Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 47, No 3 (2019)
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3-11 152

We describe human teeth discovered in 2012 during the re-examination of the collection from Ust-Kyakhta-3 in the western Trans-Baikal region, excavated by A.P. Okladnikov. This is one of the key Final Paleolithic sites in this area, having a distinct twolayer stratigraphy, a non-contradictory series of radiocarbon dates, and the largest (and the most representative) collection of artifacts. Human teeth come from layer 1, whose dates range from 11,505 ± 100 to 12,151 ± 58 BP. Finds include fragments of a deciduous left upper second molar of a child aged 11–13 and an incompletely erupted upper permanent molar, possibly of the same child. Morphological comparison of these teeth with those from Malta in the Cis-Baikal region demonstrates considerable similarity. The fi nding suggests that the populations of Malta and Ust-Kyakhta-3 represent one and the same southern Siberian Upper Paleolithic dental complex.

12-26 215

On the basis of petroglyphic sites Kalgutinsky Rudnik (Kalgutinsky mine) on the Ukok Plateau, Baga-Oigur and Tsagaan-Salaa in northwestern Mongolia, a distinct “Kalgutinsky” style of rock art of the Russian and Mongolian Altai is described. The distance between these sites is about 20 km. This group is marked by very specifi c stylistic features, common technological properties, a narrowly defi ned motif, featuring only animals, and a very intense desert varnish. All these features and the proximity of the sites suggest that they should be regarded as a special group, which we term the “Kalgutinsky” style and date to the Upper Paleolithic on the basis of several criteria. Images of mammoths at Baga-Oigur and Tsagaan-Salaa are similar to those known in the classic Upper Paleolithic cave art of Western Europe. An entire set of stylistic features typical of the “Kalgutinsky” canon is seen also in the representations of mammoths, and this manner is consonant with that of European Upper Paleolithic rock art. Our fi ndings suggest that a peculiar “Kalgutinsky” style existed and, moreover, that it represented a separate Central Asian locus of Upper Paleolithic rock art.


27-37 161

The grand narrative of cultural developments claims that all technical achievements in prehistory stemmed from urban centres in Mesopotamia and Egypt. But current studies, for instance on the oldest wagons, have opened up space for alternative working hypotheses and models: modern radiocarbon dating of complexes that revealed the cited innovations, e.g. the oldest wagons, functional metal tools, and an advanced copper metallurgy, which predate their fi rst appearance in Mesopotamia, questions the role of this region in the development of technology. Possibly Mesopotamian cities operated rather as a melting pot of numerous innovations obtained from different areas, which were then re-combined and placed into a different context. The North Caucasus, in particular the Early Bronze Age Maykop culture, is an exemplary candidate for such an interactive process in technical developments. The Maykop culture has been known in research for 120 years, and its genesis is supposed to have originated in Mesopotamia. This is an archaeological narrative meant to explain the high technical state of the Maykop culture. In the light of the new chronology based on a relatively small number of radiocarbon dates, a re-examination and alternative models are necessary. It is obvious that this culture developed a highly innovative potential in metalworking and sheep breeding and fulfi lled an important function as mediator in knowledge transfer between the Eurasian steppe and Upper Mesopotamia. Recent aDNA studies support this view.

38-47 92

This article presents the results of radiocarbon dating of buried soils beneath the dumps of ancient mines in the Ishkinino cobalt and copper pyrite deposit area, in the Southern Urals. The conserved upper horizons of stratigraphic sequences underlying the dumps of four mines were subjected to radiocarbon analysis. For comparison, samples from Bronze Age sites in the same area were used. Chronological ranges of the Yamnaya, Sintashta, and Kozhumberdy cultures were evaluated. Calibrated intervals of the buried soils from the Ishkinino mines show a good agreement with respective intervals relating to human and animal bones from nearby Bronze Age cemeteries and settlements. The early stage of the mines (2200–1840 BC) correlates with the Sintashta culture. Most geological and archaeological features at Ishkinino date to 1780–1130 BC, same as the Kozhumberdy settlement and cemeteries, representing the Alakul tradition. As the results suggest, radiocarbon dating of buried soils underlying the mine dumps is relevant to absolute and relative chronology of ancient mining, especially when archaeological contexts are of little help.

