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Вы здесь: Главная Издания Археологические вести Annotations of issues Археологические вести. Спб, 1995. Вып. 4. Аннотации.

Археологические вести. Спб, 1995. Вып. 4. Аннотации.




В.М. Массон. На путях к новой инфраструктуре археологии России


On April 18th, 1994, it was 75 years since The Council of People's Commissars passed a decree "On the Russian Academy of History оf Material Culture", Its very first paragraph reads as follows: "For the purpose of the archaeological, artistic, and historical studies into monuments and artifacts, objects of art, antiquities, and all culturally important material objects in general, and for the protection of all such objects on the territory of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Academy of History of Material Culture is hereby founded in Petrograd". Initially, the name of the new body was Russian Academy; after the formation of the U.S.S.R. it was given the title State Academy, the Russian acronym being GAIMK (1926). In Moscow. a section of GAIMK was organized in 1924; in early 1932 it became the Moscow Branch of GAIMK (MOGAIMK).

GAIMK, as the principal archaeological organ formed by the state, was undergoing structural changes in the course of historical events occurring in Russia. At first, GAIMK was the heir of the Imperial Archaeological Committee (IAK) and incorporated its library that possessed 25 thousand books and archives where manuscripts and photographic documents were stored. IAK itself was founded in 1859. According to a decree passed by the Ruling Senate, its chairman became S. G. Stroganov, who held this position until 1882, People in charge of IAK had long terms of office, thus providing for the stability and efficiency of the Committee's policies. Stroganov's successor was A. A. Vasil'chikov, who was simultaneously Director of the Hermitage. In 1882 the post was taken by A. A. Bobrinsky, who stayed in office until 1917.

IAK played an important role in Russian archaeology. It was the place where specialists were given licences allowing them to carry out excavations, and where they had to submit reports. This practice enhanced archaeological methodology. Reports were published in fundamental volumes entitled IAK Reports (seventy of them have appeared altogether), which became an extremely important source of information. The same is true of the series Materials in Russian Archaeology. 37 of which have been published.

The destiny of GAIMK was by far less lucky. The regime increased ideological pressure and foisted political dogmas on Soviet archaeologists. Political campaigns and purges resulted in human losses and made unbiassed research impossible. All publishing activities were subjected to rigid control, and changes were often introduced Publications became much less informative than were those of IAK. Under the conditions of a bureaucratic centralized system, drastic organizational changes were inevitable. On June 30, 1937, an order was issued by the Commissar of People's Education saying that GAIMK was transferred under the jurisdiction of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. Immediately after that, the general meeting of the Academy passed a resolution according to which GAIMK was transformed into the Institute of History of Material Culture, with a branch in Moscow (MOIIMK).

Several leading figures of GAIMK fell victim to the Great Terror. F. V. Kiparisov, the former deputy chairman and then chairman of GAIMK, was arrested and, in 1937, died in a concentration camp It should be noted, however, that the sociological assault launched in the early 30s against the "bourgeois science of artifact description" lost its momentum soon afterwards, and archaeology gradually turned back to its principal source, which can be interpreted in a number of ways. It is especially important in this respect thai in 1938 M. I. Artamonov became Director of llМK and was in office throughout the pre-war years. He started the scries Materials and Studies into the Archaeology of the U.S.S.R., which in some ways revived the traditions of Materials in Russian Archaeology. Even earlier, the first volumes of the series Soviet Archaeology were published; after the war, it became a journal. Current information was being published in the series Digest of Papers and Field Research of IIMK

The trend towards an all-encompassing centralization, however, continued to operate. In 1945, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences decided that IIMK, whose principal members were earlier evacuated from the besieged Leningrad, should be shifted to Moscow. Later it was named The Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology (its departments in Leningrad became the Leningrad Branch, LOIIMK, later LOIA; it narrowly escaped a new round of crackdown upon the Leningrad intellectual elite in the early 1950s). Only the resolution passed by the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences on June 21, 1991, restored the original condition, and constituted (he Institute of Archaeology Leningrad Brunch as an independent body, the Institute of History of Material Culture.

