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NEW DATA ON IRON-SMELTING SITES IN THE KUEKTANAR AND TURGUN VALLEYS, SOUTHEASTERN ALTAI

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.090-099

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Abstract

This paper presents the fi ndings relating to iron-smelting furnaces in the Kuektanar and Turgun valleys, which were part of the Chuya–Kurai metallurgical province in the Russian Altai, and are undergoing rapid erosion. On the Chuya, downstream of the Kuektanar mouth, hitherto unknown and completely eroded remains of furnaces were discovered. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal fragments from bloomeries at Kuektanar-1 and 2 and Turgun-1, using scintillation and AMS techniques, suggests the use of trees that grew in 5th–10th centuries AD as a fuel for metallurgical production. Dates of charcoal relating to the same iron-smelting event differ by over 300 years, probably because various parts of adult larches (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) were used. Samples of uncharred bark in bloomery 2 at Kuektanar-1 suggest that the last smelting occurred in AD 655–765. The totality of radiocarbon dates makes it possible to conclude that the bloomeries functioned during the Old Turkic period. The proximity of iron ore sources and the abundance of forest vegetation account for the wide use of iron-smelting by the nomads in the region. The erosion of the river bank where the furnaces are located allowed us to assess the erosion rate since their construction—ca 0.5 cm per year.

About the Authors

A. R. Agatova
V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Ural Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Koptyuga 3, Novosibirsk, 630090;

Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002



R. K. Nepop
V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Ural Federal University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Koptyuga 3, Novosibirsk, 630090;

Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002



I. Y. Slyusarenko
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences; Novosibirsk State University
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090;

Pirogova 1, Novosibirsk, 630090



V. S. Panov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation
Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090


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For citation:


Agatova A.R., Nepop R.K., Slyusarenko I.Y., Panov V.S. NEW DATA ON IRON-SMELTING SITES IN THE KUEKTANAR AND TURGUN VALLEYS, SOUTHEASTERN ALTAI. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(2):90-99. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.090-099

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