Zhitenev V.S.


The article gives a review of the Upper Paleolithic objects made of solid organic materials, which were found in the Kapova Cave (Southern Urals, Russia) in different years of research. Formation of the cultural layers discovered in some parts of the cave dates back to the period between 13,900±190 BP and 16,710±800 BP. The essential point is almost complete absence of fossil remains of large and medium-sized classes of animals in the studied areas of Paleolithic man’s activity in the cave. The bone industry is represented by several categories, such as an arrow, a knife, an awl, needles, a trowel-like tool, ornamented bones, and personal ornaments. These objects were mostly made of bone, including the bones of large rodents and fish. There are also articles made of ivory and mollusk shells. It should be noted as well that there are no traces of wastes of producing bone inventory (in contrast to the stone industry). The only exception is untreated fossil shells from Volga used as material for making personal ornaments. The data comparison shows similarity in the tool kit from the collections of the sites with wall paintings in Western Europe and the Southern Urals. The human activity in such caves was much more diverse than it is commonly supposed to be. The archaeological study of different points of distribution of cultural layers in the caves, as well as the findings on the floor of chambers and galleries, leave unanswered the question of synchronicity of material accumulation. Different types of bone tools which were found in different parts of the same cave suggest different specific and certain activities and events held in separate areas in order to develop underground cavities; whereas all the types of activities are likely to have single and essentially permanent general sense. In the Kapova Cave, as well as in other sites with wall paintings, the entire archeological ensemble, including the bone industry, gives evidence of the complex and diverse practices carried out in underground conditions. For the moment, the content and nature of these practices transcend our understanding.

Key words: Upper Paleolithic, bone industry, Kapova Cave, Altamira, Lascaux.


Omelchenko V.V.


The article examines some sign-images such as a pin-point spiral of the Malta Plate using a system analysis approach. This Plate is the unique archeological artifact and was made of mammoth ivory in the times of the Paleolithic age, in an ancient human location found in Southern Siberia, the village of Malta. These sign-images which are associated with Tripartite knowledge from the Veda and the Avesta, show a well-throughout classification system of upstream and downstream spirals, describing different systems of counting, numeration and calculation. A strict logical correlation between the universal stages of acts of the nature and the spiral turns on the Malta Plate was revealed. It is concluded that this unique archeological artifact reflects the universal global law of cyclic or periodic evolution of objects, processes and events in the world, reality and beingness.

Key words: the Paleolithic Age, southern Siberia, Malta plate, mammoth ivory, spiral, cycle, period, sign-image, number, counting, numeration, calculation.


Evdokimov V.V., Logvin A.V., Tkachev A.A.


The Semiozernoe II settlement is located at the centre of the northern Turgay Valley which lies between Turan Plain and West Siberian Plain, Kazakhstan. Since 1973 it has been frequently mentioned by researchers of Sintashta culture and Petrovka culture. Since published material of the site was fragmented and limited, it is difficult to have a precise notion of its material culture. As a result, the settlement is defined as Sintashta in one part and as Petrovka in another part of the same scientific study [Vinogradov, 2011, p. 27, 97]. Meanwhile, the Semiozernoe II settlement is the only studied site of these cultures without artifacts of other epoch in Kazakhstan thus far. Therefore the main aim of this study is to describe information gathered during settlement excavation as completely as possible. But due to the aim and limitations of volume interpretative statements turned out to be very brief. Later the authors will publish a more detailed work, and possibly readers may consider this paper as food for reflection. At the settlement there were excavated 1545 m2 of occupation layer and remains of six constructions. Apparently the settlement was established by metallurgists. Only the construction 1 can be recognized as dwelling. Many everyday non-metalworking artifacts were discovered there. The construction 3 was used mainly for copper smelting. There is a big metallurgical furnace there, but no small furnaces. The constructions 2, 4, 5 were used for subsequent metalwork operations based on small furnaces, many hearths, chisel mould and other findings. When comparing pottery from the Semiozernoe II settlement and the Arkaim settlement, it is ascertained that main pottery types of these sites are the same [Malutina, Zdanovich, 2004]. This represents the settlements as part of one culture tradition at the same time. Small size of the Semiozernoe II, small density of occupation layer, functional specialization of constructions indicates at short duration of the settlement. Similarity of the pottery from the Semiozernoe II and the Arkaim enables us to consider poorness of occupation layer at the Arkaim as a result of its short duration too. The above-mentioned leads to the conclusion that the attempt to split the Arkaim collection into Sintashta and later Petrovka is apparently unsuccessful [Vinogradov, 2011, p. 96]. In broad terms, it is necessary to return to the problem of correlation between Sintashta and Petrovka antiquities.