There is one more aspect to all these events, one related to the more general issue: the infrastructure of a discipline. Both IAK and GAIMK were governmental bodies, and the same applies to the institutes belonging to the Russian Academy of Sciences. The organisational and financial support of the state is the crucial factor stimulating the development of promising research areas, the main problem being that the views of the authorities may differ from those of the scholarly community. The best option is to combine slate support with alternative organizational forms. This, to some extent, is the common practice in the U.S.A., where the tax policies stimulate the activities of a large number of foundations and private sponsors. This variable infrastructure has its history in Russian archaeology as well. In terms of financial support, IAK, like the Imperial Archaeological Society, were primarily governmental bodies. Alongside with them, however, several other societies and circles existed, the most successful one being the Moscow Archaeological Society, founded in 1864. Us most important achievement was the organization of archaeological congresses, the first of which took place in Moscow, the second, in Petersburg. Later, in (he second half of the 19th century, such societies emerged in several other cities. In 1897. the Turkestan Circle of Archaeologists was founded in Tashkent Although the Moscow and Petersburg societies could be regarded as the major centres, the total structure was becoming increasingly polycentric.

Basically the same processes continued in the 1920s. In addition to the archaeological centres, (here were many regional societies for the study of local history, and hundreds of semiprofessional enthusiasts were engaged in these studies. Because these arc perhaps the optimal conditions under which archaeology should function, the same trends operated in the 60s and 70s as well, despite the naive bureaucratic belief in the possibility of an aII-encompassing system of centralized regulation.

The activities of archaeologists in the university centres of Siberia may provide a good example, and even more so the foundation of specialized academic centres in Novosibirsk and Vladivostok.

In the 1990s, these processes become especially apparent The Russian science is moving towards polycentrism and trying to find nongovernmental forms of research stimulation Thus, in 1994. a regional Institute of History and Archaeology was founded in Samara by the municipal authorities, its primary concern being the research into the history of peoples inhabiting the Volga Basin. Also, the Russian Archaeological Society resumed its activities as a nongovernmental organ. The need for conservation and use of (he cultural legacy-creates a new type of commercial structures focusing on regional historical and archaeological studies. Under these conditions, the major archaeological centres acquire new functions and do not in the least seem to lose their importance.

IIMK tries to take part in these processes. One of its principal practices is the signing of collaboration treaties with research centres and governmental structures engaged in cultural activities. Taking Ukraine as an example, such treaties have been signed with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology, the Odessa Historical Museum, the universities of Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Simferopol', the Republic of Crimea State Committee for the Protection and Exploitation of Historical and Cultural Monuments. cultural reserves in Kherson and Bakhchisaray, and the museum centre in Kiev-Pechersk monastery governed by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

Specific forms of this collaboration include joint expeditions, symposia, and engagement in large international projects. IIMK took an active part in the organization of the international conference "Chronological Issues in Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Cultures of Southern Ukraine and Southeastern Europe" (Dnepropetrovsk, April 1994). One of the future actions will be a roundtable discussion on church architecture, an important but nearly forgotten area of archaeology.

In November 1994. following the appeal from the Karelian Ministry of Culture. IIMK incorporated in its academic structure the reserve area on Kizhi Island, Like Onega The incorporation, however, is purely academical, since in terms of financing and administration the reserve remains part of Karelia In December, the same practice was extended to the Department of Archaeology of Lower Volga and Caspian (formerly Saratov University Archaeological Laboratory i Cooperation is being maintained also with nongovernmental archaeological organizations This should be viewed as the principal feature of the new infrastructure of science in Russia. Because the primary task is to attain the world methodological standards, the role of the large academic centres is still very important.




