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Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 46, No 3 (2018)
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PALEOENVIRONMENT. THE STONE AGE

3-21 194
Abstract

This study deals with the origin of bifacial industry in the Lower Paleolithic of Southeast Asia. We describe stone tools from the stratifi ed sites of Goda and Rocktyng near the town of Ankhe, Vietnam. The lithics represent a homogeneous industry characterized by uniform Lower Paleolithic techniques of primary and secondary reduction. Cores and tools were made of pebbles, and some tools were manufactured on fl akes. The tool-kit includes bifaces, pics, becs, carinate end-scrapers, various types of side-scrapers, choppers and chopping tools, denticulate and notched pieces. Bifaces and pics are the principal types. Primary reduction was aimed at manufacturing simple pebble cores with cortex striking platforms, whereas radial and orthogonal cores are less frequent. Tektites found with the lithics were dated by 40K/38Ar-method to 806±22 and 782±20 ka BP. We propose to name this industry the Ankhe culture. It likely emerged by convergent evolution of the pebble-fl ake industry associated with the fi rst wave of Homo erectus migration from Africa 1.8–1.6 million years BP, and is unrelated to the Acheulean tradition introduced by the second migration wave from Africa.

22-31 89
Abstract

The Neolithic settlement of Göytepe (6th millennium cal BC) is of great importance for studying all stages of the Neolithic pottery not only of Azerbaijan, but also that of the Southern Caucasus. Here, we analyze pottery assemblage from the 4th building level at this site as an example of Neolithic ceramics of the Kura River valley, Southern Caucasus. We focused on the technological and morphological development of pottery from 14 building levels at Göytepe. This paper presents the results of the extensive study of pottery samples found in the 4th building level during archaeological excavations in 2017. Each pottery group was described and compared according to its technical features. The obtained results were compared with previous studies of other contemporaneous sites, to discuss the origin and technological development of Neolithic pottery in the Southern Caucasus. The conclusion was made about the independent development of the Shulaveri-Shomu culture at its early stage, and about the infl uence of the intercultural contacts at later stages.

32-40 238
Abstract

This study addresses the occurrence of damage to the anatomical structure (frost rings, light rings, and fluctuations of the wood density) and missing tree rings in wood samples from Fort Nadym—a medieval fort in the subarctic zone of Western Siberia. The chronology of extreme climatic events was reconstructed for the 1170–1505 period. We used multiple criteria such as severity of events; coincidence of structural pathologies and missing annual rings across all species; coincidence of structural anomalies with missing rings in specifi c years and years of minimum growth in chronologies. These criteria have allowed us to identify eight signifi cant climatic events for the study area. The comparison of information on those events with that relating to other regions has shown that the 1259 event, evidenced by various sources, was likely global. Two other events, 1342 and 1466, are registered in northwestern Siberia and North America, and are therefore inter-regional. The 1347 and 1440 events concerned only northwestern Siberia. These years coincide with those of documented volcanic eruptions, peaks of acidity and aerosol development in polar ice cores, as well as the historical accounts of severe cold, crop failure, etc. All these events had a strong impact on socio-economic processes in Western Siberia.

THE METAL AGES AND MEDIEVAL PERIOD

41-48 108
Abstract

Reinforcing metal elements in early Eurasian wheels are described. A typology of wheel constructions is proposed, and stages of their evolution and diffusion in socially and ethnically diverse societies are reconstructed. In Sumer and southwestern Iran, early (3d millennium BC) evidence of the use of wheeled transport includes remains of wagons in burials, representations on vessels and cylinder seals, as well as clay and metal models. The early reinforcing details were bronze nails pinned along the rims of solid wheels. Thick leather straps on treads served for binding wheels, prevented wear, and made riding more comfortable. Chariots marked high social status of their owners, and were used for military, hunting, and ritual purposes. Around 2000 BC, metal tread-bands with additional plates were introduced in Susiana and Central Asia. In the Early Iron Age, after a 1000-year long break, studded treads reappeared, but on spoked wheels. Such a construction occurs across a huge territory from the Balkans and Aegean to Bactria. The review of materials from the Bronze Age kurgan burials in the Eastern European steppes reveals no evidence of the use of metal details in the Pit Grave, Catacomb, Novotitorovka or Sintashta cultures, indirectly suggesting multiplicity of wheel-manufacturing traditions.

