Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 50, No 4 (2022)
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3-15 162

We descriЬe new findings relating to an Early Paleolithic site of Garaja on the Mingachevir Reservoir coast, Azerbaijan. Geological and geomorphological position of the area, structure of the Early–Middle Pleistocene deposits, faunal remains, and chronology are discussed. On the basis of geological characteristics and paleofauna (large mammals, mollusks) we tentatively date the site to the Bakunian age (0.8–0.4 Ma years ago). Artifacts, some 350 in number, found mainly on the surface, but reliably associated with lithological units, are described in detail. Primary reduction is dominated Ьy parallel fiaking, with occasional radial and "citron" cleavage. Most tools, made on peЬЬles and large fiakes, are large (handaxes, choppers, and side-scrapers). While the Garaja industry is generally homogeneous, the stratigraphic situation of the site and certain elements of technocomplex, such as solitary Levallois cores, a Quina scraper, and advanced forms of bifaces, indicate the presence of two chronologically and technologically successive complexes within the general Late Acheulean industrial tradition. Garaja correlates with other cave and open-air industries of the East and South Caucasus and adjoining regions dating to the first half of the Middle Pleistocene.

16-26 176

We describe the variability of morphological and technological features of handaxes from two culturally and chronologically consecutive Acheulean assemblages of Dagestan, Northeastern Caucasus. The early one, dating to MIS 11–10, is represented by three sites: Darvagchay-Zaliv-1 (complex IV, layer 3), Darvagchay-Zaliv-4 (layer 5), and Darvagchay-Zaliv-2. The late complex, dating to MIS 7, includes the sites of Darvagchay-Zaliv-1 (complex IV, layer 2), Darvagchay-Zaliv-4 (layer 3), and Darvagchay-Karier. We examine analogies from other Acheulean sites in the Caucasus. Two-dimensional geometric-morphometric analysis was used to study the shape of tools from Dagestan. The findings suggest that the shape of unifacial tools is the same as that of Ьifaces. The comparison of tools from two cultural and chronological horizons, including those from contemporaneous sites in the Caucasus, indicates a higher variability in earlier tools. Based on the scar pattern analysis, three chaînes opératoires in manufacturing handaxes were reconstructed. Tools of the later complex had been subjected to a more thorough reduction than those of the early complex. Technological continuity was traced over a considerable timespan (MIS 11–7). It was manifested in the standardization of bifacial shape and the gradual sophistication of chaînes opératoires. Given the high morphological homogeneity of tools from Dargvachay complexes and other contemporaneous industries of the Caucasus, it can be suggested that these technological tendencies are characteristic of the entire Caucasus.

27-38 111

The study focuses on a specific area of Afontova Gora !V (0vrazhnaya)-a newly discovered Late Paleolithic site in Krasnoyarsk. We describe the diversity of cultural and utilitarian traditions at Afontova Gora and tackle the problem of detecting remains of dwellings in the structure of Paleolithic deposits. Brief information on the geomorphology and stratigraphy of the site and on the location of archaeological features in the paleorelief of Afontova Gora slopes is provided. We analyze the surface of the specific part of the site with remains of dwellings. Results of the statistical and typological analyses of lithics and bone artifacts are presented, along with information on microknapping and procession of stone, groups of rocks, species composition of fauna, and resource utilization. We reconstruct activities associated with various zones of the site. Results of surface (intrasite spatial) analysis are outlined. A dwelling with a single hearth and a utility zone are delimited and shown to be contemporaneous. Debitage connections are traced, places of individual activities are located, and directions whereby humans and artifacts had migrated are reconstructed. Ethnographic parallels are discussed; regularities in the distribution of cultural remains around the hearth in a radial fashion, with free deposition in certain places, are assessed. Drop zones, front and back toss zones, and microdeformations of the "fioor" are pinpointed. The radiocarЬon age of the complex is estimated at ~15.5 ka, Ьased on several 14C dates. It is concluded that habitation deposits with remains of a camp and one dwelling have been detected. Prospects for further studies are outlined.