М.Р. Касымов, Т.Ю. Гречкина. Кульбулак и его значение для первобытной археологии Центральной Азии


The stratified palaeolithic site of Kul'bulak is located on the right bank of the Jarsay River, the left tributary of the Kyzylalmasay, which, in turn, is [he right tributary of the Akhangaran. This area belongs to the zone of the southeastern slopes of Chatkal range, which belongs to the Tien-Shan system. The Akhangaran Basin is a hollow delimited by Kuramin range in the southwest and Chatkal range in the northeast. Following the discovery of the site in 1962, it was investigated over a period of more than 25 years by an expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of Uzbekistan headed by M. R. Kasymov. An area of over 600 m has been exposed. The 19 m deep test excavation 3 and excavation areas 1-19 have yielded continental quaternary deposits in which the upper pan of Lower Pleistocene levels were revealed, as well as the entire suite of Mid- and Upper Pleistocene strata.

The Pleistocene section is subdivided into low, middle, and upper links. All the suite contains numerous cultural levels dating from the mid-Acheulean to the Upper Paleolithic (fig. 12). Geomorphological pollinal, lithological, paleontological, and other data obtained in the course of the excavations suggest thai during the Acheulean. the climate in the Kul'bulak area was moist and warm, and the river activity was intense. The second half of the Pleistocene (early and middle Mousterian) was 'marked by the increased tectonic activity of Tien Shan. The climate was arid and warm by moderate, with minor fluctuations of temperature. In the late Middle Pleistocene and early Upper Pleistocene (developed and final Mousterian). it was warm. However, in the second half of the Upper Pleistocene (Upper Palaeolithic), the climate changed to sharply continental, as evidenced by the coexistence of warm-adapted and cold-adapted animals and plants. The principal source of raw material for the people of Kul'bulak was flint. Other minerals were used less often, the distribution being as follows: flint, 84,3%; chert, 6,4%; sileiceous limestone, 2,3%; quartz, 1,8%; quartzite, 1,6%; chalcedony, 1,5%; obsidian, effudite, phyrisite, and others, 2,1%.

Outcrops of flint, siliceous limestone, quartz, and quartzite are located in the paleogenic and cretaceous rocks above the site. Chert and cobbles abound in the river-beds of Kyzylalmasay, Gyshtsay, and other streams around Kul'bulak. The Acheulean layers of the site are situated at a depth of 10-14 m below the modem surface. A five-metre thick suite includes 22 Acheulean layers. They are associated with (he bluish-grey sandy or aleurolithic loam. A total of 3210 artefacts have been found. Cores are present in all Acheulean layers, their number ranging from less than ten to three or four dozens. Their types are rather few: discoidal unifacial and bifacial, flattened, single-, double- or multiplatformed, with one or several flaking surfaces. Discoidal cores flaked from one side are usually elongated-oval and their back part is convex. Cores found in layer 30 differ by the nature of flaking (fig. 2-6; 1-7). Similar specimens were found in layers 44 (fig. 2-l) and 35 (fig. 1-4; 2, 7). Discoidal bifacial cores are rounded in plan (fig. 1-2, 6, 8) and lens-shaped in section (fig. 1-1). Single-platform cores vary in the degree of treatment to which they were subjected, and arc represented by several variants: sub-quadrangular from layer 35 (fig. 2-2), elongated-triangular used for removing flakes, found in layer 34 (fig. 1-3). Double-platform cores, sub-quadrangular in outline, are rare. Flakes were detached from them in one plane, the platforms being situated at right amies against each other. In multiplatform cores, platforms arc situated at several places of the preform (fig. 2-3). After some additional shaping, such cores could be used as side-scrapers. notches or denticulates. In some specimens, like the one from layer 28 (fig. 2-9), flaking was done both from the sides and from the butt. Another variety, found in layer 27, is a double-platform core with two flaking surfaces (fig. 3-2).

Acheulean tools typical of Kul'bulak are represented by a large and expressive collection from layer 28. Especially noteworthy among them are bifacial forms. They are subdivided into several varieties, which probably differed in function. One of them is a biface-scraper, elongated-oval in shape (fig. 3-3). Both its longitudinal edges, which arc slightly convex, were shaped by flaking, and in the centre of one surface a piece of cortex was left. On the other surface, there are two large transverse flake-scars. The massive butt of the tool is slightly sharpened from two sides by fine flaking. The opposite end is rounded and turned into an end-scraper. Another variety is an elongated bifacial axe-adze with a wide basis (fig. 3-1). Both its longitudinal convex edges are formed by bifacial flaking. The upper end is sharpened and shows use-wear traces (fig. 4-6).

