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Cultural and Technological Characteristics of Russian Forged Iron Tools from the Selkup Cemetery Migalka in the Middle Ob Basin

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.3.090-098

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Abstract

This study addresses Russian iron artifacts from the Narym Selkup cemetery Migalka, dating to the late 1600s to early 1700s. Two most important categories of tools are described—knives and axes. In terms of morphology, knives fall into two groups: straight-backed and those with convex (“humped”) backs. The combination of a “humpbacked” blade, typical of native manufacture, and Russian hilt plates precludes an unambiguous ethnic attribution. Special attention is paid to knives with fi ligree-enamel hilt plates as markers of high socio-economic status. The garniture evidences northern Russian origin. The metallographic analysis of knives (22% of the sample) revealed two technological groups: made of solid steel and welded. Axes, made by Russian artisans, are of the shaft-hole type and fall into four types. The analysis, relating to 42% of the sample, indicates two techniques: welding of a steel blade onto an iron base or a piece of raw steel, and using irregularly carbonized metal for forging the entire axe. Ferrous metal items follow the Russian technological traditions. Three key factors accounted for the spread of Russian artifacts among the natives: “Tsar’s gift” for paying the yasak (tribute); colonization of Siberia followed by the emergence of trade manufacture; and the involvement of natives, specifi cally the Narym Selkups, in the all-Russian market. Our fi ndings attest to the relevance of iron artifacts from archaeological sites to the historical and cultural studies of the colonization period in western Siberia.

About the Authors

L. A. Chindina
Tomsk State University
Russian Federation

Professor

Pr. Lenina 34, Tomsk, 634050

 



N. M. Zinyakov
Kemerovo State University
Russian Federation

Professor

Krasnaya 6, Kemerovo, 650043



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For citation:


Chindina L.A., Zinyakov N.M. Cultural and Technological Characteristics of Russian Forged Iron Tools from the Selkup Cemetery Migalka in the Middle Ob Basin. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2020;48(3):90-98. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.3.090-098

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