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REMAINS OF BROWN BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS L.) FROM THE KANINSKAYA CAVE SANCTUARY IN THE NORTHERN URALS

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.131-139

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Abstract

Fossil remains of brown bear from Kaninskaya cave in the northern Ural are described. They were accumulated during the Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, and Late Iron Age as a result of human activity. We analyze the composition of skeletal elements and the nature of their fragmentation. Sex and age of individuals whose bones were apparently used in rituals are assessed, and the seasonality of these ceremonies is evaluated. The main object of ceremonial actions during all chronological periods was the head. Crania and mandibles were cracked into several parts according to one and the same fashion. Other skeletal parts were used much less often. Most postcranial bones were likewise broken into several pieces. Such practices differ from modern Ob Ugrian bear rituals. In the Bronze Age, heads of adult male and female bears were used, and the ceremonies were performed mainly in winter, less often in summer and autumn, and very rarely in spring. In the Iron Age, too, heads of adult animals, mostly males, were used, and ceremonies were held throughout the year but more often in summer and in winter. Seasonal bear rites were not practiced. Certain elements of rites, differing from those of modern Ob Ugrians, are reconstructed. Modern Ob Ugrian bear rituals were formed in the Late Iron Age.

About the Authors

P. A. Kosintsev
Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation
8 Marta 202, Yekaterinburg, 620144


O. P. Bachura
Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation
8 Marta 202, Yekaterinburg, 620144


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:


Kosintsev P.A., Bachura O.P., Panov V.S. REMAINS OF BROWN BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS L.) FROM THE KANINSKAYA CAVE SANCTUARY IN THE NORTHERN URALS. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(2):131-139. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.131-139

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