Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii

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«Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii»                                                                      

Summary and keywords for the last 2 years

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

¹ 4 (55) (2021);   ¹ 3 (54) (2021);   ¹ 2 (53) (2021);   ¹ 1 (52) (2021)

¹ 4 (59) (2022)



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.


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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.


¹ 4 (55) (2021)



Ryabogina N.E., Yuzhanina E.D., Ivanov S.N., Golyeva A.A.

Microbiomarkers of the local environment and interior of Neolithic and Eneolithic dwellings (settlements of Mergen 6 and 7)

The paper concerns the analysis of the local environment around the multi-layer settlements of Mergen 6 and 7 situated in the immediate vicinity of each other. The settlements existed successively (partly contemporaneously in the early and high Neolithic) in the forest-steppe belt of Western Siberia. Two methods were chosen to obtain the results: spore-and-pollen (palynological) and microbiomorphic analyses of the cultural layers of the settlements of Mergen 6 and Mergen 7. In the settlement of Mergen 6, the following samples were collected for the palynological and microbiomorphic investigation: a vertical column from the center of the ditch of the dwelling no.5; areal soil samples of the dwelling no.5 from underneath the pottery debris of the Neolithic and Eneolithic periods; areal samples from the bottom layer of the dwelling no.21. In the settlement of Mergen 7, two vertical core samples were selected for the pore-and-pollen analysis: in the ditch of the dwelling no.1; and in the inter-dwelling area. Samples from the hearthing of the dwellings and from the inter-dwelling space were collected for the microbiomorphic analysis. The obtained results show that both settlements existed during the forest-steppe conditions, although the original landscapes of the sites chosen by the people for building the settlements were different in the early and high Neolithic. It appears that during the early Neolithic, the settlement of Mergen 6 was associated with an open site with meadow-steppe vegetation; birch forests constituted a small part of the landscape, whilst there were no pine forests in the close vicinity. During the middle Neolithic, people in the settlement of Mergen 7 preferred to settle in a birch wood, having cleared out a small area to build the dwelling. The results of the microbiomorphic analysis show that, despite the lack of pine forests nearby the settlements, people still used pine timber in housebuilding, apparently, intentionally. The frequent occurrence of remains of the wood detritus at the level of the floor of the dwellings and under pottery supports the initial archaeological observations about timber decking inside the houses. However, pollen and phytolithic studies do not demonstrate a wide use of the wetland waterside vegetation in housebuilding, apparently, because the lake at the time was not overgrown on the banks by reed and cattail. Therefore, despite the close location of the two sites and their similar hunting-fishing specialization of the subsistences, their populations in different chronological periods preferred distinct local conditions.

Keywords: pollen, phytoliths, Neolithic, Eneolithic, settlements, local environment, Western Siberia.


Degtyareva A.D.

The non-ferrous metal toolkit of the Petrovka Culture of the South Trans-Urals

The article presents data on the morphological and typological characteristics of the trade tools of the Petrovka Culture of the South Trans-Urals and middle Tobol River region, originating from the sites of Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, and Tyumen Regions (77 specimens in total; 126 specimens in total including knives). According to the radiocarbon dating, the chronological period of the Petrovka sites in the Southern Trans-Urals spans the 19th through 18th centuries B.C. The distribution of tools into types was based on the techniques of typological division of the artifacts, taking into account their shape, presence of certain qualitative features, as well as consideration of the geographical and cultural areal of similar articles. The produce of the Southern Trans-Urals center is represented by a diverse set of metal tools and by functioning of large settlements with metallurgical specialization — Kulevchi 3, Ustye 1, and Shibaevo 1. In the typology of the tool complex of the Petrovka Culture of the Southern Trans-Urals and the Middle Pre-Tobol region, common Eurasian types dominate, being genetically associated with the centers of the Middle Bronze Age of the Circumpontian Metallurgical Province — the Late Yamnaya-Poltavkino, Catacomb Culture, and metal-producing centers of the Corded Ware Culture — Volsk-Lbische and Balanovo. A pronounced variety of the morphotypes of the tools, especially knives, is characteristic of the initial stage of ethnogenesis of the cultures of the forest-steppe and steppe zone of Eurasia during the transitional period from the MBA to the LBA. Common Eurasian types of tools are characteristic of the cultures of the 1st phase of the Eurasian (West Asian) metallurgical province of the forest-steppe and steppe belt from the Don region to the Irtysh region: Abashevo; Sintashta; Early Srubnaya (Pokrovka); Petrovka (Early Alakul). Specific groups of tools inherent in the tribes of the Petrovka Culture were revealed: axes with a massive head; medium-curved sickles with a prominent handle; socketed spearheads without eyelets and raised ribs along the edge of the socket; forged arrowheads with a through socket; knives with a straight prominent handle — double-edged and single-edged; knives with a forged open socket. In the appearance of some types of tools among the Petrovka population of the Trans-Urals, such as forged socketed tools — chisels, knives, arrows, double-edged knives with a prominent handle, and sickles with a small curvature, the influence of the Abashevo stereotypes of production is discernible. In the meantime, sufficient data have been obtained on the direct imports or on the conjugation of types of the metal tools and weapons of the Sintashta, Petrovka, and Seima-Turbino Cultures in closed complexes.

Keywords: Petrovka culture, metal products, typology of tools, South Trans-Ural region, Middle Tobol region.


Blyakharchuk T.A., Bobrova A.I., Zhilina T.N.

Natural and climatic conditions in the south-east of Western Siberia and development of ethnocultures of the Ket’ River region (5th c. BC 17th c. AD)

The paper presents the analysis of the natural and climatic conditions of the Early Iron and Middle Ages in the archaeological region of Priketye (Ket’ River region; Verkhneketsky district of the Tomsk Oblast, middle taiga) based on the available archaeological data and spore-and-pollen diagram of Maksimkin Yar, 58°30'N, 86°48'E, 100–150 m.a.s.l. (Blyakharchuk, 2012). The chronology of the archaeological sites and monuments covers a large time span from the Neolithic to the late Middle Ages, including the time of the arrival of Russian farmers into the area. The aim of the study is to reconstruct the dynamics of the natural environment during the existence of the archaeological cultures of the indicated time interval using paleopalynological data from a nearby spore-and-pollen section, as well as to demonstrate the capabilities and advantages of complex paleoecological-archaeological research in the taiga zone of Western Siberia (middle course of the Ket’ River near the Maksimkin Yar village) previously not covered by such studies. The material and source of the archaeological data comprised collections and archives of exploratory and stationary excavations of the archaeological sites from the area in the vicinity of the Maksimkin Yar village. Paleopalynological (spore-and-pollen diagram) and paleoecological (botanical composition of peat) data were obtained and published by one of the authors earlier (Blyakharchuk, 2012). In this work, comparative historical and statistical methods of the analysis of archaeological data were employed, along with two paleoecological methods (spore-and-pollen analysis and analysis of the botanical composition of peat) with respective statistical processing of the numerical data from these analyses. The paleoecological block of information is presented graphically in the form of a spore-and-pollen diagram built on the basis of the paleopalynological data and two radiocarbon dates covering the studied time interval. The Bacon software was used to calibrate the radiocarbon dates and to date each sample. The studies have shown that the climate change in the boreal forest zone of Western Siberia influenced the lifestyle and economic activities of the population of the Priketye area. Correlation of the climatic and cultural events of the studied area with neighboring southwestern, southern, and southeastern regions showed their synchroneity with the dynamics of the hydroclimate on these territories. During the Iron Age and after the end of the late Middle Ages, there was a synchronous increase in humidity, both in the steppe zone and in the forest zone. In the Bronze Age and during the high Middle Ages, the steppe zone was humid, but less atmospheric precipitation fell out in the forest zone. These fluctuations in the moisture content are well correlated with the 500600-year hydrological cycles in the steppe zone, identified by geochemical indicators of the steppe Shira Lake in Khakassia (Kalugin et al., 2013, p. 251). Changes in the hydroclimatic conditions in the forest and steppe zones had different effects on the local cultures and could stimulate either their rise or decline, as well as migrations.

Keywords: Ket’ river region, microdistrict, archaeological sites, the Iron Age, pollen, climate, vegetation.


Baryshnikova O.N., Mikharevich M.V., Grushin S.P., Saybert V.O.

Natural conditions of the formation of the monument of Maly Gonbinsky Kordon-2 of the Odintsovo Culture of Altai in the 4th8th centuries A.D.

The study is aimed at reconstructing the natural and climatic conditions of the Upper Ob River region (south of Western Siberia) in the early Middle Ages (4th8th centuries A.D.), based on the paleosol data obtained from the fortified settlements of Maly Gonbinsky Kordon-2/11 and Maly Gonbinsky Kordon-2 / 6-3. Settlements are located on the terrace of the right bank of the Ob River. The fortification elements are represented by a horseshoe-shaped system of a ditch and a rampart, adjacent to the edge of the above-floodplain terrace, inside which there were dwellings and outbuildings. Archaeological investigations of the settlements permitted to study the sediments of the first terrace above the floodplain and to select core samples for palynological analysis. Application of this method allowed reconstruction of the vegetation during the occupational period of the complex of monuments MGK-2. For interpreting of the actual data, the method of landscape analysis was employed. The need for its application for carrying out paleogeographic reconstructions is warranted by the presence of the relict elements in the morphological structure of the landscapes. To establish their paleogeographic status, within the framework of this study, there was determined the percentage ratio of the amount of pollen and seeds of plants extracted from the deposits of the first above-floodplain terrace, corresponding to the existence of the Odintsovo Culture and belonging to different ecological groups. As the result, the dominance of sparse birch forests and forb dry meadows in the landscape structure of that time was established, whereas the vegetation associations featu-ring pine forests were in the status of progressive elements of the landscape structure. Also, supersedence of birch forb forests by green moss pine forests was revealed. The use of the landscape approach allowed reconstruction of natural conditions of the territory occupied by the complex of fortified settlements of MGK-2. On the basis of the digital elevation model, 3D visualization of the surface of the sediments overlapping the cultural layer of the monuments was rendered, which shows the location of the objects at the lowest elevations of the surface I above the floodplain terrace and the effects of the surface water flow. This necessitated construction of a drai-nage system, the main elements of which might be represented by shallow ditches.

Keywords: Upper Ob River region, Early Middle Ages, landscape, archeology, paleosol analysis, geoinformation modeling.


Grachev M.A., Zelenkov A.S., Sleptsova A.V.

Krasnoyarsky-IV kurgan cemetery of the Great Migration Period

The paper presents the materials of the Great Migration Period from the Omsk Irtysh region, obtained during the excavations of the Krasnoyarsky-IV burial ground. In total, eight burial mounds with 13 burials were examined in 2009 by the expedition of the Omsk State Pedagogical University led by M.A. Grachev. The aim of this work is to determine regional features and chronology of the Krasnoyarsky-IV burial complexes , as well as some details of the historical and cultural development of the local population in the transitional period from the Iron Age to the early Middle Ages. The research methodology is based on comparative and typological analyses of the material complexes, morphological and constructional specifics of the burials, and on anthropological studies, including methods of odontology. According to the results of the study, the chronological interval of the functioning of the necropolis spans the end of the 4th first decades of the 6th centuries A.D., which corresponds with the appea-rance of the Karym type monuments in the territory of the southern taiga of Western Siberia. The signs of artificial skull deformation, erection of small embankments, cremations, and Eastern-European and Central Asian imports suggest involvement of the Karym population in the epochal historical and cultural processes, as well as contacts with neighboring forest-steppe and southern taiga cultures of the Ural-Siberian region. Characteristics associated with the heritage of the cultures of the Early Iron Age, particularly, the Sargatka and Kulayka Cultures, were noted: orientation of the buried; location of the goods in the grave; ornamental and morphological features of the ware; and specific types of bronze decorations. The symbiosis of innovations and traditions of the previous epoch is partly confirmed by the anthropological characteristics in the ratio of the longitudinal and transverse diameters of the crowns of the permanent lower first molars.

Keywords: Karym type, Migration period, south taiga Irtysh River region.


Tkachev A.A.

Early Medieval Kyrgyz burial from the Upper Irtysh region

In Central Asia in the second half of the 1st millennium A.D., there were development and rapid change of large polyethnic state formations of allied congeneric groups of the Turkic people, Uigurs, Kyrgyz, Kimaks, and Kipchaks. The material goods of most of the tribal unions are unidentified and cannot be associated with the names of specific ethnic groups known from the written sources. Continuance and cultural affinity of the successive nomadic communities are based upon identity of the subsistence systems in similar natural and climatic conditions. The Kyrgyz (Khakass) Khaganate, which emerged in the Upper Yenisei region, was one of the Early Medieval states. In the second half of the 9th century, the authority of the Kyrgyz khagans spread onto the vast territories of Central Asia. The main culture-forming attribute of the Kyrgyz ethnos is cremation burials. The study of the cremation burials found beyond the ancestral homeland of the Kyrgyz allows tracing the intertribal contacts and directions of military campaigns of the Kyrgyz during the period of their “greatpowerness”. In this paper, materials of the burial mound of Menovnoe VIII, situated in the territory of the Upper Irtysh 2.1 km south-east from the village of Menovnoe, Tavrichesky district, East-Kazakhstan Region, are analysed. Under the mound of the kurgan, there was a fence with an outbuilding. The central grave contained a cremation burial, and the outbuilding an adolescent burial and a sacrificial pit with a horse carcass split into halves. The grave goods are represented by a bronze waistbelt clasp and a fragment of an iron object. Alongside the horse, there was a quiver with three arrowheads and a rasp-file, as well as part of a bridle (a snaffle bit fixed to a wooden cheekpiece and a bronze buckle tip). The specifics of the burial rite and analysis of the material obtained during the study of the funeral complex allows attribution of the Menovnoe-VIII kurgan 8 graves to representatives of the Kyrgyz-Khakass antiquities, who were in contact with the rulers of the Kimak Khaganate during the second half of the 8th 10th century.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh region, Middle Ages, the Kyrgyz people, barrow, burial rite, goods inventory.


Anoshko O.M.

The First and Second Gostiny Dig Sites in Tobolsk

This article continues a series of papers dedicated to introducing in the scientific discourse materials obtained during archaeological investigations of the cultural layer of Tobolsk the main city of Siberia during the Russian colonization. In the course of investigation of the First and Second Gostiny dig sites, laid at the walls of Gostiny Dvor, there were recorded 24 structures of residential and economic purposes, dated to the period from the 17th to the 19th centuries on the basis of planigraphic and stratigraphic analyses and finds. The residential timber structures were single-storeyed, with saddle notch type corners (“v oblo”) with tails. Beside the houses, there were root cellars. A representative collection of finds is related to the houses: animal bones; breakage of stoneware, chinaware, and glassware; fragments of terracotta, enameled, and polychrome tile, as well as objects made of bone, leather, bark, and wood, mainly dated to the 17th beginning of the 19th century. The most common material, amounted to several thousand items, was represented by pottery shards pots, ewers, jars, and pans, which were used for food cooking, food storage, as well as for other everyday purposes. The porcelain ware is associated with the tea ceremony and is mainly represented by fragments of saucers, and sometimes those of drinking cups, bowls, and teapots. By the provenance, two groups of the porcelain have been identified Chinese and Russian, with characteristic makers marks and patterns. The collection of iron items consists of knives, bridle bits, door hinges, latches, nails, hooks, and fragments of scissors. The leather footwear is represented by one-piece leather-hide shoes, high boots, and shoes with iron heeltaps. Another category of the finds is represented by bone combs, which were ordinarily used not only by women, but also by men. The numismatic collection comprises 36 Russian coins and a counter pfennig struck in the workshop of Johann Adam Dietzel (master 17461768) in Nuremberg. The copper articles are represented by five baptismal cross pendants and by a find unique for the Siberian region a gilded panhagia of a copper alloy with a sliding finial, several liturgical inscriptions, and images, including those of the Crucifixion, the Holy Trinity of the Old Testament, and the Mother of God of the Sign. In ge-neral, the archaeological materials of the digs show that this quarter of the uptown of Tobolsk was part of the residential and commercial housing of the town, while its residents had a relatively high level of material wellbeing.

Keywords: Tobolsk, Upper Posad, 17th19th centuries, residential and utility buildings, artifacts.


Rafikova T.N., Anoshko O.M.

Late Medieval complexes of the forest-steppe and sub-taiga Trans-Urals (based on materials from the settlement of Stary Pogost)

The paper concerns the results of the archaeological investigation of the Late Medieval sites in the forest-steppe and sub-taiga regions of Trans-Urals (Western Siberia). With the example of the fortress of Stary Pogost, and using the materials on all studied Late Medieval sites of the region (the hillforts of Yelyak-Alyp, Maloye Bakalskoye, Chingi-Tura, Isker, Kuchum-gora, Ivanovskoye, Dolgovskoye 1, the sanctuary of Tsingalinskoye), the main aspects of the material culture of the population of the 14th16th centuries have been reconstructed. The building structures are represented by above-ground or slightly sunken permanent buildings with pise-walled hearths. In the cultural level, ashy spots, cumulations of fish-scale, and bones of fish and animals were recorded. The seasonal occupancy of most of the settlements, thin cultural layer, small quantity or complete absence of ceramics complicate distinguishing of the Late-Medieval complexes from the full array of Medieval monuments of the forest-steppe and sub-taiga Trans-Urals. A statistical analysis of the ceramics collections from all Late Medieval sites of the Trans-Urals was carried out. Four main types of the ware were identified. By correlation with contemporaneous collections of the Middle Irtysh, local specifics of the ceramics of the studied region were determined. The small amount of the stoneware was noted. The decline of the ceramics manufacture reflected in the composition of the clay dough, surface finish, and shape of the vessels, and it was manifested by poor ornamentation or complete absence of décor. One type of the ware – large cauldron-shaped vessels with thick vertical or slightly inside-bent walls, flattened bottom, and poor ornamentation – was recorded only in the territory of the forest-steppe and sub-taiga Trans-Urals, as well as in the Ishym River area. This indicates its earlier chronological position (13th14th cc. A.D.) and association with the population of the emerging Siberian Tatars. A widespread became the ware made from organic materials – wood and bark, as well as imported ware, including metallic items.

Keywords: Western Siberia, late Middle Ages, Siberian Tatars.




Bagashev A.N.

Craniological sources on the problem of ethnogenesis of the Narym Selkups

The Narym Selkups are an indigenous population of the Middle Ob River region speaking various dialects of the Selkup language related to the South-Samodian branch of the Ural language family. In the course of the study of Medieval and relatively recent burial grounds in the territory of the Narym Ob area of Tomsk Oblast, conside-rable amount of craniological material has been collected, which constitutes an important historical source for solving general problems of their origins. According to the archaeological and ethnographic materials, the Medieval burials were left by direct ascendants of modern Narym Selkups, whereas the materials from the later burial grounds are directly associated with their specific local-dialect groups. This paper is aimed to introduce into scientific discourse virtually all craniological materials known today from the burial grounds left by the Narym Selkups, and, on the basis of the results of group cross-correlation, to identify trends of the territorial variability of the whole community. Significant increase of new finds from the vast territory of the Middle Ob region, population-driven approach to the data analysis and development of the craniometric technique warranted re-grouping of the finds by the territorial principle and their repeated measurement and analysis. In view of the current problem, all craniological materials were grouped into ten sampling series, five of which are published for the first time (the burial ground of Ostyatskaya Gora and four combined craniological series from the burial grounds of Lower Chulym, Narym Ob, Upper Ket, and the Tym and Vasyugan rivers). Analysis of the variability of the series from the Narym Ob region in chronological and geographical bands showed their weak variability in space and time. Therefore, prior to the Russian colonization of Siberia, this region of the Middle Ob area was not invaded by considerably large groups of people of different anthropological appearance. All studied craniological series were samples from the single unity. Although the territorial variability of the anthropological features within the groups of the Narym Selkups is not large, in some cases an influence of territorially closest neighbours on the anthropological structures of particular Selkup populations can be discerned. It appeared that the southern groups exhibit resemblance with their territorially closest Turkic populations of the Chulym and Lower Tom regions, while in the composition of other Narym groups, there have been identified an admixture of the component genetically related to the Turkic populations of the Western-Siberian forest-steppe – Barabino and Tobol-Irtysh Tatars, and, although being very weak, an influence of the Ob Ugric populations can be discerned.

