understanding of the cultural and historical processes that took place during these periods can be based on the materials of the multi-layered settlement of Chepkul 5, located on the territory of the Andreevskaya lake system near the city of Tyumen. The purpose of this work is to introduce into scientific discourse the research materials of the early Neolithic and Bayryk Culture complexes. Within the Neolithic pottery complex of Chepkul 5, it is possible to conditionally distinguish groups of vessels comparable to the ware of the Boborykino, Koshkino, Basyanovo and comb types, which find similarities in the vast territory from the eastern slopes of the Urals to the Baraba forest-steppe, and from the Lower Ob River to the steppes of Kazakhstan. Stone tools of such complexes, including Chepkul 5, contain points with high steep retouch, oblique points on blades, and geometric microliths. The presence of lips (overhangs) on the rims on the inside of the vessels, and certain other characteristics of ceramics, bring the analysed complex closer to the ware of the Boborykino Culture of the Yurtobor 3 settlement [Zakh, 1995]. Considering the date from charcoal from the settlement of Yurtobor 3 — 6591–6478 cal BC (UPI-559) [Zakh, 1995, 2009] — the time of existence of the settlement Chepkul 5 in the early Neolithic can be correlated with the end of the humid stage and the beginning of the dry period (8.2–5.5 cal ka BP) [Zach, 2021]. According to the location of the pits in the trench of the Early Metal Period dwelling 2 of Chepkul 5, which contained pottery with comb-pit and large-stroke ornamentation, the building can be reconstructed as a semi-dugout with a pillar-frame structure, with an area of about 40 m2. Similar structures, ware, stone and clay sinkers and other items belong to the Bayryk Culture, are dated to the 3rd mil. BC and can be considered together with the Ishim complexes of the Alexandrovo stage of the Ekaterinino Cultures within the comb-pit community of the 3rd mil. BC. However, the complexes of the Tobol and Ishim regions belong to different cultures, as evidenced by the complete absence of clay sinkers in the Ishim region and in the territories to the east. The presence of the latter, as well as drawings on dishes and petroglyphs in the Early Metal Period cultures of Trans-Urals, suggests that the population of the Tobol region was engaged in drive hunting for waterfowl during molting [Zakh, 2022], which could not but affect its cultural specificity.

Keywords: Lower Tobol region, Andreevskaya lake system, Chepkul 5, housing and household complexes, Neolithic, Early Metal Age, pottery, inventory.


Kupriyanova E.V.

The charioteering in the Bronze Age societies of the Southern Trans-Urals as a social phenomenon

The sites of the Sintashta and Petrovka archaeological cultures of the Bronze Age of the Southern Trans-Urals (Russia) have been traditionally considered as part of the realm of chariot cultures of early Indo-European communities. The analysis of the finds demonstrates that the phenomenon of charioteering carried an important symbolic role in the paradigm of the steppe communities of the Bronze Age. Numerous finds of chariot fragments, elk antler cheekpieces, paired horse sacrifices, remote combat weapons in cemeteries of Stepnoye I, Stepnoye VII, and Krivoe Ozero have been repeatedly subjected to scientific investigation. Collective burials have been discovered, in which even women and young children are accompanied by weapons, cheekpieces, fragments of chariots and sacrificial horses. Based on this, we have concluded that the community of “charioteers” included members of a certain clan, possibly related to the production and use of chariots, horse training, etc. At the same time, however, individual burials of adult men with elements of a chariot complex have also been found, which occupied central positions in kurgans; those men could have been actual chariot warriors. Recent findings provide a vivid evidence for this. In the field season of 2021, the Sintashta burial complex (kurgan 33) was investigated in the Stepnoye I cemetery, the central burial of which contained a skeleton of a 35–50 year old man who had a round healed hole in his skull. Theoretically, such an injury could have been caused by a battle axe, similar to ones found at the sites of the Sintashta and Petrovka Cultures. Furthermore, abnormal osteophytosis growths have been recorded on all areas of the man's spine, which could have resulted from both injury and high pressure on spine caused by driving a chariot. One elk antler cheekpiece (an element of horse bridle) was found in the burial, along with numerous bones of sacrificial animals. All details of the burial rite indicate that the buried man was a significant person for the community, probably a charioteer warrior. Previously obtained AMS dates attribute the Sintashta complexes of the Stepnoye I cemetery to the range of about 1950–1850 BC. Thus, the newly investigated kurgan 33 of the Stepnoye I cemetery respresents another piece of evidence indicating the existence of chariot culture among the steppe communities of the Bronze Age in the Southern Trans-Urals.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Southern Trans-Urals, Sintashta Culture, Petrovka Culture, charioteering, burial rite.


Shorin A.F.

The history of the study of the Cherkaskul Culture at the present stage 

The article presents the analysis of the current stage of the history of study of the Late Bronze Age Cherkaskul Culture, mostly distributed in the forest, forest-steppe and steppe areas of the Trans-Urals, including the Tobol region. The source base of the study is a critical analysis of scientific publications concerning the problems of the culture. Five stages in the history of the study of the Cherkaskul Culture were identified, but the achievements of the first four are presented only briefly, as these have been previously published. At the fifth stage (the end of the past — first two decades of the present century), new knowledge on various problems of the culture, as can be seen from the bibliography, was formed primarily by the efforts of scientific centers of Yekaterinburg, Tyumen and Chelyabinsk. These publications provide various concepts for the genesis of the culture, new calibrated radiocarbon dates are analyzed, which determine the age of the Cherkaskul Culture within the middle — beginning of the third quarter of the 2nd mil. BC. These also demonstrate the intense spread of the sites of this culture to adjacent regions to the west, east and south. Yet, a reasonable point has been raised regarding apparently not so significant influence of the Cherkaskul migrants on the archaeological sites of the eastern regions of Tataria (in particular, the Taktalachuk burial ground), and the Middle Volga region — the Suskan Culture. At the same time, the first publications have appeared on the technical and typological analysis of the Cherkaskul ceramics, the specifics of its metal complex and other categories of the grave goods. The research continues on different aspects of the diversified economy of the Cherkaskul communities in various natural and climatic zones of their habitat; the first data about possible acquaintance of some communities of the forest-steppe Tobol region with the basics of cereal cultivation have been introduced into scientific circulation. However, not all the issues are close to their final solution, which is in particular due to the specifics of the archaeological sites of the region, multi-layered and nonstratified nature of the majority of the settlements, small number of semi-closed housing complexes within them, as well as small number of identified and analysed closed burial sites.

Keywords: Trans-Urals, Late Bronze Age, Cherkaskul Culture, history of study.


Riabinina E.A., Maslyuzhenko D.N., Spiridonov I.À., Usachev E.V.

The hoard of the Early Iron Age at the settlement of Dianovo-II (Belozersk district of the Kurgan region)

In 2016, in the area of Dianovo village of the Belozersk district of the Kurgan region (West Siberia), a hoard of the Early Iron Age artifacts was found. While examining the area for the identification of structures of the Civil War period, a round-bottomed vessel was accidentally discovered. Inside the container, there was a massive rectangular bronze plate, glass beads, and fragments of jewelry, including bronze strings, bronze plaques in the shape of fish and four-petal plaques strung on leather cords, all wrapped in organic material (felt?). In total, the Dianovo treasure contains 370 objects made of bronze and glass, assembled within a single set, classified as women’s. At present, this is one of very few elements of the women’s costume of the Early Iron Age that have been best preserved in the Southern Trans-Urals. These finds were transferred to the archaeological laboratory of the Kurgan State University, and later the archaeological survey was carried out at the discovery location by I.A. Spiridonov. The purpose of this research is a typological description of the contents of the hoard, its chronological analysis, and a possible reconstruction of the bronze ornament. The main research materials are the container in which the treasure was found — a ceramic round-bottomed vessel, a set of bronze objects that piece together a female (breast?) adornment, a set of glass beads of three types (rounded blue, black (square and rounded) with festoon-like white and yellow pattern), and a massive bronze plate with traces of manufacturing, which probably had the purpose of an ingot. Based on the analysis of the materials, it has been established that the hoard was most likely left by the population of the Gorokhovskaya Culture. This conclusion was made on the basis of the shape and features of the ceramic vessel. This is also supported by the location of the treasure and the general dating of individual items: glass beads of the Black Sea origin have numerous similarities in the sites and are quite clearly dated by these analogues to the 4th–3rd c. BC. The dating of other items of the hoard — elements of the bronze ornament and a bronze ingot-plate is complicated due to the lack of clearly dated analogues or chronological duration of their use. Judging by the composition and carefulness of packing of the items, this hoard apparently was of a situational (possibly in the event of an attack) and returnable character.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Tobol basin region, Early Iron Age, hoards, Gorokhovo Culture, women's jewelry.


Kashchey O.A., Nedashkovsky L.F.

Ñhronology of the Karakiyasay II rock art

The article provides a brief description of the history of the study and characteristics of six large assemblages with petroglyphs of the Karakiyasay complex, located on the southern slopes of the Karzhantau mountain ridge (North-Eastern Uzbekistan). Currently, about 600 stones and rock outcrops with more than 3700 images have been identified within the site. The most interesting is the organization of the pictorial series of one of the assemblages — Karakiyasay II, on the materials of which, using cluster, planigraphic and stratigraphic analyses, it was possible to carry out the chronological attribution of almost all images of this section of the complex. For this, the semantic units of the organization of the visual series of the assemblage were initially designated, including single and paired images, multi-figure “scenes” and plot compositions. Then, for the most numerous images — 169 figures of the Siberian mountain goat, by the means of measuring the figures and calculating the ratios of a various quantities characterizing the proportions of the design of body parts of the animals — the ratio of the body height, length of the legs, neck and head to the length of the body, as well as by introducing quantities containing numerical indicators of the way animals are depicted (number of horns, number of legs, turn of the figure, angle of the legs, angle of the neck) — nine quantitative characters were determined. The next stage is the cluster analysis, which allowed us to identify three clusters (groups) of similar figures of mountain goats. Since the data obtained in the first two clusters turned out to be heterogeneous, they were also subjected to cluster analysis, as a result of which it was possible to identify nine types of figures characterized by a number of similar features. Later, using the analysis of planigraphy and stratigraphy, the accuracy of the identified types was verified, their chronological sequence was determined, and, based on the analogies with the manner of completion of figures in these types, the chronological attribution of the entire pictorial series of the site was carried out. The results of the study indicate that the petroglyphs in the Karakiyasay II assemblage were created mainly in the Late Bronze Age (the second half of the 2nd mil. BC — beginning of the 1st mil. BC) — Early Iron Age (7th c. BC — 4th c. AD).

Keywords: Western Tien-Shan, Uzbekistan, Karakiyasay, petroglyphs, Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, pictorial series, mountain goat figures, chronology of rock art, quantitative features, cluster analysis, palimpsests, planography.


Seregin N.N., Tishkin A.A., Matrenin S.S., Parshikova T.S.

Burial of a warrior of the Rouran period from Northern Altai

The article introduces into scientific discourse cultural, chronological and social interpretation of the warrior burial, investigated during the excavations of the necropolis of the Bulan-Koby Culture of the Choburak-I funerary and ritual complex. The site is located on the right bank of the Katun River, to the south from the Elanda village of Chemal district, Altai Republic. During the research, a burial of a man with a horse and accompanying equipment, including a representative set of weapons (bow, a large number of arrows with iron tips, a sword, two combat knives), a belt decorated with numerous belt fittings, horse equipment, and other items were studied. A detailed description of the finds, including both widespread and very rare types of items, has been carried out. The indicated circle of analogies from the sites of the Bulan-Koby Culture of Altai, as well as complexes excavated in adjacent territories, allows us to determine the date of burial mound ¹30 to the 4th c. AD. This conclusion is confirmed by the results of radiocarbon dating of a series of objects from the Choburak-I necropolis. The complex of elements of ritual practice indicates that the burial mound belongs to the previously identified Dialyan burial tradition of the Altai population of the end of the 1st mil. BC — first half of the 1st mil. AD. This is suggested by the combination of the following features: an oval mound with a crepidoma, inhumation burial rite, northwest orientation of the deceased, accompanying of the deceased by a horse laid “at the feet” of the person and its orientation with its head in the same direction as the deceased, inner grave construction in the form of a deck. The composition of the grave goods allows us to conclude that the buried man was of a high social status, possibly a warrior who commanded a large unit of professional warriors, and also, possibly, the leader of a local group of pastoralists who left the Choburak-I necropolis. Some peculiar features of the analysed complex reflect the ideological paradigm of the Bulan-Koby population, such as placement into the grave of a broken (disassembled?) bow and a large number of arrows, covering the person’s body at the time of the burial.

Keywords: Altai, Bulan-Koby Culture, Rouran period, warrior burial, chronology, interpretation.


Lyashchevskaya M.S., Bazarova V.B., Dorofeeva N.A.

Environment and man in the Late Palaeolithic — Middle Ages in the southern Primorye: review

Questions concerning the effect of environment on appearance, development and disappearance of archaeological cultures in the territory of southern Primorye have been addressed in the article. The chronological framework of the research is from the Late Palaeolithic through to the Middle Ages. Thirty three natural sections of different genesis have been examined for reconstruction of the Late Pleistocene — Holocene environment. Palynological, diatomic and radiocarbon methods have been used for their examination. The data on archaeological periods and cultures have been provided based on the analysis of materials of Primorye archaeological sites (including 14 Palaeolithic, 33 Neolithic, 30 Paleometal, and 15 Medieval). Climatic changes have been discussed in terms of their effect on the resource base of people. The earliest Palaeolithic sites, which 14C date approximately 16,000 years BP, were found in Eastern part of Primorye. Climate warming and rise of sea level in the Early Neolithic (ca. 8,000 years 14C BP) facilitated the growth of resource base and expansion of the Neolithic people with sustainable adaptation models in Primorye. This manifested in the appearance of long-term settlements and differentiation of the tool sets. The beginning of the sea regression around 6,000 14Ñ years BP resulted in the extinction of the Boysman Culture. Slight cooling and aridization of the climate 5,600–5,400 14C years BP contributed to the appearance of a new cultural tradition involved with agriculture. The long existence of cultures in the Late Neolithic and Paleometal periods, with significant climatic shifts, can be explained by introducing mixed economy model with increased role of the economy of producing type. In the Late Paleometal and Medieval periods, economic, political and military factors had a great impact on communities, along with environment and climatic factors. Correlation of palaeogeographical and archaeological data demonstrated a certain synchronicity of environmental changes and cultural events. Climatic fluctuations led to migrations, variations in local population density, changes in adaptation strategies of the people, and changes of direction of economic activities.

Keywords: southern Primorye, climate change, Palaeolithic — Middle Ages, archaeological cultures, Late Pleistocene — Holocene, migrations, cultural adaptations, economic activity, resource base.


Chernysheva E.V., Kashirskaya N.N., Dushchanova K.S.

Soil biochemical inticators of initial presence of fat in different archaeological contexts

The article proposes a new biochemical approach for the reconstruction of the initial presence of fatcontaining products in different archaeological contexts (ceramic vessels from burials, soil samples in different parts of the skeleton and cultural layers of archaeological sites) based on the study of qualitative and quantitative changes in the parameters of the soil microbial community, namely, specific groups of microorganisms (lipolytics), a number of lipolytic enzymes, as well as the utilization spectrum of readily available low molecular weight substrates. Ground samples of the studied objects were collected in the following regions: ceramic vessels — the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and the Chechen Republic; burials — Krasnodar Krai; the cultural layer of the settlement — Lipetsk region. The number of lipolytic microorganisms and the level of enzymatic activity in the soil directly depend on the amount of the incoming substrate, in the decomposition of which they participate. After the decomposition of organic residues in the soil, a microbial and enzyme pools are formed, which can persist for a long period. The obtained preliminary data on the study of the decomposition dynamics of fatty substrates give us possibility for the reconstruction of the initial presence of fat in different archaeological contexts using the methods of soil microbiology and biochemistry. But, for a more accurate extrapolation of the results of a model experiment to archaeological objects, more points of observation in time are needed, since the introduction of substrates with different properties and composition can provoke microbial community succession in different ways. Hence, the equilibrium state of the microbial community in each variant of the experiment will be reached at different times. However, the results of the study of soils and cultural layers of archaeological sites of Bronze Age and early medieval time have convincingly shown the possibility of applying our approach. As we assumed, the maximum lipase activity was found in the soil samples under the skull, chest and pelvis, i.e. in areas of human body with the highest content of fat tissues. This showed the possibility for reconstruction the original contents of the vessels from burials using the methods of soil microbiology and biochemistry. A high number of lipolytic microorganisms and lipase activity were detected only in 15–20 % of the vessels. We suggest that fat food may not have been as widely used in the funeral rite as ritual food. The study of lipase activity made it possible to clarify the features of the economic usage of the territory of archaeological site, to identify possible places for cooking.

Keywords: archaeological microbiology, soil biological memory, microbial communities, enzyme activity, cultural layers.



Fedotova T.K., Gorbacheva A.K.

Ethnic variability of growth processes through the prism of sexual dimorphism of body dimensions (based on data of early and first childhood children)

Abstract. The study deals with the process of forming of the level and vector of sex somatic differences through early and first childhood, specific peculiarities of sexual dimorphism at 3–6 years of age as compared to the sexual dimorphism of adults, ethnic heterogeneity of sexual dimorphism dynamics of main anthropometric dimensions (height, weight, chest girth); most adequate algorithms of analysis of data considering age peculiarities. Generalization of vast material on children of Russia and former USSR of 1950s–2010s (over 200 samples) allowed to describe convincing conformities of intergroup distribution of sex somatic dimorphism; different by sex vector of significant correlations of standardized levels of sexual dimorphism of dimensions with average population values of dimensions themselves — positive for boys , negative for girls, which may be interpreted as confirmation of the contribution of somatic variability of both sexes to forming of sexual differences. When analyzed of data locally, under greater enlargement, sexual dimorphism allowed to estimate inter-ethnic specificity of somatic growth dynamics. In particular, definite sex synchrony of growth dynamics of Russian children regardless of the ecological niche of development through early and first childhood; similar synchrony for some groups of different ethnicity. To fix well known in age physiology effect of decreasing of growth activity before semigrowth spurt, which chronological age differs between populations, for the case of more homogeneous groups. Thus, the results show the sensitivity of sexual dimorphism of body dimensions as the informative indicator of ethnoterritorial diversity of somatic status and growth dynamics through early and first childhood.

Keywords: auxology, total body dimensions, intersex distinctions, children aged 3 and 6 years, wide specter of ethnic groups, anthropological variability.


Fominykh Ò.A., Kiselev V.V., Zakharova A.N., Ulanov V.S.

Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov (1907–1970) and his method of face reconstruction from the skull

The article is dedicated to the 115th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov, a worldfamous scientist, pioneer of historical and forensic portrait reconstruction, founder of the Plastic Reconstruction Laboratory at the Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union (currently the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences). M.M. Gerasimov created the most famous gallery of sculptural portraits of a number of historical persons, and also recreated the appearances of fossil people from the available bone remains. A man of encyclopedic knowledge, anthropologist, archaeologist and sculptor rolled into one, Gerasimov laid the foundations of craniofacial reconstruction and created his own scientific school. For his invaluable contribution to science and practical anthropology, as well as to forensic medicine and forensic science, the scientist was awarded the State Prize in 1950, as well as the title of Honored Scientist of the RSFSR in 1969. The method of facial reconstruction developed by Gerasimov formed the basis of modern methods equipped with advanced imaging and computer technologies. The laboratory created by M.M. Gerasimov exists and is actively functioning up to the present days, and his students successfully continue the work he started. For decades, the authority of M.M. Gerasimov in anthropological reconstruction has remained unshakable, the method of reconstruction of the appearance of fossil people, developed by the scientist, has received worldwide recognition, and it is fundamental for modern researchers. Followers of M.M. Gerasimov continue to develop and improve the method, which is of paramount importance in paleoanthropology, ethnography, historical sciences, and which has found practical application in forensic science, forensic medicine and plastic surgery.

Keywords: craniofacial reconstruction, Mikhail Mikhailovich Gerasimov, historical portrait reconstruction, personal identification, forensic anthropology.



 Badmaev A.A.

Sable in the traditional culture of the Buryats

The work is aimed at identifying the image of the sable in the traditional worldview and rituals of the Buryats. The chronological boundaries of the study are determined by the time of functioning and translation of the complex of traditional beliefs and rituals among the Buryats — the end of the 19th — middle of the 20th century. Geographically, the study is focused on the Baikal region, which encompasses the ethnic Buryatia. Linguistic, folklore and ethnographic sources have been used for this research. Comparison-collation and structural-semiotic methods have been used to explore the research topic. As a result of assessing the utilitarian value of the sable, it has been determined that the animal's fur was used in sewing winter outerwear and hats, and its meat was occasionally eaten, as well as applied in folk and veterinary medicine. The all-Mongolian origin of the term for sable, and its gender nominations, is proved. It is assumed that this predator could be revered as a totem by some of the ancestors of the Buryats of the pre-Baikal clans. It has been found that in the traditional Buryat culture, the image of sable was ambiguous. In the traditional views of the Buryats, sable was endowed with a heavenly nature. It acted as a female symbol. At the same time, a negative characteristic of this fur-bearing animal has been determined: it was associated with the chthonic world. In the traditional family ritual of the Buryats, a sable fetish was associated with the image of this fur-bearing animal, which performed a protective function for children and represented a female image. The sable skin was an attribute of the shaman: for some black shamans, it represented the emblem of the clan. Furthermore, in the shamanic ritual of the Buryats, a fetish, embodying the shaman's spirit-assistant, was associated with this animal. In shamanic poetics, the soul of a deceased shaman turned into a sable; this predatory animal was endowed with the function of a shaman's transport in his mystical travels to other worlds.

Keywords: Buryat culture, mythological representations, rituals, fur-bearing animals.


Chudova T.I.

Traditions and innovations in nutrition of the Sysolsky Komi in the first half of the 20th century

Based on the analysis of original field materials, a characteristic of traditions and innovations in the subsistence system of Sysolsky Komi living in the southern regions of the Komi Republic has been provided. By the beginning of the 20th c., the most successful model of the integrated economy was formed among the Sysolsky Komi of the southern regions, which, along with agriculture and animal husbandry, retained hunting and fishing. Natural and climatic conditions did not always allow a good harvest of grain crops, and their shortage was compensated through trading operations, while hunting and fishing activities provided the opportunity to purchase grain. The basis of nutrition was cereals, from which bakery products, porridges, soups and drinks were prepared. Dishes of meat, dairy and fishing/hunting products were not served often, which was associated with the practice of observing Christian fasts, the number of which exceeded 200 days within a year. The forest products provided the overall diversity to the diet and in particular nutrition with a vitamin complex. The technology of cooking was predetermined by the presence of an oven which can bake, boil, stew and deep fry, while frying as a cooking method would be difficult to perform. The formed grain-meat-dairy model of nutrition with the inclusion of hunting/fishing products and wild plants is close to the cuisine of the Priluzsky Komi in terms of the composition of raw products and dishes, which can be explained by the territorial proximity of their habitats. However, a unique phenomenon of the Sysolsky Komi is the preservation of the practice of baking ritual Christmas cookies. Socioeconomic transformations in the country in subsequent years brought innovations to the food culture. The main role in the food provision of a family with was played, as before, by subsidiary farming; crop yields and livestock productivity were significantly higher than in the collective farm-state system. The increase of areas for potato cultivation and the reduction of areas for crop cultivation led to the replacement of grains by potatoes. Hunting and fishing products was significantly reduced in the diet. Innovative practices included the method of salting shredded cabbage, as well as the practice of cooking freshwater fish with potatoes in milk sour cream sauce, and brewing purchased dry-salted cod. The nutrition model during the Great Patriotic War can be defined as potato and vegetable with the inclusion of wild plants, and natural resources made it possible to keep the minimal level of food consumption during this period. In fact, produce from the forest allowed a minimum level of product consumption, while innovations in food traditions became means for overcoming crisis periods in food supply.

Keywords: Sysolsky Komi, first half of the 20th century, food raw materials, cuisine, food model.


Korolyova S.Yu., Brukhanova M.A., Kolegova O.A.

Censing in the funeral and memorial rites (vernacular religiosity of the Russian-Komi-Permyak borderland)

Church censing ritual — fumigation with incense or its substitutes — is widespread in folk culture. It plays a particularly important role in funeral and memorial rites, where the fumigation is usually carried out in order to ritually purify people, space and objects that have been in contact with the deceased. However, the significance of this ritual is not equal in different local ethnical traditions: in some communities, it is simply recommended, while in others it is of a prime importance. The accessibility of this ritual action for people also varies. In some traditions, only religious specialists (the priest and his assistants) can perform this ritual, in other traditions, anyone can do it. The article is concerned with vernacular forms of censing. The culture of Yurlians — Russians living in a different ethnic (Komi-Permyak) environment, and the culture of the northern (Kochevsky) Komi-Permyaks neighboring them, are among the traditions with a developed mythological semantics of censing. The main research data are materials collected during the fieldwork carried out in 2013–2017 and 2022 in the Northern Prikamye, in the Russian-Komi-Permyak borderland. The study is based on the structural and functional analysis of the rituals. It has been revealed that the locations of censing in the structure of traditional funeral and memorial rites partially coincides with church prescriptions, however, vernacular fumigation with incense is of more intense character; around it, a kind of “mythology of censing” develops, and dialectal ritual terminology is formed. Ñensing fulfills not only typical cleansing and apotropaic functions, but it also acts as a way of mediation between the living and the dead — it “wakes up” the souls, invites them to a ritual meal, guarantees the availability of food, etc. Special folklore formulas addressed to beings-intermediaries between the living and the dead (angels, wind, etc.) provide the realization of this function. Individualized versions may arise from the ritual, which adapts to the new life realities.

Keywords: Ural, Slavic-non-Slavic borderlands, vernacular practices, mytho-ritual tradition, ritual terminology, folklore formulas.


Bogordayeva A.A., Liskevich N.A.

After the Kazym rebellion: on one report on the collection of operational information from the Sosva Mansi in 1934

The purpose of the article is to analyze and publish a report on the collection of operational information by the Khanty-Mansiysk District Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) after the Kazym uprising of 1933–1934. The report is dated March 7, 1934, and it contains information about life, rights and customs of the indigenous inhabitants of the Sosva and Lyapin river basins located in the Berezovsky district of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug — Yugra (North-Western Siberia). In the history of the study of the Kazym rebellion, several main research lines are noted, including the identification and analysis of the factors of the uprising, their impact on life of the indigenous population, and also the analysis of the actions of the authorities to suppress the rebellion and to prevent similar protests. The events related to the Kazym rebellion and its consequences are preserved in historical and social memory. However, the documents still exist reflecting the actions of the authorities to prevent such events, which have not yet been introduced into scientific circulation. The prevention of protest movements was associated, first of all, with the identification of the “counter-revolutionary” sentiments locally, as well as of the religious and social status of local residents, and with the fight against shamanism and “kulaks”. A similar task was performed by an unknown author of the report. The report represents a logical narrative, with an emphasis on information related to the manifestation of religiosity by local residents and their attitudes towards the Kazym uprising; it contains the author's critical statements on his own observations and ends with recommendations for verifying the revealed facts. The author provides ethnographic description of the lifestyle, houses, dress, everyday features, home sanctuaries and cult attributes, bear celebration, maternity rites. In a number of cases, the document contains errors — in the name of the people living in the area, in the names of settlements. At the same time, noteworthy is the information on bear fangs, men's and women's hairstyles, the custom of “borrowing” from the sacrifices of the spirit, inter-ethnic relations, etc. Of particular value is the data on the rite of transition of a mother with a child back to the residential building after the childbirth, recorded in Verkhnenildino (Nildino), on the abandonment of a dwelling after the death of two children within it from illness (measles) in the village of Shomy (Shom). The information presented here largely complements the available materials on the social processes in the 1930s and represents a valuable source on the culture and life of the population of northern Sosva at the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: Soviet power, traditional ritual, hunting, fishing, customary law, indigenous peoples, Mansi, Komi-Zyryans, Ob-Irtysh North, Kazymskaya cultbasa.