Key words: Semiozernoe II, metallurgy, Sintashta, Petrovka, Bronze Age.


Besetayev B.B.


Aim. Over the past decade some significant findings supplemented model Scythian-Saka items of the complex of artifacts from the funerary monuments of early Scythian culture of the VIIVI centuries BC. In the present paper, we examine occasional findings of bronze objects of military belt fittings and parts of horse harness of the early stage of Saka culture found in East Kazakhstan. The primary task of this article is to determine cultural and chronological attribution of the occasional findings found near Barshatas, East Kazakhstan. Results. The chronological and cultural attributes of the materials are determined on the basis of a comparative typological analysis and developed characteristics of the early Saka culture. Some findings are dated back to the beginning of the VII–VI c. BC. Basing on the foregoing and considering the design of elements of almost identical Tasmolyn and Mayamer cultures, it is impossible to talk about the precise boundaries of the early Saka time cultures. Tal-king about the monument, its belonging to any culture is difficult to define. Similar harness kits and military belts of the early Saka time were found in the large part of the Scythian-Saka-Siberian area. At later stages of development they became a prototype. However, judging by the random findings, which have artistic and mythological decorations in the form of a spiral ornament and relief images on the details, we can conclude that they originate from relatively «rich» burials among the funerary complexes of the early Saka time known in East Kazakhstan until now. Conclusion. East Kazakhstan region is a kind of center of various cultures of the Scythian-Saka-Siberian world. They were very closely linked there. Therefore, it opens up new horizons in the study of the key attributes of the Scythian-Saka archeology in relation to a problem of the optimal arrangement of the funerary monuments of the time, and to the search for intercultural relations with other time-synchronous ethnic groups.

Key words: East Kazakhstan, archaeological culture, Scythian-Saka-Siberian cultural area, Scythian-Saka epoch, Early Nomads, horse harness.


Matveeva N.P., Dolgikh A.S.

RECONSTRUCTION OF WOMAN COSTUME OF THE YEARLY MIDDLE AGES (on the materials of the burial ground Revda-5 in the Tobol valley)

The article presents the results of an archaeological research in Tyumen region in the Tobol valley at the burial ground Revda-5 of the III–IV centuries AD. The cemetery was found on the right bank of the Tobol river, the subtaiga zone of the Trans-Urals. We found a well-preserved burial of an adult woman in this burial ground. Reconstruction of the ancient costume as a reflection of the traditional culture has been already used in the study of history. Traditional clothes reflected the life-support features, and had social-diagnostic and sacred significance. Satisfactory preservation of the skeletons and things is pretty rare in the burial mounds of the Trans-Urals because they had been robbed in the course of several centuries. We decided to reconstruct the details of clothing and jewelry of the people of the Great Migration epoch. System analysis of all elements of the funerary practices and their relationship is the methodic basis of this study. This method was used along with anthropological data of postdepositional transformations of buried bodies, and was based on the data of an experiment by A. Borodovsky and I. Glushkov on the displacement of ornaments and other items of clothing in the decomposition of burial. We conducted an experiment with contemporary leather strap and overlays imitating the belt from the burial, which showed the correctness of our conclusions. On the basis of remnants of textiles and location of adornments on the skeleton, the authors concluded that suit of a 30–40 year old woman consisted of a brown silk shirt, trousers and a brown linen caftan. The suit was complemented by a leather belt with bronze plates. On her neck there was a necklace made of glass beads. Leather flask or a small bag was hung to the belt. We believe that the body was wrapped in a cloak or a blanket. This costume was widespread in the Early Iron Age among the nomads. The quality of the fabrics and ornaments confirm the high social status and material prosperity of the woman.

Key words: the Early Middle Ages, the Trans-Urals, burial ground, reconstruction, female costume, Western Siberia.


Turova N.P.