Keywords: craniology, population, physical type, intergroup variability, southern Samoyedians, Selkups, Western Siberia, Narym Ob river region.


Slepchenko S.Ì., Sudarev N.I., Tsokur I.V., Abramova A.N.

First results of the archaeoparasitological study of the Volna 1 burial ground (Temryuk District, Krasnodar Krai)

The paper presents the results of an archaeoparasitological analysis of the soil samples from a number of the burials dated to the end of the 4th first half of the 3rd c. B.C. of the ancient burial ground of Volna 1 situated in the territory of the “Asiatic part” of the Bosporan Kingdom (present-day Temryuk District, Krasnodar Krai). As the result of the investigation, the parasitogenic spectrum of the studied population group has been determined. The eggs of three types of helminths were found. The presence of the eggs of human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) in the soil samples from the burials suggest relatively poor sanitary and hygienic condition of the population and undeveloped hygienic habits of the studied population group. Analysis of the archaeoparasitological data in the historical context and utilization of the archaeopathological material from the archaeological sites of the chronologically close period from the territory of Europe and Asia Minor permitted identification of the range of possible causes of such a situation. The undeveloped hygienic habits are also manifested by finding of of lancet fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) eggs in the soil samples. Besides, the presence in the soil samples of the eggs of this parasite is indicative, from the point of view of archaeoparasitology, of the type of the economy, its methods and, partly, of the dietary specifics. Interesting is the fact of finding of the broad tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) eggs in one of the samples. Given the life cycle of the broad tapeworm and mode of infestation, it is possible to determine unambiguously that the tapeworm infestation might have happened during the consumption of raw underboiled/underroast or dried fish from the freshwater lakes and rivers from the territory of the south of Russia (River Kuban, River Don etc.). Having considered the obtained data in the historical-archaeological context, it is possible to hypothesize on the directions of travels of the infested individual. Characteristics of the archaeoparasitological spectrum indicate possible use of anthelminthic agents, or consumption of food with vermicidal effect with respect to the round worms. An important result of the study is demonstration of capabilities of the archaeoparasitology as a source of bioarchaeological information on the population of Northern Black Sea coast.

Keywords: Northern Black Sea region, archeoparasitology, palynology, paleopathology, intestinal parasites, bioarchaeological reconstructions.


Rasskazova A.V., Zheyfer V.A., Mazurok O.I.

Medieval mass burial in Pereslavl-Zalessky

The paper presents the results of the anthropological study of a mass grave located in the grounds of the kremlin of Pereslavl-Zalessky (European Russia). It has been preliminary dated to the 13th first half of the 14th century. This study is aimed at craniological investigation and establishing anthropological connections of the Medieval population of Pereslavl-Zalessky, as well as clarification of the circumstances of appearance of the mass burial within the town territory with the aid of anthropological methods. The human remains were analyzed to identify the number of individuals and to determine their sex and age. Determination of sex and age and recording of injuries were carried out on the craniological material. The craniological program was used to study 28 male and 16 female skulls. A canonical discriminant analysis was used for the intergroup analysis. The mass burial contained separated bones of 80 adults and 19 children. It was possible to identify 30 males and 24 females. The male component of the group was represented by virtually all age groups. The female part comprised mainly women aged 2035. Therefore, the interred were placed in the grave spontaneously, considerably later after their death; the bodies had time to decompose completely. Eleven instances of skull injuries without signs of necrotic process and healing were recorded. The location and characteristics of the burial and presence of several instances of fatal lacerated wounds indicate that the city residents died in the course of a military clash. Therefore, the studied series represents a time slice of the population of the medieval city. The canonical discriminant analysis on the craniological series of 53 revealed that the studied series is distinct from the territorially and chronologically close series of Yaroslavl and Kostroma Krivichs. It also showed that the formation of the population of Pereslavl-Zalessky was strongly influenced by the migration of the Ilmen Slovens and Smolensk-Polotsk Krivichs. Among the specifics of the Pereslavl series, also noteworthy is the strong influence of southern Russian migrants. On the contrary, the influence of the Finno-Ugric morphological component on the urban population of the 13th14th centuries was very insignificant.

Keywords: paleoanthropology, craniology, urban population, mass burial, Russians, medieval cities.


Kozlov A.I.

Polymorphism of the genetic determinants of bone mineral metabolism in various groups of the Komi people

The subject of the study is autochthonous population of the Northern and Middle Cis-Urals: Komi-Permyaks, Komi (Zyryans), and Komi-Izhems. The aim of the study is to compare the population frequencies of the LCT (rs4988235) and VDR (FokI rs2228570 and BsmI rs1544410) genes and to consider the contribution of environmental and cultural factors to the formation of differences in the genetic determinants of bone tissue metabolism. In total, 181 Komi-Permyak, 223 Komi, and 200 Komi-Izhem subjects were tested clinically and genetically. The evaluation consisted of the determination of polymorphic loci of VDR and LCT genes variants and assessment of clinical and laboratory lactase activity. The information on traditional diet and food composition was obtained from ethnographic materials. The study group of Komi-Izhems differs by a high proportion of C*LCT carriers (0.85) from the other two groups (p < 0.05). The prevalence of hypolactasia, i.e., limited lactase production, is also higher (p < 0.05) in Komi-Izhems (0.64) than in Komi-Permyaks (0.47) and Zyryans (0.41). The T*BsmI allele frequency is higher in Komi-Izems (0.493) in hetero- CT* (0.463) and homozygote TT* (0.261) genotypes, as compared to Zyryans (p < 0.05, where the frequencies are 0.377, 0.329 and 0.212, respectively). The values of BsmI allele and genotype frequencies in Komi-Permyaks are intermediate and do not differ significantly from those in Komi-Izhems and Zyryans. The concentration of T*FokI is highest in Komi-Permyaks (0.528). They are followed by Zyryans (the difference is insignificant, p > 0.05). Komi-Izhems have the smallest proportion of T*FokI allele carriers (0.400) and significantly differ from Komi-Permyaks (p = 0.01). The genotype distributions in FokI locus of VDR in the groups of Komi-Permyaks and Zyryans do not differ, but both show higher CT*FokI genotype frequencies than Komi-Izhems (0.549 and 0.569 against 0.288; p < 0.001). Poor livestock production and a lack of milk in the traditional subsistence economy of the Komi-Permyaks weakened the selection in favor of T*LCT allele and lactase persistence. The low intake of calcium with milk was compensated by an increase in the sensitivity of the target organs to calciferol, the regulator of mineral metabolism, by maintaining the high frequency of carriers of T*BsmI and T*FokI alleles of VDR gene in the population. The more productive dairy farming of Zyryans stimulated selection in favor of lactase persistence. The possibility of continuous consumption of calcium from milk eased the selection pressure on VDR loci. The regulation by T*FokI produced a physiologically sufficient effect and T*BsmI carriership remained low. The diet of the Komi-Izhems, who were accustomed to high-latitude regions, comprised low-lactose dairy products. The population preserved a high carriage of C*LCT and the phenotype of hypolactasia. Moderately intensive selection for vitamin D receptor sensitivity showed up in the increase of VDR T*BsmI frequency only. The high D-vitamin status of the Izhem people was leveraged by the traditional diet with a considerable intake of ergocalciferol-rich venison and fish. The Komi-Permyaks, Komi (Zyryans) and Komi-Izhems occupied different ecological niches and the groups found different ways to adapt to the unfavorable bone-homeorhesis conditions. The flexible responses to the pressure of the environmental factors were implemented by the selection of variants of LCT, VDR FokI and VDR BsmI genes, which are located in different chromosomes and determine different stages of mineral metabolism. We contend that modern interpopulation diffe-rences in distribution of the genotypes and alleles are the manifestations of different strategies of ecological adaptation of anthropologically related groups.

Keywords: vitamin D, calcium, calciferol, milk, LCT, VDR.




Bogordayeva A.A.

Female festive costume of the Khanty and Mansi in the late 20th early 21st century: dynamics and functions

In order to determine dynamics and causes of transformation of everyday dress into a festive costume, specifics and functions of the women’s costume of the Khanty and Mansi have been studied. Towards this, the comparative-typological method was employed to study the costume composition, its local features, and differences with respect to the traditional everyday dresses, and the functions of the costume were determined. The study is based upon the materials of ethnographic expeditions carried out in the 1990s2010s in the regions occupied by the Ob Ugric population (North-West Siberia and Northern Trans-Urals). It has been ascertained that the festive costume commonly comprised a dress, a breast decoration, and a shawl, and in its local variants it was complemeted by other items. The costume was all-season and had common and local elements. The common elements include multi-completeness (it consists of several items), variability according to weather conditions, use of silk and woolen fabrics and beads. The local specifics are manifetsed in the costume composition, silhouette variability, and techniques of decoration. In the end of the 20th beginning of the 21st century, traditional clothing of the Khanty and Mansi changed in the appearance due to the use of modern synthetic materials (it changed the colour, sillhuette, means and techniques of decoration) and became merely festive. To the large extent those changes were caused by the industrial development on the territory occupied by the Ob Ugric population in the last quarter of the 20th century, and later by the cultural, social, and economic transformations in Russia. The range of use of the traditional clothing shrank due to the spread of factory-made clothing. The growing interest to the ethnic culture stimulated demand for the national costume. It has become made from import synthetic fabrics, because the home-produced cotton fabrics disappeared from the shops. New fabrics changed the appearance of the clothing and its function, as it became merely festive.

Keywords: traditional clothes, Ob Ugrians, costume history, traditional holidays, the festival, traditional costume, function costume.


Danilova N.K.

The ethno-etiquette in the Yakut culture: sacred strategies and behavioral code

The ethnic etiquette of the Yakuts demonstrates traditional culture, worldviews, and ritual and mythological practices. The historical and anthropological approach used in this study allowed us to consider motives and strategies of the behavior, customs and rituals in space and time. The study of folklore and ethnographic and linguistic materials made it possible to identify and analyze responses of the behavioral strategies that expand the boundaries of the developed space (travel customs and rituals), eliminate the “otherness” of a guest (an etiquette), and provide for communications between the man and the deities/spirits (a ritual). For the first time, archival and field materials on the guest and travel etiquette are introduced into scientific discourse. The aim of the study is to conduct a historical and cognitive analysis of the travel and guest etiquettes, which begin with overcoming the developed space the dwelling place. As the result, we have revealed that the travel etiquette is primarily aimed at ensuring that the traveler returns home without encountering any obstacles in his journey. To achieve that, they used words-taboos and made a sacrifice to the spirit of the fire and to the spirit of the road. The analysis of special travel terms has shown that the main guardian of the traveler is his horse, while the behavioral code serves as an assurance of a successful journey. Compliance with pre-travel and travel taboos and rules primarily contributed to a safe return of the traveler. It has been found that the status of the traveler is transformed when he overcomes a “cultural barrier” the fence, enters the developed space, and becomes a guest. The guest etiquette mainly defines behavior of the hosts, since the arrival of the guest, his welcoming and parting with him strengthened their life values, stability, and prosperity. The guest was considered to be a messenger of an alien world, so that the first series of the ritual actions was aimed at removing the “otherness” of the guest, the second series was aimed at including the guest in the home space, and the third series was aimed at seeing off the guest. Nowadays, respectful welcoming of a guest is also of a great importance, and the metaphor "the Yakut’s hospitality" has still not lost its significance.

Keywords: Sakha people (Yakuts), behavioral code, symbolic communication, road etiquette, traveler/guest, sacred guest.


Prokopeva A.N.

Women’s Hairstyles and Head Ornamentation of the Yakuts in the 18th century

Mass Christianization of the peoples of Yakutia (Eastern Siberia) at the end of the 18th century led to the development of a demotic Christianity throughout the 19th century. There were new rules, according to which a woman was not permitted to appear in public with her head uncovered, and therefore the marking function of the hairstyles became obsolete. This could explain the absence of rituals and rules associated with women’s hair and hairstyles in the Yakut culture of the 19th20th centuries. The aim of this study is to prove a hypothesis, according to which pendants of hair ornamentation duplicate braids, and studying the pendants of the headrest ‘nachel’nik’ allows recreation of women’s hairstyle that had been in use before the period of mass Christianization. The article is based on the analysis of written, material, and visual sources of the 18th19th centuries. Information about the hairstyles and adornments of the Yakuts is contained within the records of travelers of the 18th19th centuries. Among the ethnographic works on the peoples of Siberia, one can find drawings depicting maidens and women, where particular attention is given to their hair. These materials were correlated with the data of the archaeological excavations of Yakut female burials of the 18th century. The obtained results were compared with the materials from the 19th century photographs of women in national costumes and jewelry from museum collections. According to the results of the study, it can be stated that there was a tradition of changing maiden’s hairstyle to woman’s hairstyle in the context of the wedding ritualism. New rules of conduct, social roles, especially regulations on the appearance of women, were formalized in the society in the 19th century with the mass Christianization of the peoples of Yakutia. There were new rules, according to which a woman was not permitted to appear in public with her head uncovered, and therefore the marking function of hairstyles became obsolete. This could explain the absence of rituals and rules associated with women’s hair and hairstyles in the Yakut culture of the 19th20th centuries.

Keywords: head decoration, hair decoration, hair, braids, rite, tradition, funeral monuments.


Beliakova N.A.

Everyday Life of the Russian Nuns in the Holy Land at the Time of Changes in the Middle East, 1940s1950s

This study aims at providing an overview of the everyday life of Russian nuns in Palestine after World War II. This research encompassed the following tasks: to analyze the range of ego-documents available today, characterizing the everyday life and internal motivation of women in choosing the church jurisdiction; to identify, on the basis of written sources, the most active supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate to examine the nuns’ activity as information agents of the Russian Orthodox Church and Soviet government; to characterize the actors influencing the everyday life of the Russian nuns in the context of the creation of the state of Israel and new borders dividing the Holy Land; to present the motives and instruments of influence employed by the representatives of both secular and church diplomacies in respect to the women leading a monastic life; to describe consequences of inclu-ding the nuns into the sphere of interest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR; to show the specific role of “Russian women” in the context of the struggle for securing positions of the USSR and the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the region. The sources for the study were prodused by the state (correspondence between the state authorities, meeting notes) and from the religious actors (letters of nuns to the church authorities, reports of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, memoirs of the clergy). By combining the methods of micro-history and history of the everyday life with the political history of the Cold War, the study examines the agency of the nuns a category of women traditionally unnoticeable in the political history. Due to the specificity of the sources, the study focuses exclusively on a group of the nuns of the Holy Land who came under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. The majority of the Russian-speaking population of Palestine in the mid-1940s were women in the status of monastic residents (nuns and novices) and pilgrims, and in the 1940s1950s, they were drawn into the geopolitical combinations of the Soviet Union. The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, staffed with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, becomes a key institution of influence in the region. This article shows how elderly nuns became an object of close attention and even funding by the Soviet state. The everyday life of the nuns became directly dependent on the activities of the Soviet agencies and Soviet-Israeli relations after the arrival of the Soviet state representatives. At the same time, the nuns became key participants in the inter-jurisdictional conflicts and began to act as agents of influence in the region. The study analyzes numerous ego-documents created by the nuns themselves from the collection of the Council on the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the USSR Council of Ministers. The study shows how nuns positioned themselves as leading a monastic life in the written correspondence with the ROC authorities and staff of the Soviet MFA. The instances of influence of different secular authorities on the development of the female monasticism presented here point to promising research avenues for future reconstruction of the history of women in the Holy Land based on archival materials from state departments, alternative sources should also be found. The study focused on the life of el-derly Russian nuns in the Holy Land and showed their activity in the context of the geopolitical transformations in the Near East in the 1940s1950s.

Key words: Palestine, Holy Land, female monasticism, church diplomacy, cold war agency, orthodox nuns, Gornensky monastery.


Mavlyutova G.Sh.

Islamic religious buildings in the Tobolsk Province in the late 18th early 20th century

A network of mosques in the Tobol Province (Western Siberia) in the end of the 18th beginning of the 20th century is analyzed. The source basis for the work was represented by legal enactments, statistical materials, and clerical documentation. The scientific methods were employed, including historicism, statistical, and comparative-historical analysis. By the Imperial Decree of 1744, mosques were to be located in places inhabited by only muslims. Moreover, each mosque should have had no less than 200 and no more than 300 male parishioners. The set limit on the number of parishioners restricted the ability of the muslims to build religious structures. This appeared to be a discriminatory regulation for the residents of small settlements. In the studied time, most of the mosques were located in the countryside. In 1828, towns had two mosques and in 1909 five. The total number of Islamic religious building was 137 in 1868 and 169 in 1909. In the meantime, muslim population had grown by one-and-a-half times. In general, the increase of the number of belivers is explained by the natural growth of the population. Besides, in the first half of the 19th century, there was a contunued migration of the population from Middle Asia, so called “Bokharans”. In the last third of the 19th century, there was a transit of the Volga and Cis-Urals Tatars. At that time, the number of the settlements inhabited by muslims changed insignificantly, from 260 in 1868 to 264 in 1909. Therefore, in the beginning of the 20th century, the mosques became more affordable for the population. During the studied period, the legal regulation on the limit of parishioners (no less than 200) was violated in building new religious houses. In 1868, there were on average 137 men per mosque in the countryside, and in the beginning of the 20th century – 188. The local authorities permitted muslims to build mosques for even less that 100 parishioners. That could have been influenced by the position of the Province’s authorities, natural and landscape specifics, distance to the nearest mosque, and financial capabilities of the commune. In our opinion, the politics exercised by the regional authorities in the end of the 18th – beginning of the 20th centuries were providing opportunity to the majority of the residents of the Tobol Province professing the Islamic faith to meet their spiritual needs. At the same time, the lack of religious houses precluded part of the practicing Islam from taking full part in the life of the religious commune, as well as from satisfying their religious needs, which was detrimental to their status.

Keywords: mosque, iconic building, Muslims, Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly, tatars, Bokharan.


Bublikov V.V.

Russian-Ukrainian population of the Russian territories bordering with Ukraine: ethnocultural or transition group?

