Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 58, No 2 (2014)
View or download the full issue PDF (Russian)


2-17 181

Based on an in-depth palynological analysis of stratified Paleolithic sites in the northwestern Altai, the succession of climatic, floral, and phytocenotic changes is reconstructed that occurred in the northwestern Altai during the alternating cold and relatively warm stages of the Pleistocene and which were critical to human survival and adaptation. Features of climatic optima and pessima are matched with the region’s sequence of warm and cold periods of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene.

18-30 95

Transitional Early Upper Paleolithic stone tool assemblage from Musashino Upland, Japan, is analyzed with regard to raw materials, core reduction (blade technology), and tool types. Results suggest that the diachronic changes of the lithic assemblage can be explained by a shift in raw material utilization by mobile hunter-gatherers rather than by the sophistication of tool-making skills such as blade technology or by typological evolution. The results also indicate the possibility that changes in raw material utilization were caused by changes in residential mobility, in the foraging area size, and in organic raw material utilization within technological organizational systems adapted to various environments during the Early Upper Paleolithic. Technological adaptations were apparently diverse, and strategies anatomically modern humans used during their initial dispersal in Eastern Eurasia were flexible. Also, materials from other Japanese Islands as well the results of this study jointly suggest that the settlement history of anatomically modern humans in the Japanese Islands was more complex than previously believed.


31-43 657

The methodology of studying the form of ancient earthen vessels, based on approaches suggested by G.D. Birkhoff, A.O. Shepard, H.-Å. Nordström, and others, is discussed with reference to the transitional Late Bronze/Early Iron Age ceramics from Western Siberian sites: Linevo-1, Om-1, and Mylnikova. Most specialists focus on the proportions of vessels. V.F. Gening’s statistical approach is shown to be helpful, and the same is true of A.A. Bobrinsky’s and Y.B. Tsetlin’s methods of evaluating the form of earthen vessels by separating traditional types from imitations. Both shared and distinctive features are revealed, and various analytical techniques as applied to specific research objectives are compared.

44-66 165

This study is based on measurements of 271 vessels from Tartas-1 and 51 vessels from Stary Tartas-4, Vengerovo Region, Novosibirsk Province. The distribution of types and categories of vessels in these two assemblages is similar, and both include “imitations.” While the morphology of vessels is generally uniform, variation is greater in Tartas-1.

67-76 166

The article presents the results of dating the Staroturukhansk forti ed settlement – a monument from the time of the Russian colonization of Siberia, and brie y describes the history of Staroturukhansk. Comparative analysis of archaeological and dendrochronological sources revealed six periods of building activities at the examined part of the site, dating to the mid-17th–mid-18th centuries.

77-81 138

Figurines representing reindeer and bear heads were found at several Bronze Age sites of the Ob taiga. Images focus on the eyes, possibly relating to the right–left dichotomy. The same opposition is seen in certain Bronze and Early Iron Age anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations rendered in clay, metal, and graphic. These findings may testify to a distinct artistic tradition practiced in the region.

82-89 257

This study focuses on the results of excavations of the Kyrgyz burial mounds at Chineta II, northwestern Altai. Local burials in this region are cremations accompanied by weapons, belt sets, and horse harness. They represent two stages of the local variant of the Kyrgyz culture – Yakonur (late 9th – early 10th centuries) and Ak-Tash (late 10th – 11th centuries). The findings demonstrate contact between the Kyrgyz immigrants and the Altai natives. At the Yakonur stage, they appeared to have coexisted peacefully, given that in the 9th–10th centuries Turks were allies of the Kyrgyz in their wars against the Uighurs. At the late stage, the nature of relationships changed, as evidenced by an intrusive Kyrgyz burial in a Srostki kurgan. This may be due to either hostility or to loss of knowledge about the ethnic attribution of the mound. If the latter is true, the Kyrgyz settlement of the Altai in the 11th century was not permanent.