The article introduces into scientific use an impressive collection of metal belt plates, buckles, connector rings, obtained during an archaeological research carried out at the Vak-Kur burial ground (Tyumen region, the right Bank of the Tobol river). The presence of a cord ornament in the ceramic collection lets us attribute the artifact to medieval Yudinsky tribe culture, which the researchers associate with ethnogenesis of Mansi. Construction of the Necropolis is dated back to the X–XIII centuries AD. The collection presents 333 articles: 286 belt plates, 19 belt end plates, 24 buckles and 4 connecting rings. The articles are examined as a single complex with no taking into account their functionality. The material is systematized, the analogies are identified,  the main directions and the nature of relations between the Yudinsky tribe and people from different regions of Eurasia at the boundary of the I–II millennia AD are determined. The majority of analogies of the accessories found at Vak-Kur burial (except for the buckles) is discovered on the territory of Prikamye, as well as among the antiquities of Volga Bulgaria. The great number of the buckles represents the products typical of the artifacts found in the Upper Ob region and in Southern Siberia (such items are often found in Srostkinskiy cemeteries, Kimakskiy burials of the Upper Irtysh region of the IX — early XI centuries). A characteristic feature is that the artifacts (belts, bridles, sword belts) combine plates of the Uralic origin and the buckles of the steppe nomads: this fact suggests them to be mounted right in the place but not been brought to Yudinsky people. A conclusion is made in the article that the major part of the accessories was imported, and the other part was manufactured according to the imported samples: this fact is clearly evidenced from the found buckles. Another conclusion is made that emergence of a large number of accessories of Uralic origin among the materials found at the Vak-Kur burial grounds is connected not only to trade and exchange relations, but also is related to certain resettlements of tribes from the Urals to other regions. The nature of their relations with the steppe nomads of the Upper Irtysh region (and possibly of the Upper Ob region) due to which the Yudinsky population got not only buckles of the Srostkinskiy type, but also other accessories, was likely to be of trade-exchange character, as the traces of Turkic population are not found either in archaeologically recorded elements of the burial ritual or in the ceramic complex of the necropolis.

Key words: Western Siberia, Lower Tobol Area, the Middle Ages, Yudinsky culture, burial ground Vak-Kur, typology, belt accessories, linings, buckles, fastening ring.


Tataurov S.P., Tataurov Ph.S.


Isker is the capital of the Siberian khanate at the initial stage (1582–1584) of the Russian conquest of Western Siberia. After Tobolsk was founded in 1587, Isker was abandoned. In the XVIII–XX centuries numerous amateur excavations were carried out on its territory, which, along with a natural factor (the River Irtysh washed out the part of a rock terrace where the ancient settlement is located) led to a severe destruction of the site. Professional archaeological researches were carried out only at the end of the XX century; however, they didn't give any significant result. All earlier collected collections were partially lost by the beginning of the XXI century. Th importance and status of the city in the Siberian khanate are still not defined. In this regard there was a need for an in-depth study of the available materials in order to understand specific characteristics of this complex and its place among other archaeological monuments of that time. This article represents in detail the results of an analysis of two collections of archaeological artifacts, which were collected in Isker by N.I. Butakov in 1896 and by A.F. Palashenkov in 1938 and which are stored in Omsk State Regional Historical Museum. The following groups of subjects were analyzed in detail: ceramics as the main marker of belonging of the Isker population to the Turkic Tatar society of Siberia of the XVI century; fighting and throwing knives; metal and bone arrowheads and bow plates; fragments of fishing tackles; locks and handles of storage chests; accessories; imported items. In general, it should be noted that composition of this complex of items does not differ from similar Tatar monuments of the period. Basing on the archaeological material, it is possible to conclude that the residents of the ancient settlement had a rather high social status, which is testified by the types of items (porcelain ware, bronze mirrors, rings, etc.) and high technology of their production. However it doesn't give the grounds to believe that the city was the constant capital of the Siberian khanate. Perhaps, it was only one of temporary headquarters of the khan. This research shows ambiguity in interpretation of the role of Isker in the Siberian khanate, and, therefore, it is important in terms of studying medieval Turkic-Tatar state.

Key words: Siberian khanate, Isker, archeology, history of study, arms and everyday items, status items.


Bravina R.I., Dyakonov V.M., Kolbina E.Yu., Petrov D.M.


Basing on the analysis of the archaeological data on medieval burials of Yakuts we raise the problems of interpretation of graves with traces of an ancient ritual penetration and violation of burial structures and of anatomical integrity of the skeletons of the buried, using ethnographic and folklore data. We give a generalized description of the main types of disturbed graves of the late Middle Ages of Yakutia: secondary burial, embalming, rendering a dangerous dead harmless, desecration, robbery, etc. We provide historical and comparative data from the ancient and medieval cultures of Central Asia, Southern Siberia and the Far East. We examine philosophical ideas about the afterlife, ritual actions of Yakuts against «dangerous» dead and sacred people.

Key words: Yakutia, Yakuts, Middle Ages, burials, disturbed graves, post-inhumation rites, ancient penetration into the grave, interpretation, ethnographic parallels, folklore data.