39-48 95

This article continues a series of publications presenting the results of excavations, at sites exceptionally rich in archaeological finds associated with several Neolithic cultures, at Suchu !sland in the Lower Amur region. We descriЬe rare ritual sculptures, mostly bird-like and animal-like, from a sanctuary in a dwelling associated with the Malyshevo culture (late 5th to early 4th millennia ВC). The most important of them is a "necklace" found in a small pit. We propose a reconstruction of the artifact. !t included 17 tiny items-eight vessels, five figurines of Ьirds (auks), and four douЬle- ended phalli, each with a seal head at one end. All the items are pierced, suggesting that they were strung together. Such a "necklace" may have Ьelonged to a shaman or sorcerer, who was in charge of the sanctuary. This suggestion is upheld Ьy other ritual or ceremonial artifacts found in the same dwelling-stone laЬrets, which, as the ethnographic data suggest, could be fastened to decorative masks, and a ceremonial jug evidently destined for stimulating or intoxicating drinks. An important ritual role was likely played Ьy a female figurine, found near the "necklace" and possiЬly depicting a progenitress, bringing wealth.


49-57 86

This article presents two new steles discovered in 2021 during rescue archaeological works in the Askizsky District of the Republic of Khakassia. Both steles were part of Tagar funerary enclosures. One is a slab of Devonian sandstone with an anthropomorphic mask on its broad side. It was adjacent to the southern wall of the enclosure at Skalnaya-6 mound 1. Only the outline of the head in the chin region has been preserved, as well as the mouth, modeled as a depression, and three transverse lines Ьetween the nose and the mouth. The other stele, made of red sandstone, Ьears a human-like profile in the lower part, carved on the edge and extending to lateral sides. This stele, unusually well preserved, was part of the northern wall of the enclosure of Uitag-3 mound 5. The article describes and interprets this laconic, realistic image of a "male shaman" wearing a three-eyed animal mask and high headgear. The two Uitag slaЬs differ in the placement of the face (on the broad side in one case, and on the lateral sides in the other). However, the pecking technique and the method of rendering the facial features are the same. The general stylistic manner makes it possible to attribute Ьoth artifacts to a single cultural and chronological horizon-that of the Early 0kunev culture. None of the sculptures has exact matches, but in terms of style, composition, and semantics they resemble those with realistic images in relief extending from one side of the slab to another. The fragment of the statue from Uitag-3 mound 5 is the earliest realistic representation of a mask, which can possibly be used as a reference for researchers.

58-66 119

Lithics from chronologically diverse burials at Sopka-2, the Baraba forest-steppe, Western Siberia, were subjected to experimental use-wear analysis. We selected relatively well preserved specimens, suitable for microscopic examination and representing cultures such as Ust-Tartas, Odino, Krotovo, etc. Wear traces indicate the functions of tools and their places among the industries of the region. It was found that the tools had not been specially destined to be funerary items-they all display some wear and are well-suited for efficient use. Comparative characteristics of degree of wear are proposed. At the early stages, stone tools had been placed only in female burials, but at later stages they were distributed among Ьurials of females, children, and males. The findings provide a Ьasis for a functional and morphological typology of lithics used during that period.

67-75 124

Based on archaeological materials from the Kamennyi Ambar-5 cemetery, we test the hypothesis about the connection between the seasonality of pastoral practices and funerary rites during the Late Bronze Age (early 2nd millennium BC). We studied growth layers in the teeth of 24 cows, 19 sheep/goats, 14 horses, a dog, and ten humans from 17 graves. We combined samples from various species from the same contexts into eight assemblages. With regard to animals, differences in seasons of death were revealed only once. 70 % of graves were arranged in spring and 30 % in autumn. Therefore, the hypothesis about the seasonal use of the cemetery can be supported at least partially. The contemporaneous settlement of Kamennyi Ambar demonstrates a similar tendency in the seasonality of animal slaughtering. However, the reasons for slaughtering at the settlement differed from those in the cemetery. At the settlement site, it was motivated by practical needs, and in themortuary site, only by the seasonality of human deaths, specifically Ьy a higher frequency of deaths in late winter and spring. Also, postmortem selection is possiЬle, whereЬy kurgan burials were arranged only for some individuals. In practice, several of the above factors overlapped, resulting in an anomalous composition of the buried cohort (disproportion of sexes and a higher proportion of individuals who died at the peak of vital activity).

