Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Vol 60, No 4 (2014)
View or download the full issue PDF (Russian)


2-12 87

This paper presents the data of technical and technological analyses of organic and inorganic residues collected from the surfaces of lithic artifacts recovered from the Early Mesolithic layer in the Dvoinaya Cave (Northwestern Caucasus). The micro-chemical and IR analyses have revealed plant and animal residues, as well as mineral components. Organic residues noted on the tool edges are well correlated with the data of the use-wear analysis that was carried out previously.

13-29 62

Before the 1970s, Eurasian Aurignacian artifacts of the carinated type were interpreted as tools, specifically endscrapers or burins. At present, they are more and more often regarded as cores for bladelets with a curved profile. In the southeast, their distribution area was previously believed to extend to the southern part of the Afghan-Tajik depression. Recent studies in western Central Asia, however, suggest that the boundary passes across northwestern High Asia. In this area, carinated pieces are associated with the Kulbulakian culture (35–30 to 20 ka; the upper chronological limit may be even later). Comparison with tentatively contemporaneous Aurignacian industries of the Levant, Zagros, and Gorny Altai indicates a common evolutionary trend, regional specificity notwithstanding.

30-40 116

The present study was mostly aimed at reconstructing the traditions of ceramic manufacturing that were practiced by the people of the recently identi ed Mariinskoye culture of the Early Neolithic (the 8th–7th millennia BC) in the Lower Amur. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of ceramics via a historical-cultural approach to the studies of ancient pottery production. General pottery traditions have been established, indicating a cultural homogeneity for the population of the Mariinskoye culture. The work represents a methodological study that suggests various perspectives of this approach.


41-53 518

Sociocultural processes in the Uralian Chalcolithic were determined both by the evolutionary changes in the local post-Neolithic societies and by the migratory activity of the southern human groups, which fact makes the cultural and historical analysis of archeological records problematic. Until recently, the chronology and periodization of the Uralian Chalcolithic were based mainly on stratigraphy, artifacts typology, and intuition. In the article, we analyze more than 150 radiocarbon dates obtained for various Ural areas and adjacent territories. The Early Chalcolithic in the Volga-Ural area around the 6th/5th millenium cal BC boundary is associated with migration of human groups bearing the Syezzheye and Khvalynsk pottery traditions. In the second half of the 5th millennium cal BC, local Chalcolithic traditions were formed: Tok and Turganik of the Volga-Ural, comb and pseudo-cord of the Trans-Urals, Novoilyinskoye and Gari-Bor of the Kama area. The Early Chalcolithic in the Northern Kazakhstan appears to be the latest.

54-63 149

In the Late Bronze Age, a group of cultures dominated by that of the Irmen had appeared in the forest-steppe area located on the right bank of the Irtysh River basin. Different parts of this region were inhabited by populations from the Irmen, Suzgun, and Pakhomovskaya cultures as well as those related to the Relief-Band Ware culture. The degree of their interaction appears to have varied. Evidence suggests that the intensive development of this group occurred during the subsequent transitional period, which spanned from the Bronze to the Iron Age. Populations that inhabited the north, west and south-west regions migrated into this area to establish large and forti ed trading posts.

64-76 85

The article presents the imitation/reconstruction of an early-medieval dwelling. It was built to actual size using the plan of dwelling No. 5 from the Mikhailovskoye forti ed settlement at the Zavitaya River, in the Amur Region. A detailed description of the construction and assembly of individual units of frame-and-pillar structure is provided. The problems associated with the functioning of the dwelling in different seasons are discussed.

77-82 78

The authors interpret and introduce for scienti c use two previously unknown Runic inscriptions and one inscription in the Uyghur writing found on the rocks of the Urkosh area in Central Altai. The Uyghur writing in black paint is the only find of such a kind in the whole region. It was created not earlier than the 10th century. The Runic characters
could be dated back to the 8th–9th centuries. The supreme power-holders or tribal leaders are mentioned in the Urkosh inscriptions, which is quite rare in the collection of the early medieval runic manuscripts of the Altai.

