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THE FUNCTION OF PEBBLE TOOLS FROM LATE BRONZE AGE SITES IN THE TOBOL FOREST-STEPPE: AN EXPERIMENTAL TRACEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

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Abstract

Late Bronze Age quartzite pebble tools from the Tobol forest-steppe sites associated with the Fedorovka, Cherkaskul, and Pakhomovskaya cultures were subjected to a comprehensive analysis with regard to raw material and technology. Pebbles requiring no retouch were preferred, and in rare instances the working surface was processed by percussion. Based on the results of the traceological analysis, types of wear such as crumbling, polishing, various deformations, etc., are described. The analysis of microwear traces and of their co-occurrence has allowed us to subdivide the tools into four groups. To assess the tentative function of each group, a series of experiments in processing skins, dressing leather, polishing clay vessels, stone axes, and metal tools, was conducted. Experimental tools, too, were subjected to use-wear analysis. The comparison of experimentally derived wear marks with those revealed microscopically on ancient tools has made it possible to attribute the groups and relate them to various manufactures. Most pebble tools from Late Bronze sites were polyfunctional. They were used for dressing skins, processing leather, and burnishing clay vessels. Monofunctional pebbles used in a single manufacture (skin dressing or the production of ceramic or metal tools) are less frequent. The use of small quartzite pebble tools may be seen as a cultural and chronological marker of the Andronovo, primarily Cherkaskul, tradition.

About the Authors

S. N. Skochina
Institute of Northern Development, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, POB 2774, Tyumen, 625003, Russia
Russian Federation


Y. V. Kostomarova
Institute of Northern Development, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, POB 2774, Tyumen, 625003, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Skochina S.N., Kostomarova Y.V. THE FUNCTION OF PEBBLE TOOLS FROM LATE BRONZE AGE SITES IN THE TOBOL FOREST-STEPPE: AN EXPERIMENTAL TRACEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(1):72-81. (In Russ.)

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