One of the new directions in ethnosociology is the study of population groups with multiple (often double) ethnic identities, which are growing quantitatively due to the spread of ethnically «mixed» marriages, migrations, etc. Among such “hybrid” ethnic groups, residents with Russian-Ukrainian identity are one of the largest bi-ethnic communities in Russia. In particular, in the Russian regions bordering with Ukraine, residents with dual Russian-Ukrainian identity make up a significant proportion of the population. Accordingly, the studies of 20172018 show that in Belgorod region 16 % of residents have Russian-Ukrainian ethnic identities, whereas it is 23 % in the border municipalities. In this paper, the genesis and reproduction potential of a bi-ethnic Russian-Ukrainian population group at the Russian-Ukrainian borderland is discussed. The first part of the paper comprises an overview of the studies of multiethnic groups, including the Russian-Ukrainian population. The second part is based on empirical ethnosociological research conducted by the author and is devoted to finding the answer to the question: “Is the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity an independent, permanently existing ethnocultural community or a transitional group that temporarily emerged in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia?”. Sociological data indicate that this group of population should be considered as a separate, permanently existing ethno-cultural community, and not a temporary, transitional group in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia. In favor of the former speaks the fact that the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity consists mainly of autochthonous people, with a balanced age composition, who inherited bi-ethnicity by their “mixed” origin, rather than by assimilation. In the respondents in this group, endogenous factors of the formation of ethnic identity are dominant; they feel an inextricable ethnic connection with the population of the neighboring Ukrainian regions. At the same time, members of the Russian-Ukrainian ethnocultural group are predominantly pessimistic about possibility of inheriting their double identity by future generations.

Keywords: bi-ethnicity, multiple ethnic identities, Russian-Ukrainian population, Russians, Ukrainians, border regions.


Rud’ A.A.

Alcohol and its functions in the culture of the Khanty of the Surgut Ob region

The aim of the research is to show the functions of alcohol in the traditional culture of the Eastern Khanty. The basis of the work is formed by the author's field data collected in 2002–2018 in Khanty Surgut Ob region, including the right bank of the Ob River (Lyamin, Pim, Tromyegan, and Agan) and its left bank (Bolshoi Yugan, Malyy Yugan), as well as the right tributary of the Irtysh River (Demyanka). The study of the role of alcohol in the traditional rituals of the Eastern Khanty was based on the methodology of gift exchange proposed by M. Mauss [2011]. The structural-functional approach was used to analyze the functions of alcohol, its place in the traditional culture, and social relations of the Eastern Khanty [Malinovskiy, 2006]. Despite the problems associated with alcoholism, as well as the negative impact on the health of the Eastern Khanty, alcohol performs a number of functions in the traditional culture. The recognition of the legitimacy of alcohol in the traditional worldview is based on the cosmogonic myths. In the ritual sphere, alcohol is a gift to the deities, from whom the indigenous people, in return, expect assistance to a person in hunting and fishing, prosperity, health, and safety. Alcohol performs the function of erasing social boundaries in the community of participants in a traditional ritual. During traditional rituals, alcohol is a tool for a person's transition to an altered state of consciousness. In everyday life, alcohol performs the functions of relaxation and stress relief. Alcohol serves as a social catalyst when a stranger is included in a traditional collective. Until recently, alcohol occupied not the last place as an equivalent of money in the in-kind exchange of goods and services. At the beginning of the 21st century, structural changes caused by the industrialization of the Surgut Ob region, as well as economic and social reforms of the Post-Perestroika period, led to reduction in the consumption of alcohol by the Eastern Khanty. Today, these changes are represented by two oppositely directed trends. The first tendency is represented by the processes of the revival of traditional culture, nature management, and religion. The second trend includes reappraisal of traditional religion and transition of a part of the Eastern Khanty to Protestantism.

Keywords: Surgut Ob region, Eastern Khanty, drinking practices, social functions of alcohol, alcohol in traditional religion, alcohol in everyday life.


Missonova L.I.

The Study of the Northern Tungus in the Academic Project “History of Yakutia”

In this paper, it is noted that new development in the Tungus-Manchu studies has begun by the virtue of writing a three-volume work “History of Yakutia”. It was found that, as the result, a new stage of the development of the fundamental science in the field of research of the peoples of Yakutia has begun. It is emphasized that the developed concept of creating the large-volume work allowed conducting a multi-faceted investigation; new archival and other materials were drawn into research, which had not received sufficient attention previously. It is shown how, according to the concept of publishing “History of Yakutia”, in the mainstream of the history of the peoples of Yakutia, presentation of the existing material is possible not only from the point of view of the traditional ethnographic approach by each group individually and by all conventional means of subsistence of the ethnic culture. It is concluded that the development and transformation of the territory by the nomadic Tungus-Manchu Cultures was actively manifested in the expansion to the North (an example of Even-Bytantai Ulus of Yakutia can be noted) and to the East (notably, to the Far East, including the insular territory of the Russian Federation). It is noted that the Tungus-Manchu peoples of Russia fell into the category of the “northern” nations in the very course of the development of the northern territories. These nations developed a unique school of adaptation of their culture to the environmental conditions of the northern spaces. It is the vision of the Tungus histoty as a whole, and of the history of small Tungus-Manchu nations, in particular, as a powerful momentum that played an important role in the history of the development of the vast territories, that seems new and topical. There have been presented examples of the updated source base for the study of the development of the territory by Tungus ethnic minorities, which reveals the potential of a synthesis of the study of the vocabulary and folklore of the Tungus-Manchu peoples and archaeological artifacts, in comparison with archival materials (primarily, archives of Yakutia.

Keywords: Yakutia, Tungus-Manchu peoples, nomadic cultures, Far East.




Golovchenko N.N.

Review of the Monograph: Likhacheva O.S. Weaponry and warfare of the population of the Forest-Steppe Altai in the Early Iron Age (8th–1st centuries B.C.). Barnaul: Publ. IP I. A. Kolmogorov, 2020. 320 p. ISBN 978-5-91556-710-7

The paper presents a review on a monograph by O.S. Likhacheva, concerned with the analysis of different types of weapons and reconstruction of some aspects of the warfare of the tribes of the Forest-Steppe Altai in the 8th–1st centuries B.C., which contains a representative album of illustrations, including photographs and drawings of artifacts, artistic interpretations of weapons and images of warriors, made by the author. O.S. Likhacheva carried out a meticulous analysis of numerous categories of weapons and their fragments. However, in the opinion of the author of this review, for a considerable part of the presented inventory there is a lack of context description of the finds in the ceremonial burial complexes. This leads to the description of the votive weapons as combative, ceremonially broken items as intact, and fragmentary separate armor-clad plates as a complete armor suit. Certain selectivity of the author in writing the historiography section narrows the attention of the researcher on only one region under consideration, thus ignoring the trans-cultural nature of some types of the weapons of short-range and long-range combat among the nomads of the Central Asia in the 8th–1st centuries B.C., as well as the body of the material from the monuments of the Novosibirsk Ob region which fit in the topic area of the research. The author recommends the book of O.S. Likhacheva to all interested in the history and archaeology of Altai Krai and Upper Ob region.

Keywords: Forest-Steppe Altai, Upper Ob River region, Early Iron Age, armament, military Affairs, reconstruction.


¹ 3 (54) (2021)



Enshin D.N.

Neolithic ceramic complex of the settlement of Mergen 6 in the Lower Ishim (groups I and II): characteristics and interpretation

The article discusses a ceramic complex (groups I and II) of the early Neolithic settlement of Mergen 6 (Lower Ishim River region, Western Siberia, 7th millennium BC). The aim of the work is to analyze the materials from the perspective of the cultural and chronological correlation of the Boborykino and Koshkino antiquities of the Trans-Urals. The research is based on the elements of the historical-cultural and formal-classification approaches. The source base consists of 236 vessels. As a result of the analysis carried out in several stages (morphology of the vessels, tool and technique for applying ornamentation, structural components of the decor, nature of the system organization of the ornamental components, relationship of the image components with the structure of the vessels' shape), it was found that the products of group I correspond to the Boborykino cultural tradition, and group II to the Koshkino. The simultaneous occurrence of these vessels made it possible to speak of the coexistence within the same society of representatives of the traditions of their manufacture. On this basis, there has been proposed a clarification of several positions regarding the pattern of the cultural and chronological development of the Boborykino antiquities in the Trans-Urals. The emergence of an early flat-bottomed ceramic complex in the River Ishim region allows it to be included in the range of materials of a similar appearance (Satyginsky, Mulymyinsky, Amninsky, Kayukovsky, Barabinsky) identified in the mountain-forest Trans-Urals, Kondinsky lowlands, Irtysh River region and Baraba. Identification of the Mergen vessels of group I as belonging to the Boborykino Culture, dating from the Early Neolithic, makes it possible to pose the question of identifying the early phase of the antiquities of this cultural group. Location of the Koshkino and Boborykino groups of vessels in the same sites attests to the coexistence and contacts of the two traditions and their mutual influence.

Keywords: Early Neolithic, Western Siberia, Lower Ishim River Region, Mergen 6, ceramic complex, Boborykino culture, Koshkino Culture.


Kiryushin K.Yu., Kiryushin Yu.F., Solodovnikov K.N., Frolov Ya.V., Shapetko Ye.V., Schmidt A.V.

On the relative and absolute chronology of early burials at the Firsovo-XI burial ground (Barnaul Ob River region)

The present work addresses the issues of the absolute and relative chronology of early burials at the Firsovo-XI burial ground on the right bank of the Upper Ob River. Description of four burials of the site and results of their AMS 14C dating are reported, alongside with the cultural and chronological analogies among the contemporaneous monuments of Altai. Eight burial places were discovered at Firsovo-XI, including five single graves, two double graves and one collective burial. The burials were arranged in two rows in the direction from northwest to southeast. The deceased were oriented with their heads to the north and northeast. The research concluded that the burials which form the cultural “core” of the Firsovo-XI burial place (burial grounds nos. 14, 15 and 42) belong to the Early Neolithic period, and their radiocarbon age is determined by the middle of the 5th millennium BC, while their calendar age fits into a very narrow interval of several decades or several centuries (a one-sigma interval of 5710–5460 cal BC and a two-sigma interval of 5740–5360 cal BC). The Neolithic burials of Firsovo-XI constitute a single chronological group with burials nos.1 and 13 of the Bolshoi Mys burial ground. It stands to reason that this group may grow in size over time, as the work on AMS 14C dating of early necropolises and single burials of the Upper Ob region expands. At this stage of research, the problem of identifying cultural and chronological markers for the selected group of burials remains urgent. Within the framework of this study, it has been suggested that the ornaments made from the teeth of a bear and a horse (?), or an onager (?), take the role of such markers. It cannot be ruled out that with the appearance of new data such markers may include the ornaments made from wolf teeth and double-sided polished knives with a concave blade. As a working hypothesis, it has been suggested that the date obtained for the cemetery no. 18 of Firsovo-XI (GV-02889 9106±80 BP) was not accidental and that this burial actually belongs to the final Mesolithic or early Neolithic period. The chronological and ritual specifics of this burial are also emphasized by the craniological specificity of the buried male, and by the large total size of the skull, which distinguishes him from the rest of those buried at the burial ground.

Keywords: ground burial place, final Mesolithic period, Neolithic burial, cultural and chronological markers.


Skochina S.N., Ìîsin V.S.

Stone equipment of the Poludensky complex of the Kedrovy Mys-1 site

The paper deals with the complex analysis of the stone equipment of the Kedrovy Mys-1 site associated with the Poludensky tradition, classical for the Trans-Urals, dated to the Late Neolithic period. On the basis of typological and functional analyses, aimed at the study of tool shapes and identification of their correlation with the functional purpose, specifics of the stone industry of the Poludensky complex have been determined. The tools manufactured at the site of Kedrovy Mys-1 were produced from the materials from the valley of the river Miass, situated behind the Ilmensky ridge, approximately 2025 km away from the site. Dominant materials are phtanitoids and sealing-wax green jade; these quality materials were scarce, so that local chalcedonies were used. The stone industry based on the prismatic flaking was aimed at the production of plates as the feedstock for the tools. For the production of tools, preference was given to the medium-width plates, with a little use of small plates. A feature of the complex is represented by the tools indicating the existence of the insert technique, such as plates with the rounded back and face, chamfered tips, “triangle”, and unretouched plates used as knives. Mainly blunting retouching, and sometimes sharpening, was used for the plate processing from the back side. A cutter spalling as the tool shaping technique was used occasionally. No cutters were found. Typologically identified tools are represented by arrow tips, end scrapers, piercers, borers, scrapers on the flakes and nucleus cleavage, chopping tools, abrasives, and a retoucher. Specifics of the Poludensky toolset of the Kedrovy Mys-1 site allows suggestion that during this period of the site the main activity of the population was concerned with food processing meat cutting and catch processing. This is evidenced by the predominance of the knives for meat/fish cutting. The proportion of tools used for the production of wooden equipment is quite small, which is probably due to the sampling, although morphologically it is very prominent. In the meantime, the presence of tools for processing of skin, stone, bone, and for repair of ceramics indicates a full cycle of the production activity ensuring efficient adaptation in the lake system environment.

Keywords: mountain-forest Trans-Urals, Poludenskaya Culture, Late Neolithic, technical-morpholo-gical analyzes, use wear analysis, stone inventory, features of the economy.


Chechushkov I.V., Epimakhov A.V.

Chronological relationship between the fortified settlement of Kamennyi Ambar and the Kamennyi Ambar-5 cemetery in the Southern Trans-Urals: capabilities of the Bayesian statistics

By means of the Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates, a comparison of chronologies of the Kamennyi Ambar settlement and the cemetery of Kamennyi Ambar-5 of the Late Bronze Age Syntashta-Petrovka period has been carried out. Both sites are situated in the valley of the Karagaily-Ayat River in Kartalinsky district of Chelyabinsk Region (Russia). Comparison of the pottery assemblages of the settlement and the cemetery demonstrates their similarity, which suggests existence of a genetic link between the sites. The purpose of this work is development of a generalized chronological model of the two monuments. This is achieved by comparison of uncalibrated intervals of radiocarbon dates and calculation of chronological boundaries of the existence of the settlement and cemetery by means of Bayesian modeling of the calibrated dates. The method consists in that, in the beginning, the stratigraphic position of each date is determined, and then the dates suitable for the analysis are arranged in the chronological order and calibrated, while the algorithm of the OxCal 4.4 calibration program is queried for calculation of the boundaries of the given periods and their duration. Also, the paper reports complete sets of the radiocarbon dates: 61 dates have been obtained from the materials of the settlement of Kamennyi Ambar, while 19 measurements originate from the Kamennyi Ambar-5 cemetery. Correlation of the radiocarbon dates and development of the Bayesian chronological models have demonstrated contemporaneousness of the settlement and the cemetery with slightly later beginning of the activity at the latter. This observation is in agreement with the concept of the genetic link between the sites and, arguably, can be extended onto other pairs of fortified settlement kurgan cemetery attributed to the Sintashta-Petrovka period. Our conclusion is also consistent with the concept of building the complex of monuments by a newly-arrived population, who founded a settlement, occupied the new territory for some time, while the first deaths occurred some time afterwards. That said, the settlement of Kamennyi Ambar existed for no longer than a century in the 1950s  1860s BC, while the cemetery of Kamennyi Ambar-5 was used for 7080 years within the same chronological interval.

Keywords: Late Bronze Age, radiocarbon dating, Bayesian analysis, Southern Urals, Sintashta


Chikunova I.Yu., Ilyushina V.V.

The ceramic complex of the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1

This paper presents the results of the study of the ceramics collection from two periods Eneolithic and Medieval, assembled during the fieldwork at the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1 in the Northern Priobye (Western Siberia). The Eneolithic ware is represented by fragments of 30 vessels decorated with alveolate, rhombic, nail-imprints, and corner patterns. There are fragments of a boat-shaped vessel and vessels with handles. The complex has analogies in the materials of the settlement of Gorny Samotnel-1 and is dated to the end of the 4th–3rd centuries BC. The Medieval ceramics are represented by 296 vessels. On the basis of typological analysis, two groups of vessels have been identified: group 1 ware with sparing ornamentation comprising 1–4 lines of the ornament; and group 2 ware with an ornament comprising 5–8 and more lines. A characteristic feature of the group 2 vessels is the use of a cord and various shaped stamps. In the cultural layer of the settlement, ceramics of both groups was deposited side by side, which suggests their contemporaneity. In order to determine the degree of similarity/difference of the derived groups of vessels, a technical-technological analysis was carried out on 20 items. It appeared that potters who manufactured the group 1 vessels routinely used blend compositions of grus and grus with wool. Organic mortars were rarely used. The smoo-thing of the vessels was performed mainly with a wood splinter, knife, or spatula. The craftsmen who manufactured the vessels of group 2 used medium to heavily oversanded clays along with slightly oversanded material. While making the molding compositions, a blend of grus and organic mortar was used more often. Wool was rarely utilised. The vessels were smoothed with soft materials and a knife or spatula, the outer surfaces were subjected to hand tamping. The noted differences suggest, that in the Middle Ages two groups of potters, who had distinctive pottery-making skills, were living at the settlement. Vessels of the group 1 have similarities with materials of the “Bichevnik” type from the Pechersky Trans-Urals, whereas vessels of the group 2 in the materials of the Yarsalinsky, Ust’-Poluisky, and Yudinsky Cultures of the Iron Age and Early Middle Ages of the Middle and Lower Priobye and Lower Tobol River region. Obtained radiocarbon dates and some artefacts (a bronze signet ring and an iron dagger), which have analogies in the Middle Trans-Urals, define the time span of the activity for the ancient settlement of Ust-Vasyegan 1 within the 7th–13th centuries.

Keywords: Northern Ob region, Eneolithic epoch, Medieval epoch, ceramic complex, technical and technological analysis.


Senotrusova P.O., Ekkerdt A.A., Mandryka P.V.

Finds of ornitomorphic images of the End of the Early Iron Age in the Lower Angara region

The paper concerns the ornithomorphic images found at the Pinchuga VI burial ground. The site is located in the lower course of the river Angara (Middle Siberia). The chronological boundaries of the study span the second quarter of the 1st millennium AD (end of the Early Iron Age). All burials at the burial ground were performed according to the rite of cremation outside the cemetery. Two intact objects and fragments of the third image of a bird were found at the necropolis. Figures were found in different contexts. One of them was found in the filling of a grave pit, the second item within an assemblage of various articles in the inter-grave space. The third item was broken and lost as the result of illegal excavations. All articles share similar characteristics. These are realistic images of diurnal birds of prey “frozen” in a diving flight; the images are shown en face, with a high-relief head, with the tucked wings and feet pulled up with talons. A geometric decor conveys their feather, and a stylized mask is present on the chest of one item. The images are slightly convex, their front side is polished. The closest analogies to the Angara images of birds are known in Western Siberia, including the Tomsk burial ground, the Kholmogory treasure, the Ishim collection, and materials from the Parabel cult place. All this makes it possible to attribute the analyzed items to the Kholmogory stylistic group of the Kulai cult casting. Products of this group became widespread in Western Siberia in the second quarter of the 1st millennium AD. The ornithomorphic images found at the Pinchuga VI cemetery extend the geographical range of the items of this style to the territory of Middle Siberia. Apart from the figurines of birds, the necropolis also yields other items of the Western Siberian cult casting, including disks with concentric ornaments, a hollow image of a fish head, and a bird-head belt applique. Bronze items were imported, and in the course of exchange they were spreading over considerable distances. This proves the existence of established cultural ties between the populations of the Lower Angara region and Western Siberia at the End of the Early Iron Age.

Keywords: Lower Angara region, the end of the Early Iron Age, West Siberian cult casting, ornito-morphic images, chronology, importation.


Berlina S.V., Tsembalyuk S.I., Yakimov A.S.