83-91 171

The availability of science-based methods has marked a new stage in the study of Pazyryk mummies. This article outlines the results of a magnetic resonance imaging examination of a mummy found in 1993 at Ak-Alakha-3 mound 1, the Ukok Plateau, Gorny Altai—so far the only undisturbed burial of a high-ranking Pazyryk woman discovered in
permafrost. The MRI examination revealed several diseases that may have caused the woman’s death, and yielded certain facts relevant to her lifestyle. These findings may have implications for the woman’s special status as a person “chosen by spirits”, possibly a priestess.

92-105 67

Burial ground horizons dating as far back as the 6th–2nd centuries BC and the cultural layers associated with settlements dated to the Late Bronze (?) Age, the Classical Antiquity, and the Middle Ages, have been identi ed during a multidisciplinary study of sediments exposed by trenching at the entrance of Lobanova Shchel (Lobanova Gorge), near a burial ground of the 6th–2nd centuries BC. The study has provided insights into general regularities of paleolandscape evolution in the littoral zone of the Abrau Peninsula. A correlation between the composition of plant communities, changes in sea level, seismic and sedimentary processes has been carried out.

106-119 137

Analysis of the organization of archaeological sites in the Dzhazator valley reveals patterns from the Chalcolithic to the Ethnographic period. There is a relationship between the monuments and petroglyphs in the Bronze Age, with a preference for the northern bank in the lower valley. In the early Iron Age and Turkic periods, all parts of the valley
were used. The analysis reveals a distinction between the northern and the southern bank, where the latter was avoided for monuments and for petroglyphs. The one exception is located in the middle part of the valley, where it is possible to cross the river.

120-124 82

The article describes and attributes six tin plaques found in the north of Western Siberia, at a site held sacred by the Mansi. The study suggests that their motifs are associated with the  gure of the Biblical King David, and proposes that these objects are of Russian origin, dating back to the initial period of the Russian advancement into Western Siberia
in the early 16th century.

125-135 56

Ethnological analogies derived from studies of recent environments and societies in Arctic and Subarctic regions of Siberia are generally being applied in archaeological interpretative models. The analogies prove to be inspiring, because each of them has the potential to enlarge the scope of static archaeological evidence by including dynamic aspects of social and symbolic systems within recent societies. Here, we analyze electronic databases and literature on zoomorphic and theriantropic figurines collected during the Jesup North Pacific expedition. Subsequently, the social value and mythological context that accompany specific zoomorphic themes were recorded. Some aspects of these paleoethnological implications are partially applicable to the Upper Paleolithic zoomorphs.

136-145 336

This paper focuses on the analysis of historical stories associated with an elite family of Siberian Muslims. Particular attention is paid to veri cation of the original Arabic-language sources by comparing them with data obtained from population censuses and ethnographic interviews. The existence of genealogy among the West Siberian Tatars refers to the Bukharans who populated the region intensively in the 16th–19th centuries, developing into an ethnic and class group, and then in the 20th century assimilated among the Siberian Tatars. Several versions of the genealogy of descendants of ‘Awwas-Baqi, who arrived from the city of Sayram in the outskirts of Tara in Siberia, as well as the
social status of the main members representing the Shikhov family, have been successfully identified.


146-154 114

Results of a science-based analysis of ante-mortem trepanation carried out by Scythian Age surgeons of Gorny Altai (4th–3rd centuries BC) are presented. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescent analysis using synchrotron radiation, and magnetic resonance tomography were supplemented by micro-wear experiments. All trepanations were performed by scraping and included two stages. The bone tissue around the holes reveals high concentrations of copper and tin but no traces of iron or arsenic, suggesting that surgical instruments were made of tin bronze. A knife, experimentally manufactured of copper, tin, and zinc alloy and shaped like knives used
by Southern Siberian nomads, was successfully used to perform trepanation on a cadaver.

ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)