Agapov M.G.

“Screen on the Chum”: Social Reconstruction and Mobile Film Propaganda in the North of the Ob region in the 1930s

Drawing on the example of agitation and propaganda campaigns carried out in the north of the Ob region in the 1930s among the indigenous population, a specific tool of the Soviet ideological indoctrination of the Great Break period — a mobile cinema (installations designed to screen silent and sound films to a small audience in open areas and in premises not equipped with stationary film projectors) — has been comprehensively studied. The mobile cinema is considered as one of the varieties of cultural management technologies that are equally characteristic of all states and empires of the modern era, including the USSR, where, due to the existence of state ideology and low literacy of the population, it was even more important than other cultural technologies. The management supported and strengthened the centralized power, serving as a complement to force and coercion. Based on the materials of the State Archive of the Socio-Political History of the Tyumen Region, it has been established that the first mobile cinema in the north of the Ob region was created under the auspices of the Committee of the North under the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the USSR, but it reached its fullest flourishing in the area during the period when the region came under the jurisdiction of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route (1935–1938). The repertoire of a mobile cinema was compiled centrally, and it included popular science and feature films, united by a common goal, which was the ideological indoctrination of the audience. For representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, movie screening itself was the most important experience of joining a new life, akin to the rite of initiation. Indigenous peoples were most interested in movies that narrated about their own daily life: hunting, fishing, travelling. Mobile cinemas were moved around the north by sled and specially equipped boats. The work of a mobile cinema in the north of the Ob region was associated with constant overcoming of a number of problems: the shortage of films, frequent breakdowns of movie cameras, and the lack of qualified projectionists. Nevertheless, mobile cinemas made significant contribution to the modernization of everyday life and worldview of the indigenous peoples of the Ob North.

Keywords: Tobolsk North, Committee of the North, The Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, a mobile cinema.


Shagapova G.R.

The buzzer: not just a toy

The article analyzes the buzzer toy for boys. It is very easy to make from a button with a rope passing through the two holes. In past times, it was made of wood, bone plate, leather. When the rope with the plate is twisted and sharply released, the toys make a specific sound. The name of the toy in many languages reflects its buzzing. The aim of this work is to study the geography of the buzzer game in the Old and New Worlds and to reconstruct the ritual that underlies the game. The main research methods are mapping and comparativehistorical method. The source base is represented by published materials on the games of the peoples of the world, as well as the author's field materials from the Southern Urals. The following conclusions have been drawn: the toy is most commonly young male, all-season, and is associated with sound. Sound in archaic culture played an important role; it limits and structures space, establishes contacts between the worlds and protects a person from evil spirits. In most cases, the buzzer has lost its sacred meaning, but among the peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East, the elements of the ritual are still tangible which makes it possible to reconstruct the male ritual. The ritual was aimed at weather change, and at influencing the existing state of affairs. The geography of the buzzer distribution in North America and Eurasia has been studied. It can be assumed that it came to the New World from Eurasia, shortly before the disappearance of Beringia. The agreement of details and specifics of its use suggest its connection with the ritual. Subsequently, the ritual spread together with tribes and cultures, and to date, all that has remained from the millennial ritual is just a noise toy in children’s hands.

Keywords: buzzer, sonic toy, aerophone, ritual, game motif, game culture, Eurasia, North America.


Riazanova S.V.

On the issue of construction of social memory: anthropology of the “Perm-36” museum

The study does not imply either documentation of the repressions, or working in the field of oral history. The article provides a vision of how the key figures in the history of the museum form its history and image. The source base includes a series of expert interviews with the founders and administrators of the museum at various stages of its existence, and a number of concepts for the arrangement of Perm-36 during various years, as well as Internet and media publications, allowing to verify the obtained data. The text attempts to reconstruct the history of the formation and functioning of the Perm-36 museum, highlighting the periods of its activity associated with a change in leadership and the appointment of a number of new employees in its management and research structures. In the process of the analysis, the author compares various perspectives on what is the purpose of the museum located at the site of the camp, and what is the place of the museum in the socio-political reality. The analysis is based on the identification of groups of statements related to various aspects of creation and functioning of the Perm-36 memorial complex. The museum is considered as a place of application of multidirectional efforts of various actors, which provokes significant changes in approaches to its arrangement and to its functions in the public space. The concept of “demiurge” is introduced to designate a social agent who constructs the space of historical and social memory based on its own ideas and vision. Public figures, researchers and museum employees, who play a significant role in determining the structure of museum collections, ways of their presentation and types of social activities, are seen as the key factor that shapes the image of the museum in the region, nationally, and internationally. The material base in this situation appears secondary to the methods of its interpretation, principles of selecting items, and the use of supplementary means for their exhibiting. Research interests, social agenda and personal ambitions of the main actors become determinant for the formation of the museum chronotope.

Keywords: authorized discourse of cultural heritage, politics of memory, commemoration, museum anthropology.


¹ 1 (60) (2023)



Golovanova L.V., Doronichev V.B., Doronicheva E.V.

New data on the formation of local variations in the Upper Paleolithic of the Caucasus

As of today, very few Upper Paleolithic sites are known on both the southern and the northern slopes of the Caucasus. Their materials allow tracing settlement dynamics in the region from 40/39 to 20 cal ka BP. The change of the research methodology, which today is focused on thorough excavations involving a range of natural science disciplines for complex investigation of the materials, including complete water sieving of the cultural deposits, enables obtaining many new, often unique data on human occupation, life-support strategies, and adaptations of humans in different periods of the Upper Paleolithic in the Caucasus. In our paper, a wide range of issues is discussed, concerned with the cultural affinity, diversity, and interaction of the Upper Paleolithic population of the Caucasus. The earliest Upper Paleolithic industries (40–35 cal ka BP) of the southern as well as the northern slopes of the Caucasus show the closest affinity. Studies of the raw-material strategies indicate the presence of contacts between populations of the northwestern and South Caucasus throughout the entire Upper Paleolithic and the development of extensive social networks. During the Late Upper Paleolithic period, the materials of the North and South Caucasus acquire certain features of distinctiveness, as in the stone industry and in bone tools and decorations. The appearance of geometric microliths in the South Caucasus contemporaneously with the Near East attests to the contacts between these regions. The delivery of seashells from the Caspian Sea coast to the Lesser Caucasus also indicates the southeastern direction of the contacts. The import of seashells from the Black Sea coast to the northwestern Caucasus indicates the southwestern direction of contacts. The unique finds that have analogies in the Upper Paleolithic of the Russian Plain indicate contacts between populations of the northwestern Caucasus and the Russian Plain that belong to different cultural areas. The current data demonstrate formation of local differences in the culture of the Upper Paleolithic populations in both the South and the North Caucasus, including under the influence of the neighboring regions.

Keywords: Upper Paleolithic, remote migrations, social networks, contacts between different cultural areas, Caucasus.


Karmanov V.N., Belitskaia A.L.

Muchkas-1 — a new reference complex of the Chuzh’yael’ Culture on the Mezen’ River

The results of the studies of the Muchkas settlement in 2020 are reported. The site is located on the right bank of the Mezen’ River in Udorsky District of the Komi Republic (northeast of the East European Plain). The exploitation of an unpaved motor road endangered the preservation of dwelling No. 1, which necessitated extensive excavation of an area of 82.5 m2. On the basis of the analysis of the complex of traces and remains, it has been determined that the studied structure is of a rectangular shape in plane, measuring 3.8m×5.5m with the area of 20 m2. Within the building, two hearths were used sequentially or concurrently. Related to them are two external horizontal heatingand-ventilating chimneys. Some information is preserved about the underground part of the structure. This was a frame strengthened at corners by bundles of thinner trunks of trees, possibly, pointed and stuck into the ground. Pine and to a lesser extent spruce, juniper, and birch were used to build the dwelling. The collection of Muchkas-1 contains 3819 objects, including 30 identifiable flint implements, a flint pendant, 21 implements made from non-siliceous rocks, fragments of three ceramic vessels, and debris of calcinated bones. Scrapers predominate in the flint toolset, while knives, awls, and arrowheads are represented to a lesser extent. As the result of the traceological analysis, it has been determined that the arrowhead and the pendant bear traces of long-term carrying in a container, or wearing on the clothing or on the body. Tools made of non-isotropic rock include mostly grinding stones. A hammer stone and an adze are represented by single specimens. Among the faunal remains, bones of reindeer, beaver, marten, wolverine, squirrel, black grouse, goose, and pike have been identified. This attests to the dominant role of hunting in the appropriating economy of the inhabitants of Muchkas-1 settlement. The specifics of the building structure and technical-and-typological parameters of the pottery and stone tools allow attributing Muchkas-1 complex to the Chuzh’yael’ Culture of the final Neolithic period — the Chalcolithic. By virtue of 10 radiocarbon dates, the time of its construction is determined by the end of the 4th — first half of the 3rd mil. BC. The published data advance our understanding of the traditions of housebuilding, stone-working, and pottery-making of the prehistoric population of North-Eastern Europe and permit considering Muchkas-1 complex as a source of reference for the study of the Chuzh’yael’ Culture of the 4th — first half of the 3rd mil. BC.

Keywords: archaeology, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, settlement, semi-subterranean dwelling, ceramics, stone assemblage, house-building, traceology, archaeozoology, radiocarbon chronology.


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

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

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.


Bersenev E.V.

Abzakovo hoard of the Bronze Age in the Bashkir Trans-Urals

The paper is concerned with the results of the study of a hoard of bronze sickles discovered in 1970 in Baimaksky District of Bashkortostan. Originally, it comprised 13 items, but as of today three of them have got lost, and the collection numbers to only 10 sickles reposited in the National Museum of the Republic of Bashkortostan. It stands out that the items are lacking clear traces of use. Over the past 50 years, materials of the complex have not received sufficient coverage in the scientific literature, despite the rarity of this category of finds for the South Urals region in general, and for the territory of Bashkortostan in particular. This paper constitutes the first publication which combines and refines information about the hoard available in the scientific literature; it also provides a description of each item with updated and further detailed data on their parameters (length, width, thickness, bending height, etc.). In addition, the paper introduces in the scientific discourse photographic images of the bronze objects of the complex, which have been absent until now, instead of rather schematic drawings. Revisiting the materials of the hoard allowed it to observe that the data which was available in the literature had some inaccuracies, associated primarily with the parameters of the objects, the study of which helped clarify and extend the information on the description of the sickles remaining to date. The analysis of the material shows that the considered set of reaping tools has some analogies originating from the Bronze Age sites of the Trans-Urals, both from similar hoards and from settlements, cultural identity of which is determined quite clearly and is attributed by researchers to the Alakul antiquities. For this reason, the origins of the Abzakovo hoard are also associated with the representatives of traditions of the Alakul archaeological culture.

Keywords: Bronze Age, hoard, sickle, Trans-Ural, Bashkiria, Alakul Culture.


Prokonova M.M.

Sacred objects from the sites of the Sargatka Culture in the context of interaction of the forest-steppe population with the nomads of the Ural-Kazakh steppes

The paper concerns the stone altars, clay dishes, and censers from the sites of the Sargatka Culture of the Early Iron Age. Analysis of their morphological features is carried out, as well as of the dynamics of changes in the forms, the context of their deposition in burials, and specifics of their use. As the result, the reasons for the appearance of these products in the forest-steppe zone of the Tobol-Irtysh and Baraba areas (Western Siberia) are clarified and their subsequent distribution in the given region is traced. Stone altars of types I, II, and IV started appearing in the 5th–4th cc. BC in the Irtysh Basin and Baraba regions as a consequence of the Saka migration. Transformation of the religious and mythological views of the Sargatka population, as a result of the interactions of the Tobol-Irtysh communities with the nomads of the Ural-Kazakhstan steppes, led to the appearance of new rituals requiring small stone altars for their performance, due to which there was a growing demand for these products among local communities. However, by the 4th c. BC the production of altars in the Kazakhstan center ceased due to the decline of the Early Saka Culture. From this time, the population of the Sargatka Culture began making local copies of small type I altars from stone, although their production in the Sargatka area was difficult due to the lack of sandstone outcrops, which facilitated the use of more accessible material — clay, as reflected in the appearance of clay dishes of types III–V in the territory of the Baraba and Irtysh Basin. Connection between the local and imported products is indicated by the traces of their similar use. From the 3rd c. BC, scarce altars of type I could make their way into the Sargatka context as a result of close contacts with the population of the Upper Ob Basin, among whom these objects were widespread up until the 3rd–2nd cc. BC. The appearance of type III stone altars and type VI clay dishes in the complexes of the Sargatka Culture of the Tobol and Irtysh Basins in the 5th–4th and 4th–3rd cc. BC might have been caused by the migration of a small group of nomads of the Southern Urals, or by close contacts with the population of the Gorokhovo Culture. Type V altars also were borrowed from the bearers of the Gorokhovo Culture. Their appearance may indicate the process of assimilation of the newly arrived Sargatka population in the Tobol Basin. In the 4th c. BC, clay dishes of type I appeared in the Irtysh Basin. From the 3rd c. BC, as a result of the intensification of contacts between the local population and nomads of the Sarmatian origin, these products became more widespread, while ceramic censers and clay dishes of type II also appeared.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Early Iron Age, Sargatka Culture, Sacred Objects, Censers, Ceramic Plates, Stone Altars.


Seregin N.N., Demin M.A., Matrenin S.S.

The weapon complex of the Northern Altai population in the Xianbei period (on materials from the necropolis of Karban-I)

The paper is aimed at introducing into the scientific discourse and complex interpretation of the weapon items discovered during excavations of the sites of the Bulan-Koby archaeological culture of the Karban-I necropolis. This site, which comprises a series of burial mounds of the Great Migration Period, was partially investigated by the expedition of Barnaul State Pedagogical Institute in 1989–1990. The complex is located on the left bank of the Katun River, 1.7 km north-west of Kuyus village, in Chemalsky District of the Altai Republic. Weapons were found in five undisturbed male burials of the Xianbei period (mounds ¹ 9, 11, 14, 33, 39). The finds analyzed include long-range and close-range weapons: five compound bows; 14 iron arrowheads; four iron combat knives; and one dagger. Morphological analysis and classification of the objects, as well as their comparison with known artefacts of the last quarter of the 1st mil. BC — the first half of the 1st mil. AD from the sites of Central, Inner, and North Asia became the basis for conclusions concerning the determination of the dating of the products. It has been found that the complex of weapons of the nomads who built the necropolis of the Bulan-Koby Culture at the mouth of the Karban River, was aimed at efficient countering of a lightly protected enemy and was appropriate for light cavalry and infantry. It includes both the already well-known (Xiungny) and new (local) modifications of the offensive weapons. In terms of its diversity and level of development, this set of weaponry was significantly inferior to the military arsenals of the Xiongnu and Xianbei periods, as well as that of the population of the Bulan-Koby Culture of the late 3rd — 5th c. AD. The body of the conclusions made permits it to assume that the considered corpus of weapons reflects the initial stage of the evolution of the armament of the Altai population in the first half of the 1st mil. AD. The published materials expand the source base for the study of warfare of the population of Northern Altai in the Xianbei period. The obtained results of the chronological interpretation of different categories of weapons can be used to refine the periodization of the sites of the Belo-Bom stage (2nd — 1st half of the 4th c. AD) of the Bulan-Koby Culture.

Keywords: Altai, Xianbei time, weapons, Bulan-Koby culture, bow, arrowheads, combat knife, dagger, chronology.


Zaitceva O.V., Vodyasov E.V.

The ‘old wood’ effect and problems of dating iron smelting sites

The paper is aimed at the analysis of the ‘old wood’ effect in radiocarbon chronology of iron smelting complexes of South Siberia. The production sites are here set outside the settlements, and radiocarbon dating remains the only means of their chronological attribution. With the example of Kuyahtanar metallurgical site in the Mountain Altai, we show that the range of a series of radiocarbon dates obtained for the same iron-smelting furnaces can span a thousand years. It has been established that such a chronological range can be explained by the use of wood from long-lived tree species for charcoal production and the resulting significant apparent age due to the ‘old wood’ effect. The essence of the effect consists in that as a tree grows, its inner annual rings die out and stop exchanging carbon with the environment, while the tree is still alive. Therefore, the pith of a longlived tree is much older than its outer rings, and radiocarbon analysis determines not the age of the archaeological object, or time when the tree was cut, but the date of the death of that part of the tree which was sampled for the dating. Methodological recommendations have been drawn up capable of minimizing the impact of the ‘old wood’ effect in the dating of iron metallurgy sites. During the sampling, it is recommended to collect fragments of charcoal from the tree outer rings. In a case, where this is not possible, it is necessary to obtain a series of at least three dates for one site. In such a series, the latest of the three dates will be the closest to the age of the archaeological object. It is also necessary to determine the tree species used for burning the charcoal for smelting. After the tree species is identified, it becomes possible to infer its average and maximum life expectancy in the specific natural and climatic conditions, and, consequently, possible average and maximum impact of the ‘old wood’ effect. Since in the case of dating metallurgical sites the impact of the ‘old wood’ effect is virtually unavoidable, it is suggested that, in the future, the chronology of the complexes radiocarbon dated with a single sample of charcoal is revisited.

Keywords: radiocarbon dating, iron metallurgy, “old wood” effect.


Avdeev A.G., Okladnikova Ye.A., Svoiskii U.M., Romanenko E.V.

A new interpretation of the inscriptions on the handles of signature knives found on the shores of Sims Bay

The article reports on a new interpretation of the inscriptions on two personalized knives found on the coast of Sims Bay in the Laptev Sea. This interpretation differs from the readings published previously by paleographers and source-study experts due to the fact that it has been possible to devise correct transcription of these inscriptions with the aid of the method of non-contact 3D modeling of epigraphic records developed by the RSSDA Laboratory and used in the Code of Russian Inscriptions (CIR). The reading of the inscriptions on the signature knives proposed by the authors of this paper has enabled establishing their ownership to Gurii (baptismal name) — Akakii (prayer? name) Ivanov son of Karzyaev’s, likely the head of the commercial and industrial expedition of the 1620s. The site of the polar mariners of the 17th century in Sims Bay is located 70 km west of the island of Thaddeus Severny, where in 1940 members of the hydrographic detachment of the East Taimyr hydrographic expedition found similar articles, including 8 other knives. Unfortunately, these knives have only partially preserved handles, and most of them turned out to be represented only by the blades. Inscriptions made in the Slavic ligature could be found only on two knives from a hut in Sims Bay. According to the official version, both sites belong to the members of the Russian trade and industrial expedition of the 17th century. The rich composition of the collection of archaeological artifacts assembled at the locations of these two sites makes this monument unique for the Russian culture of the 17th century.

Keywords: Taimyr Peninsula, island of Thaddeus Severny, Sims Bay, archaeological artifacts, expeditionary research, nominal knives, 17th century, Russian polar expeditions, Code of Russian Inscriptions, Old Russian epigraphy, non-contact 3D modeling of inscriptions, mathematical visualization methods, photogrammetry.


Tataurov Ph.S.

Residential buildings of the Russian population in the Omsk Irtysh region in the 17th — beginning of the 20th c. in the archaeological and architectural-ethnographic dimension

Over the past thirty-five years, a series of archaeological sites of the period of the Russian colonization of Siberia have been investigated in the territory of the Siberian macroregion, which made it possible to identify regional features and to trace evolution of the socio-cultural identity of the Russian Siberian in the 17th–19th cc. A topical issue is the in-depth study of the processes of ethno-cultural adaptation in microregions. In this work, as one of the aspects of adaptation, changes in the house exterior in the Omsk Irtysh region are considered. This work is aimed to consider main types of the residential buildings of the Russian population in the Omsk Irtysh region in the 17th — early 20th c. in order to determine their specifics and development trends. The work is carried by a complex approach, involving the use of different types of sources, such as archaeological, written, and ethnographic. To compare the buildings studied in the Omsk Irtysh region with houses in other regions, a comparative historical method was used. Analysis of the archaeological materials on the architecture and layout of urban dwellings of the 17th–18th cc. showed specifics of the housing in different parts of the town. The houses of the representatives of the tsarist administration, senior clergy, and military commanders with multi-chambered buildings were located in the territory of the kremlin — the central part of the town. In the walled part of Western Siberian towns, where representatives of other social groups lived, both single-chambered and multi-chambered houses were built, although so far only few of them have been identified archaeologically. Stoves with chimneys and mica windows, as socially significant structural elements of the house, were gradually becoming attributes of the dwellings not only of the representatives of the tsarist administration, but also of the middle strata of the townspeople. In the rural areas, Russian immigrants in the 17th — first half of the 18th c. were erecting multi-chambered buildings of a large area. The set of socially-marking structural elements was the same as in the town. The archaeological material obtained during the study of residential buildings of the rural sites of the Irtysh Basin is generally of the same type and is equally characteristic of village and town alike. Based on the results of the author’s own ethnographic observations, a characteristics of individual residential buildings of the 19th — beginning of the 20th c. is given. There has been noted the prevalence of two-chambered dwellings by the end of the 19th century in the Russian village, which required less building material, as compared with multi-chambered counterparts, and were easier to heat. Multi-chambered buildings and carved platbands constituted socially marking traits of dwellings of the wealthy strata of the rural population. The field observations warranted further archaeological and ethnographic studies of the rural and urban wooden architecture to gain a deeper insight on the evolution of the housebuilding that combined traditional elements of the 17th–18th cc. with innovations, simplification, and standardization of the 19th–20th cc.

Keywords: residential buildings, Omsk Irtysh region, the 17th — beginning of the 20th century, archeology, ethnography of Russians.



Grigorev A.P., Zhanuzak R.Zh.

Some aspects of the postcranial morphology of the Ural-Mugodzhar population in the Late Bronze Age

The paper reports on the osteometric data of skeletons from the burials of the Kozhumberdy group of the Late Bronze Age Alakul Culture (Southern Ural). The research is aimed to reveal the character of the variability of osteometric features of the sample group and its comparison with synchronous groups of the steppe zone of Eurasia. Twenty-four male and seventeen female skeletons were investigated. Taking into account the poor preservation of the material, a new method of identification of sex, developed by I.M. Sineva, was applied. The results of the study of the series by statistical methods (principal component analysis, nonparametric Mann — Whitney criterion) are presented. A high degree of morphological diversity of the variants of the skeletal development under the dominance of a rather gracile osteological complex within the Bronze Age of the steppe Eurasia is observed. Several individuals, characterized by the increased size of the skeleton, are distinguished. The similarity of the main part of the studied sample group with the synchronous population of the steppe-forest-steppe zone of the Cis-Urals and Upper Ob Basin is revealed. At the same time, the Kozhumberdy group morphologically differs from the agricultural population of the Bronze Age in Central Asia. These results indicate the main direction of the morphological links of the Kozhumberdy group of the Alakul Culture with the sample groups of the Sintashta Culture of the Cis-Urals and Andronovo Culture of Western Siberia. There is also present an insignificant component associated with the Early Bronze Age population of the steppe Volga-Ural region (the Yamnaya Culture). The assumption made previously on the basis of the study of craniological materials about a single morphological basis for the formation of the population of the Alakul and Srubnaya Cultures of the Bronze Age is not confirmed. The main component in the formation of the physical appearance of the Srubnaya population is the local Volga-Ural population. As the morphological basis for the formation of the Alakul Ural-Mugodzhar group we consider the Sintashta population of the Cis-Urals.

Keywords: anthropology, Late Bronze Age, osteometry, morphology, postcranial skeleton, Ural-Mugodzhar region, Alakul Culture.


Parfenteva O.I., Pravednikova A.E., Aiyzhy E.V., Popova E.V., Balinova N.V., Zadorozhnaya L.V., Khomyakova I.A., Bondareva E.A.

Central obesity in the adult populations of the Altai Republic and the Republic of Tuva. Anthropological and genetic aspects

In the present study, we identified the factors affected central obesity prevalence in the adult Altains, Russians and Tuvans permanently residing in the Altai and the Tuva Republics. The data was collected in 2018–2020. The examination program included anthropometrical examination and the genetic testing of females and males, aged 18–35 years. Anthropometrical examination was carried out in accordance with the guidelines accepted in the Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology. Body composition was analyzed by bioelectrical impedance analyzer. The SNPs rs1800592 UCP1, rs660339 UCP2 and rs1800849 UCP3 were assessed. The prevalence analyses of underweight, overweight and general obesity in the groups of female and males were conducted. The anthropometric indices were used to estimate the prevalence of central obesity. General obesity occurred more often in the group of Altai people, whereas in the Tuva people the central obesity is more pronounced. The Altai and Tuva people are alike in the total body measurements, whereas Russians were significantly higher. All studied groups demonstrated the sexual dimorphism of the body composition and waist to hip ratio. No significant differences in waist to height ratio between males and females were identified in the studied groups. No association between genetic variants and the obesity-related traits, which reflect the body fat and its distribution, was revealed. All factors included in the model are able to predict 8 % of the variability of the central obesity-related traits. Ethnic background contributes the most to the variability of the central obesity index.

Keywords: biological anthropology, central obesity, WHtR, Tuva, Altai, adults, UCP.


Syutkina T.A.

Paleopathological analysis of the cranial samples from Pre-Columbian Cuba

The article presents a paleopathological analysis of two cranial samples from pre-Columbian Cuba: the Siboney (also known as Archaic) sample consisting of 40 individuals and the Taíno sample composed of 27 individuals. The Siboney are believed to have arrived to Cuba around 5000 years ago, and the Taíno inhabited the island since approximately 500 AD until decimation by the newcomers from the Old World. All the Taíno crania exhibit fronto-occipital artificial deformation. The main focus of the study is oral pathologies and bone abnormalities observed in the samples and how these reflect the differences between the two groups and individuals within each of them. Dental pathologies (caries, abscesses, antemortem tooth loss, and dental calculus) are more frequent in each sample's male and elder groups. The two samples compared together are close in the frequencies of caries, abscesses, and AMTL, while dental calculus is more frequent among the Taíno. The two cultural groups had different subsistence strategies: the Siboney were hunter-fisher-gatherers with the exception of the Canímar Abajo subgroup, for whom consumption of cultigens is proved, the Taíno were agriculturalists. In paleopathological studies, agricultural subsistence is usually associated with a higher rate of caries and lower rate of dental calculus. However, even after excluding individuals from Canímar Abajo from the Siboney sample, the difference in the caries rate between the two samples stayed insignificant. This could be due to carbohydrate-rich fruits that played an important role in the Archaic population’s diet. Pathological markers observed in the studied crania were classified according to Donald Ortner’s typology of bone abnormalities, which includes four major categories (abnormal bone size, abnormal bone or bone group shape, abnormal bone formation and abnormal bone destruction) and subcategories within them. Such an approach focuses mainly on the appearance of the lesions rather than on their possible causes. Pathological markers seen in the samples can suggest infectious, neoplastic, mycotic diseases, metabolic disorders. Possible antemortem traumas are infrequent in both samples. Specific to the Taíno crania is premature suture closure, which most probably is the consequence of artificial cranial deformation. In general, the analysis did not reveal significant differences in the two group's pathological statuses.