Structural and technical characteristics of the fortification system of the Dikaya Yama hillfort of the Early Iron Age in the Middle Tobol River area

The paper reports the results of the studies of the fortification system of the Early Iron Age Dikaya Yama hillfort situated in the Middle Tobol River region of the Western Siberian forest-steppe zone. The hillfort was built by the population of the Sargatka Culture, and it is dated to the 3rd c. BC 1st c. AD. The defence lines at the junction of two adjacent fortified platforms have been studied. It has been determined that the earthwork of the first platform was built up from turfen blocks; the presence of traces of postholes suggests that the earthwork was reinforced with a wooden-frame wall a wattle fence. The ditch between the platforms had a trapezoidal shape with the size of 3.2–4 m of the upper part and 1.2–1.6 m of the lower part. The soil from the ditch was placed into the mound of the rampart of the second platform. The mathematical analysis of the volume of earth making the mound of the rampart allowed establishing its height of 2.0 m. Analysis of the stratigraphy and planigraphy revealed the remains of a frame structure set on the rampart. The wattle fence on top of the rampart and the parapet along it have been reconstructed. Moreover, there have been identified the remains of a frame-and-pillar structure installed into the body of the rampart, which was aimed to strengthen the mound and prevent untimely slipping. A graphic reconstruction of the appearance of the fortifications existed on the studied site has been created. Carcass fortifications of the wattle fence type, a wall constructed in “zaplot” technique, set on the rampart, have analogies in the Early Iron Age hillforts of the Tobol-Irtysh interfluve: Kolovskoe, Rafailovskoe, Ak-Tau, and Pavlinovo. There existed a tradition of mounting a palisade into a ditch-trench such structures have been recorded at the hillforts of Borovushka, Likhachevskoe, Bochanetskoe, Inberen 4 and Rozanovo, Mar'ino Ushchel'ye 4 and Malo-Kazakbaevskoe. The fortification system of the hillfort of Dikaya Yama, which, structurally, is represented by the earthwork ramparts on top of which there were mounted wooden walls in the technique of the wattle fence, is consistent with the traditional scheme of the fortifications of the Early Iron Age population. The question of simultaneous or sequential building of the platforms of the hillfort will be addressed in future work. However, the unified planning solution in organizing forms of the fortification structures implies, in our opinion, preliminary design of the whole settlement and its construction at one time.

Keywords: Middle Tobol area, Early Iron Age, hillfort, fortification system, Sargatka culture, stratigraphy, reconstruction.


Bravina R.I., Solovyova E.N., Petrov D.M., Syrovatskiy V.V.

Birch bark in the funeral rite of the Yakuts: a case-study of the Uchugei-Yuryakh burial (15th–17th cc.)

The Uchugei-Yuryakh birch-bark burial, radiocarbon dated to 14801640 cal AD, was discovered in the southern part of the Tuymaada valley, located in the basin of the Middle Lena River, one of the largest rivers in North-Eastern Siberia. This region is traditionally regarded as the area where the most important events of the Yakut history were taking place over many centuries, and as the area associated with the formation of the Yakut ethnic culture. The purpose of this article is to introduce into scientific discourse the results of the study of the Uchugei-Yuryakh birch-bark burial and to analyze traditions of the burials using birch bark among the Yakuts in the 15th19th centuries, according to archaeological, ethnographic, and folklore data. The research objectives are as follows: to determine the level of knowledge of the problem; to identify peculiarities of the grave goods and morphological features of the Uchugei-Yuryakh burial; to identify types of birch-bark burial chambers of the Yakuts on the basis of available data; to trace back their genesis and to determine their semantics, according to the sacral nature of birch bark in the ritual-worldview practice; and to correlate the features of the Yakut burials with archaeological materials from the regions adjacent to Yakutia. Descriptive and historical-comparative methods, as well as scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating of the bones of the deceased, chemical analysis of bead material, botanical analysis of plant material from the burial site were employed in the course of research. A cha-racteristic feature of this burial is the absence of a coffin and the use of birch-bark sheets to form the interior of the grave, which correlates with the legends about the Khoro tribe, who practiced burial in birch-bark sheaths. There are four types of burials identified on the basis of a detailed analysis of the combination of elements of the currently known birch-bark burial structures: 1) in a birch bark sheath consisting of birch-bark sheets placed above and below the buried body; 2) in a birch bark pouch, the sides of which were reinforced by wooden planks set on edge; 3) in a rectangular birch bark sheet, in which the body of the deceased was wrapped to form a case or a cylinder; 4) in a birch-bark sheath sewn in the form of a boat. Analysis of the features of the burial (atypical “facedown” position of the deceased, scanty set of items of the accompanying goods) revealed a special social status of the buried man. The birch-bark sheets laid above and below the deceased in the considered burial, apparently, imitate the shape of the birch-bark basket tyuktyuye. This suggests the ideas of purification of the soul of the deceased after their death and its rebirth. Birch bark was used in the funeral rites of the nomadic societies of South-Eastern and Western Siberia in the Middle Ages. It is suggested that the tradition of using birch bark in Yakut burials either corresponds with the Samoyed-Yenisei component, indirectly adopted from the medieval population of the Lake Baikal area, or emerged due to direct contacts with the Tungus-Samoyed tribes of the Lower Tunguska.

Keywords: Yakutia, the late Middle Ages, burial, birch bark, birch bark covers and bedding, birch bark coffins, Cisbaikalia, Ob-Irtysh.


Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al.

Turkic burial accompanied by horses from the Upper Irtysh River region

The second half of the 1st millennium AD is associated with the development and formation of the culture of ancient Turkic peoples, who repeatedly developed several large ethnopolitical associations in the steppe zone of Central Asia. Political and cultural influences of the Turkic state formations were perceived not only by the sedentary population of the states that existed in the territory of East and Central Asia, but also by further north peoples who lived in the steppe and taiga zones. Under the Turkic influence, or with their direct participation, the Kimako-Kipchak proto-state association began taking shape in the Upper Irtysh River region in the 7th century AD. The initial stage of this process, features of the funeral rite, and characteristic elements of the material culture of the population living in the region are almost unknown due to insufficient exploration of the monuments of the developmental stage of this polyethnic formation. The paper describes the materials of the barrow cemetery of Menovnoye XII, located in the territory of the Upper Irtysh River, 2.1 km southeast of the village of Menovnoye, Tavrichesky district, East Kazakhstan Province. Under the barrow mound, there was a fence with outbuildings containing burials of a man, two horses, and two dogs. The central burial was robbed. The sacrificial pit, located north of the main grave, contained the burial of two horses, laid on their stomachs with their legs tucked under their bodies and with their heads oriented to the east. The buried person was accompanied by two dogs: one was laid across the ceiling of the grave, while the other was buried in a separate pit in an additional annex. The grave goods found with the deceased represented by astragali, a bronze ring, and a fragment of an iron arrowhead. The horse harness included stirrups and iron bits. The bridle belts were adorned with bronze items: bells, triplet plaques, bronze onlays, and belt tip ends. Bronze buckles with iron tongues, which were tucked into clips, were used to adjust the tension of the headband straps. The funeral rite features and analysis of the materials collected during the study of the memorial complex make it possible to associate the burials of the 3rd barrow of the Menovnoye XII with the Early Kimak antiquities within the framework of the Turkic era and to date them to the second half of the 7th8th century AD.

Keywords: the Upper Irtysh region, Middle Ages, Turks, Kimaks, mound, funeral rites, inventory, reconstruction of horse harness.


Zakh V.A., Tsembalyuk S.I., Sidorova E.V., Yudakova V.S.

Tarkhansky Ostrog of the 17th18th centuries: directions of search and the beginning of research

The purpose of this paper is to report on the process and results of locating the Russian fortress of Tarkhansky Ostrog of the 17th–18th centuries on the basis of information from written sources and cartographic materials directly related to the location of the site. The objectives of the research included preliminary identification of the presumable remains of the object by means of reconnaissance (20 sq. m) archaeological excavations and the use of geophysical methods (magnetometer mapping with Gem Systems GSM-19WG). This paper considers the information from chronicles, cartographic and written sources of the end of the 17th–19th centuries about Tarkhansky Ostrog, situated at the confluence of the Tura and Tobol Rivers in Western Siberia; the key milestones of its search, undertaken by our research team, and its prospective location and identification are reported. The basis of the investigation was formed by scanty written information about Tarkhansky Ostrog and by the cartographic materials of S.U. Remezov, as well as archaeological reconnaissance works carried out in modern times in the area of confluence of the rivers in the Yarkovsky district of Tyumen Oblast. G.F. Miller was mapping the Russian fortress to the place of the Tatar settlement of Tarkhan-kala, not far from the mouth of the river Tura, on the southeast side of Tobol. According to his description, the fortress was founded in 1628 and represented a citadel with a wooden fence and two turrets. P. A. Slovtsov wrote that Trakhansky Ostrog “at the mouth of the river Tura” was founded in 1631. Following the extensive analysis of the descriptions and cartographic materials, and as the result of the terrain analysis, an ancient butte (250 m ´ 40 m) of a suplra-floodplain terrace was discovered in 2020 on a floodplain inundable during seasonal floods to the southwest of the village of Tarkhany. It corresponds with the description of Yatman hill given by G.F. Miller; even today some traces of, seemingly, “Kuchum’s outpost” can be seen on this height. In the southern part of the butte, we carried down a 4 m ´ 5 m reconnaissance dig. The cultural deposit yielded scanty fragments of the Koptyaki Culture, Late Bronze Age, and Medieval ceramics, although mainly represented by shards of crockery manufactured on a potter’s wheel. Of the artefacts, a clasp knife, a brass thimble, a lead bullet, a gun flint, a lead strap seal, and a silver kopeck of Tsar Fyodor III Alekseyevich have been found. All the articles are dated to the 17th c., with the exception of the lead seal which belongs to the 19th c. With a high probability, we assume that the butte is associated with Tarkhansky Ostrog, although one can only talk about its decisive identification after large-scale archaeological investigations.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Lower Tobol River region, confluence of Tobol and Tura, Tarkhansky Ostrog, written sources, cartographic materials, field research.


Berdnikova N.E., Vorobieva G.A., Berdnikov I.M., Shchetnikov A.A., Filinov I.A., Lipnina E.A., Zolotarev D.P.

Geoarchaeology within the system of archaeological research in the territory of Baikal Siberia

The value of geoarchaeology in archaeological research is discussed with an example of Baikal Siberia. Geoarchaeology is considered as an interface between archaeology and Earth sciences comprising a specific set of approaches, methods, and procedures. Nowadays, geoarchaeology constitutes a full-fledged research branch within the world archaeological practice. However, there are some problems in the determination of the essence and the role of geoarchaeology in archaeological studies, especially in Russia. In particular, the question whether geoarchaeology represents an independent discipline or an interdisciplinary approach has not been resolved yet. Moreover, archaeologists often focus on increasing the number of analytical methods to the detriment of their conceptual basis. In the Russian archaeological practice, the uncertain role of geoarchaeology is manifested by its perception as an auxiliary discipline with limited capabilities for the archaeological interpretations. As a result of many years of research on archaeological sites of Baikal Siberia, we have developed our own concept of geoarchaeology as a source study with a transdisciplinary character. It is based on four principles. Firstly, in our opinion, geoarchaeology constitutes a source study discipline with its own research methods. Geoarchaeological assessment represents one of the most important verification methods aimed at the determination of the degree of correspondence between the results of archaeological and natural science data. Secondly, the main object of research is a geoarchaeological object, which is a composite integral system with a mixture of traces of natural and anthropogenic events encrypted in it. We define the layer with cultural remains, where the natural component predominates, as ‘culture-bearing’. The layer with the predominantly anthropogenic component can be called ‘cultural’. Thirdly, geoarchaeology should be a transdisciplinary branch, the nature of which is determined by the complex origins of the geoarchaeological site. Such an amalgamation allows overcoming disciplinary differences and contradictions which leads to the formation of new knowledge levels. At fourth, geoarchaeological research should be based principally on the methods of actualism and stratigraphy in conjunction with overcoming misidentification of objects and phenomena, as well as on the pedolithological and event-driven approaches.

Keywords: geoarchaeology, Baikal Siberia, research concept, actualism, stratigraphy, pedolithologi-cal approach, event approach, transdisciplinarity.




Slepchenko S.M.

Archaeoparasitology a new source of reconstruction of migrations of ancient populations: opportunities, results, and prospects

The resilience of intestinal parasite ova to harsh environmental conditions and possibility of identification of many of them down to genus/species with the aid of conventional visual light microscopy make parasites an important source of information on different aspects of life of ancient populations. Of special interest is the study of the phenomenon of parasitoidism aimed at reconstruction of ancient human migrations. Ectoparasites (the head louse) and a range of intestinal parasites of such groups as the helminths, tapeworms, and trematodes can be used as a marker of contacts and/or migration of people. Finding helminth ova in ancient samples collected in territories outside the endemic pockets can be direct evidence of contacts and/or migrations of the ancient population. An example of reconstruction of such migrations is given by, for instance, finding ova of the ascarids and whipworm on the territories of the Far North, mountainous Altai, deserts of the Central Asia etc. A remarkable example of migrations, according to the archaeoparasitology data, is the use of the helminths as a marker of ancient human migrations, with the example of population of the American continent. It is noteworthy that almost a century old archaeoparasitology data find confirmation in the results of modern paleogenetic studies. In the recent decades, there have been review publications concerned with the finds of ova of various parasitic organisms in archaeological sites, many of which consolidated archaeoparasitology materials dealing with specific intestinal parasites, the impact of the parasites on the human evolution and their (viz., parasites and human) coevolution, and spread of the parasitic diseases as a result of climate changes both in ancient and modern times. All the works, without exception, emphasize the importance of archaeoparasitology data for the deeper understanding of these processes. However, although the first works on the reconstruction of migrations from parasitological data were published back in the beginning of the last century, the research works substantiating this approach and demonstrating its viability appeared only early in this century and elucidated biological pre-requisites for the reconstruction of migrations. Therefore, new broad consolidation of the materials on the reconstruction of migrations from the data of archaeoparasitology is motivated not only by the need of reconsideration of already existing and new data, but also by the need of examination and verification of the archaeoparasitology facts in the context of the genetic data, archaeology, anthropology etc.

Keywords: archeoparasitology, migrations, reconstructions, parasitosis, colonization of America, lice, geohelminths, cestodes.


Sleptsova A.V.

The origins of the population of Western Siberia in the Early Iron Age according to odontological data

The results of the study of the dental anthropology complexes of the population of the Sargatka, Gorokhovo and Kashino cultures of the Early Iron Age in Western Siberia are presented. The source base of the study is 490 individuals from burials located in the Tobol, Ishim, Irtysh River regions, as well as on the territory of the Baraba forest-steppe zone. The aim of this study is to reconstruct the origin and processes of the formation of the anthropological composition of the population of the Sargatka, Gorokhovo and Kashino cultures on the basis of new dental anthropological data. Trigonometrically transformed dental trait frequencies were subjected to the principal component analysis. Besides Sargatka, Gorokhovo and Kashino cultures samples, 17 Bronze Age and 27 Early Iron Age dental samples from different region of Eurasia were used for statistical comparison. The results of the statistical comparison may possible to make a several conclusions. The anthropological composition of the Gorokhov population and Sargat groups from the Tobol, Ishim and Irtysh River regions was significantly influenced by diachronic contacts with the descendants of the Andronovo tribes of the Southern Urals, and synchronous relation with the Savromats and Sarmatians of the Southern Urals. The population of the Sargatka culture and the Gorokhovo groups, simultaneously living on the territory of the Tobol River region in the 5th3rd centuries BC significantly different from each other. However, the subsequent close population relation between the Sargatka and Gorokhovo groups and their contacts with the Sarmatians contributed to the convergence of their anthropological composition. In the formation of the anthropological composition of the Sargatka population of Baraba forest-steppe zone the main role belongs to the local Late Bronze groups the Fedorovo Bronze Age population of Western Siberia and their descendants, people of the Irmen culture. The most specific is the anthropological composition of the Kashino population. The specificity of the small group of the Abatsky 3 burial of Kashino culture from the Ishim River region lies in the sharp predominance of the features of the “eastern” dental non-metric complex, which distinguishes this population from the groups of the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age of Western Siberia and adjacent territories.

Keywords: Western Siberia, Early Iron Age, dental anthropology, Sargatka Ñulture, Gorokhovo Culture, Kashino Culture.




Adaev V.N.

The Khanty of the Yugan River in the Demyanka River basin: formation of local identity

The study is focused on the deep taiga territory located in the upper and middle reaches of the Demyanka River Uvatsky district of Tyumen Oblast (Western Siberia, Russia). A particular case of the development of local identity in a small community of taiga inhabitants the Khanty reindeer herders from the Bolshoi Yugan River, who migrated in the first half of the 20th century to the basin of the neighbouring Demyanka River is presented. This study aims to examine in detail the mechanism of formation of local identity and to trace how a new territorial identity determines development of specific ethnic local community. The paper is largely based on field ethnographic materials collected in 20002020, as well as information from archival documents. The study builds upon a system analysis where the formation of a new local community is viewed through the prism of its changing external contacts and socio-cultural boundaries. There were identified the broken links with the historical homeland and new bonds that rooted the people into the new territory. The corresponding role of administrative transformations, socio-economic relations, marriage contacts, and religious beliefs has been established. The main markers of the local identity formed by the 1990s are territorial rooting, a sense of belonging to the region, a new legal status and consolidation of the considered Khanty community. Presently, the descendants of the Bolshoy Yugan Khantys living in the Demyanka River basin are undoubtedly a separate group within the Eastern Khantys with established local identity. Their territorial belonging includes, at the regional level, self-identification as inhabitants of the Uvatsky District, and at the local level, an upheld notion of the Demyanka Region as their homeland. The long isolated existence of the new Khanty community has already led to the emergence of some cultural characteristics that noticeably distinguish these Khanty people from their kin who live in the Bolshoi Yugan River basin.

Keywords: Siberian ethnography, indigenous people of the North, reindeer husbandry, migration, local ethnic communities, social contacts and isolation.


Tomilov N.A.

Economic and cultural types of the Turkic peoples of Siberia in scientific works of the mid-19th  first decades of the 21st century

The history of the Russian scientific research on the types of traditional culture of peoples using the scientific concept of economic-cultural types developed in the 1940s1950s is analysed. The main attention is given to the scientific works on the economic-cultural types of the Turkic peoples of Western and Southern Siberia the Tuvans, the Chulyms, groups of the Siberian Tatars Tomsk, Baraba, and Tobol-Irtysh, mainly focused on the period of 18th  beginning of the 20th century. The aim of this paper is to clarify the level of knowledge of the types of traditional culture of these peoples and to determine future directions of research on the topic. The periods of the study of the economic-cultural types have been identified. These are the 1950s–1970s, when a body of work on the typology of traditional culture was carried out and B.V. Andrianov and N.N. Cheboksarov developed their classification and published a worldwide map of economic-cultural types in 1972. Further on it is the period of the 1980s–1990s when the works in this direction were reducing and almost completely stopped in the first decades of the 21st century. However, it is at this time that the theory of integrated economic-cultural types has been formulated and tested during their study in different groups of the Siberian Tatars living predominantly in the transitional forest-steppe zone and combining components of the culture of populations with appropriative and productive types of economic activities. A task has been set to study economic complexes of the Tobol-Irtysh Tatars in the 17th–18th centuries aiming at the further use of obtained results in the development of an ethnographic classification of the types of traditional culture of the Turkic peoples of Western Siberia.