76-82 68

We descriЬe a feature revealed at Tartas-1-a suЬrectangular pit No. 147, on the Ьottom of which a Ьivalve ceramic mold was found. A detailed description of the archaeological context and of the mold’s technical properties is provided. It was destined for casting a socketed bronze chisel-celt. The process of manufacturing such a mold is reconstructed. The edges of the celt were reinforced by ribs, as in the Seima-Turbino specimens. As to cultural attribution, the pit belonged to the Late Krotovo (Cherno-Ozerye) part of the cemetery, closest to burials No. 120 and 155. The properties of these indicate a Ьlend of Late Krotovo (Cherno-0zerye) and Andronovo characteristics. This and related findings suggest that the mortuary ritualism of the Early and Middle Bronze Age cultures in the Ob-Irtysh forest-steppe focused on metalworking. This is especially evident at cemeteries where Seima-Turbino artifacts are present. Small memorial pits are located among the graves, or close to foundries, or within large sanctuaries. In Baraba, such autochthonous ritual practices are typical of the entire span of the Odino, Krotovo, and Late Krotovo (Cherno-Ozerye) cultures. They have not been affected by the Andronovo ritualism. A conclusion is made that rites related to metalworking mirror a progress in bronze-casting, a stage when the technological process had become specialized, and founders had acquired a special social status.

83-90 92

The set of personal ornaments of the Lomovatka culture, western Urals (AD 800–1000), includes star-shaped pendants with a copper or silver plate as a base decorated by medallions with inserts, bordered by gold elements with granulation and filigree and Ьy silver details with filigree and emЬossment. Analysis of the items suggests that the central medallions of such pendants significantly differ from the other constructive elements such as the Ьase, stamped silver wire, and embossed tripartite rosettes, not only in the composition of the metal, but also in terms of technical sophistication of the medallions-the use of fine filigree, caliЬrated fine granulation, caЬochons, etc. Other elements of star-shaped pendants include pegs having no practical function. It was found that the central medallions with inserts were once part of other personal ornaments. For secondary use, they were soldered to the Ьase in their final form. The search for parallels has led to the conclusion that these elements were parts of ornaments of the 5th–6th century polychrome style. Their exact source remains a mystery, but local jewelers made excellent use of them by setting them off with silver. Star-shaped pendants are rather standard, they are few in number, and the time of their manufacture was likely limited. Judging by the burials, they were used as women’s pectoral ornaments.

91-98 79

We describe an unusually shaped riveted sphero-cylindrical iron helmet and an accessory arming cap made of fabric (Cat. No. 2067/8), owned by the Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On the basis of museum documents, we reject the former geographic attriЬution-Semirechye, southeastern Kazakhstan. !nstead, we demonstrate that the items come from the former Cossack village Magnitnaya (presently Magnitogorsk, Southern Urals). Typological analysis indicates that the helmet falls within the interval between the 1610s to early 1700s. The closest parallels are from Western Mongolia, Tibet, and Southern Siberia. We hypothesize that artisans who manufactured such helmets were inspired Ьy the idea of the Вuddhist stupa ("suЬurgan" in Kalmyk). The likely customers were 0irat Вuddhist warriors. This is the first helmet of such type that may Ьe attriЬuted to the Volga Kalmyks-people of the westernmost 0irat enclave in Eurasia. This modifies our views on the Kalmyk armor of that period. The specimen could have got to the Southern Urals as a trophy, diplomatic gift, or barter. It could also have belonged to a Kalmyk warrior who had settled in the land of Bashkir or Kazakhs. The accessory headgear, with a white woolen padding, is shown to be an arming cap. This is the only known original Oirat headgear of such type, dating to the 17th or 18th century.