Keywords: paleopathology, physical anthropology of Cuba, artificial cranial deformation, dental pathologies.



 Petrova S.I., Prokopeva A.N.

Yakut tangalai clothing: cut, trimming, and technologies

Costume of the 17th–18th cc. is a little-studied subject in the history of the Yakut costume. This is due to the fact that costume of this period can be studied only on the materials of the funerary monuments of Yakutia (Eastern Siberia). There are scanty written and pictorial sources of this period, and they do not provide detailed information about the material and technique of making clothes. One of the outstanding examples of the clothing of that time is tangalai - ritual women's clothing with short sleeves embroidered with beads and metal plaques, which in the literature is called fur coat or caftan. Due to its beauty and ritual purpose, tangalai represents a most interesting and controversial element of the wardrobe. Such waistcoats were widespread among Turkic-Mongolian peoples of Eurasia and are often associated with the wedding ceremonial and status of married women. The aim of the work is to identify specifics of the make, cut, and decor of tangalai. For this purpose, four samples of clothing identified as tangalais were selected from museum collections. All samples were found in female burials of Central and Northern Yakutia and consist of fragments of the base and decorative trim in different states of preservation. A comparative analysis showed that according to the material, cut, and principle of manufacture all samples represent variations of the same type of clothing. Suede made of deer or elk skin, smoked and painted, was used as the basic material. The skin was supplemented with an edging made of expensive and rare furs, which at that time included beaver fur. Beads of predominantly blue color were used in all the samples, supplemented with white and black beads, metal stripes and pendants. Beaded embroidery emphasized certain parts of clothing: shoulders, chest, and back. Accentuation of similar zones preserved in elegant women's fur coats until the beginning of the 20th century. The manufacture of such clothing implied a complex and lengthy technological process from the processing of raw materials to the connection of all the numerous elements. The high quality of the processing of leather and fur and complex beaded decor indicate the presence of professional seamstresses and a more complex organization of the Yakut society of those times. Needle beds, scissors, and workpieces of fur and beads in very rich women's burials, as well as the folklore motifs on this subject may indicate the significance of the sewing workmanship.

Keywords: Yakutia, archaeology, shoulder clothing, ritual clothing, production technology, needlework, funerary monuments.


Bravina R.I.

Mammoth bone collecting as a traditional occupation of the indigenous population of the East Siberian Arctic (17th — early 20th c.)

The paper is concerned with the history of collecting and trade of fossil mammoth bones as a traditional occupation of the indigenous population of the East Siberian Arctic in the 17th — early 20th c. For a long time the indigenous peoples of the North practiced individual collecting, incidental in the course of hunting, of fossil bones for their household needs. Meanwhile, archaic ideas about the mammoth as a sacred chthonic animal served as a regulator of ecological balance of the traditional nature management, introducing constraints on the scope of the search and size of the spoils. Starting from the 17th c., the search for and quarry of fossil bone are most closely connected with the history of the colonization and exploration of the Arctic regions of Eastern Siberia by Russian pioneers. In the context of the development of commodity-money relations on the sea islands, artels were formed from among the northern Yakuts and Russian Arctic old-settlers, supplying tusk to the merchants who traded in furs and mammoth tusks. The extraction of fossil mammoth bones reached its peak in the middle of the 19th c., when the “Russian, or Moscow ivory” was current on the world market as the fifth grade, with the total assortment of six grades. At the turn of the 19th–20th cc. the mammoth ivory industry in Yakutia was experiencing a crisis; the demand for the products of mammoth ivory within the country was decreasing, merchants could not find markets, and ivory harvesting in Africa increased. However, despite these factors, this occupation preserved in places until the 1930s. In the modern conditions of the development of the Arctic, inclusion of collection and extraction of mammoth tusks in the list of traditional economic activities will help to solve economic and legal problems in this region in the interests of the indigenous population.

Keywords: East Siberian Arctic, indigenous peoples, traditional occupations, mammoth tusks, history, types, fishing methods, marketing.


Tadina N.A.

Cultural and semiotic codes of Burkhanist wedding rites of the Altai-Kizhi

The Altai-Kizhi, as the central group of the Altaians, the titular ethnic group in the Republic of Altai, are the guardians of Burkhanism. Burkhanism refers to a belief system that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century as a “reformed” version of shamanism. In Soviet times, forbidden Burkhanism preserved in the intra-ethnic ritual culture, and in the post-Soviet period it began to revive. The purpose of the article is to identify Burkhanist concepts in the cultural and semiotic wedding codes. The material for the study was author’s own field accounts of 2020–2022, collected by the method of participant observation and interviewing informants, as well as archival records of A.V. Anokhin, an antiquarian of the early 20th century. When analyzing the source base, a comparative method of research was used. The bride’s transition into a category of married women occurs through the rite of changing the maiden hairstyle for two braids with a parting, and introducing her to the groom's ancestral hearth by ‘treating’ the fire with oil. In the ritual actions of the participants, the Burkhanist attitude towards ‘the positive’ and the observance of the custom of ‘bay’ are encoded. For the first time, on the basis of the collected material, an anthropomorphic code of the ritual practice of the wedding has been identified, associated with the key idea of Burkhanism - the veneration of Altai-deity, the upper heavenly world that provides earthly life. The temporal code of the ritual actions corresponds to the Burkhanist rule — the period of the new moon and morning is a ‘favorable’ time for proposal and marriage. The spatial code of the wedding ceremonies accounts for the contraposition of ‘east-west’, ‘right-left’, and ‘male-female’. The actional code consists in performing the ritual ‘posolon’ actions and an even number of times according to the Burkhanist symbolism. The object code involves sacred attributes — a whip, a gun, a sheath for opening bride's curtain, juniper, and dairy products for ‘feeding’ the hearth fire. The color code of the wedding is in observance of light symbols — bride's curtain, milk, and sacrificial ribbons. The verbal code is realized in the ritual texts of good wishes and songs. The character code is contained in the composition and role of the sex and age groups: elders as experts in the ritual; maternal uncles-taay and nephews of the bride and groom, whose participation means social recognition and approval of the marriage. The analysis of the wedding ritual actions reveals the ‘stringing’ of one code upon another, which enhances the significance of the ritual. One and the same ritual meaning can be expressed by means of different codes and by several of them simultaneously. Despite the fact that the ritual codes are universal, their manifestation and significance in the wedding rituals of the Altai-Kizhi are unique, which is in accordance with the ideas of Burkhanism and is explained by the historical and ethno-confessional factors of the adaptation of the Altaian tribal society.

Keywords: wedding rituals, Altai-Kizhi, Burkhanism, cultural and semiotic codes, field material, analysis.


Malinov A.V. A.B.

Anokhin's letter “On shamanism among the Altai tribes”

The paper is dedicated to Andrey Viktorovich Anokhin, a renowned scholar of shamanism of the Turkic peoples of Siberia. The paper precedes publication of A.V. Anokhin's letter to ethnographer Lev Yakovlevich Sternberg discovered in the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive of RAS. The main subject of the letter is female characters-deities in Altai shamanism, with whom Kam enters into an intimate relationship. Anokhin elaborates on this subject using examples primarily from Teleut shamanism, and only briefly mentions shamanic practices of the Shorians, Kumandins, and other peoples of Southern Siberia. Anokhin's material is supplemented by information from his unpublished “Report on Teleut Shamanism” (1912) and his article “The Soul and Its Properties in the Perception of the Teleuts” (1929). In particular, information is given about female deities residing in the fourth celestial sphere (kat); Enem-Jajuchy — the Mother of the Creator; daughters of Eligeni, dwelling on the fourteenth celestial sphere (kat); and about female ancestors worshipped by the Teleuts. The letter of Anokhin was written during a school expedition led by him in the Teleut village of Cherga in the Altai Mountains. In the letter itself, Anokhin gave details of the female characters inhabiting the third, fourth, seventh, and fourteenth celestial spheres (kat). It is noted that in the beginning of the research work initiated by G.N. Potanin, Anokhin started recording Turkic and Mongolian folklore in Southern Siberia and Mongolia, but the Russian Committee for the Study of Central and Eastern Asia of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, which funded the expedition, was interested in the study of shamanistic cult. For this reason, shamanism of the Turkic peoples of the Altai, including the Teleuts, became the main direction of Anokhin's research. The letter by Anokhin is a fragment of the correspondence between the two scientists, partly already published, that started in connection with publication of Anokhin's main work “Materials on Shamanism of the Altaians” (1924). The letter by Anokhin coincides with the publication of the book and represents the answer to a question of L.Y. Sternberg probably posed during the preparation of this publication.

Keywords: shamanism, female characters, Anokhin, Teleuts, Altai ethnography, epistolary heritage.


Pashkova T.V., Rodionova A.P.

Field journal as a source of information on traditional medicine (based on the materials of the expedition to the Trans-Onega region in 1931)

The interest towards the Trans-Onega region of Karelia emerged among researchers from the second half of the 19th c. at the folklore, linguistic, and ethnographic levels, although the researchers have not yet considered traditional medicine as a cultural layer of the ethnos. The problematics of the research is determined by insufficiently studied traditional and non-traditional cultures of the Trans-Onega people, including ethnomedicine. In order to fill this gap, the data from a field journal reposited in the Scientific Archive of the Karelian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences are drawn upon. When systematizing the information obtained from the field journal, scientific inquiries into traditional medicine of the Russian and Finno-Ugric peoples were utilized. The proposed research is aimed at the analysis and systematization of the materials of the field journal, which contains information about the traditional medicine of the Russians of the Trans-Onega region in the 1930s collected in the villages of Petry, Longasy, Garnitsy, Migury, Konda, Motalovo, Lelikovo, Koselga, Zinovievo, Sennaya Guba, etc. The research was carried out using the contrastive-comparative method. For this analysis, data were used on the rational and irrational healing practices of one of the groups of the Karelian ethnos, the Ludian Karelians, which is justified by their close contacts with the Russians of the Trans-Onega region. Ludian Kalelians traditionally live in a number of villages and small towns of the south-eastern part of the Republic of Karelia in Olonetsky, Pryazhinky, and Kondopozhsky Districts; hence, the settlement territory of the Ludian Karelians spans approximately 200 km in the eastern part of Olonets Isthmus, from north to south, from the Suna River to the Svir River on its northern tributaries, the Uslanka and Vazhinka Rivers. Based on the research on the traditional medicine of the Russian and Finno-Ugric peoples, we managed to systematize the information obtained from the field journal, distinguishing two groups of healing practices: rational and irrational. According to the journal accounts, in the first half of the 20th c. (1931), among the rational treatment methods of the Trans-Onega people one can identify phytotherapy (plant and herb substances); treatment with substances of animal origin, human excreta, mineral substances, food, precious metals, and combustion products; and physiotherapy, which should be considered as one of the most common methods of traditional medicine, along with phytotherapy. The natural environment (flora and fauna), methods of farming, as well as traditional crafts of the Trans-Onega people reflect in the medicine used. To the irrational methods of treatment one should ascribe the incantation tradition and sorcery. As the result of the conducted research, it was possible to identify similar features in the traditional medicine practices of the Ludian Karelians and Russians of the Trans-Onega region, induced by their long-term residence on the same territory and indicating close contacts between representatives of the two ethnic groups.

Keywords: Trans-Onega region, Russians, field diary, Karelians-Ludiki, rational folk medicine, irrational folk medicine.


Sadikov R.R.

“Field Journals” of ethnologist R.G. Kuzeev: archaeographic and source-study characteristics

The process of rapid development of the ethnological research, taking place currently, necessitated the search for new sources. Among them, of a great value are the records from expeditions of researchers of the past, which bear witness to the ethnographic realities of the respective time. From this point of view, the field notes (notebooks and journals) of Rail Gumerovich Kuzeev (1929–2005) — an outstanding Russian ethnologist, founder of the ethnographic sciences in Bashkortostan, who greatly contributed to the development of the problems of ethnogenesis and ethnic history of the Bashkirs and other Turkic peoples,— have priceless scientific value. The field records from the expeditions of the scientist in 1953–1982 to all major ethnographic and local groups of the Bashkirs are now reposited in the Scientific Archive of the Ufa Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The notes are made in special notebooks issued by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR for documenting materials of expeditions. In addition to the text (narration of observations, description of ethnographic objects and phenomena, transcripts of conversations with informants, etc.), they also contain many graphic representations (drawings, plans, diagrams). The notes and drawings are made in ink and pencil; in the latest documents, with a ballpoint pen. The aim of the work is to identify their archaeographic features and source-study value (ethnographic and historical evidence, methodology of the scholar's fieldwork). The textual analysis of R.G. Kuzeyev's field notes showed that they captured unique information on the history and ethnography of the Bashkir people, concerning ethnogenesis, migration, tribal structure, ancestral symbols, genealogies, social organization, land ownership, arts and crafts, clothing and ornaments, dwelling, economic activities and trades, traditional festivals and ceremonies, and toponyms. From the source-study perspective, they are of obvious interest to the ethnologists, ethnographers, and socio-cultural anthropologists, as well as to the folklorists (they contain texts of many historical and toponymic legends and tales), archaeologists, especially those dealing with the ‘archaeology of the modern period’ (there is information about old Bashkir settlements, summer camps, abandoned cemeteries), local historians and genealogists (information about history of the settlements, generation lists), etc.

Keywords: R.G. Kuzeev, Bashkirs, ethnography, expeditions, field notes, tribal structure, decorativeapplied art, tamgas.



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Skochina S.N.

Stone tools of the Neolithic settlement of Mergen 8

In this paper, stone tools of the Neolithic settlement of Mergen 8, located in the forest-steppe zone of Western Siberia in the Lower Ishim river basin, are analyzed. The mixed cultural layer of the settlement contained materials from two periods of its inhabitation, associated with the Boborykino Culture of the early Neolithic period and with the pottery ornamented with comb stamp of the late Neolithic period. The identification of the two chronologically different types of pottery raised the question of possibility of separating the stone implements. The aim of this work is to attempt differentiation from the mixed cultural layer of the groups of stone tools associated with a certain cultural and chronological section of the settlement. The peculiarity of the cultural layer of the Mergen 8 settlement was the presence of the dwelling 1 and some pits unimpaired by the upper horizons. In the methodological aspect of this work, stratigraphic and planigraphic analyzes with the aid of the feedstock characteristics of stone formed the basis, on which a relatively clean complex of quartz sandstone and flint was isolated, associated with the filling of the dwelling 1, in which pottery of the Boborykino Culture was found. The differentiation of the stone tools from the mixed layer was based upon the raw material that was found in the bottom part of the dwelling’s ditch, undisturbed by other layers. The complex of the stone tools made of jasper quartzite and schist, established during the field fixation, is associated with the comb-type pottery. Thus, in the course of our study, out of 417 finds of the stone tools 276 (66 % of the entire complex) were assigned to the Boborykino complex, 50 (12 %) to the comb complex, and 91 finds (22 %) were not possible to attribute to any type of pottery. Bearing in mind that separation by feedstock has a certain degree of conventionality, it should be noted that the stone taken from the undisturbed near-bottom part of the Boborykino dwelling 1 reflects the most plausible nature of the stone industry of this period of inhabitation. In addition, in our opinion, attempts to link stone implements and their features with a certain type of pottery facilitate the formation of a clear concept of the development of the stone industry in the region in the Neolithic.

Keywords: forest-steppe zone of the Ishim River basin, settlement Mergen 8, Early Neolithic, Boborykino complex, Late Neolithic, comb complex, mixed cultural layer, stone tools.


Poshekhonova O.E., Pilkina A.A., Dubovtseva E.N.

Eneolithic pottery complex of the settlement of Pyakupur 3 (north of Western Siberia)

In this paper, a unique pottery complex of the Eneolithic period from the settlement of Pyakupur 3, located along the upper course of the Pur River in the sub-zone of the northern taiga, has been analyzed. The aim of this research is to establish cultural traditions of the population who left the settlement behind and to determine the place of the materials within the current system of historical and cultural types identified in the north of Western Siberia. The material for the research is represented by morphological traits of the pottery and by some elements of the pot-tery technology as a manifestation of the cultural traditions of the populations who inhabited the headland of the terrace of the Pyakupur River in the Eneolithic period. In total, 38 vessels have been included in the analysis, most of which are represented by fragments of the original walls and bottoms; only eleven containers had a collared rim. For the purpose of this work, conventional methods of archaeological research were employed: morphological, statistical, and typological. Furthermore, technical and technological analysis of a part of the collection was carried out with the aid of a binocular microscope MBS-10 following the method of A.A. Bobrinsky. The pottery features the following basic traits: decorated, smaller, and thin-walled vessels. Among the shapes, a significant proportion of cymbiforms stands out, with the rest of the vessels being round-bottomed and one pot — a cup with a ridge. As the ornamentation tools, crested (predominant) and smooth stamps were used, rarely profiled (wire staple), although they practically are not found side by side on the same vessel. The main technique of the ornamentation was embossing. At the level of elements and motifs, presswork and horizontal rows predominate; a significant percentage in the compositions is represented by geometrical patterns. The compositions are more often complex, combining several motifs. It has been found that the pottery of the settlement of Pyakupur 3, exhibiting considerable idiosyncrasy, closely resembles the wares of forest-tundra and tundra settlements, rather than the complexes of the northern-taiga Yasunskaya Culture or antiquities of the middle taiga of Western Siberia, suggesting some cultural affinity of the populations inhabiting these remote from each other territories. However, chronologically, Pyakupur 3 precedes the sites of Gorniy Samotnel 1, Salekhard 1, Ust-Vasyegan 1, and the later, still Eneolithic, settlement of Vary-Khadyta II. The paucity of the source base from the territories of the basins of the rivers Pur and Taz yet does not allow one to answer multiple questions following from this conjecture.

Keywords: ceramic vessels, traditions, Eneolithic, north of Western Siberia, Pyakupur 3 settlement.


Degtyareva A.D., Kuzminykh S.V.

Metal tools of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals and Middle Tobol: chemical and metallurgical characteristics

In this paper, the chemical composition of tools and ingots of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals and Middle Tobol region is characterized with identification of main recipes of the alloys using several analytical methods (spectral, X-ray fluorescence, and atomic emission spectrometry analyses carried out in the laboratories of the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences). The complexes of the Petrovka Culture of the Sou-thern Trans-Urals have been dated by a set of AMS 14C dates to 19th–18th centuries BCE. Recently introduced in the scientific discourse 27 AMS 14C dates (settlement of Stepnoe and burial grounds of Stepnoe 1, 7 and 25) established an earlier interval of the Petrovka series — 2133–1631 BCE and point to the synchroneity of the cultures at the northern periphery of the Sintashta area in the local micro-region of the Southern Trans-Urals. The results of the analytical study of 106 metal tools and 70 ingots of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals and south of Western Siberia are reported. The statistical processing of the analytical results with plotting correlation diagrams of Sn–As, Sn–Pb, As–Ag, As–Sb, and a frequency distribution histogram for the proportions of Sn allowed casting the metal into 4 metallurgical groups — pure copper and tin, arsenic-tin and arsenic bronzes. The first group subdivided into oxide and sulfidic samples. According to the geochemical peculiarity of the metal from the metal industry centers of Ustie 1, Kulevchi 3 and Shibaevo 1, several sources of oxide-carbonated ores were utilized for copper smelting — malachite and azurite-malachite deposits, while sulfidic chalcocite-covelline ores, and sometimes chalcopyrite-pyrite depositions, were added to the melt as a flux agent. The admixture of sulfides was carried out as an experiment and was not purposeful. Petrovka metallurgists supplied copper to the workshops of the Middle Tobol region — the sites of Ubagan 1, 2, 3 and Kamyshnoe 1, 2. The centers of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals were dominated by the production of pure copper implements, including the metal smelted from the oxidized ore. To a lesser extent, low-alloyed bronze was used — Cu+Sn, Cu+Sn+As and Cu+As, whose feedstock was supplied by the kindred tribes of Central and Eastern Kazakhstan in the form of ingots and finished products along the eastern part of the Trans-Eurasian transport corridor of metal trade — over the Turgay trough and further along the extensive river system of the Tobol River and its tributaries. The highest concentration of tools of alloyed bronzes was recorded in the burial grounds of the Middle Tobol, which can be explained from the point of view of the prestige value of such goods and observance of special ceremonial practices.

Keywords: Southern Trans-Urals, Petrovka Ñulture, metallurgy, geochemical composition, ore sources, metallurgical contacts.


Ryabogina N.E., Yuzhanina E.D., Afonin A.S., Yakimov A.S., Novikov I.K.

Paleoenvironmental studies of lakeside watershed settlements of the Tobol-Ishim interfluve (Zolotoe 1 settlement, Kurgan Oblast)

During the study of the process of settling people in the territory of the forest-steppe and steppe zones of Western Siberia, both valleyside settlement sites of the Bronze Age and watershed lakeside settlements have been identified. The settlement of Zolotoe 1 is one of the few sites of the Late Bronze Age investigated by excava-tions and confined to the vast water-dividing surface between the rivers Tobol and Ishim in Kurgan Oblast. Two stages of population have been identified, associated with the Alakul and Alekseyevka-Sargary Cultures. Despite the change of the resource base from alluvial to watershed, the archaeological materials do not indicate differences in the economies and traditions of the Alakul population of this watershed settlement from the analogous valley sites. Due to the lack of data on the environment of such watershed settlements of the Bronze Age, the analysis has been carried out on the pollen data from the benthal deposits of Lake Zolotinskoe nearby the settlement (off-site data), carbonated macro-residues from various archaeological contexts of the occupational layer (on-site data), and the soil profiles on the settlement and beyond it (on-site data). By means of the radiocarbon dating it was found that the palynological data from the lake core sample show the environmental conditions of only the last third — end of the 2nd millennium BCE, beginning from the 24th century BCE; hence, it has not been possible to reconstruct the specifics of the natural environment surrounding the Alakul population of the site during the first phase of the settlement. The overall environmental background for the time depth of the Alakul Culture has been analyzed on the data from the neighboring regions. It appears that it does not correspond with the arid phase but is related to warm, but moderately humid conditions. However, already in the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE (3,500–3,300 cal. BP), probably, there were changes towards more arid and/or warm climate, which brought about adverse conditions for the forestation in the forest-steppe, advance of the steppe and a lowering of the groundwater table. This is also confirmed by the results of the study of Lake Zolotinskoe. Beginning from the 24th century BCE, the watershed areas of the Tobol basin were dominated by open meadow-steppe landscapes with small birch forests, while the climate was more arid than it is today. The lower part of the lake waterside was heavily waterlogged; the lake probably shoaled in summer, but did not overdry. Such a natural environment was the background for the second period of population of the settlement by the bearers of the Alekseyevka-Sargary Culture and, probably, was not changing up until the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. The most part of the carbonized macro-residues of the Alakul and the Sargary cultural layer belongs to ruderal flora, which suggests a long-term inhabitation on the settlement. The analysis of the soil buried underneath the cultural layer suggests that during the emergence of the settlement the natural conditions were similar to modern, but differed in a better water availability.

Keywords: paleoenvironment, pollen, carbonized macro remains, Late Bronze Age, paleosol analysis.


Anoshko O.M., Zimina O.Yu., Kostomarova Yu.V.

Zavodoukovskoe 11 — a fortified settlement of the Late Bronze Age of the Trans-Urals

This publication is aimed at introducing the Late Bronze Age materials obtained during the five-year excavations of the fortified settlement of Zavodoukovskoe 11 located in the forest-steppe area of the Tobol River basin. This is the first site of the Pakhomovskaya Culture with defense structures. The aim of the analysis of its materials is their comprehensive characterization and determination of their place among the Andronoid antiquities of the Late Bronze Age. In the paper, the methods of planistratigraphic observation, relative and absolute dating, and typological and traceological determination of artefacts have been used, as well as statistical analyses in the study of the pottery. The Late Bronze Age complex comprises remains of six structures, most of the pits beyond their boundaries, and defense lines represented by the earthwork of a mound and two non-contemporaneous ditches. The buildings investigated at the settlement of Zavodoukovskoe 11 can be characterized as frame-andpillar semiburied dwellings (half-dugouts?) of a rectangular or square shape, with an entrance porch or with an additional chamber — a housekeeping area, as well as with the inground hearths delineated by grooves. These housebuilding elements bear a similarity with the materials of other Pakhomovskaya Culture sites. The Late Iron Age toolset of Zavodoukovskoe 11 bears evidence of a population engaged in fishing, metalwork, leathermaking, pottery making, spinning, and stone working. The faunal materials and fishing items suggest that the economy of the Pakhomovskaya population was complex, combining elements of producing and procuring. The pottery complex of Zavodoukovskoe 11 is a peculiar one and combines ornamental traits of two cultural traditions — Pakhomovskaya and Suzgun. The high density of wire staples, rows of vertical impressions, and horizontal lines formed by comb stamp impart a Suzgun flair to the ceramics of Zavodoukovskoe 11. The similarity of the pottery of this site with both Pakhomovskaya as well as Suzgun pottery materials may indicate its transitional nature, the direct succession between the two Cultures. On the basis of the existing chronological margins for the Andronoid Cultures, radiocarbon dates from the Zavodoukovskoe 11 site, and specifics of its pottery complex, it has been suggested that this fortified settlement likely was functioning in the 13th–12th centuries.

Keywords: Trans-Urals, Tobol-Iset’ interfluve, Late Bronze Age, Pakhomovskaya Culture, Suzgun Culture, fortified settlement.


Tishkin A.A., Bondarenko S.Yu., Mu Ts., Semibratov V.P.