Keywords: Turkic peoples of Siberia, types of traditional everyday culture, household complexes, history of ethnographic studies of culture, method of formal typology, integrated economic and cultural types.


Burnakov V.A.

The veneration of “land-water” in the tradition of the northern KhakasKyzyls (late 19th  mid-20th century)

The paper discusses current scientific issues related to the study of the traditional worldview and ritualism of the Khakas people. The work is focused on the analysis of the traditional festival of veneration of “land-water” by the Kyzyls an ethnic group of the Khakas living in the northern part of Khakassia and in the south of Krasnoyarsk Krai. The characteristic of the ritual complex associated with the worship of the host-spirits is presented: the land spirits (mountains) tag taig, and the water spirits (springs, lakes, rivers) sug taiyg. The main sources of the research are unpublished field ethnographic materials. Archival ethnographic information related to this topic, collected in the 1970s by M.S. Usmanova and other researchers from the Tomsk State University, are introduced in the scientific discourse. In the process of studying the indicated problem, it was found that in the culture of the Khakas, including the Kyzyl people, an important place was given to the worship of their native land sher-sug taiyg. In the religious-mythological consciousness, its specific personification was the spirit-masters of the mountains tag eezi, and the water spirits sug eezi. This worldview was due to the natural landscape of the territory in which they live. It features a mountainous terrain with a range of diverse water bodies the streams, rivers, lakes, etc. The daily domestic life and economic activities of the ethnic community in question were directly related to them. It is argued that in the worldview of the people, connection between the human and nature goes beyond the framework of rational interaction. They were convinced of the close mystical interrelation of natural objects with the life and well-being of people. One of the common ways to maintain a steady balanced relationship between them was the rituals of sacrifice and celebration of these supernatural beings. It was found that in the cult practice of the Kyzyls, the sher-sug taiyg included two or even three specialized rites tag / kol / sug taiyg, which were closely interconnected with each other and formed a single ritual complex. This sacralized event was held on a regular basis. It had a collective nature with a strictly defined structure, incorporating the leader and other immediate participants, as well as the victim themselves.

Keywords: traditional worldview of the khakas, kyzyls, rite, sacrifice, earth, mountain, water, sher-sug taiyg, shaman, image, symbol.


Perevalova E.V.

Transformation of traditional reindeer herding technologies and pasturing practices on the Kola Peninsula in the 20th— early 21st century

The purpose of the article is to give an accent presentation of the transformation of technologies and techniques of reindeer grazing and value attitudes of the Kola reindeer herders in the 20th — early 21st century from an ethno-cultural perspective. The paper is based on the materials of the 2018 expedition to the Kola Peninsula. On the basis of using a system-analytical approach, the paper is structured as a narrative discourse, where the “floor” is given to the Kola reindeer herders themselves. As the studies show, the changes in the Kola reindeer husbandry brought about by the merger of the nomadic Samoyed-Izhem Culture, introduced to the Kola peninsula in the late 19th — early 20th century, with the semi-nomadic “cabin” Saami herding style, as well as by the Soviet period collective and state farm transformation of the traditional reindeer husbandry and the unfolding “snowmobile revolution” (the use of the reindeer sled has been reduced to one month in a year), have led not only to the loss of numerous traditional reindeer herding technologies, pasturing practices and herd control, but also to significant changes in the population composition, structure, and organization of the behavioral characteristics of the herds. Today, the Komi-Izhem reindeer husbandry is dominant in the Kola region. However, despite the major changes, the Kola herders are still quite flexible in using, depending on the circumstances, the advantages of both the Izhem and the Lapp reindeer husbandry systems. The return to the semi-free herds ranging practices and transition to rotational organization of reindeer herd tending in the post-Soviet period stimulated the economic revival of the herding industry and added more comfort to the reindeer herders' lifestyle, although the reindeer herding is not considered a prestigious occupation among young people. Rethinking the older generation's life experiences, together with the more critical perception of today's realities, is an indication of changes within the system of ethnic values, which formerly, in a sense, supported both the individual and collective identities of the Saami and Komi-Izhem ethnies. The transformation processes have had a particularly profound impact on the traditional Saami reindeer culture, almost destroying it, which causes painful memories and reactions of its last bearers. Displacement of the Lapp component is carried forward in the choice of preferred deer breeds and disappearance of the Saami language and Saami toponymy from the reindeer herding context.

Keywords: reindeer herding, Saami (Lapps), Komi-Izhem, Kola Peninsula, technologies, traditions, novations, the late 19th — early 20thcentury.


Romanova E.N., Stepanova L.B.

Anthropology of disease. In the wake of the Arctic Circle epidemics: field materials of I.S. Gurvich

The unique body of materials collected by the Soviet ethnographer and the North scholar I.S. Gurvich (19191992) in places of compact residence of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia (the Yukagir expedition of 1959) for the first time determined scientific interest in the problem of medical anthropology, which reflected original ideas about diseases and health as a vital unity (body and soul), as well as symbolic “charging” of medical practices. The purpose of this research is an attempt to understand the spiritual experience of the peoples of Yakutia in the context of social, epidemiological, and climatic disasters. An interpretation of the visual image of epidemics in the traditional worldview of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia is given. The main object of this research, which reconciles the past and present, is the traditional world of long-lasting “perception” and “experience” of mass epidemics by indigenous people of the North. The methodological innovation of the paper is the study of colonial diseases in the framework of social and cognitive anthropology. With the example of local ideas about diseases and treatment in different ethnic communities of North Asia (the Yakuts, Evens, and Yukagirs), we analyze a complex socio-cultural phenomenon that emerged in the 17th century from the historical contacts between local and foreign origin cultures. The cultural dimension of the epidemic diseases within the borders of the Arctic circle, based on the historical and ethnographic sources of the Northern expeditions of the Soviet ethnologist I.S. Gurvich, is the first attempt of the cognitive analysis, the image of the disease and symbolic strategies for its prevention. A broad semiotic analysis of the concept of disease in the indigenous peoples of the Arctic at the level of linguistic, historical, mythological, folklore and ritual texts allowed us to identify the original layer of demonological representations associated with mass epidemics and symbolic strategies for their prevention. Cultural codes of the demonic character-disease (space, color, object, action, ritual) are identified. Sacred practices of influencing the disease were expressed in the following ways: foresight; conciliation; gifting/redemption; deception techniques; and deliverance. Diseases are personified and encoded using certain characters. Obviously, the semiotic system serving the image of disease in the framework of the local ethno-cultural traditions reflected the local specifics.

Keywords: history of epidemics, medical anthropology, indigenous ethnic groups of the North-East of Russia, the population of the past, the anthropology of the disease, health-saving folk practices, the character and image of the disease, the language picture and the ritual context.


Yakovleva K.M., Yakovlev A.I.

The childbirth rituals of the Yakuts: traditions and modernity

The purpose of this paper is to consider the transformation of the maternity rites among the Yakuts from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 21st centuries. The area under research is the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Eastern Siberia. The main source base was represented by the authors' field materials collected in 2016-2018 in the Verkhnevilyuysky, Churapchinsky, Ust-Aldansky, and Megino-Kangalassky districts. The field studies were conducted using modern and traditional methods of qualitative sociology. The key methods of collecting field materials included modern historical-anthropological methods of inclusive observation, and expert and in-depth interviewing of local residents. The stages of the ritual behavior practiced in preparation for conception, pregnancy, during childbirth, and during the postpartum period, as well as aimed at survival of the newborn, have been identified and clarified. The study of the transformation of the maternity rites shows that in the modern culture of the Yakuts there are only few prohibitions related to the life of the child in the first days after birth, whereas other rituals have faded away due to the development of medicine and the loss of fear, among both women and society as a whole, of infertility or death of the woman in labor or the baby in the process of birth itself.

Keywords: transformation of traditional culture, life cycle ceremonies, maternity ceremonies, ritual, tradition, modernity, Yakuts, Yakutia.


Grigorev S.A.

Extraction of remains of the mammoth fauna and local communities of the Arctic territories of Yakutia at the end of the 20th century

Studying the consequences of exploitation of indigenous territories is an urgent topic of modern science. This study presents the result of the research on the history of the development of a special type of resources mammoth tusks in northern Yakutia. The paper is aimed at the analysis of impact of the new sector of the eco-nomy in the region on the local communities. It was also important to identify the sequence of the events that facilitated this development. The methodological basis of the study is represented by the historical method of analyzing archival data, periodicals, and legal and scientific literature on this subject. Sources for the paper included materials from the National Archive of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), regional periodicals, as well as legal and reference materials covering this crucial stage in the development of the local indigenous communities. Despite the fact that extraction of fossil mammoth bone has been carried out for a long time, its active development began only at the end of the 20th century. The formation and progress of such a new type of mining activity has left a special impression on the development of the local population engaged in the traditional farming. Opportunities and the weak state control in this area have created favorable conditions for the emergence of a special environment for economic relations. This has had a significant impact on social well-being of the local indigenous peoples. During this period, a special situation developed when, due to objective reasons, mammoth tusks turned from an object of natural origin that did not cause any interest into a valuable, highly sought resource. The gro-wing global demand for mammoth remains and the removal of barriers for external contacts in the Soviet Union stimulated the rapid development of the fundamentally different structure of socio-economic relations in the Arctic zone. As a result, this situation greatly influenced the state of the local indigenous communities. The areas of their traditional living became a territory of intensive development of “new resources”, which brought about real environmental and social threats, but also new opportunities. The new prospects, as well as the state unreadiness to regulate the emerging market of “wild” mammoth bone, created all conditions for the emergence of a special area of economic relations spanning the Arctic regions of Yakutia. This almost neglected factor undoubtedly had significant impact on the social well-being of the indigenous peoples living in the region at the end of the 20th century.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, Yakutia, fossil mammoth bone, industrial development, late 20th century, Arctic zone, environment, subsoil use.


Korandei F.S., Abramov I.V., Kostomarov V.M., Cherepanov M.S., Sheludkov A.V.

Provocative landscapes: a study of everyday cultural landscapes at the outskirts of agglomerations

The paper describes research principles and preliminary results of collaborative interdisciplinary research project aimed at the study of everyday cultural landscapes on the periphery of the Yekaterinburg and Tyumen urban agglomerations. The research design of the project implies a paradigm shift from expert reading of the landscapes to communicative learning of the environment, from the perception of the territories in question as resource reservoirs to their exploration as a domain of affordances providing opportunities for endogenous economic development. In 2020, an expedition worked in the villages of Tobolsk Zabolotye, in the cities of Irbit and Polevskoy of Sverdlovsk Oblast, and in the village of Belozerskoye of Kurgan Oblast. The cases and places deemed perspective in view of the application of the research method were characterized. This paper mainly provides an overview of the methodological principles that underpin our ongoing study, which should be considered only as an outline of the preliminary results of the first year of field work. The main source of the theoretical inspiration for the project design was the idea of affordances, coined by the American psychologist James J. Gibson, who studied the problems of perception. The main methodological objective of the project is to apply the theory of affordances to the field study of strategies for everyday landscape choice. In the 2020 field season, the design of the project, envisaging comparative perspective and increased mobility of researchers, was significantly influenced by the method of traveling interview. While working in Tobolsk Zabolotye, we followed everyday patterns of mobility, conducting interviews along the way, discussing with the respondents the hierarchy of places and territories, criteria for identifying vernacular regions, capacity of communication channels, modes of the mobility and its limitations. Concurrently, we were gaining the experience of non-discursive, embodied in materiality and corporeality, movement and recording local narratives of identity.

Keywords: edges of metropolitan areas, cultural landscape, ordinary landscape, everyday landscape, reading of landscape, affordances, processual landscape, sentient ecology, walking, resource paradigm, social anthropology, historical geography.


¹ 2 (53) (2021)



Gimranov D.O., Kosintsev P.A., Bachura O.P., Zhilin M.G., Kotov V.G., Rumyantsev M.M.

Small cave bear (U. ex gr. savini-rossicus) as a game species of prehistoric man

Imanay Cave is located in the Southern Urals (53°02' N, 56°26' E), at 420 m.a.s.l. A 9.5 m2 trench was excavated in the grotto in the inner part of the cave to examine the sediments. The accretion thickness was 1.2 m. The taphocoenosis of the Imanay Cave is of the Pleistocene age and contains about 10,000 specimens of bone remains of large mammals. They mostly belong to small cave bear (U. ex gr. savini-rossicus), and the remaining bones to species of the mammoth faunal complex (Lepus sp., Castor fiber, Marmota bobak, Canis lupus, Cuon alpinus, Vulpes vulpes, V. corsac, Meles sp., Gulo gulo, Martes sp., Mustela sp., Ursus kanivetz, U. arctos, U. thibetanus, Panthera ex gr. fossilis-spelaea, Mammuthus primigenius, Equus ferus, Coelodonta antiquitatis, Alces alces, Bison priscus, Saiga tatarica, Ovis ammon). In the layer with the bones, Middle Paleolithic stone artifacts were found, including several bifacial points. These tools have analogies in the Middle Paleolithic sites of the Caucasus region and Crimea. During excavations of the cave, the skull of a cave bear with artificial damage was found. The study of the artificial perforation on the skull was the purpose of the present paper. On the basis of dimensional and morphological features, it was established that the skull belongs to a small cave bear (U. ex gr. savini-rossicus). The skull was directly AMS radiocarbon dated to 34 940 ± 140 BP, IGANAMS-5652. Analysis of the growth layers in the teeth revealed that the animal died in winter at an age of 9-10 years. Trace evidence analysis showed, that the hole in the parietal region of the skull was made by a sharp bifacial flint point similar to the Middle Paleolithic points found in the cultural layer of the cave. The animal was killed during winter hibernation, most probably by stabbing with a spear. This is the first direct evidence of human hunting of a small cave bear. With the abundance of cave bear bones, the skull with the hole in it is the only evidence of human impact on this animal. There are no bones with traces of butchering and harvesting of the bone marrow.

Key words: small cave bear, Late Pleistocene, Middle Paleolithic, hunting, South Urals, Imanay Cave.


Durakov I.A., Mylnikova L.N.

Bronze-casting workshops of the Vengerovo-2 settlement (Baraba forest steppe)

The formation of the early bronze-casting production in Baraba and the appearance of products of the Seima-Turbino type were completed within the 3rd early 2nd mil. BC during the existence of the Krotovo Culture. Plenty of work has been devoted to its characterization; the presence of bronze-casting on the sites has been noted, but special studies of this type of sources are extremely few. The purpose of this paper is to present the characteristics of the production areas associated with the processing of non-ferrous metals, based on materials of the Vengerovo-2 settlement of the Krotovo Culture. Production sites were studied in six dwellings of the settlement. The uniformity of the workshops has been revealed in terms of site planning and principles of organization of the production, although differences in scale have been noted. The use of two types of the forges has been recorded. In all these workshops and in other sites of the culture, a multifunctional sub-rectangular hearth buried in the ground with the walls and floor lined with fragments of ceramics or clay coating was found (with dimensions of 1.65×0.87–2.3×0.9×0.21–0.52 m). The second type of the forges is less common a small round or oval pit (0.4–0.5 m in diameter) with the bottom and walls lined with baked clay or fragments. The smelting was carried out with forced air supply. The casting of the metal was taking place next to the forge. Crushed bones were used as fuel. The production complex demonstrates extensive external economic and commercial ties. This is manifested by penetration of significant volumes of non-ferrous metal into the ore-barren areas of the Central Baraba, as well as by the presence of imported foundry equipment (molds made of marl and talc). The simultaneous presence inside the casters’ dwellings of bones of taiga-zone animals and those living in the southern, steppe regions indicates significant length of the supply routes. The specific features and unification of the production of the manufacturing equipment, nature of the work carried out, volume of heats, and a large number of similar-type forms suggest specialization of the village in the bronze casting production.

Key words: Krotovo culture, Baraba forest steppe, Western Siberia, bronze-casting sectors, production, technology.


Gyul T.I.

On the dynastic cult of the rulers of Bukhara Sogd in the Early Middle Ages (to the interpretation of the murals of the Varakhsha palace)

Varakhsha hillfort is located in the Bukhara oasis (Uzbekistan). From the 6th to 8th c., it was the residence of the rulers of Bukhara Sogd. Archaeological investigations of the Varakhsha were carried out in the late 1930s, and then later in 1947 and 19491954. During the excavations of the palace, wall paintings were discovered in the Red (Hindu) and East (Blue) Halls (7th–8th c.). In the East Hall, the center of the art composition on the south wall was dominated by a massive figure of a ‘king’ with a golden sword, seated on a throne with protomas of winged camels. Depicted next to him was a group of five people sitting on their knees the king's family. The elder man is making an offering to the fire on an altar. On the base of the altar, there is a male figure, seated on a throne in the form of a lying camel. This figure represents Vretragna, the Avestan deity of Victory. Mythogenically, Vretragna is close to the Vedic god of thunder Indra. In Avesta, Vretragna appears in various guises: a Bactrian camel; the bird of prey Varagn; a man with a golden sword. In Sogdian iconography, the image of the Bactrian camel is most often associated with Vretragna. The characters of the murals in the Blue Hall (the king’s family) bring offering to the fire lit in tribute to the deity to Vretragna. The central figure of this composition was identified by V.A. Shishkin as a king. In our opinion, it rather depicts Vretragna. This is implicitly indicated by the protomas of the throne in the form of winged camels and by the image of ‘the king with the golden sword’. The walls of the Red Hall of Varakhsha were decorated with a scene of hunters riding elephants. Each elephant was ridden by a servant-mahout and a lord, whose figure would be disproportionately large. They are slaying huge monsters. According to researchers, an image of the Sogdian deity Adbag is repeated here. The epithet ‘Adbag’ ‘Supreme deity’ is associated with Ahuramazda. B.I. Marshak and A.M. Belenitsky note, that here Adbag-Ahuramazda is likened to Indra riding a white elephant. It seems to us quite probable that such an epithet could be applied to various gods of a high status. Notably, it could be Vretragna depicted here, who is akin to Indra. We think that the image of Vretragna held a special place in the visual arts of Varakhsha, as the patron deity of the Bukhar-Khudat dynasty. He was depicted in the center of the composition in the Blue Hall in his Avestan hypostasis, and in the Red Hall he was depicted in the form of Indra.

Key words: Central Asia, Early Middle Ages, Bukhara’s (Western) Sogd, Varakhsha, monumental art, Avesta, zoolatry, Vretragna, Indra, Farnbag, dynastic cult.


Papin D.V., Stepanova N.F., Fedoruk A.S., Fedoruk O.A., Loman V.G.