In the dart-head, which is flat-convex in profile (fig. 4-7), both longitudinal edges were shaped first by crude retouch and then by fine retouch from both sides. The ventral face is shaped by crude flaking The basis is sharpened by fine flaking.

Chopping-tools are diverse. They include a denticulate chopper (fig. 4-9), and a side-scraper-like piece with four working edges (fig. 4-10).

Cleavers are made on broad elongated flakes and include specimens which combine denticulate and notched features along the edge (fig. 6-1). Elongated points are retouched along the edges and on the ends (fig. 8-3. 6). Several points belong to the Tayac type. They differ from the usual ones by not having denticulate retouch all along the edges. Slum retouched portions in the upper third or half of the original blank converge towards the end (fig. 6-7). A double Tayacian point of the limace type with sharpened edges should be noted (fig. 4-2), and a fine-denticulate Tayacian point (fig. 6-10).

Side-scrapers of the "Kul'bulak type" differ from the usual ones by their short points formed by the working edges. Some side-scrapers were made on transverse or side edges of the blanks (fig. 4-4), others, en the platform of the flake; some have two working edges. Composite side-scrapers have straight, convex, or concave edges (fig. 4-5).

Composite tools arc represented by a side-end-scraper (fig. 6-12), a side-end-scraper having a chisel-like edge on the Паке platform, a denticulate-cutting tool (fig. 4-1), and an end-scraper-chisel (fig. 6-3).

Also, there arc scraping-cutting and scraping-denticulate tools (fig. 6-5), notched scraping ones (fig. 6-2). notched perforating ones (fig. 4-8), denticulate, culling, denticulate-notched, perforators, and bees (fig. 4-3).

The following secondary lithic reduction techniques are characteristic. of the Acheulean assemblage: flattening of (he surface by flaking; making denticulate edges by removing flakes of different sizes; crude retouching: making clactonean encaches by separating single large flakes from the edges; chipping-ofl lamellar (lakes in a fan-like fashion to prepare working edges of end-scrapers; vertical shortened-facet retouching of the working edge.

While some of the Acheulean tools are large and crude, others are made on small flakes. Typical Acheulean pieces arc represented by bifaces.

The Mousterian layers of Kul'bulak are situated above the Acheulean ones and are separated from them by sterile deposits.

Chronologically, the Mousterian suite can be divided into three periods, a) early Mousterian (layers XXIII-XIII and Xll-ba); b) middle Mousterian. or developed Mousterian (layers XII. Xla, XI-VI); c) late Mousterian (layers V-IV). The collection of early Mousterian stone tools comprises 1029 pieces.

Among the pieces thai were detached from the cotes, there are large flakes with smooth striking platforms, typical Levallois blades, and triangular flakes with curved facetted platforms. The assemblage includes discoidal, single-, double-, and multiplatform cores, for example a large discoidal unifacial core with a circular platform from layer XIII fig. 8-1). and a bifacial core with two platforms from layer XV (fig. 8-4). One more example is a core from layer XX (fig. 7-6); it is wedge-shaped in section and has two platforms and two flaking surfaces.

Among the tools from the early Mousterian layers, there is a large number of composite pieces, like end-scrapers of various types, notched-cutting tools, denticulates resembling the Tayacian points, notched-perforating and knife-like.

Knives and knife-like tools were made on whole or fragmented flakes and blades. Some of them have two working edges (fig. 5-3). There are also backed knives with a straight working edge (fig. 8-7, 2), and knife-like tools resembling points with partly retouched convergent edges (fig. 5-8).