Pottery vessels from a collective burial in the mound of the Pazyryk Culture (Northern Altai)

In one of the barrows examined in 2007 at the site of Choburak-II (the territory of the Northern Altai), an intrusive, and not quite ordinary, a collective burial of people was found. Accompanying burials of two horses were also recorded there and a variety of artefacts was found (a fragment of a stone grain grinder, elements of horse harness, miniature knives made of non-ferrous metal, a dagger, a chisel, a quiver hook, fragments of gold foil from clothing decoration and other items). The recovered materials made it possible to attribute the excavated burial site to the Pazyryk Culture and to carry out its dating, including the radiocarbon method. In this publication, a special attention is given to the pottery finds. Two vessels appeared to be severely damaged, and to determine their parameters it was necessary to use the bespoke technique of computer-aided restoration based on photogrammetry and aimed at obtaining the most probable shape of these ancient containers. In this respect, an algorithm, being tested by the authors, of modern demonstration in publications of the category of products in question was implemented. Based on the reconstructions performed in the paper, the restored dimensions of the pottery vessels are given, as well as their closest analogies. The third pot (of a closed jar shape with well-marked handles) was found intact. It reflects a different cultural tradition. Such products are very rare in the Altai Mountains. However, they are found in the neighboring and somewhat remote territories. This circumstance influenced the interpretation of the recorded situation. Pottery ware is an important archaeological source. Unfortunately, it has not yet become a separate research area in the study of the Pazyryk Culture. It is hoped that the developments of the authors of the paper will contribute to the research. The specific nature of this additional burial of the deceased person is noted. The investigated archaeological site to a certain extent may reflect the processes of interaction of the Pazyryk population with their northern neighbors. The body of the considered data complements the content and features of the culture of the Altai population of the Scythian-Saka period.

Keywords: Altai, Pazyryk Culture, Scythian-Saka time, Choburak-II, ceramic vessels, computer restoration.


Berlina S.V., Tsembalyuk S.I.

Dwellings of the population of the Early Iron Age Baitovo Culture in the Tobol-Ishim forest-steppe

In this paper, the results of the study of dwellings of the Baitovo Culture population of the Early Iron Age in the Tobol-Ishim forest-steppe are presented. The research was aimed at identification of types of dwellings prevailing among the Baitovo population, analysis of their structural features and graphical reconstruction of two structures: a surface dwelling from the settlement of Dachnoe 1 and a half-dugout from the settlement of Lake Chencher 6. In total, 42 Baitovo dwellings studied by excavations were analyzed. Investigation of the sites by small areas does not permit characterization of the building system of the Baitovo settlements. Location of the dwellings on sandy soils, surface character of the buildings and rebuilding resulted in that not always it is possible to identify the edge of the ditch or the contour of the building. Due to these circumstances, it is possible to make general observations on the structure of dwellings, although reconstruction of certain detached buildings is complicated. The procedures used in reconstructing the dwellings are based upon the analysis of the position of the remains of the structure within the planigraphy and stratigraphy of excavation areas. Identification of basic elements of the building frame is based upon the analysis of mutual spatial arrangement of the post pits, building ditches etc. For the reconstruction of the exterior of the structures, the method of constrained reconstructions was employed, which allows identification of the object exterior and analysis of its possible variants. The classification of the 42 Baitovo dwellings showed that they are represented evenly by two types: half-dugout (21 structures) and surface (21 structures) structures. The surface structures of a subrectangular shape, with a shallow ditch in the center and without it, are enclosed within grooves or barrow pits. Among the dwellings sinking into the ground, two groups stand out — buried insignificantly in the subsoil for up to 10–20 cm and half-dugouts sunk into the subsoil for more than 25 cm. Altogether, two structural types of dwellings were identified in the Baitovo housebuilding: framed buildings (surface and buried into the ground) and dwellings with walls built in a log-crib technique. Therefore, the appearance of a new type of dwellings in the Baitovo housebuilding has been identified — the log-crib buildings, as well as the traditions of buildings sinking into the ground. Most likely, this is due to the influence of the housebuilding traditions of the Gorokhovo (sinking buildings, appearance of long corridor-exits or passages) and Itkul (surface framed dwellings) Cultures.

Keywords: Baitovo Culture, Early Iron Age, Trans-Urals, Tobol-Ishim river region, housebuilding.


Tigeeva E.V., Tsembalyuk S.I.

Metallurgical groups of non-ferrous metal products of the Baitovo Culture in the settlement of Marai 1

In the paper, the results of an analytical investigation of 28 artefacts made of non-ferrous metal originated from the materials of the settlement of Marai 1 of the Lower Ishim River basin of Tyumen Oblast are presented. Among the items were arrowheads, awls, decorations, plates, drops an ingot and a bracket attributed to the Baitovo Culture. The upper cultural horizon of the settlement marks the site of the Baitovo Culture of the beginning of the Early Iron Age, dated to the 4th–2nd centuries BCE. Based on the results of the spectral analysis carried out in the laboratory of nature sciences of the Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, five metallurgical groups were identified. The artefacts belonging to the groups of pure copper (14 items) and dopped alloys (14 items) split evenly. Ten items are made of tin bronze. Two items belong to the tin-arsenic bronze group and one to the arsenic bronze group. The plate made of a copper-based alloy with the additions of tin, arsenic and silver represents an isolated item. A correlation was identified between the type of the artefact and the material it is made of. It was most prominent with the example of the arrowheads made of pure copper and the implements made of dopped alloys. There is a discernible continuation of the traditions of the epoch of bronze manifested in the use of both dopped alloys, as well as pure copper. For the local production, feedstock material was used, possibly supplied in ingots from the metallurgical centers of Central and Eastern Kazakhstan, which were rich in tin ore deposits. Pure copper, as well as the arrowheads (made of pure copper) were probably imported from the workshops of the Itkul Culture. The Urals metal could have also been distributed along the river system of the Tobol and Ishim onto quite far-off territories. From the 7th–5th centuries BCE, the Itkul metallurgical center was practically a monopoly supplier of copper and products for a range of the cultures (including the Baitovo Culture) of the mountain-forest and forest-steppe Trans-Urals and Western Siberia, and it was actively functioning until the 3rd century BCE. Its distinctive feature was the production of throwing weapons from pure oxidized copper. Therefore, the orientation of the historical-metallurgical relations on both western centers, as well as eastern, has been ascertained, which indicates extensive exchange-of-goods relations of the groups of the Baitovo population. However, the decrease of the supply of tin-ore alloys, as well as the decline of the Itkul metallurgical center towards the 3rd century BCE resulted in the search for new sources of feedstock material and expedited the transition to the ironwork production.

Keywords: metallurgical groups, Early Iron Age, X-ray fluorescence analysis, pure copper, tin bronze.


Kostomarova Yu.V.

An experience of the experimental use-wear analysis of tools made of pottery shards (based on the materials of the fortified settlement of Maray 4)

The paper concerns the determination of the functional purpose of scraper-shaped pottery tools of the fortified settlement of Marai 4 of the initial period of the Early Bronze Age. The site is located in the territory of the Lower Ishim River basin in Kazan District of Tyumen Oblast. Its materials are dated to the 6th (7th) — end of the 5th centuries BCE; culture-wise, they belong to the circle of the Zhuravlevo antiquities. The collection of the pottery scrapers of the site amounts to 78 items. Initially, the majority of them were interpreted as scrapers for fleshing. However, a series of features gave rise to doubts, and the problem of the functional purpose of the scraper-like implements from Maray 4 remained open. In order to elaborate and correct the conclusions, in 2019–2022 the author conducted experiments on the use of pottery shards in the process of skin treatment, wood scraping, abrasive treatment of copper and bronze, in pottery making — at the stage of smoothing, compacting and sleeking the walls of pottery containers. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the experimental use-wear study of the scraper-like pottery artefacts from the Early Iron Age sites of Maray 4. The investigation is based upon the use of the experimental use-wear method, which involves the study of the traces of wear on the surface of implements, and their functional attribution. The use-wear analysis and microphotography of the traces of wear were carried out with the aid of a pancratic microscope MC-2 Z00M with a magnification from 10× to 40×with a Canon EOS-1100 camera. The performed studies allowed refining the previously conjectured hypothesis on the functional purpose of the scraper-shaped tools from Maray 4 and reaching the conclusion that most of them were used for smoothing and compacting the surface of pottery vessels. This conclusion is supported by the preliminary view of V.V. Ilyushina based upon the comparison of available reference experimental samples of surface treatment of clay vessels with pottery tools with the vessels from the site.

Keywords: Lower Ishim river areas, the beginning stage of the Iron Age, the Maray 4 site, the usewear analysis, the ceramic scrapers.




Mednikova M.B., Chechetkina O.Yu., Petrova K.A., Tarasova A.A.

Paleodemography of the Altyn-Asar burial grounds (concerning migrations in the Lower Syrdarya Basin)

Jetyasar archaeological culture was discovered and studied by the Khorezm expedition of the Institute of Ethnography of USSR. According to archeological data, this culture experienced many times transformations due to the influx of new population groups. This article presents for the first time complete data on paleodemography of samples from nineteen burial grounds of Altyn-Asar 4a–t, Kosasar 2 and Tompakasar, taking into account fractional chronological differentiation. We examined anthropological materials from over 600 burials in the storage of the Institute of Archeology RAS. In total samples from Altyn-Asar 4 of the 2nd c. BC. — 4th century was mentioned to the weak numerical predominance of females. The sex ratio in favor of males changed in the 4th–6th centuries. The average age at death of the adult population decreased by the 6th century, primarily among men. Data on separate cemeteries allow a more differentiated assessment of the chronological dynamics of demographic indicators. The numerical predominance of male burials was found: in the 2nd c. BC. — 4th c. AD in burial grounds Kosasar 2, Altyn-Asar 4 m; in the 4th–6th c. in the Altyn-Asar necropolises 4a, b, o, v. In opposite to the most groups, the Kosasar 2 sample stands out with its demographic profile and increased average age of death for males and females. According to archeological data, it may be associated with Xiongnu migration. In 2nd–4th centuries the number of this group was falling, it showed a decrease in life expectancy for men, however, for this period, it seems to be comparable the maximal one. Their antagonists during this period were representatives of other group of incomers, buried in necropolis AA4m, with a low life expectancy for males and females. Despite the supposed influx of newcomers, it is obvious that the genetic continuity of a part of the Jetyasar population, which probably belonged to influential local clans (the necropolises of Altyn-Asar4l and later Altyn-Asar4r), might be evident.

Keywords: Eastern Aral, Jetyasar archaeological culture, Iron Age, early mediaeval, chronological dynamics of paleodemographic features.


Leibova N.A., Leibov M.B.

Digital Anthropological photography

Despite the fact that in recent years the anthropologist's arsenal has significantly expanded due to the introduction of digital 3D scanning, computed tomography, microtomography, etc. into the practice of anthropological research, for most researchers photography remains an important part of the scientific process. Moreover, the resulting images are increasingly subject to higher requirements, since they often appear in scientific circulation much faster than before, bypassing editors and professional retouchers of publishers thanks to various kinds of Internet resources, such as presentations, on-line Internet conferences, reports, etc. In this new digital reality, the researcher acts as both an expert, a director, and an operator of a photo session and is solely responsible for the quality of the result and for its compliance with the goals of the shooting. The high intelligence of modern digital cameras creates a false impression in the beginner’s mind that camera can always be given freedom in making decisions regarding the shooting parameters. However, as shown in the article, there are a number of shooting situations when targeted manual management of shooting parameters is necessary to obtain a positive result. The following information will help the photographer do this. The purpose of our article is to help the researcher anthropologist qualitatively solve his problems using a digital camera. We will try to give an idea of those basic concepts, features of technology and techniques that determine the work of a photographer within the digital space. To this end, the article discusses the main technical and methodological techniques of anthropological photography within the digital space. A brief definition of the basic concepts of the “digital world” and the most important technical characteristics of modern digital cameras are given. The main part of the article is devoted to photography of paleoanthropological materials. Particular attention is paid to the shooting of the skull and odontological materials. Specific recommendations are given on the management of shooting parameters and on the organization of the shooting process, the use of which will allow the researcher to obtain high-quality digital photographs of the studied anthropological objects that meet both the requirements of modern printing and the requirements of representation on Internet resources.

Keywords: anthropological photography, digital camera, photography of craniological series, dental anthropology photography.




Adaev V.N.

Colonization of the northern outskirts of the Tarsky district in the pre-Soviet period: historical and ethnocultural aspects

The study deals with the history of the colonization of the northern part of the Tarsky okrug (district) in the late 17th — early 20th centuries (Western Siberia, Russia). This taiga territory, which included the upper reaches of the Demyanka River, featured an abundance of hunting resources, but it was located significantly far from the administrative center of the district and was surrounded by barely-passable swamps. The objectives of the research include determination of the chronological features of the colonization with an emphasis on the ethnic and cultural aspects of the process. The paper is based on diverse sources: cartographic materials, 18th–20th century publications, archival records, and the field historical and ethnographic data. The study is based upon the theoretical framework by A.V. Golovnev concerning the concepts of “colonization” and “anthropology of movement”. It has been ascertained that the administrative borders in the area of the Demyanka River were originally determined along the boundaries of the areas of activity of the ethnic groups assigned to different districts of the Tobolsk gubernia. Three stages were revealed in the history of colonization of the northern part of the Tarsky okrug, within each of which the area was perceived from the administrative center in a special way, and the policy towards it differed significantly. In the 17th–18th centuries, the state control was limited to the collection of the yasak from the Tatar hunters who seasonally visited the Demyanka territory. Later on, up until the 1880s, only unregistered groups of nomadic Khanty and Evenks were staying in the territory, with whom some officials and other district dwellers had maintained unofficial socio-economic contacts. In the 1890s–1910s, after the arrival of a large number of peasant settlers in the okrug, the authorities conducted the first economic and geographical survey of the territory for the prospect of its agricultural exploitation, while the local Russian old-settlers and a small part of the migrants established intensive tradable hunting in the Demyanka territory, developing a network of routes through the swamps.

Keywords: Siberian old settlers, migrants, indigenous people of the North, mainstream and local cultures, history of Western Siberia.


Rud’ A.A.

Communal sacrifice in the ritual space of the Eastern Khanty

The communal sacrifice myr (‘all people’, ‘people gathering’) of the Eastern Khanty living in the basins of the Bolshoy Yugan, Agan, Trom’egan, Pim, Lyamin, and Demyanka Rivers (the territory of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the north of Tyumen Oblast) is studied. The work is based on the field materials of the author collected in 2002–2017, as well as on other investigations and previously published sources. The aim of the paper is the study of the role of the communal sacrifice in the worldview and ritual space of the Eastern Khanty. The methodological basis of the research stems from the theoretical developments of ritual by V. Turner (1983) and gift-exchange by M. Mauss (2011). The concept of “principal ritual” by A.K. Baiburin (1993) has been used in this work. The communal sacrifice myr is the most attended by the number of participants and longest by time ritual of the Eastern Khanty. Within the myr, the most extensive interaction between the world of humans and the world of deities of the Eastern Khanty happens. The structure of the myr includes sacrificial rituals devoted to the deities of the whole pantheon of the Easten Khanty, as well as shamanistic rituals and traditional fortunetelling. During the myr, decisions are taken with regard to the most important problems of the community life, whose implementation requires not only human effort but also ‘divine support’. In this paper, the modern boundaries and frequency of conducting the communal sacrifice among the Eastern Khanty are identified. The social and sex-age composition of the participants in the ritual are characterized. The origins and reasons of the ritual performance are considered. In its symbolic aspect, the myr performs the functions of reloading the interrelations between the world of humans and the world of deities in the time of a crisis. Such reloading, alongside sacrifices and gifts to the gods, includes invoking the theme of the primordial genesis of the Khanty’s cosmos — a traditional ceremony of setting fire to the ritual pyre by rubbing. In the course of the research, it has been found that the communal sacrifice corresponds with the concept of gift-exchange of M. Mauss, contains the features of reciprocation, and plays the role of a principal ritual of the Eastern Khanty culture.

Keywords: Surgut Ob region, Eastern Khanty, traditional rituals, gift exchange, reciprocity.


Bogordayeva A.A.

“Helmets” of the Ob Ugrians: typology and functions

On the basis of the comparative-typological method, the woolen headdresses-helmets held at the sanctuaries of the Northern Khanty and Mansi have been analyzed. By the shape of the crown and some additional details, four helmet types were identified, which, by the way of analogy, were designated as malakhai (a fur cap), helmet, bashlyk (a hood), and ear-flapped cap. For each type, its specifics and territory of its common use were determined. It has been found that malakhai is characteristic of the Severnaya Sos’va Mansi, while ear-flapped cap — of the Kazym Khanty. The other types and variants are distributed at the borders of their settlement and among other groups. The existence of several types of helmets, their variability and local distribution suggest the loss by some groups of the tradition of cutting, but preserving the tradition of manufacture. As the result, one form of the headdresses was replaced by others, probably related to new social images. It has been ascertained that the identified types of the helmet cutting have no comparable counterparts among the traditional headdresses of Khanty and Mansi. In the meantime, helmet of the malakhai type bears resemblance to the headdresses (malakhais) of the Turkic peoples of Siberia, Central Asia, and the European part of Russia. The headdresses of a similar form were used among the neighboring in the past Bashkirs, as well as the Kazakhs living alongside with the Bashkirs. Among both the Bashkirs and the Kazakhs, malakhais formed a part of the costumes of the warrior and the horseman. A comparative analysis of the cutting and decorations of the Ugric, Bashkir and Kazakh malakhais shows resemblance in a series of features. This points favorably to their common origins and supports the existence of such headdresses among the Ugrs in the past. In the Ugric society, malakhais acquired a new role and became a symbol of the Heavenly Rider.

Keywords: Khant, Mansi, Ob Ugrians, Ural, Western Siberia, sacred objects, headdress, hat, helmet, “malakhai”, the Sky Rider.


Perevalova E.V., Kisser T.S.

Indigenous peoples of Taimyr: “The right to live on their own land”

The main source for the preparation of the article was the field materials collected by the authors in Taimyr in April ― May 2021. The in-depth interviews obtained during the expeditionary research, coupled with a blitz survey, reveal the problems and reasons for the difficult economic and ethno-cultural situation of indigenous peoples in their own interpretation. For a long time, inaccessibility of Taimyr contributed to the preservation of its surface and underground resources, which supported the existence of the traditional economic complexes of five indigenous peoples (Dolgans, Nenets, Nganasans, Evenks, Enets). The beginning of the active development of the Taimyr Arctic by industrial companies in the last decade has become a challenge for the indigenous population: all ethno-preserving industries ― hunting for wild reindeer, fishing, reindeer breeding ― have been threatened. The sharp decline of wild reindeer population in Taimyr is perceived by local residents as a catastrophe. Among the main reasons, along with the deterioration of the environmental situation associated with the accidents at the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant and the appearance of new subsoil users in the Taimyr tundras, poaching and shooting of wild reindeer by local residents that significantly exceeds the quotas are listed. The measures taken by the state (quotas for hunting wild deer and fishing, social benefits) do not solve the problems of preserving the traditional nature management and lifestyle, with which the indigenous population of Taimyr is directly connected by the ideas of “the right to work”, “the right to live on one's own land” and “the right to identity”. Despite the insignificance of the preferences, benefits for people leading the traditional way of life are causing discontent in the ethnic communities. The growth of social tension is also due to the chronic problem of unemployment and a deplorable state of many Taimyr villages, the prospect of preserving of which directly depends on the state of the biological resources.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, Taimyr, status, rights, benefits, traditional nature management, traditional way of life, identity.


Mavlyutova G.Sh.

Building the Muslim religious structures in the Tobolsk Province in the late 18th — early 20th century

Analyzed herein is the state politics in the area of building the Muslim religious structures in the Tobolsk Province at the end of the 18th — beginning of the 20th century. The source basis of the work was represented by the statutory and regulatory acts, clerical correspondence retrieved from the state archives, and pictorial materials. In this work, historical-comparative analysis, methods of historicism, induction and deduction were employed. During the period in question, more than a hundred of Muslim religious objects were functioning in the Tobolsk Province. The regulation of their building started in the second third of the 20th century. Three parties were participating in the process of obtaining a permit for the erection of mosques: gubernia (province), okrug (county), and volost (district) administration-police bodies and officials; the high clerical body of the Muslims of the European Russia and Siberia — Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly; and the religious community — ummah. The interaction between them on the matter of building a mosque could take several years. The decision on the erection of Muslim religious objects was taken by the state authorities. Often, in the case of a discrepancy in the number of believers in the ummah (no less than 200 men), the regional authorities permitted erection of mosques. They softened their stance on this matter. In the Tobolsk Province, at the end of the 18th — beginning of the 20th centuró, the mosques were predominantly wooden. There were only few Muslim religious structures in the region built of brick. Mosques in the Province were erected at the expense of members of the ummah and donations of benefactors. We suggest that the makority of the religious structures were built not as ‘template’ projects, but as the projects specially designed and approved by public officials. One of the features of their exterior was position of the minaret on the roof of the mosque. Also noteworthy are the dimensions of the prayer hall. It was relatively small, with two to five windows on each side. That depended on the needs of the ummahs. On average, the service life of the wooden mosques was 50–60 years. Subsequently, due to the lower durability of timber as a building material, the Muslim religious objects required capital repair or erection of a new structure.

Keywords: mosque, Muslims, Muslim community, tatars, Bokharan, Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly.


Glushenko M.A., Fedorov R.Yu., Zharnikov Z.Yu., Myglan V.S.

Architecture of peasant-migrants of the first quarter of the 20th century in the Middle Angara River region according to the complex historical and dendrochronological analyses

The paper presents the results of a complex historical and dendrochronological study of folk architecture of peasant-migrants of the first quarter of the 20th century who lived in the territory of the Middle Angara River region (Bratsk district of Irkutsk Oblast). Based on the dendrochronological studies, visual inspection of buildings and interviews with local residents, initial features and dynamics of adaptation changes in the building culture of the peasant-migrants were reconstructed. It has been established that the migrants tried to preserve as much as possible of the building technologies from their homeland, changing only those elements that impeded the adaptation in the new environmental and climatic conditions. At the same time, a significant proportion of the peasantmigrants tried to reproduce at the new place those examples of folk architecture that in their homeland were characteristic of most prosperous peasants. It has been concluded that in the Bratsk district, the building culture of the migrants underwent a higher degree of transformations than in other areas of the Angara basin region. Those migrants who settled in the vicinity of Russian old-settlers experienced heavy influences from their folk architecture.

Keywords: folk architecture, Middle Angara River region, Bratsk district, dendrochronology, late peasant-migrants, ethnocultural adaptation.


Kozlov A.I., Nikitin I.A.

Farinaceous and starchy foods in the diet of the indigenous people of the highlatitude and Arctic regions of Russia: tradition and modernity

The object of the study is the indigenous population of the North and the Arctic of the Russian Federation. The subject of the study is changes in nutrition during transition from the traditional to modernized lifestyle. The purpose of the study is to consider the risk to the health of the northerners in the quantitative and qualitative changes in the consumption of flour and starch-containing products. The consumption of bread products and starch by the population of the northern regions of the Russian Federation in the 19th – 20th centuries and in the 2010s – 2020s was estimated. Estimates of the frequencies of the amylase genes AMY1, AMY2B, AMY2A in the populations that differ in geographic localization and type of management are systemized. In the 20th century, percapita consumption of bread in Russia decreased from 700 to 260 g/day, among the indeginous northerners — from 300 to 250 g/day. The inclusion of pasta products and potato in the diet of the northerners changed the volume and structure of the consumed carbohydrate foods. The intake of high glycemic load starch increased from 100 to 250 g/day. Replacing the dried crusts with pasta and potato meals eased mastication of food, thus inducing a reflectory rise in serum glucose at ingestion and increasing the risk of developing chronic carbohydrate metabolism disorders. High-latitude populations are distinct in the prevalence of the genotypes that determine low activity of the polysaccharidase enzymes necessary for starch digestion. The ample production of amylase and less prominent blood glucose upswing in response to the consumption of starchy foods are determined by the number of successive copies of the amylase genes on the AMY locus. For the AMY1 gene, a negative correlation was found between the gene copy number and the geographical latitude of the population area (rSp = -0.19), for the AMY2A gene rSp = -0.33 (p < 0.001 in both cases). In addition, in the Arctic groups there is a high frequency of deletions of the AMY2A gene, which also lead to insufficient synthesis of pancreatic amylase. In the European populations, AMY2A deletions occur in 10–11 %; among the Khanty, Mansi, and Selkups — in 28 %; among the indigenous population of Chukotka — in 52 %. Changes in the “Arctic diet” in the 20th century led to a sharp increase in the starch consumption. With the traditional way of life, the northerners did not form adaptations to the nutrient intake of large volumes of starchy foods. In modern conditions, accumulation of nutritional, physiological and genetic factors increases the risk of metabolic disorders related to the consumption of high-starch food.

Keywords: food ecology, food consumption, carbohydrate metabolism disorders, amylase, Nenets, Yakuts.


¹ 3 (58) (2022)



Shevnina I.V., Logvin A.V.

On the problem of identifying the Belkaragai type of the Neolithic ceramics in Turgai

The settlement of Belkaragai 1 is located on the shore of a dry lake, 160 km south-west of the city of Kostanay (Kostanay Region, Northern Kazakhstan), at an altitude of 6 m from its bottom. The paper examines the materials of the settlement of Belkaragai 1, where it was possible to identify a new type of ceramics — Belkaragai. The purpose of this work is to determine the cultural and chronological affiliation of all archaeological materials obtained from site B of the settlement of Belkaragai 1. The settlement covers an area of about 15 hectares. Several accumulations of finds were recorded; one of them, designated as site B, attracted attention due to significant quantity of plates. An exploratory dig was set up; the total area of the excavation was 144 m². The analysis, synthesis, generalization, description, comparison, statistical methods, comparative typological method, and the method of analogies were used to distinguish the Belkaragai type of the Neolithic ceramics in Turgai. The raw feedstock and molding masses of the ceramic products were studied using binocular microscopy and petrographic analysis. The main feature of the Belkaragai type ceramics is the combination of the Eneolithic exterior of the vessels with the typical Mahanjar admixture of wool and animal hair in the composition of the clay dough. The Belkaragai type of ceramics accompanied a lamellar complex of stone tools, which is commensurable with the Mahanjar complex but has its own characteristics manifested in the width of the plates and composition of the tools. The peculiarities of the ceramics and flint industry allows placing chronologically the Belkaragai type of ceramics between the Mahanjar (Neolithic) and Tersek (Late Neolithic) antiquities. Besides, it should not go unnoticed that the Belkargai type may be genetically related to the Mahanjar Neolithic antiquities. As the result of the search for analogies to the Belkaragai type in the materials of other Turgai sites (the sites of Duzbay 3, Svetly Dzharkul, and the settlements of Bestamak and Buruktal 1), it was possible to identify pottery which, in terms of its main features, correlates well with the Belkaragai type. It is possible that the Belkaragai-type materials are not a local phenomenon, but have a wider character (at least within the Turgai trough). Most likely, this is a cultural phenomenon that reflects the processes that took place in Turgai at the end of the Neolithic period.

Keywords: Neolithic Turgai, Turgai trough, Makhanjar Culture, Belkaragai settlement, Belkaragai type of ceramics.


Karimikiya A., Rezalou R., Abedi A., Javanmardzadeh A., Mohammadi M.R.

