Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnofrafii   1 (52)  2021



Firearms and weapon devices of the Russian army in 15821585 (based on materials from the settlement of Isker)  

Adamov .. (Tobolsk, Russian Federation)


             page 5061


Archaeological materials found in different periods during the excavations in the settlement of Isker (Kuchum, 17 km from the city of Tobolsk), the ancient capital of the Khanate of Sibir, allow the analysis of firearms of Russian warriors of the 15821585, who took part in the Yermaks Conquest of the Khanate. Various gun barrel fragments, breechloader bolts, a hammer with a lock spring, steel strikers with turnscrews, metal and bone ramrod parts, bullet moulds were discovered during the excavations in Isker. These findings suggest that Russian pishchal arquebuses with matchlocks of the first half of the 16th century were the major weapon in service. On the tips of wooden ramrods, there were copper and bone bushings for ramming the projectiles. Ramrods were also equipped with three-leafed bushing caps for bore cleaning. All-purpose steel strikers with turnscrews unscrewed the bolts that attached barrels to stocks and disassembled locks; they had holes to be suspended on the gun. Stone bullet moulds were used for moulding lead bullets. The carefully examined archaeological collections from Isker do not support the hypothesis proposed in scientific literature stating that Yermaks Cossacks were armed with flintlock firearm and small-bore guns.

Key words: Isker, Western Siberia. Khanate of Siberia, 16th century, weaponology, Russian warrior firearms, Yermak, pishchal arquebus, lock, ramrods.


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

Accepted: 07.12.2020

Article is published: 26.02.2021


Adamov ..

Tobolsk Complex Scientific State of Ural Branch of the RAS, Akad. Yu. Osipova st., 15, Tobolsk, 626152, Russian Federation

E-mail: (Adamov ..)