Pottery traditions of the Andronovo (Fedorovo) population of the steppe Altai (based on materials from the settlement of Zharkovo-3)

Zharkovo 3 settlement is located in the south of Western Siberia in the steppe Altai. The site was studied by archaeologists of the Altai State University and they discovered two building horizons: one of the Andronovo time (one house was studied) and the other of the Late Bronze Age (two structures and a soot pit). The paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of the Andronovo (Fedorovo) ceramics of the Zharkovo 3 settlement. Fragments of 74 different vessels were used to analyze the ornamentation. The method of V.F. Gening was used. The authors conducted the analysis of shapes and ornamentation of the ancient tableware, and analysis of the technology of its manufacture. It has been established that the collection contains vessels of cap- and pot-shaped forms, the predominant technique of ornamentation of which is stamping. The ornamental compositions mainly consist of four or more different motifs. A series of 49 samples, apparently from 47 vessels, was subjected to technical and technological analysis. The method of study of ceramics, developed by A.A. Bobrinsky and followers of his school within the framework of the historical and cultural approach, was used. The potters of the village preferred medium-plastic clay of medium iron content as the raw material. The main recipe for the paste composition was ‘clay + chamotte + organics’. Research into the construction of the pottery has revealed consistent skills in its manufacture. The patchwork-lumpy and spiral-patchwork methods of forming the vessel hollow body, recorded in the settlement, are characteristic of the Andronovo ceramics throughout its distribution area. It can be stated that the Andronovo population, who left the pottery of the Zharkovo 3 settlement, achieved a certain unity of cultural traditions in selection of the raw materials and paste composition. Almost all vessels of the site exhibited the use of the same type of mineral additives chamotte. Deviations in concentration and dimension of its particles are associated with individual differences in the skills of the potters of the settlement. The presence on the site of individual vessels with pronounced differences in manufacturing technology should be regarded as examples of imports.

Key words: Bronze Age, Altai, ceramics, technology, Andronovo Ñulture.


Grushin S.P., Merts I.V., Merts V.K., Ilyushina V.V., Fribus A.V.

Semiyarka IV burial complex of the Middle Bronze Age (Eastern Kazakhstan)

The paper is aimed at the analysis of the Middle Bronze Age materials from the Semiyarka IV burial ground in East Kazakhstan. In 20162018, two stone fences on the site were investigated by a joint expedition of the Altai and Pavlodar State Universities. The two fences contained human burials, inhumed in a wooden structure and in a composite stone cist box. The purpose of this work is to determine regional features and chronology of the Semiyarka IV funerary complex, as well as details of the ethnocultural development of the local population in the Middle Bronze Age. The research methodology includes analyses of the planigraphy and stratigraphy, comparative and typological study of the artifacts, anthropological investigation, examination of the pottery manufacturing technology, and radiocarbon dating. The technical and technological analysis of the pottery production was carried out using the method of A.A. Bobrinsky. Radiocarbon dates from wood and human bone samples were obtained by the liquid scintillation method in the archaeological technology laboratory of the Institute for the History of the Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The dates were then calibrated using CALIB 8.2 program and IntCal 20 calibration curve. The body of collected data allows us to conclude that the Andronovo burial ground of Semiyarka IV is distinguished by its syncretism which is manifested in two different cultural components. The first component, ‘Central Kazakhstan’, is represented by the architectural traditions of building stone fences and graves cemented with a clay mortar, as well as by the presence of chamotte in the pottery containing additives traditional for the population of Central Kazakhstan. The second component, ‘Siberian’, is represented by the tradition of building wooden crypts, and in the ceramics complex, by some peculiar ornamental patterns typical of the eastern Ob River valley. The site is dated to the turn of the 18th/17th 16th c. BC. The architectural similarities of the Semiyarka IV burial ground structures with the Yenisei sites suggest that their origin is associated with the Irtysh River region. The migration period of the mobile Andronovo communities to the northeast is dated to the 17th c. BC.

Key words: East Kazakhstan, Middle Bronze Age, Andronovo cultural and historical community, funeral rite, migrations, ceramics.


Zakh V.A.

Incense burners and altar dishes of the Sargatka Culture

The paper concerns the so-called incense burners and small altar dishes found in the burial complexes of the Sargatka Culture in the forest-steppe region of the Western Siberia, as well as in the burials of the Cis-Urals nomads of the 4th–2nd c. BC, which were used for burning and incensing of various substances. Compilation of materials allows forming a clearer view on the possible function of these objects, which is debatable amongst the researchers. The incense burners are small cylindrical stone or pottery vessels with considerable amount of talcum in the pottery clay. The altar dishes represent round, oval or subrectangular objects made of stone and clay with or without legs. The cylinder-shaped incense burners and altar dishes are, apparently, similar in function to each other. The absence of a high rim on the latter is compensated by a large area of the dish itself. The volume of the incensed substance would be nearly the same in both types of the burners, while sustaining burning on the altar-dishes would not require special means, such as wall penetrations alike those in the cylindrical incense burners. Few preserved burials contain incense burners alongside other, in our opinion related, objects flat-bottom vessels, sometimes with stone bases, which allows reconstruction of the implement in its assembled form and suggestion of a method of its application. The main item was an incense burner a container of a cylindrical or conical shape, usually with through-holes in the wall to allow air intake inside the ware, sometimes having nipple-shaped protrusions on the inner surface of the bottom increasing the surface area of contact with the incense substance. The incense burner would have been placed in a flat-bottom jar filled with smoldering embers and installed on a fire-resistant base. The studied objects and their handling resemble the ceremonial described by Herodotus as a ritual purification amongst the Scythians. However, in our opinion, it cannot be ruled out that they could have been used in the rituals involving hallucinogenic substances, performed with the aim of prophesizing, divination, to communicate with gods and spirits, which were practised by people of the Sarmatian and Sargatian (at least in the western part of the area) Cultures and administered, most likely, by special, elected persons. When those persons die, the implements would be placed into their burials as a grave goods.

Key words: Western Siberia, Sargatka Culture, settlements, burials, flat-bottomed vessel, incense burner, altar dishes, ritual ceremonies.


Tataurov S.F., Tikhonov S.S.

‘Polish-Lithuanian’ archaeological materials from the excavations of the town of Tara

In this article, the authors analyse materials from the excavations of the Tara fortress (Omsk Region, Wes-tern Siberia), founded in 1594 by Prince Andrei Yeletsky and functioned as the main outpost of the Russians in the Middle Irtysh region to counter Khan Kuchum, the Kuchumovichs, and then the newly-arrived population from Dzungaria and Kazakhstan, until construction of the Omsk fortress in 1716. The aim of this research is to identify amongst the finds the articles of Polish-Lithuanian origin, in outward appearance similar to Russian ones. Having studied the collections formed during the excavations of the fortress in 20072020, the authors came to the conclusion that such items are definitely represented by the signet rings with nobility coats of arms, coins, and baptismal crosses made according to the Catholic canon. Potentially, Polish-Lithuanian origin could be assigned to some types of fabrics and leather goods, such as a travel compass case with images of French fleur-de-lis, some types of shoes, and handgun holsters. The presence of Venetian glass ware and plinth bricks in the layers of the 17th c., according to the authors, is also associated with the arrival in Tara of the population that had previously resided in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or on the western borders of Muscovy. The owners of these items ended up in Tara (and in Western Siberia) because they were taken prisoners or sided with the Russians during the Russian-Polish wars. Over time, they formed a special category of service people called ‘Lithuania’. This is evidenced by numerous written sources. The basis for this conclusion is given by particular characteristics of Tara's trade relations established, primarily, with China, Lesser and Greater Bukharia, and the Uzbek Khanate, i.e., with the south in the 17th c., from where Chinese porcelain, silk and cotton fabrics, and some types of smo-king pipes came to Tara. At that time, weapons, bread, coarse fabrics, money for salaries of the servicemen of the Siberian garrisons, and cheap beads were imported to Tara from the west through Kazan, Kungur, and Lozva. In the 18th c., the main trade of the Russians began to concentrate in Troitskosavsk (Kyakhta since 1934) on the border with Mongolia, from where tea, silk, and porcelain were exported, whereas a flow of Russian-made goods, as well as European wines, sugar, some species of nuts, and spices, was established through Kazan into Siberia. Instead of ’Lithuania’, Germans started coming to Siberia. In the 19th c., Poles reappeared en masse in Western Siberia. However, those were no longer residents of Lithuania and Western Russian principalities, but ethnic Poles exiled to Siberia for participation in anti-Russian uprisings.

Key words: archeology of Western Siberia, Russian fortresses, ethnos, trade, “Lithuania”, Russians.


Kulakov V.I.

Sudovians in Sambia in the 13th14th centuries

The aim of the proposed work is to ascertain, based on archeological data and written sources, the presence of individuals of the easternmost tribe from the community of the Western Balts — Sudins/Yotvingians. Both scientific data from old German excavations and the latest archaeological research in the Zelenogradsk district of the Kaliningrad region are introduced into the scientific discourse. There are no funeral monuments of the Teutonic Order in the territory of the ‘Sudovian corner’ (Lat. Campus Sudowitarum) in the northwestern part of the Sambia peninsula. Ethnographic data on this part of the Amber Coast, provided by the local history manuscripts of the 16th–17th c., include data on the West Baltic population of Western Sambia without actual confirmation of its tribal affiliation. In fact, authors of Polish written sources of the Order time do not draw distinction between the Sudins and Prussians either. Individual burials of male warriors and women with features characteristic of the Sudovian funeral rituals were found at the Prussian burial grounds of the Northern Sambia. Anthropological data confirm this conclusion. In the eastern part of the Prussian tribal area, occupied by the Prussians in the pre-Order times, according to the dating of the burial grounds, two burials with spearheads were encountered amongst the complexes of the 14th c., which can be tentatively associated with bearers of the Sudovian traditions. The low representation of the Sudovian burials at Prussian burial grounds attests to the fact that the Order authorities could have appointed individual representatives of the Sudovian aristocracy, who sided with the conquerors, in order to strengthen the Order in the local polcas (volosts). Using the linguistic and cultural closeness with the Sembians, these Sudins possessed military power (presence of spearheads in the burials, with the common absence of weapons in the Prussian community graves) and could have been collecting taxes on behalf of the Order (the presence of a Western European moneybag in burial Ve-161). The seemingly unnatural presence of the Baltic warriors in the service of the Teutonic Order is symbolized by the decoration of the buckle from burial Ve-161, which bears the coat of arms of the Order and a stylized image of the mythical companion of God Perkuno — the sacred goat, an object of the Prussian sacrifices, presented here as a symbol of the native spiritual traditions.

Key words: southeastern Baltic, Sudavians, Yatvyag, order time.




Istomina Yu.A.

The ornament of Tara and Baraba Tatars: archeological and ethnographic analysis

The article concerns the ornament of the Turkic-speaking population of Western Siberia, namely, the Baraba and Tara Tatars. They represent local groups of Siberian Tatars and live in the territory of modern Novosibirsk and Omsk Regions. The issue of the development of the ornament of the Baraba and Tara Tatars is still open, as the materials of the 17th18th centuries have yet been little touched upon. Since the end of the 20th century, due to the excavations, such opportunity has presented itself. The objective of this study is to identify ornamental elements, to form a core of the ornament for the Baraba and Tara Tatars, and to consider what became of these elements. Two types of sources were used in the study: archaeological and ethnographic. The archaeological materials are represented by the ornamented ceramics and decorations from the monuments of the Omsk Irtysh and Barabinsk forest-steppe of the 17th18th centuries. The ethnographic materials date mainly to the end of the 19th20th centuries and include headdresses, clothes, shoes, and jewelry. We identified elements separately for each complex of objects of the Tara and Baraba Tatars, viz., archaeological and ethnographic, and, based on this, general tables were composed. The objective of the compilation was to identify similar ornamental base, which made it possible to identify common elements inherent to the Baraba and Tara Tatars, and elements specific to only one group. As a result, significant similarity in the elements, motifs, zonality, and composition were observed. This similarity appears within the archaeologically recorded time and in the 19th20th centuries. Ethno-cultural, social, family-marital relations, political and military actions, and migration to each other's territory were determining assimilation of the cultural traits. Meanwhile, the cultures of the Baraba and Tara Tatars had diffe-rences, which were due to their ethnocultural contacts. In the case of the Tara Tatars, this is manifested in a wider use of combed stamps. Their crockery featured a variety of compositions of the elements. Ceramics of the Baraba Tatars, on the contrary, was decorated with impressions and figured stamps. In the 19th20th centuries, the ornament of the Baraba Tatars is distinguished by the use of wavy lines and corniform elements. Their ornamentation is characterized by geometrization (simple figures and complex elements). The ornament of the Tara Tatars is characterized by the use of floral motifs.

Key words: Western Siberia, Siberian Tatars, XVIIXX centuries, analysis, ornament, element, composition.


Bereznitsky S.V.

Sacred components of hunting and fishing technologies of the indigenous peoples of the Amur-Sakhalin Region

The article, by means of the comparative-historical method, critical analysis of scholarly concepts, and use of ethnographic materials, deals with the study of the complex of beliefs and rituals of indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East (Nanais, Negidals, Nivkhs, Orochs, Udeges, Uilta, Ulchs, and Evenks) as a sacred component of their traditional and modern hunting and fishing technologies. The term ‘technology’ originates from the Ancient Greek philosophy by the development of the doctrine of ‘techne’ as an art by which things are made. Technology is based on notion and supersedes the role of the chance in human life and activities, which expedites the process of adaptation to the nature. The ritual preceding production of a tool or a vehicle is performed to improve quality of the item to ensure its more productive use in hunting and fishing. In the culture of indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East, there are known examples of invocation of magic, cults, beliefs, and rituals to secure hunter’s luck in fabrication of hunter carriers, tools for hunting marine and terrestrial animals, and traps. Beliefs and rituals serve as the sacred components of the hunting and fishing technologies, which have the utmost importance for sustainable life of the indigenous population. The main conclusion is that, in spite of some differences in the economy, degree of settlement and mobility, and the level of influence of nonethnic cultures, undoubtedly, the results of hunting, fishing, off-shore seal catching, deer breeding, and foraging depend on personal experience, rational knowledge of the qualities of plants, weather signs, and migration times and habits of animals, and on the quality of the trade equipment, transport, clothes and footwear. However, these aspects are not sufficient and the hunters resort to the sacral components of the hunting and fishing technologies transport means are ‘enlivened’, by magic means they are imparted with the qualities of living beings people or animals. With the help of amulets, the hunters strengthen their trade qualities agility, perception-reaction time, and intuition. Prohibitions are observed, which are aimed at decreasing dependence on chance and increasing hunting productivity. The rational technologies, aimed at the survivance of the ethnos, are complemented by the sacred components, so that people cling to the help of supernatural powers.

Key words: indigenous peoples, Lower Amur and Sakhalin, hunting and fishing technologies, beliefs and rituals.


Yaptik E.S.

Homo technicus mobilis in Yamal

The author attempts to investigate how new infrastructure and new technical means affect the social institutions of the indigenous inhabitants of the Yamal Peninsula, who were mainly engaged in traditional activities: nomadic reindeer herding and fishing. The work is based on the author's field materials of 20182020 for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District (Western Siberia) and publications of other researchers. The paper shows how the autochthonous peoples build new mobile space and master snowmobiles. Domination over the created space takes place with the aid of traditional skills and behaviors. At the same time, deer, which was the main transport animal and the main measure of wealth of Arctic reindeer herders, has not receded into the background, but transformed into a means of technical modernization of the economy. As a result, it has been shown that, when choosing technical innovations, the indigenous people of Yamal are guided by their ease of operation, high cross-country capability and environmental friendliness, preferring the domestically produced Buran in daily routine. Snowmobiles can be found in almost all reindeer herding families, and only their high price indicates the standing of the owners and allows the latter to demonstrate their status in the society. ‘Buranists’ are involved in the market relations, occupying their niches in the system of commodity-exchange relations in the society. They act as an information and communication link between reindeer herders' camps and settlements. Snowmobiles are vivid examples of adaptation of indigenous people to new conditions and demonstrate possibility of coexistence of traditional reindeer farming culture with modern technologies. The Arctic nomad turned from a mobile man into homo technicus mobilis. This transformation appeared to be only on the outside, as evidenced by frequent accidents during the operation of snowmobiles. The proper use of such technologies in many respects offers competitive advantages to local entrepreneurs. New vehicles boost the entrepreneurial activity of the natives, involve them in the non-traditional sectors of employment: repair and resale of snowmobiles, transportation; and delivery of fuels, where natives can employ traditional knowledge of orientation, satisfy their passion for moving, and to avail themselves of the opportunity to choose a lifestyle and transport, without parting with their mobile lifestyle.

Key words: Yamal, Western Siberia, Nenets, supvival reindeer husbandry, mobility, snowmobile, “Buran”, transport.


Golovnev I.A., Golovneva E.V.

Images of Sakhalin in the research legacy of B.O. Pilsudsky (based on materials of the Far-Eastern archives)

In modern anthropology, researchers pay increasing attention to photographic data as a category of historical/ethnographic documents. This article is based on visual and anthropological materials of Bronislaw Pilsudsky (1866–1918), a renowned researcher of Sakhalin ethnic groups, collected by the authors from the archives and museums in the Far East during the expedition in JuneAugust 2019. The study is focused on Pilsudsky’s photographic and manuscript collections on the ethnography of the Nivkhs reposited in holdings of the Sakhalin Regional Museum (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) and the Society for Research on the Amur Region (Vladivostok). Many of these photographic documents, being unique evidence of the evolution of the material and spiritual culture of the indigenous people of Sakhalin at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, are introduced into the scientific discourse for the first time. The photographic materials are analyzed from the historical and anthropological perspectives, in conjunction with the published papers and archival manuscripts of the scientist (in particular, “Wants and needs of the Sakhalin Gilyaks”). Correlation of the textual and visual materials shows that B. Pilsudsky represented Sakhalin in a series of images: the island of native dwellers (traditional lifestyle of the Gilyaks) the island of convicts (colonization of the territory, involuntary-settlement community) the island of autonomies (cultural and economic zoning). In the course of his studies, B. Pilsudsky used concurrently textual description of the impressions and their photographic capture. The key feature of the scientific work of B. Pilsudsky of this period was the absence of a “metric” perspective he photographed his characters in their natural habitat, in their daily routine. The conclusion is drawn on the archive photographs as multi-layered visual-anthropological documents on their time, which under a proper critical research perspective constitute valuable historical sources of scientific interest for studies in a wide range of the humanities.

Key words: Bronislav Pilsudsky, visual anthropology, photo-document, Nivkhs, Sakhalin.


Musagazhinova À.A., Kabidenova Zh.D.

Ritual and ceremonial functions of the Saryarka Kazakh food (20th21st centuries)

The study is aimed to identify the functions of the semiotic models in everyday food practices in the context of ritual and ceremonial activities. The objective of the research is the food practices extant in the modern Kazakh culture in the form of traditional beliefs and folklore. An ethnographic field research was carried out to collect materials in the Northern and Central Kazakhstan by means of structured interview, photographic documenting, and video recording. Using specially designed questionnaires and focused checklists, 120 respondents were interviewed, 80 checklists completed, and 7 recipes and cooking technologies of traditional Kazakh cuisine characte-ristic to the region were recorded with respect to the traditional diet. The ethnicity of the respondents is Kazakhs. In our study, we used methods based on historical, cultural, ethnographic, semiotic, and hermeneutic analyses. The results of the research, collected during the field study, showed that in the modern everyday practices of the Kazakh ethnic group, there are established models of transfer of cultural experience from one generation to ano-ther. It has been found that the traditional ideas of the dietary culture have been preserved with the support of religious values. Rituals and ceremonies in the food culture of the modern Kazakh ethnic group are relevant for activities related to the life cycle of a person, from their birth, adulthood, to their funeral. Various types of beliefs and superstitions in food practices are considered, which in the traditional Kazakh culture reflect the close entwinement of cosmogonic and religious worldviews within the triune of ‘Man, Nature, and God’. A set of ethical rules, related to the prohibitions and behavior at a meal in the food culture, is presented. Some surviving recipes of the traditional Kazakh cuisine have been identified. In the modern Kazakh society, along with the transformation of the food culture, however, traditional cultural patterns and models prevail, notably, those formed during the pre-Islamic period and later on, taking into account the Islamic component.