48-54 85

During the excavations at an Early Iron Age site of Kargat-4 in central Baraba, a foundry was discovered. The complex consisted of a melting furnace in the center of the structure and several utility pits. We give a detailed description of these features, the associated artifacts, and the archaeological context. Among the items from the infi ll are fragments of at least fi ve clay molds, three crucibles, drops of spilt bronze, a fragment of a spout, and bronze tongs. The casting kit included three stone utensils—two whetstones and a hammer. All the molds were destined for casting celts. The best preserved one had two valves, which were found inside a dwelling in a utility pit at the entrance and outside it. For each artifact, a detailed description, results of the analysis, and parallels are provided. Techniques of manufacturing molds and crucibles, such as those found at the site, are reconstructed. They are shown to have originated in areas situated west or southwest of Kargat-4. During the Early Scythian age they were practiced in northern Kazakhstan and eastern Urals, and they were apparently introduced to central Baraba by people associated with the Bolshaya Rechka culture during the Bronze to Iron Age transition, as evidenced by the Berlik and Krasnoye Ozero cultures.

55-67 69

This article describes the fi ndings at Sibirskoye I, a Late Bronze to Early Iron Age site in the steppe part of the Irtysh basin. The history of excavations is outlined. A detailed description of ceramics, including shard accumulations and fragments of 44 vessels, is provided. We analyze paste composition, provenance of clay, and temper. The principal raw material was high-quality western Siberian montmorillonite and hydromicaceous clay. The temper, preventing cracks and waste, consisted of grog, sand, and organic matter. Shaping techniques are described. On the basis of proportions, groups of vessels are established, and their decoration is analyzed. Decorative motifs combine those typical of the Late Irmen pottery and those marking the Irmen and Krasnozerskoye cultures. The Sibirskoye I ceramics are paralleled by those from Om-1 and Chicha-1. Certain categories of ware are imported. The planigraphy and the distribution of ceramics suggest that this was a ritual site. The ceramics and the site as a whole were associated with the Late Irmen culture, dating to the transitional stage from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age. Sibirskoye I is the westernmost Irmen site—the fi rst one discovered on the Irtysh. Judging from parallels with sites having a reliable chronology, we date it to 900–700/600 BC.

68-73 61

This study focuses on ritual bronze items that are very informative for reconstructing cultural ties and migrations between Korea and Japan in 400 BC to 300 AD. Their large-scale introduction to Korea is related to the culture of Korean-type daggers, whose distribution center was located in northwestern Korea. We give a detailed description of Bronze Age artifacts, including weapons and ritual items from that area. They occur mostly in single burials with a complex construction, possibly attesting to high social status. In Japan, Korean-type artifacts fi rst appear in northern Kyushu during the Yayoi age, in burials with wooden coffi ns and urns. The analysis of molds for casting narrow-bladed daggers, socketed spearheads, and picks suggests that Korean-type items spread from northern Kyushu. Late Yayoi ritual bronze artifacts include mostly mirrors of the Han type, evidently indicating migrations from the mainland.

74-84 109

This study outlines the fi ndings of excavations at More-Yu II—a site in the northern Bolshezemelskaya tundra. The habitation layer with numerous charcoal lenses was discovered inside the layer of buried soil overlain by eolian sand. Most fi nds are ceramics and animal bones. Arrowheads, o rnaments, tools, and ritual items are very rare. On the basis of palynological and faunal analyses, environmental changes from the sub-boreal warming until the end of the sub-Atlantic period are reconstructed. The temperature regime during the formation of cultural deposits was unstable. The principal subsistence strategy was reindeer hunting. The age of reindeer suggests that habitation periods coincided with cold seasons. Radiocarbon dates generated from reindeer bones point to the Early Iron Age. The camp dwellers were native reindeer hunters inhabiting the tundra belt of northeasternmost Europe. Ceramics representing the More-Yu type belong to the early stage of the Subarctic Pechora culture. They mark the Arctic component that became part of the n orthern Glya denovo population, abruptly changing the Finno-Permic culture of the taiga part of the Pechora basin in northern Urals.