99-110 76

Ust-Voikary is a stratified settlement complex associated with the indigenous population of Northwestern SiЬeria and spanning the period from the Middle Ages to the recent centuries. It is one of the few sites in the region with the habitation layer preserved in the permafrost. Architecturally, it is marked by the prolonged coexistence of two types of wooden Ьuildings-frame-and-post constructions and log caЬins. Wood from nine log caЬins excavated in 2012-2016 was suЬjected to dendrochronological analysis. The findings suggest that the earliest structures of that type date to the late 1400s. The proportion of types and the chronology of structures suggest that log cabins predominated by the mid 18th century. In the late 18th century construction activity at the site ceased. Later stages in the history of Ust-Voikary largely correlate with those of other indigenous stratified sites such as the Nadym and Polui promontory forts. Нowever, at the latter sites, archaic frame-and-post buildings predominate.

111-119 91

This study addresses the "archaeology of salt" on the Middle !rtysh, where the !rtysh defense line was situated, as well as the routes whereby lake salt was transported in the 18th and 19th centuries. The main question concerned the historical causes underlying the toponym "Solyanoi Povorot" (Salt Turn) in the Cherlaksky District of the 0msk Region, southwestern Siberia, in the 18th century. This name had been given to one of the redoubts of the Irtysh defense line, linked to a transportation route to the Baraba forest-steppe. Apart from the salt-related toponymy, which spread mostly along the salt transportation routes, artifacts relating to the mining of evaporated lake salt were found in the region. Archaeological data correlate with the historical sources suggesting that this industry existed in southwestern SiЬeria in the 1600s and 1700s. Нowever, it is rather scantily refiected Ьy Russian toponymy. The singularity of the name Salt Turn is explained by a short-term functioning of that part of the salt route near the respective place. Later, the name changed to Solyanoye-referring to a village and having lost any connection with salt logistics. The analysis of sources suggests that lake salt mining and the routes by which it was transported were key factors in the construction of Russian defense lines (forts, outposts, redoubts) in southwestern Siberia. Moreover, this was one of the key factors in the colonization of that region first Ьy Muscovy and then Ьy the Russian Empire.


120-128 81

On the basis of archaeological, written, and historical sources, we assess the extent to which 17th–18th century Russian inhabitants of the town of Tara and of its rural periphery (Tarsky District, Omsk Region) were able to read, write, and count. We analyze archaeological sources suggesting that those living in western Siberian towns, such as Mangazeya, Tobolsk, etc., were literate and able to count. This is evidenced by artifacts from the town of Tara and the adjacent village of Ananyino, indicating literacy: inkpots, penknives, quills, a wooden trade label with inscription, and clay Ьalls, possiЬly for counting Ьoards-predecessors of Russian aЬacuses. A Ьone case, found at the house of a 17th century junior commander in Tara, might have been destined for letters. Such artifacts are described in detail. According to written documents, just 3.4 % of those belonging to the service class of Tara and of its rural periphery were literate. They were memЬers of various social strata: governors, Вoyar scions, clerks of government office, Cossack and army commanders of various rank, reiters, mounted Cossacks, and cannoneers. Educated ones were priests and icon-painters. Stationery available at the Tara market included paper, ink, and raw materials for their manufacture. Books and candles were sold too. Relative advantages and disadvantages of documents versus artifacts as sources of knowledge about literacy are discussed. A combined approach helps to reveal key archaeological indicators of literacy and numeracy skills and to assess the approximate share of literate individuals in various social strata.