49-58 166
Abstract

Seima-Turbino type clay bronze-casting molds from the Middle Bronze Age sites in the middle Irtysh basin (Chernoozerye VI, Abramovo-10, and Vengerovo-2) are described with regard to construction, composition of paste, and types of casts. Special attention is paid to the archaeological context. At Abramovo-10, the casting area was located between the houses; at Vengerovo-2, in a special structure with furnaces and utility pits. Similar types of casting areas, furnaces, and reusable molds attest to the unifi cation of the casting process and a sophisticated tradition practiced by the autochthonous Krotovo people, who, judging by the molds and casts, manufactured the Seima-Turbino type bronze weapons themselves. Irtysh with its tributaries was a transportation route along which the tradition spread. Initially Seima-Turbino bronze artifacts had been imported, but eventually they were replicated by local casters, who, in certain respects, adhered to their own metallurgical tradition.

59-65 174
Abstract

We describe a rare fi nd—part of a Middle Bronze Age bipartite metal chill mold from the Upper Irtysh basin, used for casting three socketed javelin heads of the Seima-Turbino type. The use of metal molds (chill molds) for bronze casting is a sophisticated technique that is rather rare even at the present time. Having originated in the Bronze Age, it was subsequently abandoned for a long time. Chill molds indicate an advanced and effi cient bronze casting. In terms of the gate system, the specimen is a hinged vertically split chill mold. In Eurasia, the technique of casting javelin heads in chill molds was practiced until the Early Iron Age. In Western Siberia, it originated no later than the Middle Bronze Age. At that time, bronze casting in molds made of metal, stone, clay, and organic materials was highly developed. Apparently, the Upper Irtysh basin, including western Altai, was the region from whence prototypical metal molds had spread and were subsequently replicated in less valuable and less technologically effi cient materials such as clay.

66-74 103
Abstract

In 1974 and 1977, an archaeological expedition from the Ural State University excavated part (441 m2 ) of a fortifi ed Early Iron Age manufacturing site on the Bagaryak River near Zotino, in the forest zone of the Trans-Urals foothills. The site, measuring 80 m by 50–66 m (total area, 3800 m2 ), is located on a 40–43 m high cliff. Its northeastern inland side is protected by a low stone and earthen wall, preserved to the height of 0.75 m, and is delimited by a shallow outer drainage ditch. The single entrance is ~2 m wide. Under the wall, there is a thin layer of buried soil with fragments of the Itkul ceramics. Inside the wall, carbonaceous sandy loam, pieces of calx, and charred remains of wooden structures were found. Our reconstruction suggests that the original 2 m wide wall consisted of two rows of logs and a built-in square tower ~3.0 m by 2.6 m. The base of the walls and tower were strengthened with rubble, and its outer face was enforced with limestone slabs. Near the wall and along the northwestern edge of the site’s inner space, remains of three adobe platforms for processing copper and iron were identifi ed, two dug-in ovens, a utility pit and, apparently, remains of an adobe melting furnace. This is the easternmost and latest (400–100 BC) seasonal fortifi ed metallurgical center of Itkul—an autochthonous culture in the forest zone of the eastern Ural Mountains. In the forest-steppe east and south of it, on the lower reaches of the Sinara and Karabolka rivers, the westernmost fortresses built by the Gorokhovo herders (500–100 BC) are situated—the likely source of the Itkul fortifi cation tradition.

75-82 83
Abstract

This article integrates information on the house-building practices of people represented by cultures such as Andronovo, Cherkaskul, Sargary-Alekseyevka, Irmen, Korchazhka, and Burla. A graphic reconstruction of dwellings is attempted, and a prototypical model of the house is described with regard to the Middle and Late Bronze Age steppe and forest steppe Altai. It is a rectangular or nearly square single or two-chamber timber-frame-pillar structure, with a corridor-type exit extending beyond the foundation pit. Diachronic and cultural variations of this prototype are listed. Andronovo dwellings were robust or light, large or medium-large, based on the frame-and-pillar design with a fl at, ridge or truncated-pyramidal roof. Late Bronze Age dwellings are represented by a light Cherkaskul house with a gable roof at Kalinovka II. The Burla dwellings are either semi-underground framepillar or robust variously sized houses with conical or truncated-pyramidal roofs. Numerous Sargary-Alekseyevka dwellings are large or medium-sized, robust semi-underground with pillar frames and truncated-pyramidal roofs. The Irmen dwellings are similar to them. The Korchazhka dwellings are few, and their design is diffi cult to reconstruct.

83-91 107
Abstract

We describe rare toreutic items found in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2010s near the Tomskaya Pisanitsa rock art site—a zoomorphic fi gurine, two anthropomorphic masks, and an ornithomorphic pendant. Parallels among the ritual and funerary artifacts from Southern and Western Siberia are discussed. The fi gurine representing a horse or an onager resembles certain examples of ritual toreutic art of the Tagar and Kizhirovo cultures (500–300 BC). Anthropomorphic masks represent the Tomsk-Narym variant of late Kulaika toreutics (100 BC to 500 AD) but may be as late as the sixth century, being associated with the post-Kulaika early medieval tradition. The ornithomorphic fi gurine, dating to 500–700 AD, belongs to the early medieval trans-cultural tradition that had originated from late Kulaika art. The Tomskaya Pisanitsa site resembles Early Iron Age and early medieval sanctuaries of Western and Southern Siberia with votive hoards of artifacts including toreutic ones. Such sites are part of the Northern Asian tradition of offerings made near rock art galleries. Hypotheses are advanced about the attitudes of the late Kulaika people to rock art sites in the fi rst half of the fi rst millennium AD.

