Dwellings of the population of the Early Iron Age Baitovo Culture in the Tobol-Ishim forest-steppe

Berlina S.V., Tsembalyuk S.I.






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In this paper, the results of the study of dwellings of the Baitovo Culture population of the Early Iron Age in the Tobol-Ishim forest-steppe are presented. The research was aimed at identification of types of dwellings prevailing among the Baitovo population, analysis of their structural features and graphical reconstruction of two structures: a surface dwelling from the settlement of Dachnoe 1 and a half-dugout from the settlement of Lake Chencher 6. In total, 42 Baitovo dwellings studied by excavations were analyzed. Investigation of the sites by small areas does not permit characterization of the building system of the Baitovo settlements. Location of the dwellings on sandy soils, surface character of the buildings and rebuilding resulted in that not always it is possible to identify the edge of the ditch or the contour of the building. Due to these circumstances, it is possible to make general observations on the structure of dwellings, although reconstruction of certain detached buildings is complicated. The procedures used in reconstructing the dwellings are based upon the analysis of the position of the remains of the structure within the planigraphy and stratigraphy of excavation areas. Identification of basic elements of the building frame is based upon the analysis of mutual spatial arrangement of the post pits, building ditches etc. For the reconstruction of the exterior of the structures, the method of constrained reconstructions was employed, which allows identification of the object exterior and analysis of its possible variants. The classification of the 42 Baitovo dwellings showed that they are represented evenly by two types: half-dugout (21 structures) and surface (21 structures) structures. The surface structures of a subrectangular shape, with a shallow ditch in the center and without it, are enclosed within grooves or barrow pits. Among the dwellings sinking into the ground, two groups stand out buried insignificantly in the subsoil for up to 1020 cm and half-dugouts sunk into the subsoil for more than 25 cm. Altogether, two structural types of dwellings were identified in the Baitovo housebuilding: framed buildings (surface and buried into the ground) and dwellings with walls built in a log-crib technique. Therefore, the appearance of a new type of dwellings in the Baitovo housebuilding has been identified the log-crib buildings, as well as the traditions of buildings sinking into the ground. Most likely, this is due to the influence of the housebuilding traditions of the Gorokhovo (sinking buildings, appearance of long corridor-exits or passages) and Itkul (surface framed dwellings) Cultures.

Keywords: Baitovo Culture, Early Iron Age, Trans-Urals, Tobol-Ishim river region, housebuilding.


Acknowledgements. The authors of the article express their gratitude to E.A. Alekseeva for the graphic design of the reconstruction of the dwellings.

Funding. The research was carried out on the basis of the state assignment, the project No. 121041600045-8.


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


Berlina S.V., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Chervishevskiy trakt, 13, Tyumen, 625008, Russian Federation, E-mail: svb82@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0080-2620


Tsembalyuk S.I., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Chervishevskiy trakt, 13, Tyumen, 625008, Russian Federation, E-mail: svetac80@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9817-5823