Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 43, No 2 (2015)
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3-22 59

Being the first in a series, this study addresses the place of the blade industry among those of Africa and Eurasia, and its origin and evolution in southern, eastern and northern Africa. The blade technology first appeared in the Kapturin Formation some 500 ka BP. The Middle Stone Age industries of southern, eastern, and northern Africa were mostly based on the Levallois technique, which included points, blades, and fiakes; and on radial fiaking. In the late Middle and early Upper Pleistocene, two principal technologies, Aterian and Nubian, emerged in northern and northeastern Africa; whereas the principal industries of southern and partly eastern Africa were Howieson’s Poort (whose primary reduction technique was basically Upper Paleolithic), and an industry on predominantly geometric tools. Both were associated with anatomically modern humans, who migrated to Eurasia at various stages of the Upper Pleistocene.


23-33 92

Recently, many petroglyph assemblages have been discovered in the southern part of Iranian Baluchistan. This article aims to introduce two assemblages found during a field survey in the Kajou Valley, Qasr-e Qand District. The motifs have been realized by incision or abrasion among which various human, animal and geometric motifs are grouped in hunting or combat scenes. Chronologically, they are not contemporaneous and a stratigraphy of motifs can be traced according to color of the petroglyphs. It is extremely difficult to specify any exact date, but some age estimates have been made based on their stylistic features. 

34-42 74

Two burials of human remains at the Maikop-Novosvobodnaya settlement of Chekon-2 in the Taman Peninsula, northwestern Caucasus, are described. The X-ray fluorescence analysis has revealed traces of cinnabar on the inside of the vault bones of one cranium. The totality of findings suggests that the Chekon-2 burials were sacrificial, and were arranged in a special area within the settlement. 

43-57 127

Eight miniature horn figurines representing human-like characters and heads of birds, elk, boar, and a carnivore, were found in grave 4 at Itkol II mound 14, northern Minusinsk Basin. The burial dates to the early (Uybat) stage of the Okunev culture (second half of the 3rd millennium BC). The form and composition of certain figurines resemble those of Okunev steles. 

58-63 105

The article introduces an unusual anthropomorphic horn figurine, found out of context in the foothills of the Kuznetsky Alatau and owned by the Tisul local museum, Kemerovo Region. The iconographic and stylistic analysis of the figurine suggests an Okunev attribution (early 2nd millennium BC). Given the archaeological situation in the Kuznetsky Alatau at that time, an Okunev migration is possible. Certain artistic devices have not hitherto been described in the prehistoric art of Siberia.

64-71 207

A collective burial of three persons excavated at Maloyuldashevo I, southern Urals, and dating to the Sintashta period, is described. Both the funerary rite and burial goods evidence an admixture of various contemporaneous traditions such as Sintashta, Potapovka, and Abashevo, as well as earlier traditions of the Volga-Ural region.

72-86 75

A transitional Late Bronze to Early Iron Age settlement in the Salair Region of the Western Siberian forest-steppe is graphically reconstructed on the basis of preserved remains of dwellings and utility structures and using ethnographic evidence. A typology of structures is proposed.

87-96 65

In the last third of the 1st millennium BC, contacts between populations of northern and southern origin in the forest-steppe Ob Basin were quite intense. Over several decades, science-based dating methods such as dendrochronology and radiocarbon analysis have been used to reconstruct these processes. As a result, several key cemeteries (Kamenny Mys, Bystrovka-1–3) were shown to be rather early, implying that contacts of native tribes of the forest-steppe Ob with populations of western (Sargat) and northern (Kulai) origin during the Berezovka stage lasted longer than previously believed. They began no later than the early 3rd or even the late 4th century BC. 

97-108 113

New excavations of a burial mound 1 at Filippovka-1, southern Urals, indicate an ancient reconstruction of its eastern part. A large trench was dug shortly after the mound had been erected, and its northern end was connected with the central grave by an underground passage. At the entrance, a cast bronze cauldron, 95 cm high and 1 m in diameter, was placed. At the southern end of the trench, level with the bottom of it, a grave overlaid with wooden planks was discovered. The grave revealed an extremely rich female burial, dating to the 4th century BC and thus contemporaneous with the central burial in the mound.

109-115 133

Fully and partially preserved ancient Turkic stone statues discovered by the Kyrgyz archaeologists at Tuura-Suu, Issyk-Kul Region, Kyrgyzstan, are described with reference to the burial practices of the ancient Turks during the time when the Western Turkic and Tyurgesh states existed in the Tien Shan and Zhetysu. On the basis of archaeological parallels to the artifacts shown on the statues, their chronology and cultural attribution are assessed, and their diagnostic features are specified. The completely preserved statue showing a figure in man’s clothes and with weapons may be that of a high-ranking female warrior.

116-125 76

Belt-sets with saber clip-plates and other metal details had appeared during the time of the Mongolian Empire and eventually spread across Eurasia. Items of six such sets, manufactured of nonferrous metals, were found at Prospikhinskaya Shivera IV on the lower Angara. The chemical composition of the alloys indicates several casting techniques. The Angara belts testify to cultural contacts in high medieval northern Eurasia.

126-137 71

The article integrates the growing knowledge of domestic (family) shrines of the northern Mansi living in the Berezovo District, Khanty-Mansi-Yugra District. Variants of location and composition of ritual paraphernalia are listed. Religious traditions and recent changes they have undergone are discussed. New types of sacrificial cloths, the arrangement of the figures of deities, the characters of the shamanistic practices, unusual ancient artifacts cast of bronze, and late 18th-century silver items are described.

138-145 129

A genetic analysis of human remains from burial 1 in mound 1 at Ak-Alakha-3, Gorny Altai, focused on mitochondrial DNA, sex markers, and autosomal hypervariable STR markers. Variants of mtDNA extracted from the remains of an adult individual and a child fall into Eastern Eurasian haplogroups A4 and C, respectively, which are common in modern and prehistoric populations of Gorny Altai and the adjacent regions of southern Siberia and Central Asia. These variants must be considered autochthonous in the gene pool of the Early Iron Age Altai, and were shared by otherwise dissimilar populations of that region in the Scythian Age. The adult individual was shown to be male, and the child was a girl. The results corroborate the efficiency of aDNA testing using the well preserved cancellous bone samples.

146-152 249

Members of the Nanai clan Samar reside in the Gorin area of the Khabarovsk Territory. Their gene pool was studied using the SNP markers of the Y-chromosome. The major haplogroup, occurring in more than 83 % of clansmen, is the northern Eurasian haplogroup N1c1-M178. Four other haplogroups are С*-М130, I*-M170, J2a1а-M47, and O2-P31. The most frequent haplogroup, N1c1-М178, indicates mostly Tungus origin of the Samar clan; other haplogroups detected by complete sequencing, such as the minor haplogroup C3*-M130, reveal ties with native populations of the Amur basin. Genetic distances and their multidimensional scaling demonstrate marked affinities of Samar clansmen with Yakuts, Khakas, and certain groups of Buryats, suggesting a common origin. Nanai of other regions are much further from the Samar.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)