Key words: Northern and Central Kazakhstan, Kazakh cuisine, food culture, ritual, symbol, belief, sign.


Stasevich I.V.

The challenge of the time: reproduction of ‘forgotten’ traditions in the modern Kazakh culture

This paper is based on the materials on the traditional and modern Kazakh culture. The author analyzes some ritual practices of the life cycle, which are founded on the traditional scenario but understood by the modern Kazakhs at a new level and often are vested with a new sense and significance. The main sources of the conducted research are represented by the field observations of the author and information from the Kazakh Internet resources concerning the problems of administering principal life-cycle rituals. Regular and systematic field investigations allow us to register the dynamics of formation and evolution of such practices over a fairly short time span of within 1015 years. It is this period over which they can develop from innovation into tradition. This approach provides possibility of studying the forms and the way of the transformation of a tradition from the historical perspective. The author pays special attention to the strategies of sustaining the continuity in present-day life-cycle ritualism and to the mechanisms of the formation of the local and regional identity in present-day conditions. Locally synchronous view of the tradition demonstrates the reflection of the individual on the challenge of the time, their ability to adapt to the changing external and internal conditions. This dynamic provides the very process of the transformation of the traditions, reconsideration of the ‘regional’ initiatives imposed from above and their transition into local variants. Each tradition had once been an innovation; examination of the modern forms of ritua-lism over a short time span allows capturing the process of establishing new customs, behavioral stereotypes, and the ways of their preservation and propagation over several decades. Innovations appear, as a rule, in the periods of relative social and cultural instability, when a certain discontinuity occurs between the worldview and ideological norms of the generations in response to the changing conditions of their existence. In the present-day Kazakh culture, the pace of alteration of the rites is considerably higher than that in a traditional society; however, the current demand for the ritual accompaniment of the stages of the human life cycle warrants reproduction of main traditional practices and creation of new practices on the basis of rethinking of the traditional patterns.

Key words: Kazakhs, life-cycle rites, reproduction of traditions, regional and local identity.


Dmitrieva T.N.

Russian development and toponymy of the Pelym region according to written and field sources of the 18th–21st centuries

The paper is aimed at the study of the under-investigated Russian toponymy of the north of the Sverdlovsk Region, specifically, of the oikonyms the names of villages along the lower reaches of the Pelym River. The basin of the Pelym River, a tributary of the Tavda River, is of interest as the Mansi native territory. It is also an area of the early land development by the Russians beyond the Urals, which began at the end of the 16th century. The objective of this study is to establish the origins of the earliest layer of names of the Russian villages along the Pelym River and to trace the history of their functioning from the 18th century to the present day. The work is based on the material of historical documents (customs books of the town of Pelym of the second half of the 17th century), information from written, statistical, and cartographic sources (travel materials of academician G.F. Müller of 1742, expeditions of B. Munkácsi in 1888–1889, lists of the settlements of the Ural and Sverdlovsk regions, and modern maps of the region), as well as field materials of the 1960s collected by the Ural University Toponymic Expedition. Research methods include descriptive, etymological, comparative, reconstruction, and statistical analysis of linguistic material. It has been ascertained that almost all considered oikonyms have anthroponomical origins and are derived from the surnames of first settlers. They reflect the history of the deve-lopment of the Pelym region, including its active settlement by the Russian riflemen Streltsy (villages Krivonogova, Khudyakova, Kuznetsova, Tolmacheva etc.). The names of the Russian villages which were founded in the Mansi native territory were subjected to adaptation in the Mansi language, or the Mansi were gi-ving them their own names, which is clearly shown by the materials of B. Munkácsi of the late 19th century (Ponomareva village → Panamarovskaya in Russian and Varaulėχ-pɵwėl in Mansi, Kadaulova (Kaidaulova) village → Khɵitėl-p. in Mansi etc.). Of the 17 Russian oikonyms of the lower Pelym known in the 18th century and recorded by G.F. Müller in the description of his travel in 1742, only one has survived to this day the name of the village of Vekshina, which is still extant. The memory of the disappeared Pelym villages and their names are preserved by the local microtoponyms present on the modern maps, as well as by the surnames of the descendants of the inhabitants of these villages.

Key words: Pelym, Tavda, Pelym volost, Sverdlovsk region, Russian development of Siberia, toponymic landscape, Russian-Mansi interaction, Russian toponymy, oikonyms.


Čepaitienė R.

The GULAG experience in cultural narratives and collective identity of post-Soviet Lithuania

In this paper, the tendencies of rethinking the GULAG in the cultural memory of post-Soviet Lithuania (after 1990) are analyzed. The sources for the analysis were represented by ego-documents, literary works, and visual arts (movies and comics). The author draws attention to the specifics of female and, in part, children’s experience of the deportation, to the ways of perceiving, rethinking, and reproducing collective trauma in an ethno-historical context, to the role of post-memory in the formation and support of the national identity in the modern Lithuanian society. In recent years, in the field of perpetuating the memory of the Stalinist period in Lithuania, the public attention is increasingly shifted from the direct and authentic evidence to heterogeneous visually striking artistic representations. This shift in the focus of interest can be explained by the generational change, which warrants the search for a new stylistic language and message forms. As a result, works are created that belong to the field of post-memory, which are characterized by a higher degree of adaptability of the traumatic experience of previous generations to the knowledge and mentality of modern viewers / readers, as well as by attempt to increase their attractiveness through vivid and memorable characters and stories. The main difference between the most literarily valuable texts of the ‘first’ and the ‘second’ generation of the Lithuanian authors can basically be described as a different degree of ontological intensity. If the former authors seek to comprehend the experienced repressions within the framework of existentialism (Grinkevičiūtė and Kalvaitis) or Christian metaphysics (Dirsyte and Miškinis), then the latter authors, for obvious reasons, no longer achieve this level of reflection on the extremely traumatic experience, focusing on embedding their personal biographies into the great historical narrative about the “struggle and sorrows” of the nation, which has already become canonical.

Key words: Lithuania, Siberia, GULAG, deportations, national identity, collective trauma, post-memory.


¹ 1 (52) (2021)



Lychagina E.L., Demakov D.A., Chernov A.V., Zaretskaya N.E., Kopytov S.V., Lapteva E.G., Trofimova S.S.

Human palaeoenvironment in the Upper Kama River basin: experience of reconstruction

Here, we present the results of comprehensive (archaeological and palaeoecological) studies undertaken in 20142018 in the basin of the Upper Kama River in the north of Perm Region, eastern part of the East European Plain. The main objects for the research were archaeological sites, primarily their chronological attribution and localization specifics. In total, 100 sites belonging to a wide chronological range from the Mesolithic to the Late Middle Ages were identified in the study area. The palaeochannel method was used to identify the association of the archaeological sites to certain landscapes within the river valley. As a result, five morphologically diverse sectors have been identified. For the reconstruction of natural landscapes and plant communities, palynological and plant macrofossil methods were used. Radiocarbon analysis was used to date these events. The initial human habitation of the Upper Kama region took place in the early Holocene, after the formation of the 2nd and 1st river terraces. The Mesolithic sites have been dated to this period. They were located either on the second river terrace, or on the bedrock valley side. In the Middle Holocene, along with the spread of broad-leaved species in forests, 6th–5th floodplain generations were formed, and the river was characterized by high water content. The Neolithic sites located on the Kama river terraces belong to this period. In the end of the Middle Holocene, the maximum distribution of spruce forests began. This was the time of existence of the Garin Chalcolithic Culture settlements. They were located either on the 4th5th floodplain generations, or on the bedrock valley side. In the end of the Subboreal and first half of the Subatlantic periods, a key role in the forest stand was played by pine, forming southern taiga light coniferous forests. The water content of the Kama decreased. The sites of the Early Iron Age, located on low terraces or in the floodplain, are dated to this time. In the second half of the Subatlantic period of the Holocene, forests acquired modern mid-taiga appearane, which coincided with the arrival of the medieval population. Medieval hillforts were located on the bedrock valley sides, and the settlements were associated with river terraces, shores of oxbow lakes and floodplains of small rivers.

Key words: the Upper Kama, archaeology, radiocarbon, paleochannel, spore-pollen and plant macrofossi analyses, Holocene.


Matveeva N.P., Prokonova M.M., Ovchinnikov I.Iu.

On the development of the Sargatka Culture in the Tobol River basin region (based on materials of the Ustyug-1 burial ground)

The article is concerned with characteristics of funeral traditions of the Sargatka Culture population based on materials of the Ustyug-1 burial ground located in the Zavodoukovsky District of Tyumen Region. Six barrows of the Early Iron Age were studied in the area. Mounds 5 (5th3rd c. BC), 51 and 52 (5th4th c. BC) belong to the early stage of the culture. Sargatka burials of mounds 27 and 49 (3rd2nd c. BC) were made during the middle stage. Burial from mound 56 (2nd3rd c. AD) belongs to the final period of the Sargatka Culture of the Early Iron Age. Thus, burials in the Ustyug-1 necropolis were made during the entire time of existence of the Sargatka Culture. The comparison of different periods of functioning of the cemetery within the same culture and microregion revealed a number of characteristic features of the complex in the context of the historical development of the Early Iron Age cultures in the forest-steppe zone. Furthermore, it was possible to trace the process of formation of the culture in the Tobol River basin, the composition and status of the individual groups of the population, and the nature of cultural ties. We conclude that the variation between the objects of different periods reflects the deve-lopmental stages of the Sargatka Culture in the local microregion. In the early stage of the culture, part of its population migrated from the east into the Tobol basin region. It was transformed here under the influence of local groups of the Baitovo Culture on the one hand, and certain groups of steppe nomads on the other. The burial rite of the local population changed dramatically as a result of contacts between the bearers of the Sargatka Culture and nomadic groups. This indicates the strengthening of the Iranian worldview component in the Sargatka environment. At the next stage, the interaction of the local population with the nomads of the Sarmatian circle became more active, and the level of militarization of the local population increased. In the late period, social stratification within the Sargatka Ñulture society increased, which was accompanied by an increase in prestigious consumption. This was expressed in a clear separation of the elite funeral rite from the ordinary one. The study of such monuments, which existed for a long time, can help us to understand the processes of formation and extinction of cultures.

Key words: Western Siberia, Tobol basin region, Early Iron Age, Sargatka Culture, funeral rite, burials with a horse.


Vildanova E.V.

Joint finds of knives and swords in burial complexes of the early nomads in the Southern Urals

The paper considers iron knives which have been found together with swords or daggers in burials of the early nomads of the Southern Urals. The aim of this work was to collect information about joint findings of edged weapons and knives and to determine the functional purpose of such bladed sets. This research uses data on seven joint finds of a sword/dagger and a knife in the early nomadic burials of the Southern Urals, originating from six burial grounds. The paper also addresses the issue of origins of this tradition. The functional affiliation of the object as a weapon has been determined by the localization of the knife directly on the sword or dagger in the military burial. Knives which have been found together with a dagger or a sword could represent elements of military weapons of the early nomads of the Southern Urals. Most likely, the sword scabbards had an additional pocket for knife on the frontal side. This explains the location of the knifes directly along the axis of the sword blade. Such knives probably were used as auxiliary weapons and only in a close combat. If knives are considered as a category of military auxiliary weapons, then their disappearance could be related to some kind of military «reform», expressed in appearance of heavy armed cavalry, distribution of spears, standardization of swords, daggers and arrowheads. The time of existence of such edged sets fits into the middle/second half of the 5th turn of the 4th/3rd c. BC. A limited number of finds in the early nomadic complexes in the Southern Urals indicates a rather rare use of this weaponry element. The tradition of such edged kits possibly dates back to the nomadic cultures of Central Asia. The edged sets of a dagger and a knife have been found in tombs of the late stage of the Uyuk (Saghlyk) Culture (5th3rd c. BC). The placement of a knife on the waist of the deceased (sometimes in the same scabbard together with dagger) during the Early Scythian and later periods suggests the conceptualization of knife as a weapon.

Key words: early nomads of the South Urals, knives, blade weapons, bladed sets, auxiliary weapons, chronology.


Seregin N.N., Narudtseva E.A., Chistyakova A.N., Radovsky S.S

Yuan time metal mirror from the collection of the Altai State Museum of Local Lore

This article is concerned with the Chinese metal mirror, which, as it has been found during the study, has been stored for a long time in the collection of the Altai State Museum of Local Lore, but as yet has not attracted the attention of specialists and has not been introduced into scientific discourse. A special research has been required to determine the time and circumstances of its arrival to the museum, which involved working with the documentation of the Altai State Museum of Local Lore, stored both within the institute and in the State Archives of the Altai Territory. It has been concluded, that the mirror represents an occasional find and it came to the museum in the first quarter of the 20th century from the Yenisei Province (currently, the southwestern part of Krasnoyarsk District. The article presents a detailed morphological characteristic of this artifact. The basis of the composition in the ornamented part of the mirror is a stylized image of a single dragon. Its mouth is trying to grasp the holder, which symbolizes the “fire pearl”. The analysis of the specialised literature and catalogues showed that in Chinese mirrors such composition appeared only during the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and continued to exist during the Song Period (907–1279). It has been determined that the composition presented on such objects was reproduced for several centuries (Jin, Liao, and Yuan Dynasties), undergoing transformations associated with stylistic nuances (details of the image, shape of mirror, presence or absence of inscriptions) and size and quality of the objects. Based on the obtained data, the mirror from the Altai State Museum of Local Lore has been attributed to the Yuan dynasty period. There are almost no analogies to such objects in Northern and Central Asia, despite the significant number of mirrors of the Mongolian time stored in collections of Siberian museums. Therefore, it seems possible to acknowledge the rarity of these very specimens; the fragmentarity of their distribution could possibly be explained by peculiarities of the history of specific craft centers that have yet to be investigated.

Key words: metal mirror, China, museum, accidental find, dragon, interpretation, Yuan Dynasty.


Adamov À.À.

Firearms and weapon devices of the Russian army in 1582-1585 (based on materials from the settlement of Isker)

Archaeological materials found in different periods during the excavations in the settlement of Isker (Kuchum, 17 km from the city of Tobolsk), the ancient capital of the Khanate of Sibir, allow the analysis of firearms of Russian warriors of the 15821585, who took part in the Yermak’s Conquest of the Khanate. Various gun barrel fragments, breechloader bolts, a hammer with a lock spring, steel strikers with turnscrews, metal and bone ramrod parts, bullet moulds were discovered during the excavations in Isker. These findings suggest that Russian pishchal arquebuses with matchlocks of the first half of the 16th century were the major weapon in service. On the tips of wooden ramrods, there were copper and bone bushings for ramming the projectiles. Ramrods were also equipped with three-leafed bushing caps for bore cleaning. All-purpose steel strikers with turnscrews unscrewed the bolts that attached barrels to stocks and disassembled locks; they had holes to be suspended on the gun. Stone bullet moulds were used for moulding lead bullets. The carefully examined archaeological collections from Isker do not support the hypothesis proposed in scientific literature stating that Yermak’s Cossacks were armed with flintlock firearm and small-bore guns.

Key words: Isker, Western Siberia. Khanate of Siberia, 16th century, weaponology, Russian warrior firearms, Yermak, pishchal arquebus, lock, ramrods.


Gorokhov S.V.

Position of arms as an essential element of the orthodox funeral tradition in Siberia (case study of the Nikolskaya Church cemetery in in the city of Novosibirsk)

The purpose of this article is to analyze the planigraphic distribution of graves characterized by different positions of arms of the buried people and to identify patterns in their localization. The source base of the research is represented by 384 graves of the Nikolskaya Church necropolis in the town of Krivoshchyokovo. The arms position has been determined for individuals from 152 graves. The classification criteria for arms positions of the deceased have been developed. The analysis of graves enabled us to make a full list of all possible positions of the right or left arm, including the following ones: the arm is stretched along the body (0°), bent at the elbow at ~40°, ~68°, ~90°, ~112°, ~139° or ~166°. In cases when one arm was put on the other one, the relative position of arms (above or below) was recorded. The combination of individual positions of arms and their positioning relatively to each other determines the overall type of arms position. The planigraphic analysis of arms positions of buried people by types has been undertaken. It has been identified that graves with several “plain” and complex types of arms positions are located quite closely to each other. The distribution of graves with certain types of arms positions in the studied part of the necropolis cannot be accidental. Therefore, the established facts of restricted loca-lization of types and complex types of arms positions of the buried people are determined by a cause or a group of causes associated with the historic circumstances of the period when the necropolis was formed. One could assume that the types of arms positions changed over time, following the transformation of beliefs and prescriptions of the church in relation to the existing burial tradition. The specific position of arms can be related to the confession of the deceased person and his/her family, as well as traditions of particular regions. In the former case, the position of arms can be characteristic of a specific confession, while in the latter case of the place of origin of the colonists. Over time, as a result of the long cohabitation and mixing of populations through marriages, the funeral rite should be reduced to a specific single type, however, never reaching an absolute unification due to migration flow of people following different burial traditions. The program of further research into the funeral traditions has been proposed.

Key words: Siberia, Novosibirsk, 18th19th centuries, necropolis, obsequies, position of arms.


Bolelov S.B., Kovrizhkina M.M., Kolganova G.Yu., Nickiforov M.G., Semikopenko G.P.

Using the USSR General Staff maps to determine the geographical coordinates in archeology

The main problem of archaeological plans drawn in the mid-20th century is that almost all of them have poor accuracy of spatial localisation of objects. Simple estimates show that the error relatively to the actual position of the site can reach several hundred meters on the Earth surface. Because of this, only large, well-preserved objects can be identified using archaeological plans. If the monument is small and poorly preserved, then it is impossible to distinguish it among modern buildings. This is especially critical if the search radius, which depends on the error in the archaeological plan, reaches 300500 meters [Bolelov et al. 2019]. This situation complicates creation of modern accurate maps and geographical information systems. To specify the position of the monuments, we propose using maps of the General Staff of the USSR (GS), which contain the location details of a large number of archaeological sites. According to our estimate, the GS maps have an error of ca. 50 meters, which significantly reduces the search area. The idea is that, first, the site on the archaeological plan must be identified with the object on the map of the GS, and then the GS coordinates (SK-42) need to be recalculated to the WGS-84 ones of Google Earth. A simple method of conversion from the SK-42 coordinate system to WGS-84 and vice versa in the form of additive corrections to geographical coordinates is proposed. Estimates of random errors have been obtained, which are caused by the error in compiling and analysing the maps. Although numerical estimates have been obtained for the territory of historical Khorezm, it is most likely that the same transformations are applicable to other territories. The described technique has been successfully applied to the archaeological sites of the Yakke-Parsan Channel, which, according to the map of E.E. Nerazik [2013, fig. 14], comprises 20 monuments. Of them, only six largest structures had an accurate identification. As a result of the research, we found and identified seven objects more. The comparison of coordinates made possible the preliminary identifications, and final identifications were made after comparing the appearance of the objects with architectural plans. Other sites have not been found because they have not been preserved to our time. Nevertheless, the GS maps allow obtaining accurate coordinates of the lost monuments.

Key words: archaeological sites, determination of geographical coordinates, mathematical proces-sing of maps, Khorezm.


Bachura O.P., Kosintsev P.A.