90-100 190

Depictions of carts in the rock art of the Minusinsk Basin, the Upper Yenisei, southern Siberia, are compared with actual carts, whose remains were found in late 3rd– early 2nd millennium BC burials in the western Eurasian steppes. The carts were two-wheeled and four-wheeled, with open and covered platforms, and the wheels were solid or tripartite. Nose-rings, special yokes, ropes, and hooks were used to control draft animals (oxen or cows, not horses). The earliest A-frame carts appear to have originated in western Eurasian steppes whence they spread to the east. Alternative hypotheses stating that such carts had originated from those with two-poles, found at Gonur-tepe and other sites, are also discussed.

101-110 141

The Dolgaya-1 site and Novoromanovo rock art gallery in the Kemerovo Province, southern Siberia, may be jointly regarded as an unusual archaeological and petroglyphic complex dating to the Bronze Age. The proposed interpretation is based on the idea of a hunting feast in the context of the seasonal myth about a cosmic hunt. Late Ugrian and Evenkian reminiscences of this myth are discussed. The geographic location of Dolgaya-1 and Novoromanovo, specifically its drainage, may have contributed to the sacralization of the area.

111-118 141

The study presents quantitative information on the seed collections of cultivated plants from archaeological sites of the 8th–10th centuries located in Primorye (Russian Far East) and attempts to identify general and particular features of the set of cultigens in different areas of the region. The data makes it possible to identify the main crops which the population of Primorye cultivated both at the time of the Bohai state as well as after its defeat.

119-125 424

Based on collections housed in the Russian Museum of Ethnography and the National Museum of the Komi Republic, as well as previously published materials and results of field studies from 1989–2013 in the Komi Republic, the article discusses the local ethnic traditions of peasant wood painting among the Upper Vychegda Komi Zyryans. These traditions were in practice at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries in the villages of Ust-Sysolsk and Yarensk Uezds of Vologda Guberniya (the modern Ust-Kulom and Kortkeros Regions of the Komi Republic). In particular, study addresses the decoration of the Upper Vychegda wooden distaffs and brakes. It is hypothesized that this decorative style originated from a blend of Finno-Ugric and Russian traditions in overlapping or adjoining regions of Russian, specifically Old-Believer, and Komi settlement. Painting technique, decoration, and coloring of artifacts from the area of Vychegda differ from those seen elsewhere in northern Russia or in the Kama region.

126-130 162

This article presents an analysis of the food consumed during the wedding ceremonies of Germans living in Siberia, and describes the main functions and characteristics of this food. It explains the symbolic meaning of many ritual meals in relation to each element of the wedding ceremony, from matchmaking to the final day of the celebration. Bread was the most important type of food in these rituals; it was present throughout the wedding ceremony as a symbol of wealth and prosperity as well as a sign of agreement and marital union. Elements of productive magic such as grains and legumes symbolized health, wealth, and procreation. Meat (pork and chicken) and the dishes prepared with it were seen as possessing powers of fertility.


131-142 113

Buccal microwear analysis of the deciduous molars of Sunghir 3 provides a moderate density of striations and suggests a mixed diet. The permanent teeth of Sunghir 1 to 3 present a low density of microwear, in agreement with the minimal occlusal wear of Sunghir 2 but in contrast with the more advanced wear of Sunghir 1 and 3. The Sunghir 1 and 2 scratches imply mixed diets; those of Sunghir 3 suggest a more carnivorous one. These results are in agreement with bone chemistry and stable isotope data and with the resources likely present near Sunghir.

143-156 178

Here we present the attempt to reconstruct the dietary habits of the five major cultural horizons in Southern Siberia (Afanasyevo, Okunev, Andronovo, Karasuk and Tagar cultures, Nind = 214) over a time period spanning three millennia (25th–1st centuries BC) through the assessment of the dental palaeopathology of the people. The data has been compared with the results of earlier stable isotope analysis. The results indicate that (a) the major shifts happened in the dental condition of the Karasuk and Tagar populations, and these only partly correspond with the isotopic data; (b) the inverse relation between frequency of calculus and caries through the populations is possibly related to the consumption of less animal protein and the greater reliance on cereals by the Tagar and Karasuk people; (c) the frequency of metabolic stress, associated with dental enamel hypoplasia, gradually deteriorated from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, which is possibly related to millet adoption in the Minusinsk Basin in the 14th century BC; (d) in all cases, the oral health of individuals deteriorated with age; and (e) in most cases males had higher percentages of various diseases, which does not correlate with the associated isotopic data.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)