Study and analysis of the Chalcolithic Period of Mughan plain based on archaeological data Yataq-Tepesi, northwest of Iran

The rivers, including Aras, in the Mughan region played an important role in the formation of the prehistoric sites. The Mughan Plain has not received particular attention in terms of the archaeological investigations, as the extensive scientific activities concentrated on the Lake Urmia basin. Yataq-Tepesi is a prehistoric site in the city of Germi (Mughan Region) that became the subject of the scientific research. The main aim of this paper is to discuss the pottery traditions at the site and to determine the chronological sequence of the studied region. In view of further detailed studies on the cultural relations of Mughan population with other territories, and to establish its chronological sequence, two main questions are posed: how do we date Yataq-Tepesi on the basis of cultural information, including pottery traditions? The main hypothesis suggested here is that the site development took place during the Middle Chalcolithic and Late Chalcolithic periods, somewhere between 4500 and 3700 / 3600 BC. The second question relates to the geographical regions that Yataq-Tepesi was in contact with through cultural relations and trade with other regions of northwestern Iran, especially with the region of Qaradagh and the Lake Urmia basin, as well as with the Southern Caucasus.

Keywords: Yataq-Tepesi, Mughan Plain, Germi City, Chalcolithic, South Azerbaijan.


Klimova A.D.

Shapes of the pottery vessels from the burial ground of the Late Bronze Age near the village of Peschanka in the Southern Transurals

In this article, the first experience of applying methods of the historical-and-cultural approach to the analysis of the shapes of the pottery of the Alakul Culture is presented. Eighteen vessels from 13 burials of the Peschanka cemetery were used. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the capabilities of the historico-cultural approach in the study of pottery vessel shapes of the Alakul Culture with the example of the burial ground of the Late Bronze Age in the Southern Transurals. The analysis has been carried out within the framework of the historical-andcultural approach developed by A.A. Bobrinsky. The study of the vessel shapes is conducted at three levels of the analysis: (i) general proportionality of the vessels; (ii) natural structure of the vessel shapes; (iii) the degree of formedness of the functional parts of the vessels. The author has identified the features that characterize the leading trends in the traditions of creating forms of clay vessels in the studied population. At the level of general proportionality, the vessels are evenly distributed among stages 33–35. At the level of the natural structure, a fivepart construction ‘lip + neck + brachium + body + base’ dominates. At the degree of formedness of the functional parts, most vessels exhibit a rudimentary neck, an unformed brachium, and the fully formed body. The listed features of the forms characterize the cultural core of the traditions of molding forms of the clay vessels at the Peschanka burial ground. The traditions of the cultural core are indicative of an early phase of the existence of this cemetery. Shapes of the vessels which differ from the core in their structures and degree of formedness of the body are representative of the later phase of the site's existence. This is confirmed by the traits of independent cultural and chronological features of the morphology of the Alakul and Srubnaya-Alakul ceramics, as well as by two available radiocarbon dates. The results of the conducted research showed the possibility of: a) deriving a cultural core of the traditions, with the example of the specific site; and b) establishing a chronology of burial complexes on the basis of data on the traditions of creating the vessel shapes.

Keywords: ceramics, Alacul Culture, historical-and-cultural approach, vessel shapes, Southern Transurals.


Beisenov A.Z., Gorashchuk I.V.

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

The Tasmola Culture of Central Kazakhstan, dated to the 8th–5th 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 2016–2021. 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.


Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al.

An elite burial of the Early Turkic period from the Upper Irtysh Region

In the second half of the 1st millennium AD, Early Turkic tribes started penetrating the territory of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. Under their influence on the territory of the Upper Irtysh, the process of development of a Kimek-Kipchak state formation began. The initial stage of this process, reflected in the funeral rite and characteristic elements of the material culture, is barely known. In this paper, materials of the kurgan 1 of the barrow cemetery of Menovnoye XII, located in the territory of the Upper Irtysh 2.1 km to the southeast of the village of Menovnoye, Tavrichesky district, East Kazakhstan Region, are analysed. Under the mound of the kurgan was a fence with an annex containing a burial of a person, a dog, and two pairs of horses. The central male burial has been robbed. In the sacrificial pit, located south of the grave, there were remains of two horses: one had been laid on the stomach with its legs bent under the body and head to the east; the other, overlaying the first one, had been placed on a banket, laid on the right side with its legs bent under and head to the east. The man was accompanied by a child lying on the back with the head to the north, placed in a stone box attached to the eastern wall of the fence. The burial of the dog was in a pit placed in the aisle of the western wall of the fence. In the pit of the annex, there were remains of two horses: the complete carcass and the hinder part of the carcass. The grave goods were represented by a leather rendering and parts of a horse harness (iron stirrups and a bone belly buckle). The belts of the horse ammunition were adorned with silver and bronze decorations: badge-triplets, onlays, and buckle tips. To adjust the strain of the check-straps, a bronze buckle with an iron prong was used. Two horses showed traces of saddle bags containing iron adzes. The features of the funeral rituals and analysis of the material remains allow attributing the burials of the kurgan 1 of the Menovnoye XII burial ground to the Early Kimek period of the Turkic epoch within the 7th–8th centuries AD.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh Region, Middle Ages, Turks, Kimaks, mound, funeral rites, clothing inventory.


Adamov A.A.

Lead bullets of the Russian warrior host of 1582–1585 (based on the materials from the settlement of Isker)

The capital of the Siberian Khanate, the Isker hillfort, is located on the right bank of the Irtysh River, 17 km up from the mouth of the Tobol River. A large collection of bullets has been assembled on the monument, which were left by the soldiers who participated in the Yermak's campaign. For the first time, the data on 30 bullets from Isker were reviewed by A.P. Zykov in a joint monograph published in 2017, which included the bullets stored in Tobolsk Museum Reserve. However, some conclusions made by the researcher were not supported by the museum's collections. In total, 23 bullets are stored in the museum, and there are no bullets less than 8 mm in diameter, no bullets with a lead funnel, and no cylindrical bullets produced by cutting a lead rod into pieces. In total, our work made use of the data on 139 bullets that are stored in Tobolsk Museum Reserve and bullets that we found during the field research and collection of artefactual remains from the Isker hillfort since 2007. The bullets can be divided into two groups: molded (137 items) and mechanically manufactured (2 items). For the bullets, 12 variants of the traits, which characterize some features of their manufacture, and traces of impact on the projectiles before expulsion and those that appeared afterwards, were identified. During the manufacture, the bullet shape was attempted to be made spherical; this was recorded for 37.4 % of the items. Twenty-three percent of the bullets feature a seam from the mold sections, 14.4 % of the bullets preserved areas from lead shrinkage when cooling in the mold, 1.4 % of the bullets preserved a lead funnel, and 27.3 % of the bullets have notches made to increase their lethality. Furthermore, 58.3 % of the bullets bear traces of shooting — striation caused by friction of the projectile against the smooth barrel and traces of deformation caused by hitting a hard surface; only 10.1 % of the bullets are significantly undermolded or cut in halves. Summarizing the data on the bullets from the Isker hillfort, it must be noted that the Russian warrior host of 1582–1585 were armed with Russian-made muskets of small calibers of 8–15 mm. At the same time, the vast majority of them had a caliber of 10–14 mm, of which almost 2/3 were of a 12–13 mm caliber. The warriors campaigning in Siberia did not feel a noticeable shortage of ammunition, conducting annual target practice shooting at hard targets. Ball bullets were used, without lead funnels, which were cast from a precisely measured amount of lead. Notched bullets were quite widely used.

Keywords: Isker, Western Siberia, Khanate of Siberia, 16th century, weaponology, Russian warrior firearms, Yermak, lead bullets.


Tataurova L.V., Tataurov S.F., Tataurov F.S., Sopova K.O.

The Russian Frontier in Western Siberia (XVI–XVIII centuries) — an archaeological rendition

The Tara Irtysh region, including the city of Tara, as the main frontier outpost of the 17th–18th centuries, and its rural environs, is chosen as the pilot region in the study of the Russian frontier. Here, extensive archaeological material on the culture of urban and rural populations has been accumulated, and there is a representative body of written sources. The aim of this research is to study, on the basis of a complex analysis, the main developmental strategies of the Tarsky frontier: military, economic, and cultural. This will enable building a multicomponent model of the Russian frontier in the 16th–18th centuries for this region, identifying specifics of its formation, characteristic features, markers, and dynamics of changes as prerequisites for the advancement of the state to the east and southeast. In the study of the military strategy, a special role is assigned to the analysis of defensive structures which, together with weapons, specifically firearms, allowed resisting the militant nomads and defending the bordering territories inhabited by both Russian and indigenous populations. The study of the economic strategy revealed that the Russians in a short time created their own food economy based on the development of agriculture, cattle breeding, and the use of the natural resources — forest foraging, fishing, and hunting. Military confrontations and the formation of a life sustenance system required the development of various crafts: blacksmithing, pottery making, there was a need for clothing and footwear, and for food production. Trade relations were developing. The strategy of the cultural development was based on the paradigm of the Russian world — the spread of the Orthodoxy, into which the indigenous population was converted, including those serving in the Tarsky garrison. However, Muscovian authorities did not inhibit Islamization of the Tatars. Cohabitation of the Russians and Tatars facilitated the spread of the Russian language and Russian culture in the indigenous environment. This manifested in the change of the foundations of the traditional way of life of the native population, its restructuring according to the Russian model, and introduction of the advanced technologies. The Siberian Russian identity was developing on this international foundation.

Keywords: Siberia, frontier, archeology, Russians, Tara Irtysh region.


Bachura O.P., Lobanova T.V., Kardash O.V.

Cattle stock (Bos taurus) in Yeniseysk (Krasnoyarsk Krai) in the 18th–19th centuries (according to the archaeobotanical and archeological data)

As a result of the large-scale rescue excavations on the territory of the town of Yeniseysk (58°27'N, 92°10'E) in Eastern Siberia, a large osteological collection has been assembled. In this study, cattle bone remains from the excavations on the territory of the architectural complex ‘Balandin mansion’ have been analysed. The deposits of the mansion span both the initial period of settlement in Yeniseysk, almost from the moment of its foundation, as well as the late period — the end of the 19th century. The focus of the livestock production in the 17th–19th centuries in Yeniseysk was cattle breeding. The sex and age structure of the herd and size of the body of the animals have been reconstructed using special techniques from the parameters of the lower jaws and size of the metatarsal, metacarpal, and talus bones, as well as the first phalanges. On this basis, the breed characteristics and cases of economic use of the cattle have been described. The presence of a large percentage of newborn animals indicates that the cattle were kept within the town territory. Some amount of beef was imported to Yeniseysk as a result of the trade with indigenous cattle farmers. The reconstructed age and sex structure, where about 50 % of animals are cows older than 4 years, while the proportion of young animals among the slaughtered stock does not exceed 40 %, indicates the meat-and-dairy use of the cattle. The livestock was predominantly horned, and the polledness was not pronounced. Yeniseysk livestock had an average body size. The cattle in Yeniseysk were bigger than those of the Russian population in the forest belt of the European part of Russia. The sizes of cattle from other Russian cities in Siberia are identical to the Yenisei cattle. With a high degree of probability, the described breed can be attributed to the Siberian cattle, which were widespread on the territory of Siberia, the Urals, and the Far East.

Keywords: Eastern Siberia, the Late Middle Ages, Russian population, bones, livestock.


Sataev R.M., Dubova N.A., Sataeva L.V.

Domestic donkey (Equus asinus asinus) at Gonur Depe and its distribution in the Ancient East

The domestic donkey (Equus asinus asinus) is a hardy, versatile working animal. This species still plays an important role in the traditional economy of the peoples of Central Asia and adjacent regions. At the same time, very little is known about the ways in which this domestic species appeared in the region and the nature of its use in the early historical epochs. The morphological features of ancient donkeys are also poorly studied. It is assumed that donkeys appear in the Middle East in the 4th millennium BC. Zooarchaeological data shows that the ancient population of Turkmenistan did not breed the donkey until the Late Bronze Age. Equid bones found at Chalcolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Age sites belong to the onager (Equus hemionus). Donkey bones first appeared in the materials from the excavations of the sites of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Culture (BMAC). One of the most famous site of BMAC is Gonur Depe, the administrative and ceremonial center of ancient Margiana. It is located in the ancient delta of the Murghab River. Gonur Depe dates from 2500 till 1500 BC. The protourban center includes two main sites — North and South Gonur. During the excavation at Gonur, 142 individual bones and 9 complete skeletons of the domestic donkey were found. Perhaps the isolated donkey bones fell into the trash layers during the destruction of the ritual objects. No traces of purposeful slaughter of these animals and consumption of their meat were found. The donkey skeletons were found inside the human burials or in associated structures, although there are independent burials of these animals as well. So, for example, at the area 8, the donkey, surrounded by ceramic vessels was placed in a tomb made of adobe bricks. In the burials 3200 and 3900, the skeletons of donkeys were found alongside the skeletons of double-humped camels and remains of four-wheeled wagons. In total, 4 burials with carts were found at Gonur, where the skeletons of camels are always present, whereas only in two of them — the skeletons of donkeys. It is possible that the bulls and camels were main draft animals of the Gonur people, while the donkeys mainly played the role of a pack and riding animals. The height at the withers of the Gonur donkeys, reconstructed on the basis of measurements of the complete skeletons, was 115–120 cms. These were animals of average size for their species.

Keyword: Bactria-Margiana archaeological culture, Turkmenistan, Bronze Age, equids, burials with animals.




Kufterin V.V., Dubova N.A., Syutkina T.A.

Intragroup analysis of new craniometric data from the ancient Panjakent nauses

The article discusses new cranial materials excavated at the ancient Panjakent necropolis in 2003–2004. The crania were found in ossuary burials in nauses (small separate crypts) dating from the late VII to the early VIII centuries AD. The materials of the study include 19 crania of various preservation statuses (7 males, 11 females and one non-adult individual). The present study aims to compare the newly obtained cranial data with the already published samples to see whether they are consistent with the current knowledge about the specifics of the crania from ancient Panjakent nauses. Furthermore, the new materials increase the sample size, which allows for an intragroup statistical analysis to be applied — the maximum overall number of observations in the pooled sample has increased to 42 (data published by Ginzburg in 1950-s included). Besides from the craniometric part, we also recorded non-metric traits and visible pathological conditions, which are not discussed separately in the paper. The intragroup analysis of variability included both univariate (standard deviations, the F-test of equality of variances, correlation analysis) and multivariate statistical methods (Principal component analysis). In general, the increase in the sample size has not changed its anthropological characteristics described almost 70 years ago. This was a sub-brachycranial Caucasoid population with average-sized neuro- and facial cranium, moderate horizontal profiling, and moderate nasal bones protrusion. Statistical analyses seem to support the previous typology-based assumptions about the presence of at least two morphological variants within the sample that differ mainly in the cranial index. The Principal component analysis results reveal that the crania from particular nauses cluster closely to each other, which is consistent with the hypothesis of these nauses possibly being family burials.

Keywords: biological anthropology, craniometry, Early Medieval period, Central Asia, Tajikistan.


Karapetian M.K.

On ðaleoepidemiology of spina bifida sacralis: prevalence of the anomaly in Late Scythians of lower Dnieper region

Spina bifida is a developmental anomaly that is thought to be caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Though the most significant association was found with the folic acid deficit during early embryogenesis, numerous genetic variants were also found to be in some association with the development of neural tube defects, but this data is inconsistent. It is still debated whether the unremarkable anomaly (spina bifida occulta) often observed in osteological samples is truly a form of neural tube defects forming in early embryogenesis, or is a minor variation that is forming later in postnatal life. Also, data is equivocal regarding the neurological consequences of sacral spina bifida occulta, some pointing to its clinical significance, others stating that it does not affect the wellbeing in any way. Though paleopathological studies on spina bifida are numerous, the frequency of the anomaly remains largely unknown for the Early Iron Age population of the Eurasian steppes. This study examines presence of sacral spina bifida in a Late Scynthian sample (3rd c. BC — 3rd ñ. AD) from the northern Black Sea region. Totally, 89 skeletons were examined, originating from cemeteries near Nikolayevka and Zolotaya Balka villages (Kherson Oblast, Ukrain). These cemeteries are located along the Dnieper river bank about 90 km apart. The people they represent were settled agriculturalists. The defect was scored when either or all of the three upper sacral vertebrae were affected (S1–S3), its level was recorded. Totally, 16 % of individuals were affected. The majority of defects were observed solely on S1 level. Only two cases of spina bifida sacralis totalis were recorded. The frequency of the anomaly was not significantly different either between males and females, or between younger (<35 years) and older (>35 years) adults. In two instances, two individuals buried in a common grave both had spina bifida sacralis which may point to a biological relationship between them. The frequency of spina bifida sacralis is very close to the mean values, reported in the literature. Thus, no evidence of an increased selection against individuals in this group with this form of skeletal anomaly, or a significant impact of environmental factors, leading to its development in ontogenesis, is present. Also, contrary to literature data, it seems that in this sample age and sex were not the factors significantly contributing to the trait’s variation, though the age dynamics of this trait needs further consideration using a sample with higher proportion of senile individuals.

Keywords: Northern Black Sea region, Early Iron Age, spine anomalies, neural tube defects, nonmetric traits.


Vasilyev S.V., Bulgin D.V., Simavonyan K.V., Borutskaya S.B., Emelyanchik O.A., Oganesyan A.O., Kartashov S.I., Chichaev I.A.

Experience in the study of paleopathology of the spine using computed tomography and radiography

In this paper, an interesting case of spinal pathology is considered. In 2015, under the supervision of V.V. Cherevko, archaeological excavations were carried out on the territory of a cemetery near the village of Vaskovichi, Glubokoye district, Vitebsk region (Republic of Belarus). In the course of the archaeological excava-tions, two burials were discovered, which date back to the end of the 19th century. The remains from the burial 2 belonged to a relatively young male, lying on his back with his hands stretched down and the spine unnaturally curved in the lumbar region. To diagnose the pathological change, computer tomography and radiography of the spine of the man, who lived about 150 years ago in the countryside of Belarus, were applied. The scanning of the object under study was carried out at the Resource Center for Nuclear Physics Research Methods using X-rays on a 40-slice PET-CT tomograph. Radiography was carried out at the Research Institute of Medical Primatology. The most likely cause of this pathology was tuberculous spondylosis — unstable compression fractures of the bodies of the ninth through to the twelfth thoracic vertebrae and fusion of the resulting bone mass with the body of the first lumbar vertebra. As a result, a kyphotic bone conglomerate was formed in the area of transition of the thoracic to the lumbar spine. There was osteomalacia of the bodies of the corresponding thoracic vertebrae. The torso became bent. When the person was standing, his head should have been at the level of his pelvis. It is hard to imagine how this person could move around, care for himself, and have a normal life. The disease proceeded, most likely, without serious neurological disorder. The fact of the chronic course of the deformity indirectly testifies in favor of the latter, and, accordingly, for the gradual progression of the deformity it is necessary that the spine was in an upright position, that is that the person could walk a little, at least sit, not being bed-ridden or paralyzed.

Keywords: computed tomography, radiography, spine, spinal cord, vascularization.




Golikova S.V.

Smallpox good and bad: evolution of popular perceptions of the personification of the disease in the Urals in the 19th — early 20th century

In this paper, elaboration of the image of smallpox in popular perception, which manifested itself in connection with the organization of smallpox vaccination by the Russian government, is examined. In the context of the cultural dominance of the ruling class over the people and paternalistic attitude towards it, promulgation of the vaccination is a unique phenomenon for the early 19th century Russia, when the “amount at stake” forced the authorities to appeal to their subjects. It provides an opportunity to analyze the symbols generated by the dominant ideology and their perception by traditional consciousness. Propaganda started by means of sermons by the clergy. Numerous Exhortations emphasized contraposition of the benefits of the vaccinated smallpox and the harm of the natural smallpox. The verbal channel of the agitation was supported by a visual one — publication of ”popular prints”. Analysis of the plots in nine images from D.A. Rovinsky’s collection showed that corporeality was recognized as the main means of the visual agitation. Through the image of human body, health and beauty of persons vaccinated against smallpox was transmitted, as well as deformity and hideousness of those who went through the natural smallpox. Having absorbed the dualism of the pro-government propaganda, popular consciousness went to create an alternative version of perceptions of the infection and vaccination. By applying the binary oppositions ’friend-foe’ and ’sacred-profane’, people made an important change in their own system of values: unlike other epidemics, such a particularly dangerous infection as smallpox had changed its place in the traditional worldview. It stopped being associated with plague and death and became recognized as being “one’s own” and ”godsent”. Therefore, it should not be opposed but should be accepted with gratitude as a ”gift of God”. Intercultural communications on the subject of smallpox vaccination are not only a vivid illustration of the ambiguous impact of the dominant ideology on a folk culture; the emergence of socially and culturally differentiated images of smallpox, having drawn a new demarcation line between the scholarly and folk cultures, deepened the rift in the Russian society, as well as introduced additional difficulties in the process of immunoprophylaxis and made it difficult to identify and treat the smallpox patients.

Keywords: personification of disease, history of immunoprophylaxis, smallpox vaccination, “popular prints”, opposition “our-alien”.


Tikhonov S.S.

Natural and geographical peculiarities of the territory of resettlement of Russian peasants in the northern forest-steppe of the Middle Irtysh River region

In this paper, the features of the natural and geographical conditions of the northern forest-steppe of the Middle Irtysh region, which Russian peasants began to develop at the beginning of the 18th century, are examined. The criteria that led the peasants to consider these lands convenient for resettlement have been analyzed. Nowadays, these lands belong to the Gorkovsky and Sargatsky districts of the Omsk Region. The sources for conducting this work were represented by archaeological, ethnographic, and geographical data on this area. The author believes that the natural conditions of the right and left banks differ significantly in the studied area. On the left bank, there is a wide floodplain with a large number of the flooded lakes, small rivers and streams. On the floodplain, there are uplands which become islands during the floods. On the left bank, two lines of villages appeared: the first was located on the terrace of the Irtysh River, the second — along the hills on the floodplain. The terrace approaches closely the right bank of the Irtysh; therefore, the cases of coastal collapse and the associated processes of intensive formation of the ravines are frequent there. There is a small amount of water of good quality, while the groundwater runs at a depth of more than 20 m; therefore, cascades of dams were built in the ravines. The villages are arranged in two lines, first of which is located directly on the terrace, most often at the mouths of the ravines. The second line of the villages is 8–12 km from the terrace at the tops of the ravines. Here, good quality groundwater is available at a depth of about 3 m. Arable lands, comprising rich black soil, stretch along both banks of the Irtysh. With distance from the Irtysh, more and more lands appear to be less suitable for agriculture. Therefore, these areas were populated later than the banks of the Irtysh. Landslide processes, stimulating the active formation of the ravines on the right bank of the Irtysh, were unfavorable in a long term perspective. Firstly, they occurred with a period of 50 years. Secondly, the coast collapsed at its maximum over about 1 km length. Therefore, the first settlers might have not known about these processes. However, if one takes into account the patterns of the resettlement of the indigenous population, then the absence of archaeological sites does not necessarily indicate uninhabitedness of the territory, since their settlements could have been destroyed. Although in general, if one to talk about the criteria of the favorableness of land for resettlement, then the presence of not only land, but also arable land and good water must be contemplated.

Keywords: ecology, resettlement system, Middle Irtysh River region, peasant’s colonization, ethnographic and archaeological research.


Pozanenko A.A.

How people perceive their role in the natural environment. The Primorye paradox

In the North, Siberia and the Far East, most villagers live in close connection with nature, primarily through using renewable natural resources. However, there is hardly any coverage in literature as to how people position themselves in relation to the surrounding nature. Even when the issue is raised, it addresses only indigenous peoples, and not all local inhabitants without reference to ethnicity. People living in different types of localities tend to have dissimilar perceptions of their role in the natural environment. For urban residents, we propose distinguishing four main self-perception types: outsider (stays away from nature), visitor (e.g., holidaymakers, athletes, and tourists), user (e.g., anglers and gatherers of wild plants), and protector (various eco-activists). Residents of small towns and densely populated rural areas tend to perceive themselves mainly as users. Where the population density is low and natural resources are vital for sustenance, the basic perceptions are master and son. Masters believe they have exclusive rights to use the surrounding natural resources and claim to be doing it responsibly. Perceiving oneself as a son is mostly common for indigenous peoples; their discourse about respect for nature stems not only from a rational, but also sacred attitude. Field research on the east coast of Primorye revealed a self-perception untypical for villagers. Many locals call themselves thieves of natural resources. This means the subjective perception, and not objective differences in practices (doing the same thing, a person in the Russian North can consider himself a master, in Altai — a son, and in Primorye — a thief). We propose three reasons for this “Primorye paradox”. 1) Weak rootedness of the local population, spurring its turnover, which, in turn, makes it difficult to integrate into the natural landscape. 2) Saturation of the surroundings with outsiders, preventing to perceive the territory as “one's own”. The main outsiders are seasonal fishing crews from elsewhere; the Chinese; and crews of North Korean fishing vessels, whom the border guards treat more loyally than the local fishermen. 3) Constant pressure from the supervisory authorities. Primorye has a high concentration of hunting, plant, and aquatic biological resources. Business based on procuring natural resources is profitable, but according to the State, it is mostly illegal. If one can remain unnoticed in the taiga, on the water such chances are next to none. The situation is aggravated by a variety of specially regulated territories (federal and regional protected areas, maritime frontier regime, hunting grounds with different status), which expands the range of supervisory authorities.

Keywords: Primorsky Krai, Russian Far East, human attitude to nature, use of natural resources, appropriating economy, rural areas.


Kaziev S.Sh., Starchenko R.A., Mogunova M.V.

Marriages of the urban Kazakhs and Russians of Northern Kazakhstan: current trends and prospects

Inter-ethnic marriages are relevant markers of the blurring of ethnic boundaries, and they show the degree of integration of the society. Mixed marriages between Russians and Kazakhs were previously rare, despite the continuance of side-by-side residence and tolerant relationships. Among the impediments were the concerns of the Kazakhs about the loss of ethno-cultural traditions and subsequent assimilation. The situation changed since the mid-1990s, when the accelerated urbanization and modernization led to the increase in the number of mixed marriages among the Kazakh population. In this article, main trends in the development of marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs are shown with the example of urban residents of Petropavlovsk from the mid-1990s to 2020. The aim of the work is to study the factors contributing to the intensification or blocking of inter-ethnic marriage and to analyze the impact of inter-ethnic marriages on ethno-cultural attitudes and identity. The source base of the study comprised the materials of the act books of the state registration of the civil status acts from the city department of the Civil Registry Office of the Department of Justice of the North Kazakhstan region. The trends identified in the materials of the Civil Registry Office were verified by conducting ethno-sociological studies. The research showed a steady increase in the number of marriages between the Kazakhs and Russians and a change in the attitude of the Kazakhs on the mixed marriages in a positive direction. The analysis of the sociological surveys indicates a positive or neutral attitude of the majority of the respondents to the very fact of mixed marriage and its further consequences. Quantitative data on the city of Petropavlovsk confirm the long-term trend of increase in the number of marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs. Qualitative changes are represented by the involvement of Kazakh women in marriages with Russians, since previously such marriages were a rare exception. Inter-ethnic marriages between the Kazakhs and Russians has a profound effect on preservation of ethno-cultural traditions, shifting them towards a "European" family with such characteristics as gender equality and individual choice. However, mixed marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs do not lead to the formation of hybrid and panethnic groups, there is no construction of new ethnic borders. The choice of identity is made primarily by the father. The increase in the proportion of the urban Kazakhs leads to the intensification of interethnic marriage and formation of a two-part local community due to the assimilation of ethnic minorities.

