Pottery vessels from a collective burial in the mound of the Pazyryk Culture (Northern Altai) 

Tishkin A.A., Bondarenko S.Yu., Mu Ts., Semibratov V.P.






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In one of the barrows examined in 2007 at the site of Choburak-II (the territory of the Northern Altai), an intrusive, and not quite ordinary, a collective burial of people was found. Accompanying burials of two horses were also recorded there and a variety of artefacts was found (a fragment of a stone grain grinder, elements of horse harness, miniature knives made of non-ferrous metal, a dagger, a chisel, a quiver hook, fragments of gold foil from clothing decoration and other items). The recovered materials made it possible to attribute the excavated burial site to the Pazyryk Culture and to carry out its dating, including the radiocarbon method. In this publication, a special attention is given to the pottery finds. Two vessels appeared to be severely damaged, and to determine their parameters it was necessary to use the bespoke technique of computer-aided restoration based on photogrammetry and aimed at obtaining the most probable shape of these ancient containers. In this respect, an algorithm, being tested by the authors, of modern demonstration in publications of the category of products in question was implemented. Based on the reconstructions performed in the paper, the restored dimensions of the pottery vessels are given, as well as their closest analogies. The third pot (of a closed jar shape with well-marked handles) was found intact. It reflects a different cultural tradition. Such products are very rare in the Altai Mountains. However, they are found in the neighboring and somewhat remote territories. This circumstance influenced the interpretation of the recorded situation. Pottery ware is an important archaeological source. Unfortunately, it has not yet become a separate research area in the study of the Pazyryk Culture. It is hoped that the developments of the authors of the paper will contribute to the research. The specific nature of this additional burial of the deceased person is noted. The investigated archaeological site to a certain extent may reflect the processes of interaction of the Pazyryk population with their northern neighbors. The body of the considered data complements the content and features of the culture of the Altai population of the Scythian-Saka period.

Keywords: Altai, Pazyryk Culture, Scythian-Saka time, Choburak-II, ceramic vessels, computer restoration.


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to A.L. Kungurov for the preparation of graphic illustrations of the subject complex.

Funding. The work was carried out with partial financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 22-18-00470 The World of Ancient Nomads of Inner Asia: Interdisciplinary Studies of Material Culture, Sculptures and Economy, A.A. Tishkin, S.Y. Bondarenko) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 20-39-90022 Pottery form the Sites of the Pazyryk Culturein the Scythians-Saka Time: Comprehensive Research and Reconstruction, Ts. Mu).


Creative Commons License

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

Accepted: 29.09.2021

Article is published: 15.12.2022


Tishkin A.A., Altai State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation, E-mail: tishkin210@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7769-136X

Bondarenko S.Yu., Altai State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation, Altai State Agrarian University, Krasnoarmeisky prosp., 98, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation, E-mail: bonsu@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4295-4120


Mu Ts., Altai State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation, E-mail: mujinshan@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7463-9638


Semibratov V.P.,  Altai State University, prosp. Lenina, 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation, E-mail: svp9039116217@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4579-2702