Stone tools of the Neolithic settlement of Mergen 8

Skochina S.N.




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In this paper, stone tools of the Neolithic settlement of Mergen 8, located in the forest-steppe zone of Western Siberia in the Lower Ishim river basin, are analyzed. The mixed cultural layer of the settlement contained materials from two periods of its inhabitation, associated with the Boborykino Culture of the early Neolithic period and with the pottery ornamented with comb stamp of the late Neolithic period. The identification of the two chronologically different types of pottery raised the question of possibility of separating the stone implements. The aim of this work is to attempt differentiation from the mixed cultural layer of the groups of stone tools associated with a certain cultural and chronological section of the settlement. The peculiarity of the cultural layer of the Mergen 8 settlement was the presence of the dwelling 1 and some pits unimpaired by the upper horizons. In the methodological aspect of this work, stratigraphic and planigraphic analyzes with the aid of the feedstock characteristics of stone formed the basis, on which a relatively clean complex of quartz sandstone and flint was isolated, associated with the filling of the dwelling 1, in which pottery of the Boborykino Culture was found. The differentiation of the stone tools from the mixed layer was based upon the raw material that was found in the bottom part of the dwellings ditch, undisturbed by other layers. The complex of the stone tools made of jasper quartzite and schist, established during the field fixation, is associated with the comb-type pottery. Thus, in the course of our study, out of 417 finds of the stone tools 276 (66 % of the entire complex) were assigned to the Boborykino complex, 50 (12 %) to the comb complex, and 91 finds (22 %) were not possible to attribute to any type of pottery. Bearing in mind that separation by feedstock has a certain degree of conventionality, it should be noted that the stone taken from the undisturbed near-bottom part of the Boborykino dwelling 1 reflects the most plausible nature of the stone industry of this period of inhabitation. In addition, in our opinion, attempts to link stone implements and their features with a certain type of pottery facilitate the formation of a clear concept of the development of the stone industry in the region in the Neolithic.

Keywords: forest-steppe zone of the Ishim River basin, settlement Mergen 8, Early Neolithic, Boborykino complex, Late Neolithic, comb complex, mixed cultural layer, stone tools.


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

Accepted: 29.09.2021

Article is published: 15.12.2022


Skochina S.N., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Chervishevskiy trakt, 13, Tyumen, 625008, Russian Federation, E-mail:,