85-93 104

This study, based on artifacts from high-ranking kurgans of the northern Black Sea region (700–300 BC), addresses the little-studied bear motif in Scythian culture and its relevance for the ancient inhabitants of this region and of the adjacent territories. It is a wide-held view that the image of the brown bear had been borrowed from the Ananyino culture of the Kama. Variation of this motif is described and its chronology is assessed. Two principal iconographic versions are known in Scythian art—the animal is shown either en face, in the so-called sacrifi cial posture, or drinking (in profi le, with a bowed head). Such representations occur most often on gold-plated ritual bowls and ornaments of the horse harness. Both the chronology and the distribution range of these artifacts disagree with the idea that the bear motif was a loan from forest cultures. Rather, it appears to be inherently Scythian, having originated around 700 BC together with other images of the animal style. Apparently, some form of the bear cult was practiced by the Scythian elite.

94-103 67

Results of fi eld surveys of an inscription on a rock near the Arkhara River, carried out in 2003 and 2014–2018, are outlined. Some graphemes of which it consists are written in red, others in black. The black ones, fi rst discovered in 2003, make up a coherent whole—a hieroglyphic text arranged in three columns consisting of 7, 10, and 7 signs. In 2004, a suggestion was made that the text is written in Jurchen hieroglyphic script. In 2014, this hypothesis, based on historical and archaeological evidence, received a linguistic support, and the text was translated. Judging by the available data, it was written on December 1, 1127, and is demonstrated to be the earliest Jurchen inscription known to date. The text mentions the author’s name—Shin Terin, and says that he had arrived in the Targhando mouke (military-administrative region). Apart from the text written in black, certain graphemes written in red are arranged in a linear sequence, suggesting that this is a text too. For the fi rst time, one of the “red” graphemes is published and shown to belong to Jurchen script. The results suggest that the Arkhara rock gallery includes Jurchen inscriptions that are highly relevant to Jurchen linguistics, toponymy, social and cultural history.

104-110 200

This study addresses the possible activity of early Christian missions among the Vogul (Mansi) of the Urals, Trans-Urals, and northwestern Siberia between the 8th–16th centuries. Three stages in their history are described. The fi rst (700–1000 AD) was marked by the import of southwestern Central Asian silver dishes (diskoi) reproducing biblical themes and Christian symbols. Specimens from Grigorovskoye, Anikovskoye, and from the Malaya Ob had been cast in Nestorian communities of Semirechye. The imported diskoi gave rise to the tradition of offering food to deities on metal dishes. The second stage (1200–1400 AD) began when silver plaques depicting the famous theme of icon painting (“The feat of the Martyr Demetrius of Solun defeating King Kaloyan of Bulgaria”) had been imported to the region. The third stage (15th and 16th centuries) correlates with the Russian expansion to Siberia and attempts to baptize the natives. At the ceremony, baptismal symbols such as tin plaques were given to the neophytes. Apparently, most plaques represent the biblical King David and were manufactured by Russians in the late 1400s to early 1500s. In the 16th century, plaques with the fi gure of St. George appeared in Siberia. The analysis of items showing biblical and hagiographical characters and of their distribution in northwestern Siberia suggests that Christian missions were unable to oust paganism from the region. Russian religious items were used in native rituals mostly if they represented horsemen, because these seemed to allude to the son of the Ob Ugric supreme deity Mir-Susne-Khum, also depicted as a horseman.

111-118 80

the 18th-century expeditions from the Academy of Sciences aimed at colonizing new territories, especially eastern, exploring their landscapes, natural resources, and inhabitants. The article focuses on the team working in the Cheremshan basin. The description of findings is arranged in five sections, following Lepyokhin’s classification: landscape, population, clothing, occupations, and rituals. For the first time, a complete, updated, and verified list of settlements visited by the expedition members is provided. The role of the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences Director, Count Vladimir Orlov, in the organization of the expedition is described. The author disproves the opinion regarding the authorship of the anonymous article “Brief News About Simbirsk Vicegerency” published in the “Mesyatsoslov” journal in 1786. The persons to whom the article was attributed include Lepyokhin, Maslenitsky, and Ozeretskovsky, but the textological analysis of the article and of the manuscript at the Russian State Archives of Military History suggests that this is a collective digest of manuscripts by Milkovich and Maslenitsky.