92-99 139
Abstract

This study examines the cultural ties of the early 2nd millennium AD inhabitants of Prospikhinskaya Shivera IV, on the Lower Angara River in Siberia. Artifacts dated to the 11th and 12th centuries, including a double-edged saber, iron hinged belt tips, and two metal belt sets with rectangular and ovate iron overlay demonstrate connections with the Yenisei Kyrgyz culture. In the 13th century, the Lower Angara taiga dwellers were particularly infl uenced by the Mongol Empire, as evidenced by belt sets with metal plaquelike hooks, plate metal bracelets, “question-mark” shaped earrings, wide, fl at arrowheads, jointed bits with circular cheek-pieces, coin-shaped amulets, and beads of glass, faience, and ceramic material. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, cultural ties between the Angara population and Western Siberia were stable and continuous, as evidenced by Western Siberian bronze ornaments— openwork palmate-design pendants; arch-shaped dangle pendants; bell-shaped openwork pendants; a fl at pendant in the shape of a bird; cylindrical, embossed beads; and tripartite arched and quatrefoil sewn decorations. Other markers of Western Siberian ties include Srostki-type openwork and wheel-shaped pendants, round decorative overlays, a belt set with heart-shaped ornamental plates, combs, bow plates, specifi c types of arrowheads, and pottery. These imports notwithstanding, the principal components of the Lower Angara medieval culture were autochthonous, originating from earlier prototypes.

100-106 139
Abstract

We describe bronze plaques representing armed horsemen, found in the Issyk-Kul Basin and in the Chuya valley, northern Kyrgyzstan, and owned by public and private museums in Bishkek. Similar plaques from southern Siberia and Central Asia were described by many Russian, Kazakh, Kirghiz, and Mongolian historians and archaeologists. A formal classifi cation of plaques is proposed, and their chronology, cultural attribution, and function are assessed. Such items, associated with early medieval Turkicspeaking nomads of Tian Shan and Semirechye, are similar to those worn by the Yenisei Kyrgyz of the Minusinsk Basin in southern Siberia, by the Kimek of the steppe Altai and the upper Irtysh in Kazakhstan, by the Qarluq of southwestern Central Asia, and by other Turkic tribes inhabiting areas from the Ural to Mongolia.

107-113 150
Abstract

This study addresses the origin of a Turkic tribe Kimäk known from Muslim sources. In 800–1100 AD the Kimäk lived in Semirechye. In the article, they are associated with the Chù-mù-kūn 處木昆 tribe, which resided in the same place in 600–800 AD and was described by Chinese sources. The Kimäk genealogical legend related by the 11th century Persian writer Gardizi includes the story of the founder of the Kimäk tribe being immersed in water (the alleged reason why the Kimäk worshipped water). This story suggests that the reconstructed Chinese variant of the tribal name Chù-mù-kūn 處木昆 meant *čumuqun ~ *čomuqun *‘immersed in water’, *‘drowned (?)’. Based on the toponymy in the Chinese sources and the Old Turkic personal names relating to Altai and Semirechye, it is concluded that the words Chù-mù-kūn 處木昆 and Yemäk (Yán-mò 鹽莫) were used as early as mid-7th century, but they were parts of personal names unrelated to the Irtysh valley, where, according to Gardizi, the Kimäk tribal union originated. These facts not only document the ethnic diversity of the Kimäk tribal union, but suggest that at least the name of the dominant tribe derived from a personal name. Like Y.A. Zuyev, I am skeptical toward identifying the names Kimäk and Yemäk.

114-121 85
Abstract

Buryat burials are described with regard to the age and social status of the deceased. Changes and conservative features are evaluated, and cultural stereotypes are discussed. Certain novel traits are due to a recombination of traditional elements; others are caused by external stimuli. Environmental adaptations and the role of cultural factors are assessed. There are two traditional types of low-ranking burials: above-ground under cover with accompanying goods; and cremation. Both were practiced throughout the Buryat ethnic area. Its inclusion in the Russian Empire and the spread of Buddhism resulted in the emergence in the Baikal region of two major religious groups––shamanists in the cis-Baikal area and Buddhists living east of Lake Baikal. Changes affected burial practices as well. Under the impact of the Russian tradition, inhumation burials in coffi ns emerged. Under Buddhism, only members of clergy but not lay persons were cremated. Cremation became the principal rite west of Lake Baikal, while having disappeared east of it. Two types of the above-ground burials became common––shamanist and Buddhist. From that time on, ground burials can be divided into two subtypes–– shamanist and Buddhist, the latter being predominant in the Trans-Baikal region. Burials of children fall in several categories–– suspended, cremation, both types of above-ground, and inhumation. Burials and commemoration practices relating to shamans and the Buddhist clergy are described. One evolutionary line demonstrates changes in burial practices concerning ordinary people and contributing to the integration of the traditional culture into the outside world, another line highlights the sacral stereotypes, preserving the core of the traditional culture. Both opposing lines maintain the integrity of the Buryat ethnic tradition in both space and time.