Keywords: interethnic marriages, Kazakhs, Russians, identity, ethno-cultural attitudes.


Shcheglova T.Ê., Rykov A.V.

Study of the culture of the Russian population of South of Western Siberia by the staff of the Research Institute of Art Industry in the 1950s–1970s

In this paper, the contribution of the staff of the Research Institute of Art Industry to the study of Russian long-term resident population on the territory of the Altai Krai, which up to 1990 included Gorno-Altai Autonomous Region, is presented and analyzed. The analysis is conducted on the basis of studying the collection of the field materials by identifying all expeditions which took place, their routes, participants, and results of the field research. The main sources of the research were represented by the archival funds of the institute, which appeared to be fragmentary. The main part of the materials was deposited to the Russian National Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts. For the subject of this paper, the reports on scientific topics and field trips are of the most interest; an extensive body of visual sources (sketches and photographs) have been used as well, whose superior quality was achieved through participation of professional staff artists and photographers in their production. The population of the Altai Krai (modern Altai Krai and the Altai Republic) were embraced in the field work in the 1950s — 4 expeditions (1951, 1954, 1955, and 1956) and one in 1979. The initial interest was in the culture of the Turkic-speaking population and Turkic traditions of rug weaving and ornamentation. The later expeditions were conducted by two groups — on the study of Turkic and Russian populations. The main objects of the research were architecture, house construction and decoration, weaving, homeware and household appliances and other items which preserved the traces of the long-term residence culture. The revelation for the researchers from the institute was the abundant presence of wooden house carving, both as fragments and as whole complexes. The objects and pieces of art recorded by the researchers are the unique sources which had already disappeared by the 1970s. Part of the collections kept in the Russian National Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts has primary field materials. These sources were partially published in the works of art historians, but their great ethnographical potential is not yet exhausted.

Keywords: Research Institute of Art Industry, Altai Krai, field expeditions, field work methods, Russian long term residents, the South of Western Siberia, 1950s–1970s.


Sakharova A.S.

A coloristic image of the modern northern city (the example of Norilsk).

In this paper, mutual influence of the color and image of the city in the perception of the residents is studied with the example of the city of Norilsk located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. The chronological span is limited to the present moment, however, part of the study concerns the period since the foundation of the city (1935). The aim of the study is to determine how the coloristics supports the image of the city in the minds of its residents. Concerning the methods, the study was divided into several blocks. In the first part (the actual palette of the city), the method of categorization of color carriers and method of generalization of color shades were used. In the second part (hypotheses about the contours of group images), the content-analysis of the social networks and media was used. In the third part (hypotheses testing), the methods of questionnaires and quota sampling were employed. In the fourth block, in-depth interviews with Photo-Voice were conducted. As a result, it was found that coloristics is closely interconnected with the image of the territory. In particular, the use of bright colors in the architecture of the 1950s in Leninsky Prospect accurately identifies the historical events associated with the builders of the city (political prisoners of GULAG). The architecture of other historical periods is less contemptable, thus the events are not integrated into group images. Therefore, the city is associated with the talent and resilience of the prisoners and supports a sense of self-continuity of the exiled intellectuals among the inhabitants. The life in the city is still thought of through the categories of ‘heroism’, whereas all subsequent events are perceived as imposed (industrial exploitation of resources, type-design practice in building). Therefore, when the residents contrapose the beauty of Leninsky Prospekt to the rest of the city, actually, the talent, intelligence, and respect to the nature are opposed to the degradation of the territory. The presence of the blue-colored buildings and symbolism of the city-forming company reinforces the image of Norilsk as a center of metallurgy, since the production is present in the city in the form of symbols. The image of Norilsk as an isolated city is enhanced by the difference in color between the back yard and street facades. The city is perceived by the residents as a decoration, its problems are not interesting to external observers. The perception of the city as a larger category of the Far North is reflected in the coloristic image of the city.

Keywords: Arctic, coloristics, image of the city, visual geography, urban studies.


¹ 2 (57) (2022)



Shorin A.F., Shorina A.A.

Historiography of the Neolithic Trans-Urals: the Kozlov and Poludenskaya Cultures

The paper concerns the analysis of the history of the study of the Kozlov and Poludenskaya Neolithic Cultures. The territory of distribution of these archaeological cultures from the end of the 7th to the third quarter of the 5th millennium BC encompassed the forest Trans-Urals and the southern taiga zone of Western Siberia, as well as the adjacent northern edge of the forest-steppe. The source base of the research is represented by a critical analysis of scientific publications touching upon the problems of the Neolithic period in the Trans-Urals, primarily those addressing the functioning of the Kozlov and Poludenskaya Cultures, since the appearance of the first scientific concepts to the present day. Three stages in the history of the study of the analyzed cultures have been identified. Although the first artifacts of the Neolithic era are known in the region since as early as the 1830s–1860s, the beginning of the development of first scientific concepts about the Neolithic period of the Trans-Urals (the first stage) is associated with publications of V.N. Chernetsov and O.N. Bader at the turn of the 1860s–1870s. These researchers contemplated the development of the Trans-Ural Neolithic period within the framework of a single East-Urals culture in three successive stages. V.N. Chernetsov introduced the concept of “the Kozlov phase” into scientific discourse as the early stage, followed by the Yuryinsko-Gorbunovskaya and Chestyyag phases. O.N. Bader retained the name of the early stage as the Kozlov stage, but replaced the designation of the other two with the terms “Poludenskaya” and “Sosnovoostrovskaya” stages. A milestone in the historiography of the Neolithic period in the Trans-Urals was the monograph by V.T. Kovaleva published in 1989. Therein is introduced a new, fundamentally different from its predecessors, concept of the development of the Neolithic in the region. The researcher abandoned the view of the cultural unity of the Neolithic period in the Trans-Urals and substantiated two lines of development that had emerged already at the early stage — the Koshkino and Kozlov groups of archaeological sites — and which continued in the Late Neolithic as the Boborykino and Poludenskaya Cultures. Since then, the main ideas of V.T. Kovaleva's concept have been developing, or have been fundamentally revised on the basis of new sources compiled by the scientists.

Keywords: Trans-Urals, Neolithic, Kozlov and Poludenskaya Cultures, history of study.


Enshin D.N.

Neolithic pottery from the settlement of Mergen 6 in the Lower Ishim (groups III and IV): characteristics and interpretation

In this paper, a ceramic complex (groups III and IV) of the early Neolithic settlement of Mergen 6 (Lower Ishim River region, Western Siberia, 7th millennium BC) is examined. The aim of the work is to analyze the materials through the prism of contacts, connections and mixing of different cultural traditions in the early Neolithic period of the Trans-Urals and Western Siberia. The research is based on the elements of the historical-cultural and formal-classification approaches. The source base comprises 284 vessels. As the result of the analysis carried out in several stages (morphology of the vessels, tools and techniques for applying ornamentation, structural components of the decor, the nature of the systematic organization of the ornamental components, and relationship between the image components and structure of the vessel’s shape), it was found that the products of group III correspond to the tradition of making vessels with relief bands of the taiga zone of Western Siberia and the Urals (Satyginsky, Mulymyinsky types, etc.), whereas those of group IV demonstrate a mixture of all pottery traditions identified within the complex. On this basis, the main directions of the sociocultural ties of the ancient population of the Lower Ishim region in the early Neolithic period have been determined — western (the Middle and Southern Trans-Urals), north-western (the taiga zone of Western Siberia and the southern Northern Trans-Urals), and, probably, southern (the steppes of modern Northern Kazakhstan). One of the most important factors of the variability of the early Neolithic pottery has been identified — the interaction and mixing of different communities. All this allows speaking about the settlement of Mergen 6 as a center (cultural, economic, sacred (?)) at the intersection of landscape and geographical zones (steppe — forest, Trans-Urals — Western Siberia) and ways of dispersal of various groups of the ancient population.

Keywords: Early Neolithic, Trans-Urals, Western Siberia, Lower Ishim River Region, Mergen 6, ceramic complex, vessels with relief bands, mixed cultural traditions.


Grigoriev S.A.

Development of metallurgy of copper and copper alloys in China in the 2nd millennium BC

The first rare metal finds in China are dated to the Neolithic period, but most of them belong to its final phase. For this period, pure copper is known, very rare arsenic alloys, probably smelted from ore with arsenic admixtures. At the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, in Gansu, the technology of smelting ore with the following alloying with arsenic, occasionally tin minerals were borrowed from an unknown source. This technology spread to the east, and is present in the Erlitou II layer. At the beginning of the Erlitou III phase (which corresponds to the beginning of the Shang dynasty), the tradition of the Seima-Turbino metallurgy and the technology of smelting copper sulfide ores and alloying with tin penetrated into the Yellow River basin from the north (through Shanxi) from southern Siberia. This tradition soon spread to southern China, as well as the western and northern periphery of Chinese civilization. The penetration of the Karasuk tradition of arsenic alloys is also observed in the west and north in the late Shang period, and the Shang and Karasuk metallurgical traditions coexisted there. A special situation formed in Xinjiang, where the Andronovo tradition of smelting sulfide ores and tin alloys penetrated, but this penetration was limited to the west of the region. It did not affect the development of Chinese metallurgy. In general, in China, there is the same correspondence between the types of used ores and alloys as in the rest of Eurasia: native copper and malachite — pure copper, oxidized ores and secondary sulfides with gangue — arsenic copper, occasionally tin bronze, copper-iron sulfides — tin bronze. But in China, this sequence was driven by two technological impulses at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC (from an unclear source) and at the end of the second half of the 2nd millennium BC from southern Siberia. In addition, during the late Shang period, the interaction of the Shang and Karasuk traditions occurred in the north and west.

Keywords: Bronze Age, metallurgy, China, alloys, smelting technologies.


Selin D.V., Chemyakin Yu.P.

Pottery of the population of the Kulayka Culture (Surgut variant) in the settlement of Barsova Gora III/2: technology and traditions

Barsova Gora is a unique complex of archaeological sites of the Neolithic — Late Middle Ages. The representative body of the collected sources requires systematic analysis, primarily, of the pottery collections. This paper presents the results of technical and technological analysis of 50 vessels of the Kulayka Culture (Surgut variant) from different dwellings of the settlement of Barsova Gora III/2. The study of the technological markers was carried out with the aid of binocular microscopy of the surfaces and fractures of the ceramics, followed by the comparison with an experimental collection of technological markers. It has been determined that ferruginous lowsand clays were used as the raw ductile material. The main artificial admixture is represented by broken stone, while chamotte and organic substance are found in the clay paste only alongside the broken stone. It has been found that the principal recipe of the clay paste is clay + broken stone (64 %). The second most common recipe of the clay paste is clay + broken stone + chamotte (28 %). It is possible that the raw materials for the grus were imported from areas with stone outcrops, and/or unknown sources of stone from Barsova Gora and the surrounding area were used. The bottom and hollow body of the vessels were formed from laterally overlapping bands. External and internal surface treatments vary, and include 29 different combinations. A comparison of the pottery technology of the ceramics from the settlement of Barsova Gora III/2 with the pottery from the fortress of Barsov Gorodok III/6 showed their similarity. Differences appear in particular adaptive skills of the potters. These differences can be explained by active two-way contacts of the population of Barsova Gora III/2 with the representatives of other archaeological cultures who lived in this territory, and by the started processes of mingling of the pottery technology.

Keywords: Surgut Ob region, Barsova Gora, Early Iron Age, Kulayka Culture, ceramics, technical and technological analysis


Zinyakov N.M., Tret'iakov E.A.

Technological characteristics of objects made of iron and iron-carbon alloys associated with the Yudino Culture (according to the metallographic data)

Towards the beginning of the 2nd millennium CE, the population of Western Siberia had achieved significant progress in the production and processing of ferrous metals. This is especially well demonstrated by the complexes of the 10th–13th centuries in the Lower Irtysh River area (Western Siberia) and Lower Ob River area (Western Siberia) (archaeological sites of the Ust-Ishim and Nizhneobskaya Cultures), whose materials allowed tracing a unified tradition of metalworking among the representatives of these cultures. At the time, the adjacent territory of the Tobol River (Western Siberia) was occupied by population of the Yudino Culture, whose sites yielded many different-type products from ferrous metals. At the same time, the remains of metal production sites, which confirm the presence of this craft in the economy of the population of the Tobol River area in the 9th–13th centuries, were found on the settlements. In this paper, an attempt has been made to study the objects made of ferrous metals aiming at reconstruction of the technology of metal production among the representatives of the Yudino Culture. To solve this problem, we analyzed by means of structural metallography a selection of 26 items from the settlements of Papskoye, Krasnogorskoye, Barsuchye, Rafailovskoye, and Vak-Kur burial ground. The results of the analysis showed that the raw material base was represented by raw steel and bloomery iron, which was most likely produced by local metallurgists. The most common technology of metal processing was open forging of hot metal, during which the object was given a future shape. Most of the objects contain microstructures of sorbite and martensite, which may indicate the use of heat treatment techniques by the blacksmiths, particularly, of soft and hard quenching. In some cases, the masters used the stacked billet method to increase the weight of the product. Nevertheless, the materials show more complex technological schemes, for example, carburization and three-layer welding. Objects made using this approach are characteristic of the territory of Northern Rus and can be considered as imports in the Tobol territory (Western Siberia). Cast iron products can also be regarded as imported, since the production of cast iron appeared in Western Siberia after the 16th century. Thus, the blacksmiths of the Yudino Culture mastered a wide range of metalworking techniques. However, there are technology-enabled objects typical of the urban centers of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the medieval archaeological sites of the Trans-Urals.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Tobol basin, Åarly Middle Ages, Yudino Culture, ferrous metal, metallographic analysis, production technology.


Zakh V.A., Rafikova T.N.

Tarkhansky Ostrog of the 17th−18th centuries: a study based on the materials of geophysical and archaeological research of 2020−2021

The paper is aimed to introduce into scientific discourse materials of the research of 2020–2021 which confirm the earlier conjecture on the location of the Tarkhansky Ostrog as on the butte at the confluence of the Tobol and Tap Rivers. The results of the geophysical surveys and excavations on the area of 168 sqm provided conclusive evidence towards the correctness of the preliminary argument on the location of the Ostrog and attribution of the materials of the early modern period to one of the first fortresses of the end of the 16th — beginning of the 17th centuries in the Lower Tobol River area. Uncovered remains of a palisade ditch and a wall, alongside the geomagnetic data and written sources, allow estimation of the shape and size of the burgh. Apparently, it had a subrectangular area of 1400 to 2000 sqm. The discovery of the palisade ditch provided the opportunity to render the location of the outpost and position of the turrets (“the fortress with a wooden palisade and two turrets”) at the western wall of the burgh which defended the less sloped, thus underprotected, as compared to the opposite, edge of the butte. The cutting by the palisade ditch of the remains of a thermal engineering structure with Russian ware in the filling and a series of bronze decorations shows that the chronology of the butte occupations and its stratigraphy, even within the Russian period, were significantly more complex than it appeared on the basis of only the written sources. A series of posts, probably belonging to the fence (wall?), with some of the associated pits disturbed by the palisade ditch and thermal engineering structure, belong to an object of an earlier period. It is not implausible that the remains of the fence-wall belong to the Tatar’s settlement of Tarkhan-Kala, whose location was associated by G.F. Miller with the Russian burgh positioned not far from the estuary of the Tura River, on the south-eastern side of the Tobol River. A representative pottery complex, comprising the fragments of at least 156 vessels, likely of the local produce, alongside the shards of Chinese porcelain ware, was unearthed in the excavation ditch of 2021. Some shards of glassware were found. Among the iron tools, noteworthy are a spadeiron, broken knives, a key, an arrowhead, hinges, a bracer, fishhooks, stab awls, sewing needles, and nails of various sizes. Of the bronze items, notable are a chest handle, an onlay, bronze decorations, lead bullets, and coins. Clay fishing weights and honing stones, alongside the aforementioned items, shed light on the occupations of the burgh residents. The complex of the obtained data allows conclusion on the viability of further investigation of the outpost: its layout and lifestyle, and material culture of its inhabitants during the period from the 17th to the middle of the 18th century.

Key words: Western Siberia, the Lower Tobol region, the confluence of the Tobol and Tap, the Tarkhansky Ostrog of the 17th — the middle of the 18th century, written sources, geophysical and archaeological research, artifact complex.


Panin A.V., Sorokin A.N., Bricheva S.S., Matasov V.M., Morozov V.V., Smirnov A.L., Solodkov N.N., Uspenskaia O.N.

Landscape development history of the Zabolotsky peat bog in the context of initial settlement of the Dubna River lowland (Upper Volga basin)

Zabolotsky peat bog is a unique biospheric and cultural-historical archive located in the north of the Moscow Region on the territory of the Dubna River lowland. Despite the advances in studying the Zabolotsky region, the question of reconstruction of the primitive population habitat remains unresolved. Until recently, it has been believed that in the Late Valdai period, the Dubna River lowland was covered by the waters of an extensive glacierdammed Tver paleolake, drained only at the turn of the Pleistocene and Holocene. It was assumed that the lake's existence prevented the settlement of the territory, whereas after its drainage, the shallow residual water pools were actively exploited in the economic activities of the primitive population. However, paleogeographic and archaeological materials have been accumulated during the last two decades that questioned the existence of large dammed lakes in the Upper Volga basin in the Late Valdai time. This paper presents the results of three years (2018–2020) of research, allowing revision of the ideas about the Quaternary geology and development of the geomorphic conditions of this area. A program of research, comprising topographic and geodetic surveys, drilling using a portable boring rig, lithologic description of the core, radiocarbon (AMS) dating, paleo-soil studies, biological analysis of organic macrofossils, and ground-penetrating radar, has been carried out aimed at reconstruction of the paleogeographic setting and landscape development. Drilling data were used to build the profile across the left bank of the Dubna River floodplain with extension to the low terrace. The lithofacial analysis of samples and AMS dating allowed identifying three generations of ancient riverbeds, the deepest of which (with the bottom at 12 m below the water edge) is more than 30 thousand years old. The biological residues from the dark-coloured loams directly below the peat bottom belong almost exclusively to higher plants, both arboraceous and wetland, which may have been brought in by the floodwaters. The ground-penetrating radar profiles clearly show the boundaries of three electromagnetically homogeneous sedimental layers — the peat, silted peat, and loam. The paleogeographic data, in conjunction with the geophysical profiling data, indicate the existence of a copious waterway in the lowland (the ancient Dubna River) no later than 15,000–16,000 years ago which formed a floodplain with large features of fluvial paleorelief available for settlement. These data agree well with the new serial AMS-dates for the resin from the grooves of the bone and horn artifacts, which permit extension of the time of the initial development of the Zabolotsky peat bog by the bearers of the Resseta Culture to 15,500 years ago. The conclusions drawn have major significance for the development of an evidence-based chronology of the events and dynamics of the settlement strategy of the population during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. The new data not only are consistent with the system of global paleoecologic events and history of the development of the outwash plain zone in Eastern Europe, but also provide the basis for refinement, and, possibly, revision of a range of current concepts.

Keywords: geoarchaeology, palaeohydrology, alluvial accumulation, paleochannels, groundpenetratingradar, GPR, AMS dating, Tver Glacial Lake, Zabolotje geoarchaeological polygon (GAP).


Sergusheva E.À.

The use of plants by the population of Primorye in the Early Paleometal period (according to the archaeobotanical and archeological data)

The Early Paleometal period (second half of the 2nd millennium BC — end of the 1st millennium BC) is one of the least studied periods in the archeology of Primorye. There are not many studied and documented complexes. Their cultural chronology is still insufficiently developed. The identification of the archaeological cultures has not been completed and their subsistence systems have not become objects of research. The author makes an attempt to reconstruct the usage of plants by the populations of Primorye during this period. The research was based on the archaeobotanical analysis of plant seeds from the sites of this period, supplemented with the data on the finds of artifacts associated with agriculture. The data from 15 sites belonging to different cultures or groups of the Early Paleometal period were taken into account and analyzed. From 10 of them, the seeds were obtained with water flotation technique, which was not always carried out to a sufficient extent. In 5 sites, seeds were found on visual inspection (seeds accumulations, imprints on ceramics). Seeds of cultivated plants were found in all 15 sites. They were recovered from all flotation materials, even from small samples, which indicates the abundance of these remains in the sites’ deposits. The species composition of the seeds demonstrates the ubiquitous presence and, therefore, cultivation of two species of millet (Panicum miliaceum, Setaria italica). This is a typical set of cultigens for Primorye, where both species are consistently present on archaeological sites, starting from the Late Neolithic and in the following periods. Materials of Novoselische-4 and Anuchino-14 sites, where only P. miliaceum was found, look atypical. After the middle of the 1st millennium BC, naked barley was also found on some sites. The paucity of the data does not allow reliable reconstruction of the role of agriculture in the economy of the Early Paleometal population of Primorye. However, the presence of the cultivated plants on all the sites where the water flotation was used demonstrates their ubiquity, including the coastal settlements whose population’s economy was mainly based on marine resources. This clearly indicates an increase of a role of agriculture in this period. The lack of special studies of the functions of such artifacts as hoes, grinding slabs and grindstones, traditionally referred to as agricultural, makes us consider with reserve their interpretation as exclusively agricultural. Obviously, they represent tools with complex functions. Specialized agricultural tools are represented by reaping knives. In Primorye, they appear in the Early Paleometal period. Their presence on the sites is regarded as evidence of the existence of agriculture. However, their absence does not imply the opposite. The archaeobotanical data from the sites of the Early Paleometal period confirmed the existence of wild plants gathering amongst the population engaged in agriculture. The remains of 8 plant species, which were found on all the sites where the water floatation was employed, have been identified.

Keywords: Primorye, Early Paleometal period, archaeobotany, archeology, agriculture, broomcorn and foxtail millets, naked barley, plants gathering.




Buzhilova A.P., Kolyasnikova A.S.

Methodological aspects of differentiation of hyperostosis frontalis interna based on computed tomography of the skulls

Hyperostosis frontalis interna (HFI) is a pathological condition characterized by bilateral thickening of the inner surface of the frontal bone. HFI is often an incidental finding during routine clinical examinations of patients by computed tomography. The etiology of the condition is currently unknown, but HFI commonly appears with a number of metabolic disorders and hormonal dysfunctions. According to studies, hyperostosis frontalis interna is more common in women than in men. Frequency of HFI is increasing in the modern population. In this study, 195 CT scans of mature individuals of various sex and ages were analyzed using the Amira 2020.1 software: 145 CT scans of skulls from from the collections of the Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Moscow State University and 50 CT scans of Israeli Bedouins from the Institute's exchange collection (with the University of Tel-Aviv, Israel). Nine cases of hyperostosis frontalis interna (5 in males and 4 in females) were found among the analyzed scans. A three-step algorithm for identifying HFI was generated, as well as criteria for distinguishing hyperostosis frontalis interna from other endocranial bony overgrowths. The integrity of the skull, the condition of the frontal bone and other skull bones should be evaluated to exclude diffuse pathological changes which are morphologically close to HFI. Also a researcher should pay attention to the localization of the growths, their boundaries and prevalence. The condition of the diploe and endocranial plate of the frontal bone should be evaluated and compared it with other layers in other bones of the skull on 2D slices. Evaluation of the relief of the internal surface of the frontal bone should be performed on 2D slices in different sections. The pathology should be distinguished using data of localization, prevalence, involvement of other bone structures of the skull, as well as the condition of the diploe and inner surface of the frontal bone. The method can be useful for a comparative study using morphological and radiological criteria, which will help to exclude doubtful cases during analyzing pathology on paleoanthropological material.

Keywords: hyperostosis frontalis interna, HFI, paleoanthropology, CT scan, palaeopathology, metabolic diseases.


Solodovnikov K.N.

A complex study of anthropological materials of the Maitan burial ground of the Bronze Age Alakul Culture in Central Kazakhstan

A correlation of the results of the study of the paleoanthropological materials from the necropolis of Maitan by different scientific methods has been carried out in order to establish chronological and spatial differentiation of the burial ground and origins of the group. The complex approach allows the analysis of the problems of absolute and relative chronologies of the necropolis, demographic dynamics of the group in the context of the natural environment, and anthropological and genetic structure of the Bronze Age populations of the Eurasian steppes. The paleodemographic context reconstructed for the Maitan group is typical for the populations of the Bronze Age; some of its features may indicate an early period of adaptation, possibly related to migration of the group into the new territory. The intergroup statistical analysis of craniological materials suggests primarily western origins of the people. Particular craniological characteristics of some interred of the necropolis correspond with the recorded on the Maitan ware long-distance imports from the Urals-Tobol region of the Alakul Culture. For the first time on the materials of a numerically representative series of samples of humans and terrestrial herbivores of the Bronze Age Central Kazakhstan, Upper Tobol River region, and Trans-Urals steppes, the regional isotopic background has been established. Some individuals from the earliest burials of Maitan, according to the radiocarbon dating, are similar in isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen to the groups from further western regions of the Upper Tobol River steppes, whereas the other interred correspond in the isotopic values with local Central Kazakhstan samples. It is possible that at the later stages of the spatial organization of the necropolis, women featuring a genetic profile different from other individuals and buried within the fences of the western planigraphic group took part in the formation of its remaining collective. In general, according to the series of calibrated radiocarbon dates, Maitan burial ground dates to the 18th — early 17th century BC.

Keywords: paleodemography, craniometry, isotopic analysis, paleogenetics, necropolis planigraphy, Bronze Age, Alakul Ñulture.


Pererva E.V.

The population of Tsarevskoe Gorodishche and its environs according to the paleopathology and paleodemography data

The paper presents the analysis of paleopathological and demographic features of the population from the settlement of Tsarevskoe Gorodishche and its environs which is located in Leninsky District of the Volgograd Region. The purpose of the study is evaluation of the frequency of occurrence of distress traits in the population of the Golden Horde town. The examined series consists of 149 individuals. As the result of the conducted study, it has been ascertained that the majority of inhabitants of the town had a relatively peaceful lifestyle. Children were primarily affected by the negative factors of urbanization. Chronic diseases associated with micronutrients deficiency in the body were predominantly the cause of infant and child mortality.

Keywords: Golden Horde, urban population, sex and age characteristics, stress markers, paleopathological conditions.




Diachenko V.I.