119-126 63

This study addresses the main aspects of the Mordvin peasant relocation to Western Siberia from the mid-1800s to Stolypin’s agrarian reform, with a focus on resettlement and relationships with old residents, successful and failed unauthorized and reverse migration, and the displacement level. The sources are archival data, specifi cally E.I. Krivyakov’s and V.B. Rusyaikin’s manuscripts owned by the archives of the Government of Mordovia Institute for the Humanities. Causes of migration were mostly economical, and the process was triggered by the abolishment of serfdom in 1861 and then by the Stolypin’s reform, meant to defuse the imminent agrarian crisis in central Russia. On the basis of archival and published evidence, it is demonstrated that the main problems faced by the authorities were their unpreparedness for arranging the relocation of large numbers of peasants, insuffi cient funding, small size of land plots allotted to new settlers, diffi culties with obtaining documents, the fact that governmental help was insuffi cient and provided not to all those in need (land plots were not allotted to unauthorized settlers), administration’s laissez faire in the resettlement process, failure to limit admission fees paid to old settlers, and other factors caused by poor organizational training.

127-135 84

On the basis of the summer 2017 opinion poll among the young Buryat residents of Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, and the TransBaikal Region, post-Soviet tendencies in Buryat ethnic identity and social mobility are examined. Changes in the traditional lifestyle are analyzed with regard to ethnic consolidation and assimilation. The impact of growing ethnic diversity, social and territorial mobility on identity, language competence, attitudes to religion, and participation in religious ceremonies are discussed. Principal post-Soviet tendencies include ethnic consolidation based on common Buryat identity and the decline of subethnic identities following the collapse of tribal structure. Religion is becoming the key consolidating factor, as evidenced by the rising number of believers among the young people. However, opposite tendencies, such as growing ethnic assimilation and language shift triggered by social and territorial mobility among the young Buryats, are becoming a threat. Young people are potentially ready to abandon their traditional ethnic milieu, live in a multiethnic society, and marry outside of their ethnicity. The growth of assimilative tendencies results in the erosion of ethnicity is a challenge which the Buryat people must face. It is concluded that a new model of Buryat ethnicity is needed at the present stage.

136-144 101

We present the results of a multidisciplinary study (the fi rst one in Russia) of nine Egyptian mummies owned by the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow), carried out at the Kurchatov Institute. A detailed description of the methods is provided. X-ray computed tomography is shown to be a highly informative non-destructive technique for studying the 3D structures of mummies. On the basis of the results, plus the conclusions of forensic experts, a detailed anthropological analysis was conducted. Mummifi cation techniques, sex, and age of all individuals were assessed. In three cases, the sex differed from that indicated in the museum inventory. Morphologically, all crania represent varieties of the Mediterranean type. One individual, however, has typically sub-Saharan features. Pathological changes concern mostly the spine and are both age-related and traumatic. In two individuals, spinal pathologies might have caused death.

145-157 66

This study deals with long-term temporal changes of body height and weight during various stages of ontogeny: newborns, infancy, early age, fi rst childhood, second childhood, adolescence, and youth. Each age/sex group numbers ca 100 persons, the total sample size is ca 2 000. The meta-analysis is based primarily on growth standards for Russian children, regularly renewed by the Research Institute for the Hygiene and Health Protection of Children and Adolescents and mostly relating to separate decades of the 20th century. The intensity of the secular trends was assessed through the analysis of scatter plots. The largest share in the secular increase of bodily dimensions belongs to intense growth during the second year of life and during the adolescent growth spurt. The smallest share is that of intrauterine growth, limited by the mother’s body size, and that of growth during adolescence, when the mature body size has been virtually reached and growth rate is minimal. Boys, who are more eco-sensitive, demonstrate greater secular changes than girls, who are eco-resistant. Smaller secular changes in weight than in height in both boys and girls result in the increase of leptosomy. This heterochrony concerns mostly newborns, whose body mass is a standard example of stabilizing selection.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)