122-128 88
Abstract

The substitute offering is a little known ritual practice described by Artturi Kannisto among the northern Khanty and Mansi in the early 1900s, and by the Novosibirsk ethnographers in 1985–2017. Substitution was practiced in case of the offeror’s illness, absence of a requisite domestic animal or unsuccessful hunt. In such cases, instead of actual animals, their effi gies were offered to the patron spirits—fi gurines of horses, reindeer, cows, sheep, and cocks cut from birch-bark or cast of lead; alternatively, purchased toys were offered. A substitute could be a pencil drawing or an embroidered fi gure of a horse on cloth. The specifi c substitute was normally prescribed by a shaman; it had to be made only by someone unrelated to and older than the supposed offeror. The effi gy and the prayer to the deity, accompanying the offering, are described. Animal effi gies were kept in sacral trunks, attached to the clothes of patron spirits, tied into the corners of head cloths and ribbons of covers to be offered. The combined version of the substitute offering includes hitherto unknown representations of a head cloth, a coat or robe, cut from birch-bark.

129-137 88
Abstract

On the basis of individual biographies, we explore the social mobility patterns among the Russian colonists of Siberia (members of Russia’s service class) in the 1600, with reference to theories relating to sociology of labor and social stratifi cation. We show how peasants, hunters, fi shers, and déclassés were co-opted into the service class and how their social status changed at all levels— horizontal, vertical, geographic, individual, group, inter-generational, and within-generational. Occupation, skills, and income were important factors affecting social mobility. For nearly all categories of migrants, the most common tendency was migration of entire families, though younger single migrants were more likely to move over longer distances. In Siberia, where social regulation norms copied those of the metropolis, upward social mobility occurred nearly exclusively within institutions. Social service provided maximal opportunity for the individual’s promotion and for the current and future status of his relatives. This was an effi cient mechanism securing high mobility in the Siberian society. By the early 1700s, mobility level decreased, downward mobility increased, and social system became more sustainable.

138-145 56
Abstract

Population affinities of the Timonovka-Yudinovo Upper Paleolithic people are reconstructed on the basis of three isolated deciduous teeth––a lower lateral incisor, lower and upper second molars, likely representing three individuals––from Yudinovo in the middle Desna basin (15–12 ka BP), found in 1987–1996. Based on measurements and descriptive traits and computed microtomography, the teeth were compared with those from other Upper Paleolithic sites in northern Eurasia. The principal component analyses of metric and nonmetric traits revealed similar patterns. To minimize random variation, results of both analyses were integrated. Results indicate affi nity with Pavlov people in Central Europe. The diagnostic trait combination includes weak expression of the Carabelli cusp on the upper second molar, accessory sixth cusp on the lower second molar, large bucco-lingual diameter of both molars, and moderate mesio-distal diameter of the lower second molar. These results support the view that the Timonovka-Yudinovo tradition is related to eastern Gravette.

146-152 88
Abstract

This study presents the analysis of realism of portraiture in the context of physical anthropology. Standard descriptive traits such as the development of the upper eyelid fold, nasal profi le, etc., were scored on 120 portraits. To examine the accuracy of artistic rendition, these traits were assessed on 30 pairs of portraits of the same persons painted by different artists, and on 30 pairs of portraits versus photographs of the same persons. For each trait, the mean difference of scores was calculated. The mean differences are within the scoring error, indicating the artists’ high accuracy in rendering facial features. Next, four composite portraits were generated, two relating to 15th–16th century French aristocrats, and two to the 15th–17th century Dutch population, mainly that of Amsterdam. Composite portraits for every geographic region are virtually identical, suggesting that they represent a specifi c population rather than just a total of\individual data. Also, even though painters might be somewhat imprecise in depicting individual faces, these inaccuracies are leveled off in composite representations. In sum, portraiture is a very informative source of anthropometric information.

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153-155 29
Abstract

To the 65th Birthday of Mikhail Vasilievich Shunkov.

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156-157 17
Abstract

To the Anniversary of Evgeniya Ivanovna Derevianko.



ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)