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Portable Sculptures from Neolithic and Bronze Age Habitation Sites near Lake Baikal

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.4.060-066

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Abstract

Portable sculpture provides important information on past worldviews, the ways various objects were perceived, and subsistence activities. This study addresses fi gurines from Neolithic and Bronze Age habitation sites on Lake Baikal relying on a summary of published specimens and those from recent excavations, totaling 32 intact and fragmentary fi gurines from twelve sites. Chronology, assessed on the basis of stratigraphic observations and radiocarbon analysis, suggests that fi gurines were manufactured on Lake Baikal since the Early Neolithic (over 7000 cal BP). Most of the early specimens represent fi sh, and some depicts Baikal seals. They conform to the Kitoy artistic tradition. Late Neolithic fi gurines (5590–4870 cal BP) evidence a different style, typical of the Serovo-Glazkovo tradition. Bronze Age depictions of fi sh are highly stylized. Overall, these differences make it possible to track chronological changes in the contents and styles of portable sculpture in the region. Most representations of fi sh have perforations for appending and were probably used as lures. Larger ones without holes might have been used in rituals.

About the Authors

A. G. Novikov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Irkutsk State University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090;

Karla Marksa 1, Irkutsk, 664003



O. I. Goriunova
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Irkutsk State University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090;

Karla Marksa 1, Irkutsk, 664003



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For citation:


Novikov A.G., Goriunova O.I. Portable Sculptures from Neolithic and Bronze Age Habitation Sites near Lake Baikal. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(4):60-66. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.4.060-066

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