VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII   1 (44)  (2019)

rchaeology

 

Economy of the Early Mediaeval population of Primorye (based on archaeological evidence for the Mohe culture) 

Piskareva Ya.., Sergusheva E.., Dorofeeva N.., Lyashchevskaya M.S., Sharyi-ool M.. (Vladivostok, Russian Federation)

 

                page 2536

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This paper attempts to reconstruct the economy of the Early Mediaeval population of Primorye, based on an analysis of data obtained from archaeological sites of the Mohe culture. Sites of the Mohe culture in Primorye date from the 6th to the beginning of the 8th c. AD. With the emergence of the Bohai state in the western districts of Primorye, Bohai cultural elements gradually replace Mohe across the region and Mohe sites gradually disappear in the archaeological record. However, some features of the Mohe material culture continue to exist for some time. Paleogeographic evidence indicates a cooling of climate and decrease in rainfall in the 6th to 7th cc. AD and climate warming in the 8th c. There are limited but reliable archaeological evidences from Mohe sites for the existence of agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting, sea and river gathering and fishing, and plant gathering. However, it is not yet possible to rank these components of the economy by economic significance for the population. Our study shows an increase in agricultural activity from the early to the late stages of Mohe culture. The early sites do not demonstrate a significant role for agriculture, in contrast to the later sites, where there is clear evidence for an increase in the list of cultural plants and the volume of agricultural production. Changes in agricultural practice occurred rapidly and were triggered by historical events in the region, connected with the formation of Bohai State and the expansion of its borders. Changes also can be seen chronologically in the settlement patterns of the Mohe of Primorye. Early Mohe settled in places convenient for their traditional activities. At a later stage, sites which controlled territory and the waterway along the Razdolnaya river appear. Evidence for other components of the Mohe economy are limited and only confirm the presence of their in the Mohe subsistence systems in this region, but they are insufficient for more detailed reconstruction. It has been found that the Mohe of Primorye raised at least two types of domestic animals pigs and horses. There is mostly indirect evidence for hunting (arrowheads, knives, tools for currying skins) from the Mohe sites. The absence of mammal and bird bones prevents any more certain reconstruction of Mohe hunting objects. A few shells of marine and freshwater molluscs were found on three sites. Bone remains of eight species of marine fishes were also found on one site. The gathering of wild plants is confirmed by the finds of seeds and fruits of seven plants species. Most of the plants were used for food and some for medical purposes.

Key words: Early Middle Ages, Mohe archaeological culture, settlement system, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, hunting, gathering, Primorye.

 

DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-44-1-025-036

 

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This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

 

Article is published 2.04.2019 .

 

Ya.E. Piskareva

Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Far Eastern Branch RAS, Pushkinskaya st., 89, Vladivostok, 690001, Russian Federation

E-mail: yana7@mail.ru

 

E.A. Sergusheva

Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Far Eastern Branch RAS, Pushkinskaya st., 89, Vladivostok, 690001, Russian Federation

E-mail: lenasergu@gmail.com

 

N.A. Dorofeeva

Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of Far Eastern Branch RAS, Pushkinskaya st., 89, Vladivostok, 690001, Russian Federation

E-mail: dnaal@list.ru

 

M.S. Lyashchevskaya

Pacific Geographical Institute of Far Eastern Branch RAS, Radio st., 7, Vladivostok, 690041, Russian Federation

E-mail: lyshevskay@mail.ru

 

M.O. Sharyi-ool

Federal Scientific Center of the East Asia Terrestrial Biodiversity Far Eastern Branch RAS, Stoletya Vladivostoka av., 159, Vladivostok, 690022, Russian Federation

E-mail: sharyiool@biosoil.ru