129-136 122

New arguments put forward by advocates of the migration theory of the Okunev origin are discussed and found unconvincing. A cultural impulse from the Late Yamnaya and Yamnaya-Catacomb populations of the northeast Caucasian steppes is quite probable; in fact, a migration is possible too, but not on a mass scale. The western pulse was single and limited in size, and its effect on Okunev origin was likewise limited. Eventually, it was overlaid by a much more powerful local tradition-a fact that is supported Ьy Ьoth craniometry and genetics. The Ьelief that "Ьrachycranic Caucasoid males"-alleged militant migrants from the west-played a critical part in 0kunev origins is erroneous. Even if it proves possible to single out such males among the newly discovered skeletons from burials of the early, Uybat, stage (thus far, such attempts have been unsuccessful), their contribution to the Okunev gene pool was much smaller than that of the autochthonous population of South Siberia. According to A.V. Gromov and other members of the Saint-PetersЬurg school of cranial nonmetric studies, new crania from the UyЬat Ьurials don't reveal the "Native American" tendency peculiar to other 0kunev samples and to certain other ancient groups of South SiЬeria. This is especially evident in the frequency of infraorbital pattern type II. However, no inequality is observed either in the number of Uybat males and females or in the distribution of nonmetric traits between them, disproving the idea of a military campaign allegedly causing a population turnover whereby, as migrationists claim, Afanasyevo people were destroyed or displaced. Genetics provides no indication that the source of the western admixture in Okunev people was some post-Afanasyevo migrant group from the western steppes rather than Afanasyevans themselves. This idea is more plausible with regard to the Chaa-Khol people of Tuva.

137-144 91

The most informative funerary site documenting the Andronovo (Fedorovo) migration to the West Siberian forest-steppe is Tartas-1, where more than 600 burials of that period, associated with Late Krotovo (Cherno- Ozerye) and Andronovo (Fedorovo) cultures, have been excavated to date. On the basis of skeletal remains from these burials, we have formed and successfully analyzed 256 samples of mitochondrial DNA, uniformly covering the entire area of the cemetery. This approach is a genetic counterpart of the continuous area method, which is used to excavate Tartas-1. The article opens a series of publications addressing the analysis and interpretation of this sample. We present the findings of the first stage in the analysis of spatial distriЬution of mtDNA lineages over the cemetery area under a simplified model that disregards the archaeological differentiation of the Andronovo time burials other than their spatial distribution. The analysis was performed at several resolution levels: from crude (at the level of the West Eurasian and East Eurasian clusters of mtDNA haplogroups) to high-resolution (at the level of specific structural variants). The information potential of each of those levels is evaluated. Data on the pattern of individual mtDNA lineage distribution are analyzed with regard to clusters on the cemetery area, indicating a considerable role of kinship across the site. The most promising areas for revealing groups of close relatives are identified. The findings enaЬle us to minimize the effect of close kinship on assessing the population structure of Tartas-1.

145-153 84

The Mongoloid trait comЬination displayed Ьy two Pazyryk crania can Ьe identified as PaleosiЬerian. Using the method elaborated by leading Russian specialists, the appearance of those individuals was sculpturally reconstructed. Sculptured faces support the diagnosis based on craniometric data. We discuss the advantages of a typological approach over a population approach to small and poorly preserved cranial samples. Judging by the skeletal materials from the Neolithic to the modern centuries, the Paleosiberian trait combination is distributed in the Baikal region, where mountainous taiga and tundra landscapes predominate. Those environmental conditions caused the scattering and isolation of hunting-fishing populations. This trait comЬination apparently originated among the Хiongnu of the southern Trans-Baikal region (Ivolga archaeological complex), when the natives had been involved in the activities of the Ьorder outpost-a center of trade, administration, craft, and agriculture in the northern fringes of the Хiongnu Empire. Individuals with Paleosiberian features could have reached the Altai Mountains at the early stages of the Хiongnu triЬal union, correlating with the final stage of the Pazyryk culture. Нowever, the share of the PaleosiЬerian component in the Pazyryk population was evidently minor.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)