From kip to leather: revisiting the reconstruction of the traditional technology of material processing among the Altai people (early 20th century)

Based on the analysis of literary and archival sources, all stages of hand currying of animal skins, representing the full cycle of technological processes of their transformation into leather among the Northern and Southern Altaians, are reconstructed. The main materials about the work of the Altai tanners are drawn from the sources of the 1930s — the time when traditional leather currying was a mundane task in every family of cattle breeders or hunters. The main techniques of manual processing of hides and the basic stages of their transformation into leather are considered. The purposes and results of each stage of the technological process in the production of leather material are shown: preservation, soaking, grounding, dehairing, impregnation with special solutions for the purpose of fermentation, tanning, softening, and smoke-drying of the skin. Like other pastoral and hunting peoples, the Altaians sewed fur clothing and footwear, for which purpose they used a composition made from fermented crushed liver and brain of animals to loosen the “bakhtarma” (the reverse side of the skin) and preserve the hair on the skin. When currying sheepskin, the Teleuts, who were engaged in agriculture, used grain crops for the same purpose, preparing liquid dough for impregnation and tanning of the skin. Following the currying, the hide (skin) was smoke-dried. Soaked in fat and smoked skin did not harden in the rain and snow, and in summer its smell repelled mosquitoes and parasites. The result of laborious and time-consuming operations carried out by the ancient Altai tanners was the mastery of the technique of producing rawhide and tanned leather, as well as the manufacture of suede, which were used for the production of traditional clothing, footwear, objects of worship (shamanic drums) and everyday life. The southern Altaians even in the first third of the last century preserved the ancient tradition of sheepskin softening by fingernails. Women used their teeth to soften tough rawhide. One of the wooden implements for leather softening — edrek (Rus.: myalka), widely used in the cultures of nomads of the steppes and taiga, — still existed, according to the findings of archaeologists, among the early nomads of the Hunno-Sarmatian epoch (2nd c. BC — 5th c. AD). The results obtained by the study can be used to popularize the knowledge about environmentally friendly technological methods in the production of leather and peculiarities of local Altai traditions in the manufacture of hides by hand.

Keywords: Altaians, rawhide, scraper, tanning, tannins, smoking skins, chamois.


Kiselev S.B.

Nomadic reindeer herding of the Kanin Peninsula and its transformations (the first third of the 20th century — first quarter of the 21st century)

The territory of the Kanin Peninsula is a part of Nenets Autonomous District (the north of European Russia), and it borders on the south with the Mezen River basin. The Kanin Tundra occupies almost the entire area of the peninsula. The Kanin Peninsula is the most western region of traditional inhabitance of the Nenets and Izhma Komi ethnic groups. Historically, the nomadic economy of local reindeer herders was based on combination of reindeer husbandry, hunting and fishing. In this paper, different types of nomadic reindeer herding in the region in the first third of the 20th century and transformations currently occurring in the traditional economy are analyzed. The main research sources are represented by the materials of the Circumpolar Census of 1926/27 and materials of the author’s field studies. In the paper, principal components of nomadic reindeer herding in the region were studied, such as herd size and composition, migrations routes etc. Moreover, the factors determining specifics of the economic structure of the Nenets and Izhma Komi groups are analyzed, namely, the nature of interactions between the nomadic and sedentary populations of the region and the degree of orientation toward the “market” of nomadic economies. Characteristics of three basic types of the nomadic economy (hunting-and-fishing, mixed, and large herding) are given. The economic focus of households was determining the content of all elements of the traditional lifestyle. In the early 1930s, collectivization began in the region, and the nomadic reindeer husbandry started developing within collective and state farms; there existed nomadic reindeer herding. This circumstance greatly affected the nomadic economy of the region. In the early 1990s, collective and state farms were transformed into agricultural cooperatives. Comparing the nomadic economy of the two selected periods, it is concluded that the role of the reindeer husbandry in the occupational structure of the Nenets and Izhma Komi groups is currently increasing due to concentration of the industry within cooperatives. At the same time, the role of other occupations (hunting and fishing) is decreasing along with the loss of the natural foundations of the nomadic economy.

Keywords: European North of Russia, Kanin Peninsula, XX century, Nenets, Komi-Izhemtsy, traditional economy, nomadic reindeer herding.


Smetanin F.A.

Religious leaders as actors in the production of Islamic spaces in Tomsk

The purpose of this paper is to determine the degree of influence of mosques and spiritual leaders, as centers of the “Muslim” religious realm, on the development and distribution of the network infrastructure labeled as “Islamic” and, in a broader sense, of the “Islamic” urban space. The research hypothesis is that religious leaders constitute an informal mechanism of including food courts, shops, and other urban locations in the religious realm. Particular attention is paid to the activities of the religious leaders in integrating social and economic infrastructure into religious networks by distinguishing it as “halal” and “correct”, as well as to the specifics of consumption of goods and services. The work is based on the materials obtained in the course of observation of the spaces of Tomsk marked as “Islamic”. Semi-formalized interviews with the imams and parishioners of the Red and White Cathedral Mosques conducted by the author in 2018–2021 were used. As a result of the study, it was found that there is an “Islamic” identified infrastructure in Tomsk, in the creation and editing of which imams are actively involved. The “nodes” of this infrastructure are mosques, which at certain points in time become not only religious centers, but also connecting networks for promotion of “halal” goods, food and services. Religious leaders, primarily imams of the mosques, facilitate the development of trade, educational, entertainment and other networks which are peripheral to the mosques. The mosque and the imam representing it act as a source of legitimation for these economic networks. The network becomes part of the “Islamic” urban space, while the direct participation of the imam in its activities becomes an important informal marker of integration of a fragment of the infrastructure into the religious network. In addition, competition between the religious communities of the two mosques in Tomsk leads to expansion of “Muslim” networks in the city. Also, the spread of the “Islamic” infrastructure is facilitated by the growing demand for “halal” goods and services from outside the religious realm: among non-Muslims, “halal” is turning into a brand of “environmentally friendly” product.

Keywords: Tomsk, Islam, mosque, social networks, religious field, urban infrastructure.


Poplavsky R.O., Cherepanov M.S., Bobrov I.V., Shisheliakina A.L.

The Protestant landscape of the Tyumen Region: locations, size, and demographic composition of urban church meetings

Modern sociological studies of Protestantism are focused mainly on how communities are formed and develop in the context of their relations with the state and between themselves, personal stories of the believers, and contents and forms of conducting religious practices. Researchers often neglect to describe the numbers and demographic characteristics of practicing believers, and to analyze changes of these parameters over time. In this paper, based on the materials of the field research conducted in Tyumen, Tobolsk, Ishim, and Yalutorovsk in 2014–2016, we identify the locations, demographic composition, and size dynamics of the Protestant prayer meetings. The paper showcases new data on Tyumen accounting for the associations which appeared after 2011 and for the first time presents materials on Tobolsk, Ishim, and Yalutorovsk. Non-participant structured observation was the principal method of the field research. Analysis of photographic documents posted on the web-sites and web-pages of the Protestant associations, as well as interviews with religious specialists were used as additional methods. We observed that there was an increase in the number of Protestant associations from 2008 to 2016: the number of the associations in Tyumen increased by five and about five new communes appeared in the other cities. The most attended weekly prayer meetings were recorded in Tyumen in 2016. They gathered up to 200 people. The largest services in Ishim and Yalutorovsk in 2015 were attended by up to 70 people. The communal prayers in Tobolsk in 2014 were attended by up to 170 people. We have identified the following factors that influence the size of the prayer meetings: ownership of the premises by the association and the period of its activity in the region. Communes who have their own premises are larger than those renting an office or a building of another Protestant association. Also, churches formed in the early or mid-1990s feature the largest numbers of the parishioners. It was found that in all studied cities middle-aged women represent the largest group of the parishioners, which is consistent with the results of research in other Russian cities and towns.

Keywords: Protestant landscape of the Russian Federation, Protestants, Tyumen Region, religious practices, structured observation.


Tychinskikh Z.A.

Where did the Tobolsk and Tyumen Bukharans “disappear” to (historical and demographic characteristic of the ethno-estate group at the end of the 19th — first third of the 20th c.)

One of the significant ethnic components that became part of the Siberian-Tatar community at the later stages of ethnogenesis were Bukharans / Siberian Bukharans. This ethnic group emerged in Western Siberia during the 16th–19th centuries from migrants from Central Asia. Despite the considerable amount of research on the Siberian Bukharans, transformation of this ethno-estate group in the twentieth century and the process of its inclusion into the group of Siberian Tatars remain an underexplored question. The aim of this work is to study the ethno-demographic processes that took place among the Siberian Bukharians at the end of the 19th — first third of the 20th century. Based on the materials of the First General Census of 1897, the All-Union Census of 1926, and other statistical sources, historical and demographic characteristics of the Bukharan population of Western Siberia at the end of the 19th — first third of the 20th century are given. The dynamics of changes in their numbers, settling and composition that had occurred since the end of the 19th century is considered. Special attention is paid to the problem of assimilation of the Bukharans by the Siberian Tatars in the aspect of the question of their “disappearance” in the districts of the Ural Region according to the Census of 1926. It has been revealed that, as a result of the zoning carried out in the 1920s by the Soviet state, the accounting system of the Bukharans and Tatars changed. The problem of the specifics of the tax relations of different estates of the Turkic-Tatar population, which existed earlier, disappeared with the arrival of the new government and the change in realities. The former settlements of the Tatars and Bukharans were distributed according to the territorial principle, since the state no longer saw any differences between the indigenous Siberian Tatars and Bukharans. In this connection, there appeared a “distribution” of the Bukharans and Tatars by districts, which did not coincide with the actual places of their traditional residence. As a result, there was an increase in the Bukharans in the Tarsky district due to the Tatar population of the district, whereas the former Bukharan population of the Tobolsk and Tyumen districts was counted as Tatars in the Census of 1926.

Keywords: Western Siberia, the first third of the twentieth century, population censuses, the All-Union Census of 1926, Bukharans, Tatars, demography.


Zamyatina N.Yu., Liarskaya E.V.

The people of the Arctic in the space of Russia: interdisciplinary approaches to the translocal communities

Thå paper is based on the results of the “Arctic connections: people and infrastructures” project (2018–2021) which was aimed at interdisciplinary study of modern population of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The paper is focused on the study of social support networks and their spatial distribution. We combine socioanthropological (qualitative) and economic-geographical (quantitative) methods of research and analysis; the field data obtained as the result of in-depth interviews and observation of the participants were corroborated by rigorous quantitative analysis of available demographic data. For the anthropological analysis we use the prism of translocality and transnationalism, which enable an understanding of the structure of lives of people who do not reside in only one place but are connected by many ties and relationships to a whole range of localities. The family life of the northerners is often distributed between several localities, scattered across the whole country, and sometimes beyond its borders. The location of these ‘bases’ depends primarily on the configuration of each family’s social networks. We call this ‘a distributed way of life’. The quantitative analysis was carried out using the methodology of calculating the Migration Indices of Proportionality of (spatial) Structure (MIPS) of departures and arrivals of the migrants, proposed by O.L. Rybakovsky. The geographical scope of the study is the entire Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, as well as the regions most connected with the Arctic by migration ties (the southern part of the Tyumen region, Kurgan, Kaliningrad, Belgorod, Kirov Regions, etc.). The results of the study revealed close interregional migration ties between the groups of regions that are significantly spatially separated from each other: 1) between the majority of the regions of the Far North, on one hand, and Kaliningrad and Belgorod Regions on the other; 2) between Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the Republics of Dagestan and Bashkortostan; 3) between Yamalo-Nenets Okrug and the Republic of Bashkortostan and the Omsk and Kurgan regions, as well as the south of the Tyumen Region; 4) between Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Kirov Region. The qualitative studies have shown how the migration flows in these areas increase due to established social ties, which in some cases are sustained already for several generations. In the paper, the importance of the influence of interregional social ties, both for the Arctic and for the country in general, is demonstrated. The authors demonstrate how these connections between the “northern” and “non-northern” regions, which are separated by about a 1000 km distance, lead to such close relations which are more characteristic of relationships between a population center and its nearest periphery. This ultra-distant social proximity is a vivid manifestation of the specifics of the Russian North and Arctic.

Keywords: Arctic, migrations, translocal communities, agglomeration of flows, proximity.



Vybornov A.A, Stavitsky V.V.

Controversial issues of the Eneolithic of the Middle Volga, Kama and Trans-Urals (op.: Nikitin V.V. Between the Stone and Metal Periods. Middle Volga Variation of the Volosovo Cultural and Historical Community. Yoshkar-Ola, 2017. 765 p. ISBN 978-5-906949-18-9)

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the controversial issues of studying the Eneolithic of the forest Volga Region, Prikamye, and Trans-Urals. The main results of the study of the early metal epoch of the Middle Volga Region, articulated in the monograph by V.V. Nikitin, are considered. The conclusions of the author of the monograph are based on a considerable source base. The materials were analyzed both by individual housing structures and by complexes. A more scrupulous analysis is devoted to the pottery items, as a priority in distinguishing the Eneolithic cultures. Stone industries are more prone to the territorial specifics associated with raw material resources. The sections of the book allow researchers of the adjacent territories to envision the cultural specificity of the Middle Volga antiquities against the background of the Eneolithic cultures of the Volga-Kama region. The monograph proposes to distinguish a special Maidan Culture within the Volosovo historical and cultural community. The paper touches upon the aspect of the relationship between the cultural area and community. Peculiarities of the origins of the Early Eneolithic cultures in the Upper Volga region, Prikamye, and Trans-Urals are observed. Local and foreign components are taken into account. General and specific chronological boundaries of the appearance and development in different territories are identified, and their reasons are explained. Attention is drawn to the fact that the complexes preceding the Volosovî or Ayat structures belong to the Late Neolithic or Early Eneolithic. The processes of intercultural interaction between the Trans-Urals and Cis-Urals cultures are recorded both in the transition period from the Neolithic to the Eneolithic and in the later period. The significant influence of the bearers of the forest-steppe zone cultures on the northern neighbors is ascertained. A more mosaic cultural diversity is recorded in the southern territories when compared with the cultures of the forest belt. The question of whether the Eneolithic inhabitants of this region practiced agriculture or stock rearing remains controversial. The least developed are the aspects related to both the social structure and the further fate of the tribes of the early metal epoch. Reconstructions of components of the spiritual culture of the Eneolithic population are highly hypothetical.

Keywords: Middle Volga forest region, Kama region, Trans-Ural region, Eneolithic, Volosovî Culture, Krasno-Mostovsky type, Shuvakish type.


¹ 1 (56) (2022)



Serikov Yu.B.

Revisiting the chronological attribution of microlitic complexes of the Koksharovsky hill and Vtoroy Poselok I

In this paper, we consider the reasons behind the attribution of microlitic complexes of the Koksharovsky Hill and the Vtoroy Poselok I site to the late Neolithic. Statistical and typological characteristics of microlitic complexes of these sites fully conform to materials of the Mesolithic sites in the Middle Trans-Urals. The identification of chronological complexes of stone inventory in materials of mixed sites should be made after the full publication of the entire assemblage of stone artefacts. The comparison of the presented materials with the Neolithic sites of the Middle Trans-Urals shows the absence in the local late Neolithic of complexes with such set of stone tools — first of all, a large number of cutters and carvers, as well as burins on straight retouched truncation and geometric microlites. But it is precisely carvers, burins (especially the ones on straight retouched truncation) and geometric microlithes that appear as characteristic products of the Mesolithic period. The dating of the microlitic complexes of the Vtoroy Poselok I site and the Koksharovsky Hill to the late Neolithic contradicts the early profile of the stone assemblage. We deny the definition of the Vtoroy Poselok I site as a single-layer site. Specific features of soil formation in the territory of the Middle Trans-Urals resulted in that the cultural remains of all periods from the Mesolithic to the Middle Ages are deposited within the soil layer of only 30–40 cm in thickness. Around the flow-through lakes all areas favorable for economic activities were inhabited repeatedly and in different archaeological epochs. In such particular sites, the objective prerequisites for the mechanical displacement of materials were created. Therefore, all complexes located in such places are mixed. The numerical ratio of the complexes of ce-ramics and stone products and the size of the dwelling in the Vtoroy Poselok I site is also inconsistent with the materials of the Neolithic sites of the Middle Trans-Urals. Given the mixed nature of materials of the Koksharovsky Hill and the Vtoroy Poselok I, the microlitic complex of artefacts present in both sites may indicate the presence of a significant Mesolithic admixture in them.

Keywords: Middle Trans-Urals, Mesolithic, Neolithic, microlitic complex, carvers, burins on straight retouched truncation, geometric microlith, beveled points.


Panteleeva S.E. 

Stylistic variability of the Abashevo ceramics: on the problem statement

The article presents the results of generalization and systematization of available data on household ceramics of the Abashevo cultural-historical community. This cultural formation extended through the forest-steppe zone of the European part of Russia from the Don Region to the Trans-Urals. The obtained radiocarbon dates comprise the period of 2200–1800 cal BC. The study is based on published information about collections of 33 settlements located in different parts of the vast Abashevo area. The following set of features was considered for comparison: tempering materials, methods of surface treatment, shapes of vessels, main ornamental elements and techniques of their application, and key ornamental compositions. As a result of the analysis, the ceramic collections were divided into seven groups, which can be combined into four large stylistic zones for the similarity of ornamental and morphological characteristics: Don-Volga, Trans-Volga, Cis-Urals, and Trans-Urals. The distribution areas of stylistic zones apparently correspond to the areas of residence of the major local groups of the Abashevo population. It is noted, that addressing the issues of chronological correlation of separate districts and the sites within them is impossible without the implementation of a large-scale program of radiocarbon dating. Stylistic variability of the Abashevo pottery was considered within the framework of the information exchange theory of H.M. Wobst. It has been concluded, that the inhabitants of the Cis-Ural settlements, who had the most diverse and expressive ceramic complex, were involved in active interactions with communities of other regions. A need to demonstrate the group identity was reflected in the appearance of pottery made in a specific style characteristic only for this group. At the same time, external connections initiated diffusion of foreign stylistic features that resulted in increased internal variability of wares. The main reason for the intensive cultural contacts was apparently the specialization of the Cis-Ural communities on metal production. The uniformity and simplicity of pottery from the Don-Volga settlements suggest a high degree of internal integration of the local population, and as a consequence — the absence of necessity for marking the social boundaries between the groups. The external contacts were probably weak, or irregular, and they did not lead to significant changes in the structure of society and diffusion of new stylistic elements. Pottery of the Trans-Ural group appears rather independent, although some of the vessels have specific features of the Abashevo pottery tradition of the western regions. It can be assumed that the Trans-Ural settlements were occupied by a group of people that separated from the main Abashevo massif and advanced beyond the Ural Mountains in search of sources of high-quality ore raw materials. Apparently, these sites are the latest, and they are synchronous to the Sintashta antiquities.

Key words: Bronze Age, Abashevo cultural-historical community, settlements, ceramics.


Degtyareva A.D., Gubin A.A., Artemyev D.A. 

The potential of using scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive analyzer for the study of the Bronze Age metal: on the problem statement

The article is aimed at approbation of the scanning electron microscopy technique to analyse the inclusions and phase components of metallographic specimens using the results of spectral, XRF, atomic emission spectrometric, and metallographic analyses. The comparison of microstructural data with electronic images and XRSMA results in separate phases allowed identification of chemical composition of the inclusions and determination of the nature of the ores used for metallurgical processing. The article presents the results of an analytical study of the metal of the Petrovka Culture (19th–18th c. BC) of the Southern Trans-Urals using Tescan Mira 3 LMU scanning electron microscope with Oxford Instruments Analytical Ltd. Energy dispersive analyzer, implemented for determination of the elemental composition of the phases in the samples. For the analysis, metallographic specimens with the revealed microstructure of the metal were used. In the process of SEM-EDS analysis, visualisation of the surface of the specimens was performed, and the topology and structure of the metal were examined. The possibility of successful reduction of the oxide-carbonate ores without the introduction of sulphide minerals in the beginning of the 2nd mil. BC has been confirmed. It has been concluded that the presence of oxides and sulphides in the structure of pure copper is consistent with the determination of the character of ores used for smelting — oxidized or oxidized in a mixture with sulfides. The technique of identifying marker elements for the types of ores used, including As, Ni, Sb, Fe, Se, Te, has been tested. With a certain degree of probability, the types of minerals used in smelting have been determined. For the sites of the Southern Trans-Urals, where the main metallurgical centre with mines and settlements of metallurgists was located, characteristic was the use of chalcosine-covellite ores in furnace charge, apart from smelting oxide-carbonate ores. In the territory of the Middle Tobol River, in the settlements where metal processing was carried out, copper was used, obtained both from oxide ores and using chalcosine-covellite minerals from the zone of cementation of pyrite deposits.

Keywords: Southern Trans-Urals, Petrovka Ñulture, metallurgy, metallographic analysis, scanning electron microscopy.


Sataev R.M., Dubova N.A., Sataeva L.V. 

Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) in Gonur-Depe and the issues of the species distribution in the Ancient East

Animal husbandry, along with agriculture, was the main branch of the producing economy of the ancient population in Southern Turkmenistan. To date, sufficient data have been gathered to consider the exterior of large and small cattle, the time of their appearance in the region, and the nature of their exploitation. Still, very little information is available on a number of species, including Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus). This is due to the fact that camel bones are extremely rare in complexes which are older than the Late Bronze Age. However, the remains of this species are widely represented in the Bronze Age site of Gonur-depe. Gonur-Depe is a supposed administrative and cult center of Ancient Margiana, located in the South-Eastern Karakum Desert 85 km north from the city of Bayramali (Mary wilayah of Turkmenistan), which functioned during 2500–1500 BC. The site includes two main objects: the North Gonur — administrative and religious center, and the South Gonur (“Temenos” — a small temple complex). The zooarchaeological material discussed in the article has been derived from the archaeological excavations of the North Gonur. Animal remains split into two large groups by their localization: bones from waste deposits, and those associated with local objects (buildings, burials, altars, etc.). Isolated camel bones or their fragments are found in all excavation areas of the North Gonur. Only 67 camel bones were extracted from the waste deposits, which constitutes just over 3 % of all domestic faunal remains found in the site. In addition, 18 isolated camel bones were unearthed from the filling of the grave pits. Given the small number of camel remains in household waste, we can suggest that, apparently, camels were rarely slaughtered for meat. Yet, a total of 16 camel skeletons of different preservation and completeness were recovered from nine burial structures. In burials 3200, 3225, 3240, 3900, and 3915, remains of carts with wooden wheels with bronze rims — tires — were found along with the camel skeletons. Despite the relatively large number of camel skeletons, it was possible to obtain only few measurements due to the poor preservation of the bones. Measurements of two skeletons from burial 3900 suggest that stature of the animals at withers was at least 165 cm. Apart from skeletal remains at Gonur-Depe, numerous images of double-humped camels are known, accomplished in different shapes and from various materials, which also help to elaborate the appearance of the animals. Camels, kept by the ancient population of Gonur, have passed a long way of breeding, and at present there are no data indicating the autochthonous domestication of this species. In general, zooarchaeological and archaeological materials demonstrate that camel played an important role in life of the ancient population of Gonur-Depe, which stretched beyond its simple utilitarian use.

Keywords: Turkmenistan, Bronze Age, Bactrian-Margiana Archaeological Culture, ancient animal husbandry, ritual objects.


Kostomarova Yu.V., Bulakova E.A.

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

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 18th–16th 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 2019–2020. 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.


Alekseev A.N., Dyakonov V.M., Solovyova E.N., Nikolaev E.N., Boeskorov G.G.

The burial Ogonyok in the middle Lena River region: a new site of the Bel'kachi Culture

The burial Ogonyok in the middle Lena River region: a new site of the Bel'kachi Culture The article presents the results of a comprehensive study of the Ogonyok burial, discovered and investigated in 2016 in the city of Yakutsk, Central Yakutia, in the middle reaches of the Lena River. The purpose of the study was to determine its cultural and chronological characteristics, to identify the features of the funeral rite and specifics of the accompanying grave goods. In addition to historical and archaeological methods, the methods of trasological analysis of stone tools, radiocarbon dating and date calibration, isotope analysis of human and animal bone collagen, and determination of the species composition of the fauna that was part of the burial equipment were used. The burial place was destroyed during land works, as such, only part of the accompanying equipment and osteological material was preserved for the analyses. Excavations of the remains of the burial were carried out, which made it possible to determine approximately its orientation, the position of the deceased and the depth from the day surface. Similarities to the accompanying goods, which included a flint core and three blades, an arrowhead, polished adze, bone composite arrowhead with a blade in the groove, anthropomorphic figurine from a mammoth tusk, fragments of a bone polisher and a needle, as well as faunal remains, were found in the complexes of the Bel'kachi Neolithic Culture of Northeast Asia of the end of the 5th–3rd mil. BC. Further analogies were identified in the synchronous Neolithic cultures of the Baikal, Transbaikalia, Lower Amur region, Primorsky Krai and Chukotka. The funeral ritual of filling the grave with ocher also brings the Ogonyok burial closer to other Bel'kachi cemeteries. Paleozoological analysis has shown that bones of lynx, wild reindeer and geese were present in the burial. Four AMS radiocarbon dates were obtained from human and animal bones, which attribute the burial in the first quarter of the 4th mil. BC. An interesting fact was the identification of an offset in the age of human bones relatively to the age of animal bones, the former being approximately 200 years older, which is apparently associated with freshwater reservoir effect. Analysis of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes demonstrated that the human diet was based on meat food, as well as, apparently, fish products, with a minor inclusion of wild plants. The burial of Ogonyok is one of the few “pure” sites of the Bel'kachi Neolithic Culture in Yakutia.

Keywords: Yakutia, Middle Lena, Neolithic, funeral rite, funerary inventory, freshwater reservoir effect, Bel'kachi Culture.


Fedorov V.K. 

Pottery vessels of the early Southern Ural nomads with dimple-pearl ornament: origins, existence, disappearance

The article aims at studying vessels of early nomads decorated with dimple-pearl ornament. To achieve this, the following issues need to be addressed: their origins, territorial distribution, chronological framework of the distribution, connection of the ornament with certain types of vessels, and the reasons for the disappearance of vessels with this ornament. A set of methods has been applied to achieve this, including cartographic, comparative, deductive and inductive, and also the methods of analysis and synthesis. The source base of the study consists of 35 vessels and fragments of six more vessels. Dimple-pearl ornament refers to the earliest types of ornaments. It represents small round depressions on the body of vessels, applied both on the outside and inside. Where the depressions are sufficiently deep, protuberances are formed on the opposite side of the wall of a vessel, which received the name “pearls” in the archaeological contexts. The ornament is applied with a stick with a rounded end. The origin of this ornament on the vessels of early nomads of the Southern Urals was connected on the one hand with the population of the pre-Sauromatian time who migrated from the Lower Volga Region, and the local Southern-Ural tradition of the Final Bronze Age on the other hand. The ornament in the form of dimples and “pearls” first appeared on squat jar-like vessels with a small spout in the 7th — first half of the 6th c. BC. In the 6th — early 4th c. BC this ornament is found mainly on two types of vessels — those with conical body, short neck, bent rim and a tubular spout, and on tall vessels with body swollen in the middle. Occasionally, large vessels are found that combine two types of ornament — dimples along the body and fingernips, mainly in the upper part. Other vessels with dimple-pearl ornament sometimes carry other types of ornament — nail prints and so-called “Sauromatian pictograms”. Most of such vessels have admixture of chamotte in clay dough. Fragments of early nomads’ vessels with dimple-pearl ornament sometimes are found on river-bank sites which served as stopping places during seasonal migrations. With a certain degree of admissibility, such sites may be considered as “settlements”. The discrete nature of distribution of vessels with dimple-pearl ornament in South Ural territory occupied by early nomads shows that this ornament was only in use among some families, or clan groups, or specific tribal groups. The tradition of decorating vessels with dimple and “pearls”, the latter to a lesser extent, existed among the nomads of the Southern Urals until the beginning of the 4th c. BC. With the spread of vessels with an admixture of talc in the clay dough, this ornament disappeared.