Side-scrapers are diverse. One of them has several edges and two side protrusions (fig. 6-6), another is an angulate scraper-knife with a bevelled back (fig. 6-13), the third, a transverse side-scraper made on the edge of the platform of a retouched flake (fig. 5-2). There are also single side-scrapers made on blades (fig. 6-4) or blade flakes (fig. 9-2). double ones made on truncated blades (fig. 9-1). a side-scraper (fig. 5-5), a convergent side-scraper made on a large flake and having a beak-shaped protrusion which looks like a perforator (fig. 5-7), a side-scraper of the - "Kul'bulak type" with two scraper-Iike edges separated by a protrusion (fig. 5-6).

Denticulates were made on flakes and debris, their edges being subjected to fine denticulate retouch, sometimes of lite alternate type (fig. 5-1)

Combined tools include a side-scraper with a chisel-like edge and a double side-scraper with chisel-like edges on the ends of the flake (fig. 7-13).

Overall, the primary lithic reduction techniques are very similar to the Acheulean ones and attest to their further development. Tools made on flakes are the most common. There is a large number of combined tools with notches and protrusions having various functions, with alternate denticulate and end-scraper-type retouch. Atypical and proto-prismatic cores, which become more sophisticated during the Late Mousterian and Upper Palaeolithic, make their first appearance.

The collection of stone tools of the developed Mousterian comprises 53 thousand pieces. The predominant technique of primary reduction is that of radial and convergent flaking. Some of the cores are proto-prismatic and prismatic; however, flattened discoidal ones continue to exist (fig. 7-5), like the double-sided disks (fig. 9-6). The distinctive feature of the single-platform cores is the flattening polar flaking, and their flaking surfaces are trimmed by removing (lakes from the auxiliary platform (fig. 10-1). In cores with two platforms, the latter arc situated on both ends of the blank, and flaking was done in opposite directions (fig, 7-3, 7). Some cores have several platforms on various ends of the blank (fig. 8-5).

Tools of the developed Mousterian are made on blanks which are more regular in outline. They include longitudinal side-scrapers with backs opposite the working edges (fig. 9-3). There are also transverse side-scrapers with straight, convex, less often concave working edges and one or two working elements on the angles of the working edge (fig. 5-9). Another variety is a side-scraper with a transverse working edge and a tang (fig. 6-15). Side-scrapers of the "Kul'bulak type" are still used, like the convergent ones (fig. 11-1).

Cutting tools and points are variable and include a backed ripping knife with a convex working edge (fig. 9-4), a leaf-shaped elongated point which has I slightly sharpened base and is fitted for hailing (fig. 10). Also classified with this group are denticulate-notched tools made on various flakes.

In convergent forms of these tools, longitudinal edges are shaped in a denticulate-notched fashion, and there is always a sharp end formed by regular fine retouch (fig. 11-7) or by opposite flaking (fig. 10-2; 11-5).

End-scraper-like pieces usually occur in combinations: there are straight end-scrapers combined with side-scraper-like tools (fig. 9-7), cutting-knife-like, denticulate-cutting-notehed (fig. 6-9), etc. "Angular" end-scrapers are made on blade-like blanks (fig. 11-7). Chisel-like tools are those in which the transverse edge or (he protrusion are sharpened by trimming (fig. 11-4). Points and perforators are numerous in all strata and variable (fig 11-5). Knife-like tools, unlike the side-scrapers, are shaped by fine sharpening short-facetted marginal retouch Denticulate-cutting tools have either a fine denticulate retouch or a steep denticulate trimming, the back being preserved on the opposite side (fig. 9-5). In the developed Mousterian, new types of tools appear, one of them being round graters 6-8 cm in diameter and 3-4 cm thick The flaking techniques of the developed Mousterian are marked by two tendencies, the enlargement of convergent Rakes and the diminution of round flakes. Side-scraper forms make up about 90% of the entire tool-kit The first evidence of hading appears in the form of tanged tools (fig. 10-3)

Late Mousterian layers comprise one suite within the Golodnaya Steppe deposits. The collection of stone tools from these strata includes 8708 pieces. The largest group of cores are those with one or two platforms. Sonic of the Torino, the fan-shaped ones, were used for detaching blades (fig. 7-9) Unifacial and bifacial discoidal cores are few. Among the proto-prismatic cores, too. there are pieces with one or several platforms (fig. 7-1) Atypical cores are rather common. Almost all of the earlier types of tools, both common and specific, continue to exist during the late Mousterian. There is a sharp drop in the number of various side-scrapers, end-scrapers, and composite tools with scraper-like elements; however, the scraping tools still remain the leading ones in the stone industry.