Seasonal pattern of domestic cattle slaughtering in the Late Bronze Age Tanalyk settlement (Southern Ural)

The settlement of Tanalyk (Bashkortostan) is the most fully studied household object of the Late Bronze Age in the territory of Southern Ural. The pottery assemblage allows attributing it to the Srubnaya Alakul type. The majority of bone remains in this site belong to domestic animals, and the number of wild species remains is extremely small. There is no evidence of farming in the Late Bronze Age. Thus, the subsistence of the Tanalyk population was based on livestock production. As such, the time of livestock slaughtering can be indicative of people’s presence in the site. The purpose of the present research was to determine the type of the Late Bronze Age Tanalyk settlement as permanent or seasonal. The slaughtering season and the age of cattle (46 individuals), sheep/goats (33 individuals) and horses (24 individuals) have been determined. Both determinations were based on the analysis of growth layers in animal teeth (cement and dentine). In archaeozoology, there is a traditional method of estimation of animal age-at-death based on the state of their dental system. Data obtained by these two methods have been inter-compared. It has been established that domestic animals were slaughtered entire year round, with no seasonal preference for various species. Only for sheep/goats, slaughtering season was related to their age. In warm seasons, young animals were slaughtered three times more often than in cold time of the year. Cattle, sheep/goat and horses were slaughtered mainly in cold seasons, in smaller numbers in summer, and only in minimal quantities in spring. The practice of year-round slaughtering of animals shows, that at least part of the community lived in the settlement permanently and did not make seasonal movements. Comparison of the age structures obtained from the study of tooth growth layers and the condition of the dental system showed their strong structures similarity, which is very important methodologically. This allows a reliable use of the age structure based on the condition of dental system to interpret the patterns of economic exploitation of domestic ungulates.

Key words: Southern Urals, Bronze Age, domestic animals, season- age of-death, growth layers.




Pererva E.V., Krivosheev M.V.

Nomads of the Lower Volga Region in the second half of the 3rd 4th c. AD based on bioarchaeological data

This paper represents an attempt to conduct a bioarchaeological study of the anthropological materials of the Late Sarmatian period from burials of the late 3rd 4th c. AD in the Lower Volga Region. The examined group consisted of osteological remains of 24 individuals. The standard assessment program of skeletal pathological conditions and univariate and multivariate statistics methods were applied. The study has shown that the series from the late 3rd 4th c. AD nomadic burials of the Lower Volga Region is generally compatible with the Sarmatian group of the late 2nd early 3rd c. AD and that of the late Sarmatian time. Yet, there are identifiable differences in the late group, which must be related to negative factors associated with the environmental changes during that period.

Key words: Late Sarmatian culture, chronological periods, stress markers, pathology, enamel hypoplasia, porotic hyperostosis.


Syutkina T.A., Galeev R.M.

Digital Copies for Anthropological Research: Virtual Models and Databases

In the last two decades, a large number of anthropological papers have been focused on digital copies of palaeoanthropological materials rather than original skeletal remains. According to some foreign scholars, “virtual anthropology” has taken a shape of a separate field of anthropological science. One of the main advantages of “virtual anthropology” is the possibility to develop databases, datasets, digital collections and catalogues accessible to the scientific community worldwide. Digitization of research objects facilitates organizational side of studies, provides access to wider data, expands the toolkit of available research methods, and also provides safety to the original materials. At the same time, the variability of types of virtual models along with the absence of generally accepted protocols complicate verification of morphometric and structures data. The main goal of this review paper is to structure the available information on virtual palaeoanthropological databases and the materials they contain. 3D-scanning technologies can be generally divided into surface scanning (including photogrammetry) and tomographic scanning. The first group of technologies provide 3D models of the shape of an object, accurate enough to be used in morphometric studies if resolution of the equipment is adequate for the size of the object and aims of the study. The second group is designed to scan the whole form of an object, which allows the examination of its internal structures or tissues, small surface structures or dental material. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses: while surface scans are cheaper and easier to obtain, CT scans provide information unavailable from the former technique. Assessment of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of digital copies depends on objectives of the study. The article provides an overview of 17 databases of virtual paleoanthropological models, which comprise either surface or CT scans, or both. These materials can be used in various fields of study, including human evolution, primatology, palaeoanthropology, palaeopathology, forensic science, human anatomy, as well as in teaching of these subjects. For each collection, approximate number of objects and terms of use have been specified.

Key words: virtual anthropology, surface scanning, computed tomography, microtomography, photogrammetry, digital databases.


Khudaverdyan A.Yu., Yengibaryan A.A.,  Matevosyan R.Sh., Alekhanyan N.G., Khachatryan A.A.

Physical type of the Armenian Highlands populations in antiquity (based on osteometrical materials from urban and rural settlements)

The paper is concerned with the analysis of osteometrical data from the antique populations of the Armenian Highlands, i.e. anthropological materials of burials dated to the 1st–3rd c. AD. We analyse the differences in anthropological characteristics between urban and rural population of Armenia in antiquity. In total, 78 individuals of both sexes have been examined using traditional osteological methods. The study involved visual examination of the skeletons, images, descriptions and radiography. For the intergroup comparison, canonical analysis based on the averaged intergroup correlation matrix was used [Deryabin, 1983]. Visually, bones of the villagers appear to be more massive and quite elevated. Men, buried in rural areas differ from those from urban environments in smaller longitudinal dimensions of humerus, radius and ulna, and in larger icircumference of humerus, ulna and femur. Analysis of the data shows that the studied groups carry some features characteristic for populations adapted to high-altitude environments. Intergroup analysis suggests that the closest to the urban male groups would be the Maeotian population from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov. The female part of the urban community is close to the population of the first centuries AD from Gurmiron. Male villagers show similar features to those of Scythians of Ukraine (Scythian Neapolis); villagers are morphologically close to groups of Sarmatian cultures of the Lower Volga Region. Indirectly, this observation confirms the fact of stable, continuous migration flow into the territory of the Armenian Highlands. There is a certain agreement in the differentiation pattern of the ancient Armenian Highland population from the osteometric and craniometrics data. The osteometric data can be a rather important source of information for reconstruction of biological affinities of human populations.

Key words: Armenia, Antiquity period, osteology, urban and rural population.




Golovnev A.V., Danilova E.N.

Soviet version of ethno-expertise: reports of Northern ethnographers of 1950s–1980s

The article provides an overview of the ethnographer-to-government reports (n = 106) published in five issues of the “Ethnological Expertise: Peoples of the Russian North” series. These documents, which represent valuable sources on the history of the northern populations and the national policy of the Soviet government from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s, contain information on demography and distribution of the indigenous groups, economy of collective farms, material status of collective farmers (earnings, living conditions, subsistence, provision of clothing), characteristics of their culture and life, education, and health care. During the analysed period, the monitoring of ethnic communities was carried out as a planned long-term expertise under a unified program throughout the entire territory of the Soviet North. The requirement for this large-scale and continuous survey served as the motive for the creation of the North Sector in the Moscow division of the Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, where each specialist was assigned to a particular population (or group of peoples). Preparation of reports for the central and local authorities was a state order and the responsibility of employees of the Institute of Ethnography, who conducted field research in the North and Siberia. The analysis of the documents shows that ethnographers, generally following the ideological and political guidelines of the authorities, tried – in some cases rather decisively to correct the policy of the Soviet state in relation to the peoples of the North. Based on their own expert surveys, they criticized the transition of nomads to a settled way of life, the introduction of southern agricultural branches in the North, the lack of ethnographic knowledge among administrators; they discussed and proposed innovations in economy, technology, material culture, etc. The Soviet ethno-expertise encompassed, on the one hand, ethnographic data supporting socialist ideology, on the other – elements of academic evaluation; it served as a kind of transmission between the interests of the Soviet state and the northern peoples.

Key words: ethnography, North, Siberia, USSR, people, ethnological expertise, applied research, socialism, sedentarization, nomads.


Veremenko V.A.

«On the proper keeping of linen and clothes»: organization of laundry in urban noble-intellectual families of Russia in the second half of the 19th early 20th century

The article is aimed at characterization of the ways of laundry organization in the urban noble-intellectual families of post-reform Russia, identification of the extent of innovations in this area, and of the degree of transition of this activity from the field of domestic labour to social production. The sources of the research include paperwork of laundry facilities, statistical data, numerous housekeeping manuals and instructions for laundry organization, memoirs, diaries and house books of urban nobles, especially noble women, and, finally, fiction and publicistic writings of this period. The study follows a methodological approach that combines research methods characteristic for the history of everyday life (first of all, historical reconstruction method), the theory of sociocultural dynamics, and the theory of “topochron”. The author concludes that, despite the significant increase of personal participation of educated housewives in household chores, which took place at the end of the 19th beginning of the 20th century, this change did not extend to laundry, which was completely delegated to a special person laundress. The employee herself could act as a single-family domestic servant, a worker who served in a laundry establishment or an independent day laborer who offered her services to all concerned. Moreover, the first group laundresses domestic servants was extremely rare in the post-reform period. Washing could be carried out both “at the owners’ home”, and “on the side”. “Home washing”, which provided a theoretical opportunity for the employer to control the employee’s activities, was regarded as more preferable, both in terms of service quality and price. Active development of the laundry networks in the late 19th early 20th century, some of which used machine washing, had little impact on lives of educated citizens. The laundries were oriented, first of all, to work with institutions, and among the “citizens” their services were mainly used by small noble-intellectual families who did not have an opportunity to invite a day labourer. Throughout the post-reform period, handwashing continued to be the most popular way to care for clothing, and the nature of the laundress’s labor remained virtually unchanged, still staying “backbreaking” and extremely poorly mechanized.

Key words: noble-intelligent families, mistress, domestic servants, laundress, laundry, mechanization, clothing, washing, rolling.


Lysenko Yu.A., Rygalova M.V., Yegorenkova Y.N.

The Russian language as a mechanism for integration of the General Government of the Steppes of Russia into the common empire area (second half of the 19th early 20th century)

The problem of homogeneity and integrity of the Russian Empire state territories became topical in the se-cond half of the 19th century. Its resolution was reflected in the administrative and legal integration, based on the policy of Russification and introduction of the Russian language in all spheres of life of the society. The purpose of this article is to reconstruct the mechanisms and particularities of the implementation of this policy in the Central Asian outskirts of the Russian Empire the Governor-Generalship of the Steppes. The study is based on a wide range of hsitorical sources regulations and paperwork, most of which have been identified in archives and introduced into the scientific discourse for first time. It has been revealed that the implementation of the Russification policy in the Steppe Territory followed two directions. The first one involved the introduction of paperwork management in Russian language into the local governments system. This process iniciated very actively in the beginning of the 20th century after the settlement of the legal status of the Russian language in the Russian Empire. Applicants for the positions of volost, aul and kishlak rulers, which were elective, were required to pass an exam on Russian language knowledge the prior to the ballot. Failure in the exam would immediately disqualify the candidate from further electoral process. The second important direction of expanding the influence of the Russian language in the Steppe Territory was the educational policy related to the formation of a secular school education system and the mandatory inclusion of the Russian language course into the educational process. A network of Russian-Kyrgyz, Russian-aul, and missionary schools, Cyrillic-based alphabets for regional languages, educational-methodological literature in Russian were created in the region. The Russian language course became compulsory in programs of Muslim metebas and madrassas to raise the effectiveness of the Russification policy. Until the end of the imperial period, regional authorities failed to form a staff of ethnic officials who could speak Russian. The level of knowledge of the Russian language in the rest of the indigenous population remained extremely low, which was due to unpopularity of the Russian school system. Thus, it can be stated that the potential of the Russian language as a means of integration into the common empire space was not fully utilized. At the same time, it cannot be denied, that Russian culture, historically close to Muslim peoples of the Central Asian region, embodied in the imperial educational system, played a positive role, acting as a conductor of their involvement in the achievements of European civilization.

Key words: Russian Empire, Steppe Territory, Russification, Russian language, local government, school.


Bushmakov A.V., Riazanova S.V.

Adrian Pushkin: Perm experience of the bureaucratic messiahship

This paper presents to the reader’s attention a unique case of a local “messianic” prophecy which combines features of folk religious movements and principles of functioning of the bureaucratic machine. The manuscripts of civil servant and merchant Adrian Pushkin, who lived in the 19th century in the city of Perm (Kama region, Western Ural), are considered as a variation of development of popular religion which includes a messianic-apocalyptic narrative. This places the provincial clerk closely to founders of the alternative to the official Orthodox discourse movements in the Russian Empire, as well as new religious movements of the later period. The aim of this paper is to determine the place and the role of Pushkin’s revelation in the religious space of that historical period. The main sources of the research are local archival documents which include business correspondence, personal letters, photographs, also documents related to Pushkin’s psychiatric examination and his subsequent expulsion to the Solovetsky Monastery, letters and family photos of the “prophet”, and service notes. The research method is based on the phenomenological approach with elements of hermeneutical analysis. The new revelation was founded on biblical text well known to the Perm messiah, and its content was provided by the social and historical context. The targeted audience for the new prophet was the middle strata of the society, comfortable for him. The preferred way of communication involved the tools of the bureaucratic system of pre-revolutionary Russia. The development of the new interpretation of Christian teaching was based on individual choice of the revelator and mediated by already initiated processes of secularization of public life. Traditional narratives and imagery of the sacred books of the Orthodox tradition were placed by the messiah-bureaucrat in the context of local space of the region and the country, and were interpreted through realities of personal life. Open criticism of the official Church was combined with a complex of mythological ideas. The main accents of the prophetic text were apocalyptic and chiliastic, related to the personal and professional crisis experienced by the author. The latter was triggered by the abolition of serfdom and destruction of the habitual environment and self-realization system. The style and content of Pushkin’s text represent a mixture of theological concepts and elements of folk narratives based on the biblical tradition. As a result of the textual development, the signature myth was formed, rooted formally in Christian dogmas and associated with folk religious culture.

Key words: national Orthodoxy, messianic ideas, Perm province, religious prophecy, folk religion, individual religion, Messiah.


Bodrova Î.À., Razumova I.À.

Modern technologies in representation and preservation of the Kola Sami ethnic culture

The paper is based on the latest comprehensive study of representations of the Sami people in Murmansk Region. The aim of the article is to describe and analyse the representations, which are considered as a product of the sociocultural practices which use specific technologies. The latter are regarded as methods and tools of practices aimed at preservation of ethnic culture, including its construction. The subject of this study is textual, visual, objective and animated forms of representations of the Sami culture, as well as interactive and other technologies for imaging and branding of Murmansk Region, preservation of cultural heritage of the Sami, and marketing of regional and ethnic products. For the first time, regional sociocultural practices of actualization and conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage have been analyzed using materials of the Kola Sami culture. The study involved ethnographic field research methods, content analysis of regional printed and network media, description of expositions of the regional ethnographic museums, Sami private collections and archives. The analysis was based on the framework of constructivism methodology of ethnic studies, actor-network theory, sociology of things and memory studies. It has been determined that museums and mass media appear as collective authors of representations. The main commissioner of the technologies of representation and preservation of ethnic and cultural heritage of the Kola Sami of Murmansk Region is the regional government, which uses public and media practices as a managerial tool for the economic and social development of the Region. In the context of development of the ethnocultural tourism, the Sami historical and cultural heritage acts as a very attractive touristic resource which requires new sociocultural technologies, such as various forms of visualization and objectification of ethnic cultural elements, museumification and commercialization of material objects, symbolization and branding of the Sami culture. Sami self-presentations dominate in modern public space and discourse since 2010. At the same time, heteroethnic presentations demonstrate sustainable linguistic modes to describe and to portray Kola Sami people. Construction of cultural models results in reformatting of the Sami ethnic culture, changes of functionality of its elements, and appearance of new ethnocultural forms.

Key words: Sami people, Kola Peninsula (Murmansk oblast), ethnic representations, visual identity, material culture, exhibiting, commemoration, branding.


Avdashkin A.A.

«Chinese» greenhouses in Russian rural space (case of Chelyabinsk Region)

The focus of this article is the problem of formation and development of “Chinese” greenhouses in 2009–2020. The development of migrant infrastructure in rural areas virtually has not been analysed yet by scientists. The purpose of this study is to trace the formation and evolution of ideas about “Chinese” greenhouses among residents of a large Russian region using the example of Chelyabinsk. The source base of the article includes media materials, interviews and archival documents. The regional press is an important source for the analysis of public opinion regarding the “Chinese” greenhouses and concentration of migrants in rural locations. In the summer of 2019, the author gathered a collection of interviews with residents of areas where the “Chinese” greenhouses were operating. Documents from the Chelyabinsk regional archive made it possible to supplement the overall picture of the Chinese migration to the Southern Ural region. The complexity of the study object required the use of a combination of methods. These included free informal interviews, content and discourse press analysis, and historical imagology. Our study shows that the formation of temporary economic facilities in rural areas has been perceived by the population as an irreversible ethnicization of space. This caused an increase of anxiety. In the media discourse and in collective mentality of the inhabitants, the ideas of “Chinese” greenhouses created images of “expansion” and numerousness of Chinese migrants. Around the greenhouses, a complex of notions of threats was formed (seizing and “spoiling” of land, tax evasion, low-quality vegetables, etc.). The concept of “Chinese” greenhouses has incorporated a large number of meanings that are understandable without further explanation: from the organization of rural space to a set of markers defining closed locations. Today there are practically no “Chinese” greenhouses in Chelyabinsk Region, they remain as a media, but not a spatial object. What was left out of sight of most observers is the temporality of the greenhouse complexes, the lack of any infrastructure for their long-term existence. Therefore, even theoretically, the “Chinese” greenhouses could not develop into full-fledged settlements (Chinatowns) in rural areas.

Key words: “Chinese” greenhouses, Chinese, rural space, migrants, ethnicity.


Dzhanyzakova S.D.

«I prefer to work for myself»: the entrepreneurship for migrants from Central Asia in a Siberian city (the case study of Tomsk)

Together with educational migrants, foreign citizens from Central Asian republics come to Tomsk for the purpose of earning, focusing on construction business, market trade, and wage labour and entrepreneurship services. The article presents three cases of business activities of labour migrants in Tomsk. Field data was collected in 2016 and 20182019. Research methods include biographical interviews of migrants from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in their workplace, and ethnographic observation of their enterprise. As a result, the main pathways of the interviewees in entrepreneurship have been identified. It has been found that migrants accumulate experience, develop social ties, form networks around themselves, and only then they go autonomous and open their own business. Moving from one country to another, changing employment areas from unskilled hard physical labour to business ownership in Russia, they demonstrate the ability to respond flexibly to changing hosting society and market conditions. The role of Russian citizenship for opening and registration of business has also been consi-dered. As a result, the strategy of union with locals” has been identified, which provides the business and its owner with social and material resources, as well as juridical legalization. A significant conclusion of the research into migrant entrepreneurship in catering, retail and provision of various types of services is that such businesses do not appear as an ethnic locale and a migrant space, but are rather integrated into the city-wide infrastructure. The activities of such “spots” are primarily aimed at representatives of the local population who live or work in walking distance from the enterprises. The study has revealed that ethnicity and migrant status are used by businessmen depending on the situation, yet they do organize all social networks and connections primarily through interaction with those who are easy, beneficial, whom they trust, with whom they intersect in space, which presents a problem when applying the theory of ethnic entrepreneurship to analyse the Russian case of migrant businesses.

Key words: migrants-entrepreneurs, ethnicity, migrantness, Tomsk.