Keywords: ceramic vessels, ornament, Early Iron Age, nomads, the Southern Urals.


German P.V., Leont’ev S.N.

Materials from the burials of Sergushkin-3 ground cemetery in the Northern Angara region: on the issue of chronology and geneses of the Tsepan Culture

The Sergushkin-3 ground cemetery (Northern Angara region), studied in 1974-2011, included 24 burials of the Bronze Age, Early Iron Age and the Middle Ages. The cultural and chronological attribution of some complexes is polemical. The purpose of this article is to introduce into scientific discourse materials from burials 8 and 9, including the results of contextual and comparative study of funeral and commemorative practices of these assemblages, as well as paleo-anthropological data and radiocarbon dates. Burial 8 contains macerated, broken and partly burned bones of a 25–30 year old woman and represents an oval pit oriented along the river. According to the grave contents, the remains of the dead woman were burnt in the burial pit. She was accompanied with two sickle type bronze blades, a stone arrowhead and two bone plates. The burnt tree samples provided the radiocarbon ages of 3165 ± 130 BP (SPb_147) and 2945 ± 130 BP (SPb_148). Burial 9 contains macerated, partly broken and burnt bones of a young 18–20 year old man and a young 16–20 year old woman in a ground pit oriented along the river. The partial cremation of the remains was performed outside. The deceased were accompanied with a piercing tool made of moose splint bone, one stone and four bone arrowheads, four horn arrowhead sockets and a hollow horn collar. The burnt tree samples were radiocarbon dated to 2790 ± 100 BP (SPb_381) and 2750 ± 100 BP (SPb_382). The grave goods of both burials are similar to those of the Tsepan Culture of the Early Iron Age (8th–2nd c. BC), while the calibrated calendar interval of their radiocarbon ages is within 15th-10th c. BC. It agrees with the dates of the same “early” Tsepan burial 4 on the Pashina settlement (late 2nd — early 1st mil. BC). The recorded details of funeral rites of these burials are typical for earlier assemblages in the Baikal-Angara region. The sickle type bronze blades and horn sockets are unique for the Bronze Age materials in Angara and Baikal regions, but they impressively resemble the curved knives and bone sockets of the pre-Scythian period from Yakutia and Trans-Baikal region. Based on the above, a suggestion has been made regarding the initial stage of formation of the Tsepan Culture as having been the result of migration processes in the region in the second half of the 2nd mil. BC.

Keywords: Northern Angara region, Sergushkin island, burials, Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, Tsepan Ñulture, radio-carbon dating.


Alexeev A.N., Bravina R.I.

Xiongnu-Xianbei layer in the Yakut Culture

The aim of the article is to systematize and conceptualize the similarities between the paleo-ethnographic culture of the Yakuts and the Xiongnu of Central Asia, and to assess the possible ways of their appearance and incorporation into the new environment. In addition to the published data on this topic, the main source for the preparation of this paper was authors’ field archaeological material, collected during many years of expeditions. Among the materials of the Yakut Culture, a group of objects, the origin of which is associated with the Xiongnu-Xianbei time, includes some motifs of the traditional Yakut ornament, as well as artifacts — fragments of a compound bow, whistling arrowheads, Wushu coins, burial structures, etc. The earliest finds of these types of articles come from the cultural layers of the settlement of Ulakhan Segelennyah on the Olekma River, dated to the period within 110 BC — 350 cal AD. It is believed that the Xiongnu-Xianbei community was formed at the end of the 2nd — beginning of the 3rd c. AD after the fall of the Xiongnu Empire under the blows of warlike Mongol-speaking Xianbei. We conclude that in the Middle Ages the ancestors of the Yakuts had direct or indirect cultural ties with the Xiongnu. This could happen in the way of the resettlement of a small group of Xiongnu or Xiongnu-Xianbei to the north, or, more likely, it was the result of contacts between the Xiongnu or the ancestors of the Yakuts during their residence in the south of Siberia in the Early Middle Ages. The broadcasting of Xiongnu cultural traditions through the tribes of the Tashtyk Culture of the Minusinsk depression, with which, according to some researchers, the ancestors of the Yakuts once had active ethnic and cultural contacts, is also possible. In the Yakut Culture, the southern elements turned out to be in demand, as evidenced in particular by the funerary structures of the Yakuts in the Late Middle Ages. In the Lensky region, there was a further development of products of the indicated types, which led to the formation of a peculiar appearance of the traditional culture of the Yakuts.

Keywords: Yakutia, archeology, burials, settlement, Yakuts, Central Asia, Xiongnu, ancient Yakutia, indigenous tribes.


Seregin N.N., Tishkin A.A., Matrenin S.S., Parshikova T.S.

Unusual burial of an adolescent with military equipment from the Rouran time necropolis of Choburak-I (Northern Altai)

In this article we introduce into scientific discourse and provide diverse interpretation of the extraordinary burial of a young man of 13–15 years old, investigated during the excavation of the necropolis of the Bulan-Koby Archaeological Culture within the Choburak-I funeral and memorial complex. This site is located on the right bank of the Katun River, 3.6 km south from the Elanda Village in the Chemal District, Altai Republic. The unique nature of this object (mound no. 29a) is determined by the presence of a full-fledged “male” inventory with the deceased, including long-range weapons (bow and arrows with iron tips) and close combat (knife in a scabbard), items of equipment (belt buckles, distributors, fasteners), whip with a bone handle. In addition, a bone comb was discovered in the grave, which is traditionally an attribute of grave goods in female burials of the Altai population of the Xianby-Rouran period. At the same time, there was no riding horse in the burial, which was a mandatory attribute of funeral practice for full-fledged members of society. A comparative study of different categories of weapons, equipment, tools and household utensils, as well as comparison of the obtained results with radiocarbon dates, made it possible to establish the chronology of the published complex within the second half of the 4th — first half of the 5th c. AD. In the context of the funeral rite of adult population who used the Choburak-I burial ground, the grave of an adolescent from mound no. 29a belongs to the Dyalyan tradition, whose representatives were the elite of the society of cattle breeders in the Northern Altai during the Rouran period. The analysis of the obtained materials testifies to the special (“transitional”) individual status of the deceased person in the nomadic society of the Bulan-Koby Culture in the middle of the 1st mil. AD. Probably, the specificity of the deceased's life position was determined, on the one hand, by reaching a certain age and belonging to a fairly wealthy family, and by limitations in physical development recorded in the course of anthropological research, on the other hand.

Keywords: Altai, Bulan-Koby Culture, Rouran time, burial, chronology, interpretation, social history.


Tret'iakov E.A. 

Chronological complexes of medieval sites in Western Siberia

Recently, an opinion has been established about the broad chronology of the medieval cultures in the study of the Middle Ages of the Trans-Urals. Particularly, the period of existence of the Bakal Culture has been considered to fit within the framework of the 4th–13th centuries, and the Yudino Culture within the 6th–13th centuries. Based on the general chronology of the archaeological sites, as well as discovery of materials of different cultures within the same settlements, the researchers suggested a certain level of interaction between representatives of the Bakal and Yudino Cultures. Such ethno-cultural situation probably had to be accompanied by economic, social or military aspects of the interaction of the medieval communities. However, we cannot readily accept the coexistence of representatives of the Bakal and Yudino Cultures, since no multicultural burial complexes have been found and no syncretic has been observed in the material culture. Thus, one of the main objectives was to detail the chronology of the medieval complexes and to identify the chronological phases. To address this problem, we have assessed all known dated archaeological sites of the medieval period, examined by stationary excavations and subjected to absolute and relative dating, 36 sites in total. Using the comparative typological method, an attempt was made to narrow the chronological framework of material complexes for each site. All radiocarbon dates have been calibrated using OxCal 4.3 program and IntCal13 calibration curve with a confidence interval 95,4 %, and 68,3 %. The absolute dates were then correlated with the relative dates. As a result, two chronological periods were defined: 4th–8th and 9th–13th centuries. The first period correlates with the period of existence of the Bakal Culture. The later dates, obtained from the few single-layer sites of the Bakal type, are not supported by the material complexes and the presence of burial grounds of this time. Archaeological sites of the Yudino Culture appeared in the territory of Trans-Urals in the 9th century. This has been reliably confirmed by the appearance of single-layer settlements and monocultural necropolises dating to the developed medieval period. In summary, we conclude that the chronology of the Medieval cultures of the Trans-Urals does not overlap, and the analysis of microstratigraphy of the majority of settlement complexes allows observing the gradual replacement of some cultural groups by others.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Tobol basin, Middle Ages, chronology, radiocarbon and relative dating, Bakal and Yudino cultures.




Kufterin V.V., Sataev R.M., Dubova N.A.

Taphonomic bias in preservation and representativeness of skeletal samples (a case of Gonur Depe)

The topic of this article is theoretical and practical issues underlying the problems of representativeness of skeletal samples, as well as age and sex biases in preservation of skeletal remains, and the impact of these factors on paleodemographic reconstructions. The impact of taphonomic bias in preservation on the qualitative and quantitative composition of skeletal sample is discussed on the materials from Gonur Depe — a Bronze Age proto-urban center in Southern Turkmenistan (2500–1500 BC, BMAC — Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex, also referred to as Oxus Civilization). The analyzed sample consists of skeletal remains of 500 individuals (215 non-adults, 115 adult males and 170 adult females) excavated between 2008 and 2015. Based on the type of preservation of skeletal remains, their completeness, as well as the preservation index (computed for each individual by dividing the number of long bones present by 14 — their maximum number per individual), three preservation classes were identified, of which class 1 corresponds to poor, and class 3 — to good state of preservation. Comparison of sex and age groups per each preservation class using ñhi-square test demonstrates that in the Gonur Depe skeletal remains of infants (0–4 years old) and young adults (under 35 years of age) show the best state of preservation. Skeletons of elderly adults (over 35 years of age) have the worst state of preservation. There are no statistically significant differences between sexes in the degree of bone preservation. On the one hand, these results, contrary to theoretical expectations, testify against the existence of taphonomic biases in preservation of infant and female skeletons. On the other hand, the underrepresentation of elderly individuals in the studied collection is probably explained by a decrease in resistance to taphonomic processes due to the accelerated loss of bone calcium. It has been concluded that age and sex-related biases in the demographic structure of prehistoric skeletal samples cannot be universally explained by the preservation factor. Misrepresentation in the percentage of different age and sex groups is a non-linear and a complicated process that requires consideration of different factors affecting the qualitative and quantitative composition of a particular skeletal sample. A detailed assessment of the taphonomic characteristics of a studied skeletal collection should be a mandatory step prior to its analysis by paleodemographic methods.

Keywords: paleodemography, taphonomy, skeletal samples, Bronze Age, Turkmenistan.


Permiakova Å.Yu., Negasheva Ì.À., Zimina S.N., Khafizova À.À., Iudina À.Ì., Sineva I.Ì.

On the problem of intersystem correlations in modern anthropology: the relationship between the somatic and hormonal indicators in Moscow youth

The work is dedicated to the study of the joint variability of somatic characteristics and level of sex hormones (estradiol and testosterone), as well as to the assessment of anthropometric indicators and steroid profile in Moscow students. The material of the study is represented by comprehensive anthropological survey of 152 people (18–22 year old): 122 females (average age — 19.9 years) and 30 males (average age — 20.2 years) of Moscow higher educational institutions. The analysis included data from respondents of Russian nationality permanently residing in Moscow and nearest Moscow region. The examination program included the measurement of total body sizes, the assessment of body composition, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), sexual dimorphism index (by Tanner); indicators of the relative value of body components were calculated as well. In addition, the hormonal profile of the participants was obtained (total testosterone and total estradiol levels in blood serum), on the basis of which the estradiol-testosterone ratio (E/T) was calculated. The analysis of morphophysiological characteristics of modern Moscow young people revealed the presence of reliable correlations (r = 0.2–0.3) between hormonal production and soma parameters only in girls: estradiol is negatively associated with waist circumference and positively with the proportion of active cell mass (a direct relationship with it was also found in the E/T ratio). The level of testosterone secretion is positively associated with the value of the sexual dimorphism index. The results of factor analysis reveal a consistent variability in the levels of sex steroids with morphological parameters: estradiol is associated with indicators of obesity, and testosterone — with the proportion of musculoskeletal mass and the value of sexual dimorphism. The revealed features of the shared variation of morphophysiological signs are characteristic for both sexes, which indicates their stability and biological regularity. Increased testosterone secretion was recorded for 15.6 % of female students. The average values of morphological indicators in this group significantly differ from individuals with normal hormone secretion towards the increasing andromorphism of the physique (due to an increase in the proportion of musculoskeletal mass and the value of sexual dimorphism index). It can be assumed that these results indicate an increased stress load within the metropolitan region.

Keywords: morphology, total body size, body composition, steroid hormones, Moscow youth.




Kolomiets O.P., Nuvano V.N. 

The rite of cremation in contemporary burial practices of the Chukchi reindeer herders

In the Reindeer Chukchi and Koryak cultures, cremation practices did not interrupt for centuries. In contemporary Chukchi culture, burial practices include cremation, leaving the body in the open space, and burial in “Russian style”. Cremation is still practiced among Reindeer Chukchi nowadays, although with some modifications and simplifications. The article is based on the fieldwork materials assembled by authors in 2000–2021 from the villages of Vaegi, Khatyrka, Meinypylgino, Omolon, Kaiettyn, and Ilirney of the Anadyr and Bilibino municipal districts, as well as on published materials. For the comparative analysis, the ethnographic materials from Kamchatka and Magadan regions were used. The informants’ answers suggest that contemporary burial rites in Vaegi, Khatyrka, Meinypylgino, and Omolon villages are the closest to the traditional cremation ritual. The purpose of this article is the reconstruction of the rite of cremation of Chukchi peoples and compare the traditional ceremony with the contemporary rituals of Reindeer Chukchi from Vaegi, Khatyrka, Meinypylgino, and Omolon localities. This paper described the full cremation ceremonial cycle: the preparation for the burial, sewing the burial clothing, crafting specific tools, distribution of the ceremonial roles, activities on the day before, during and after the cremation. The rite of asking the dead, preserved virtually with no changes till modern days, is described in detailed; the actions of main participants on every stage have been reconstructed. The local differences in the burial ceremony between various Chukchi groups have been specified. Special consideration has been given to the local Chukchi terminology, formulas, and spells, which were in use in the burial rite until 1970–1980s. Currently, informants practice simplified elements of the rite, the Chukchi language is not routinely used for the ceremonies, some words being spelled in Russian. Nevertheless, the burial practices have kept the mythological elements such as crossing the border into the other world, dividing of the worlds, creatures-guardians, evil spirits, guardian spirits.

Keywords: Chukotka, burial practices, cremation, reindeer herders, re-construction.


Vorobey I.E., Khakhovskaya L.N.

Constructive association of paleo-Asian sled transport and mobile dwelling in evolutionary and modernization aspects

This article represents an attempt to utilize the heuristic potential of the hypothesis proposed by V.G. Kuznetsova. Her assumption is based on the analysis of Chukcha rituals and constitutes a view of the nomadic wagon called “kaaran” as an example of the original movable dwelling in the period of formation of pastoral reindeer husbandry. In nomadic cultures, the fundamental close activity-related conjugation of sliding transport and housing constructions cannot but breed aspirations towards their constructive fusion as one of the tendencies of life organization. The realization of such aspirations takes place during the times of severe cultural transformations within the society, stipulated with internal innovative processes and/or external influences. We assume that the a relevant tendency could have been realized as a mobile shelter (constructive associations of a small living cell and a moving platform) at the stage of development of paleo-Asian reindeer herding, in the context of deficit of transport reindeer. The design variability of the sleds and framework bodies of known wagons along with its reasons remains unresearched. Still, one can observe the morphological and technological resemblance between bent carcasses and temporary twig-based dwellings, that occured widely in the south of taiga region from the right bank of the Ob River down to the Amur River. The structural constrains of the paleo-Asian sleds and particular features of the reindeer gear and harness did not allow the development of the sled-wagon towards a complete, although still small, portable housing on a standard traditional base. However, this tendency revealed itself quite clearly during the Soviet modernization period: the archive and literature sources of the Soviet time display some constructive solutions that connected vehicles (sled, tractor sledge) with demountable and solid dwellings in order to optimize the systems of cargo transportation and grazing, and also to create convenient environment for the herders. In this case, the newest intercultural Chukcha’s “hybrid” (a tent hoisted on a snow sled) recorded by V.N. Davydov, turns out to be another incarnation of the once emerged deep notion mated with new technical capacities.

Keywords: Chukotka, paleoasians, mobility, sled transport, dwelling, domestication, Soviet modernization.


Badmaev A.A. 

Deer and roe deer in traditional Buryat beliefs and rituals

The article is devoted to the identification of the Buryat complex of mythological ideas about deer and roe deer, and understanding of the role of these wild animals in the shamanic rites of the Buryats. The chronological framework of the study spans the end of the 19th — middle of the 20th c., the time when the Buryats were exercising and broadcasting a complex of traditional ideas and rituals. The study is limited to the territory of South-Eastern Siberia, which embraces the ethnic Buryatia. The research is based on diverse sources, including folklore, linguistic, ethnographic and field materials. The technique of the study is the structural-semiotic method, which allows identification of the symbolism that conveys ideas about deer and roe deer. It has been determined that in the mythological judgments of the Buryats, the images of deer and roe deer are ambiguous. It was revealed that in the traditional worldview of the Buryats, deer had a positive connotation. This animal was carrying solar, celestial, and terrestrial symbols. We found that in the Buryat mythology and folklore there was a replacement of the image of deer with that of a horse. In folk beliefs, deer was associated with the motif of the intermediary between the worlds, the idea of the connection of the human soul with the deer. It has been emphasized that in the folklore of the Buryats there is a motif of a man turning into deer and roe deer. The Buryats likened these Reindeers to domestic animals: the deer to a horse, the roe deer to a goat. In contrast to deer, the roe deer in the popular views of the Buryats received a predominantly negative characteristic: It bore the sign of death, and was associated with eschatological ideas. This animal carries the symbolism of fire and correlates with natural rhythms, acting as a harbinger of winter. In the Buryat rites, there are relics of the cult of deer. In shamanic rites and related poetry, the motive of the shaman's shapeshifting into a deer has been revealed, which is manifested, in particular, in the shaman's attribute — the iron crown. It has been proved that the high semiotic status of deer was reflected in shamanic rituals and poetry, where it was positioned as an animal that has a special role among other sacred animals. The roe deer was only a part of the circle of shaman's assistant spirits. The importance of deer and roe deer is evidenced by the use of their scapular bone in the shamanic mantle.

Keywords: buryats, deer, roe deer, mythological representations, ritual, late 19th — mid 20th century.


Krikh A.A., Mulina S.A., Chernova I.V.

Informal economic practices as a mechanism of adaptation of migrants in the south of Western Siberia in the late 19th — early 20th centuries

During the process of development of remote regions of Russian Empire, the state played the most important role, legislatively regulating the resettlement process and penal colonization. Despite the efforts of the state, informal economic practices became the means of adaptation of migrants to the new climatic and social circumstances they were exposed to as a result of migration. The variety of the practices was most vividly manifested during the years of large-scale peasant resettlements to Siberia at the turn of the 19th — 20th c. This phenomenon was reflected in the reports, essays and travel diaries of officials, which supervised the land management matters of the resettlement, which made possible the comparison of informal economic practices in different climatic zones — the taiga and the steppe. The methodological basis of the study is the concept of the informal economy by T. Shanina, which considers the informal practices as a universal restorative mechanism that makes it possible to “soften” the most acute social and economic contradictions. That mechanism provides survival in such conditions when other social mechanisms fail. The resettlement households of the taiga regions were characterized by primitive methods of deforestation and felling for sale to the steppe districts, which prompted chances in the nature of urmans. As a consequence of the informal economic behavior of late settlers in the areas with abundant forests, the building density of homesteads became high, which resulted in that even newly formed settlements appeared as solid wooden walls. Such dense building development contradicted the directives of the resettlement officials, which appealed to the building statute regulations. In the southern steppe regions of Western Siberia, the settlers used land holdings on the basis of a seizure right using shifting cultivation system and seeding the fields mainly with wheat without applying crop rotation. In the settlements located at the bitter-salt lakes, hydraulic engineering works were carried out. However, the late settlers ignored such improvements; they denied the suitability of the filters, did not monitor their condition, and even contributed to the pollution of the water reservoirs arranged for drinking. The adaptive result of the informal practices is the increased stability of the peasant economy. Depending on the yields, the new settlers was able to transfer the center of economic operations to and survive difficult times. The development of promysels saved peasant families from hunger and financial collapse, yet contributed to the spread of non-progressive, backward forms of land and resource use, which were based on extensive agriculture and a predatory attitude towards nature.

Keywords: informal economy, traditional use of nature, colonization, peasants, settlers, Western Siberian urmans and steppe.


Goleva T.G.

Komi-Permians traditional beverages in the context of modernization of the society

Komi-Permians are the indigenous population of the Perm Kama region. Their traditional drinks include kvass, home brew, beer, moonshine, and herbal teas, made at home from local agricultural products and wild plants. The main purpose of the article is to describe changes in the customs of production and consumption of beverages by the Komi-Permians over the past century and to identify factors that contribute to the maintenance of traditions or the spread of innovations. The study is based on historical and ethnographic methods and the results of research by Russian scientists in the field of exploring the gastronomic culture, traditional cuisine of ethnic groups and the history of their nutrition. Traditional beverages are considered as an element of the food culture of the people and as an ethno-marking feature in the context of household, social and economic development and intercultural interaction. Publications of the 20th c. and modern data indicate a steady commitment of the people to traditional types of drinks until almost the end of the 20th c. Changes in living conditions led to transformations that began to occur most intensively at the end of the last century. Transformations were primarily associated with the inclusion of purchased products into the diet and the expansion of the raw materials base; there also was a slight modification of traditional technologies and conditions for the production of beverages. The sustainability or change of folk traditions is determined by the availability of resources and tools for making drinks, taste preferences, and socio-economic conditions. The changes affected the system of transmitting of folk recipes, and the techniques of practical development of technologies. Presently, special ritual and event practices can be distinguished, in which traditional drinks are still preferred, and the custom of serving folk drinks at official and social events is being developed. Traditional beverages started to play a new role in maintaining the ethnic identity of the Komi-Permians and the representation of folk culture.

Keywords: Komi-Permians, food culture, folk cuisine, transformation processes, modification processes, beer, home brew, kvass.


Rakhmanova L.Ia.

Sublimated products and other time management tools: transformations of Khanty reindeer herders' nutrition practices in the Polar Urals

The key contribution of this article is bridging the perspectives of anthropology of food, mobility studies and anthropology of time, unfolding through an ethnographic study of the dietary practices of the Khanty reindeer herders in the Shuryshkar Region of the Yamal Peninsula in the beginning of the 21st c. We focus on freeze-dried foods, ‘Doshirak’ — the brand name which became genericized in this environment, and the dialogue of these foods with fish and venison, depending on the modes of mobility and the season. The Khanty herder's diet as recently as 20–25 years ago included reindeer and fish, processed and stored in various forms. In summer, during the nomadic period, raw foods are unfeasible, and dried venison and salted fish become key nutrients. Fresh foods and sophisticated cooking can only be afforded at campsite. Mobility periods reduce the diversity and set technological limits for food choice. The process of cooking and eating is integrated into the per-minute plan of the day during migration: one needs to find lightweight meal that regains weight and volume with addition of water. This is how soluble noodles and mashed potatoes are introduced in the reindeer herders' diet during the migration period. Nutrition type reflects the trend towards the “fragmentation” of food resources into small portions, suitable for single meal in a narrow family circle. A brigade of related tents has different diets. Previously, the problem of storing a deer slaughtered for “collective nutrition” (“colpit”) was solved via distribution of meat to a wide social circle. Now whole reindeer is too large for a mobile and small family during migration. Thus, Doshirak has become a way to save and/or speed up time (a longer march during the day instead of boiling cereals), a way to autonomize the family/chum within the extended family and the reindeer herding brigade. At the same time, the phenomenon of Doshirak reflects the pattern of food alienation, unification of food trends. This trend also highlights the understudied discourse of the usefulness and danger of this food — not in terms of freshness/rotting, purity/pollution, but in terms of artificiality/naturalness of food, which raises the question of the “naturalness” of the consuming subject itself.

Keywords: Khanty reindeer herders, mobility, diet, energy economy, nutrition individualization, food temporality, Doshirak, Rollton.


Sokolova A.D.

“Death discarded”: desemantization of death and new understanding of a man in the early USSR

In this article we explore the evolving concept of death and dying in the Soviet political project. The discursive practices of the new state in the field of death and body disposal have been analyzed based on materials from journalism, fiction, memoirs and diaries, archival data and other sources on the history of the early USSR (1920–1930). It has been shown how the concept of creation of a new world and a new Soviet man, the foundations of which were laid in the materialist Marxist approach, transformed the deep understanding of human nature. Discarding the metaphysical interpretation of the immortal nature of man, the Bolshevik ideology destroyed the established principles of understanding of human mortality, without offering anything new in exchange. Thus, the traditional logic of the practice of dealing with death, which worked as an effective adaptive mechanism for reassembling society in the face of natural loss of its members (A. van Gennep, R. Hertz, Davies D.), was violated. In a situation of confusion caused by the loss of the usual semantics of death and funeral practices, the ideologues of the new government made a number of attempts to build new mechanisms of adaptation. One of them was the project of a new civil funeral ritual, reflected in the journalism of the 1920s, although it did not receive widespread distribution. Another practice was the construction of symbolic immortality through the concept of “life in the memory of descendants” reflected both in the literature of socialist realism and in real practices. However, the concept of “living in the memory of descendants” was relevant only for few members of the new society, who could be referred to as “Soviet heroes”. It was an elite political practice that could hardly act as a reassembly mechanism for the entire society. In this situation, ordinary deaths and funerals were thrown to the periphery, having lost the ideological and practical attention of the state.

Keywords: death, funeral practices, USSR, new man, atheism, materialism.




Dobrovolskaya M.V., Kunizheva S.S., Andreeva T.V., Rogaev E.I.

Paleogenomic research in the context of modern Biomolecular Archaeology

Biomolecular Archaeology is a newly formed field of archaeological science. The 9th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology was held in June 2021 in Toulouse (France) with the participation of almost 500 delegates. Such conferences were originally organized in the beginning of the 21st c. for regular discussion the most relevant topics and the latest achievements in biomolecular archaeology. Thus, the materials of the symposium appear as a representative reflection of the processes taking place in modern science. Paleogenomics being one of the most actively developing components of biomolecular archaeology. The proposed review presents the most striking, in our opinion, reports on the topic, which enables understanding of the potential and prospects of modern paleogenomic research. Conclusions based on the results of paleogenomic studies are crucially important for the study of population formation, which makes it essential to comply with the rules of parity comprehensive research, which have been reflected in the publication of the basic ethical rules for organizing such studies.

Keywords: paleogenomics, methodological innovations, anthropogenesis, the history of the population of Eurasia, selection in human populations.