Among the side-scrapers, the predominant ones are those made on flakes and having one steep working edge. End-scrapers have a straight, bevelled (fig. 10-5) or convex working edge. Notched scraping tools (fig. 11-6) are still in use, like notched (fig. 11-3) and denticulate cutting tools. Knife-like tools on sections of large blades or on thin narrow blades are shaped by a sharpening retouch along one or both edges (fig. 11-12). Points and perforators are integral elements of the combined tools (fig. 10-8). Pestle-graters continue to exist.

Upper Paleolithic strata arc situated 40-75 cm below the modern surface. In all the three layers, concentrations of burnt material, suggestive of hearths, were found, as well as numerous fragments of animal bones and stone tools with an unsmoothed surface sometimes corvered with calcaneous deposit.

Although the lithic reduction techniques practiced in the Upper Palaeolithic were more developed than the previous ones, the principal forms of tools remain the same.

Single discoidal cores are still used. Cores with one platform and I flat parallel system of flaking are represented by shortened-transverse, elongated-rectangular, and fan-shaped-triangular variants. Double-platform cores flattened by flaking include longitudinal and longitudinal-transverse ones. Prismatic cores for sub-parallel flaking have flake-scars on the butt of the nodule (fig. 11-1). Cores with more than two platforms and several flaking surfaces are close in shape to the spherical ones (fig. 7-8). A new type of core appears, the conical one, used for making microblades (fig. 11-14).

Among the blanks, flakes predominate. Side-scrapers arc replaced by end-scrapers. Tools are represented by scraping-cutting pieces with a steep convex scraping edge on one side of the blade flake and a concave cutting edge on another (Tig. 10-6). Knife-like tools were shaped by fine sharpening retouch along the edge (fig. 11-8). Cutting denticulates, unlike the knife-shaped tools, have irregularly serrated edges. Burins were made on angles of broken flakes or blades, angular burins being rare. Notched, notched-scraping, and combined pieces are classified as a separate group, although they present a number of variations (fig. 11 -9, 10). Also, several pestle-graters and hammerstones were found.

So throughout the entire cultural sequence of Kul'bulak, the evolution of а single lithic tradition is seen.

The distinctive feature of the Acheulean layers is the presence of bifaces and bifacial projectile points, which are lacking in the Mousterian assemblage. Side-scrapers ate numerous and diverse, one of their varieties being the distinctive "Kul'bulak type". Most tools are multifunctional There are many notches-scrapers, notches-denticulates. and Tayacian points. A typical feature is the coexistence of targe tools with tiny ones of various types. Taken together, all these features make it possible to distinguish a separate Kul'bulak Acheulean Culture.

No parallels to this assemblage have so far been revealed cither in Central Asia or in Kazakhstan Certain points of similarity in primary lithic reduction are evident in synchronous Acheulean assemblages of Uchtut, in the southern Kazakhstanian sites where massive cores and flakes with a wide and smooth striking platform were found, and in the Sel'-Ungur cave sue. In terms of typology, the Acheulean assemblage of Kul'bulak is closer to Acheulean assemblages of Chakmaly, Azerbaijan, and the Ubeydian-Latemnean group of the Near-Eastern Acheulean However, the Acheulean tools from Kul'bulak arc much more variable than those from the sites mentioned above

A peculiar trait of Kul'bulak Mousterian is a certain lack of care in the treatment of cores and blanks. Levallois flakes are rather few (c. 8%). In contrast, tools with crudely trimmed and facetted striking platforms arc abundant. Techniques of secondary reduction include notched, fine denticulate and crude denticulate retouch Another characteristic feature is the presence of end-scrapers, microtools, tanged tools, and Tayacian toots, which are cither few or lacking on others Central Asian sites. This makes it possible to assert that a separate Kul'bulak Mousterian Culture existed in the Tashkent oasis, its characteristic traits being denticulate-notched-scrapers and Tayacian tools.

Late Mousterian assemblages differ from the early Mousterian ones by the presence of conical and prismatic cores and blades of the respective types, typical of the early stage of Upper Palaeolithic The Kul'bulak Mousterian is similar to certain peculiar assemblages from sites located in the foothills of Chatkal range: Kyzylalmasay I and 2, Gyshtsay, and others.

Although Upper Palaeolithic assemblages differ from Mousterian ones, they include a number of Mousterian-type pieces, which, however, attest to a higher technical level. The number of blades increases. Chisels and end-scrapers of various types appear. The Upper Palaeolithic assemblage of Kul'bulak shows substantial differences from that of the Samarkand site. Khojagor, Khojamazgil', or Shugnow. It should thus be regarded as a separate group in the Central Asian Upper Palaeolithic.

Kul'bulak is the only stratified site which contains strata of three successive periods of the Palaeolithic, hence its enormous importance for Central Asian archaeology.


С.В. Гусев. Раскопки эскимосского поселения Канискак (Дежнево) на Азиатском берегу Берингова пролива (1990-1992 гг.)


In 1990-92, for the first lime on the Asiatic side of the Bering Strait, excavations of an Eskimo settlement were tarried out by the Beringian Archaeological Expedition headed by the present author.

Ancient Eskimo cultures in Asia arc distributed over a territory from the Kolyma mouth on the Arctic Ocean coast to the Anadyr' mouth in the south. East of the Bering strait, they span an area from Alaska to Greenland.

A number of theories have been advanced by both the American and Russian writers concerning the periodization of these cultures. None of the views on the initial settlement of the Beringian coast is commonly accepted. Other disputed issues include ethnic processes in this region, cultural evolution, and ecology.

Russian archaeologists have focused mainly on Eskimo cemeteries (Ekven, Welen, Chini, Enmynytnyn). This was due. first, to the exceptional abundance and high artistic quality of bone artifacts, second, to the fact that burials are situated above the permafrost layer, and third, to the possibility of obtaining skeletal materials.

Although American archaeologists have also excavated several cemeteries, including Ipiutak and Tigara, the main focus in Alaska has been made on settlements of various periods. Dozens oft hem have been studied, reconstructions of dwellings have been proposed, and their evolution has been related to demographic and social processes. However, these important results are difficult to link with data from the Asiatic coast of the Bering Strait since the nature of the sources is different. This is why the results of the first excavation of an Asiatic Eskimo village might be of great significance.

Dezhnevo (Kaniskak) site is located on the southern side of Dezhnev massif, 3 km west of point Peek and 18 km south of Welen, at the end of a rocky precipice on the Bering Strait shore. The height of the village above the sea level is IK m. and its size is 80 m by 30 m. On the southern side Us territory is delimited by a vertical precipice, whereas the surface on the western side is sloping towards the sea and the lagoon.

The fact that the site is located on a gentle slope of a hill facing the bay. at a considerable distance (about 50 m) from the water, indicates, first, thai its inhabitants hunted mainly the nerpa, and, second, that it was founded when the sea level was higher.

The excavation area, 138 sq. m. in size, is situated at a distance of 30 m from the shore, which is high and steep. The upper layers contain cultural remains of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Remains of at least five semi-underground dwellings dating from various periods have been revealed. One of them consisted of several rooms, others have one room each. All dwellings arc framework constructions, the supports being made of whale bones and floating wood. The floors in all dwellings were paved with chert slabs, whale and walrus hones, and covered with walrus skins, which were registered beyond doubt in two cases (in other dwellings only organic decay had remained). Such construction protected people against cold emanating from the frozen ground. Based on stratigraphy, the dwellings could be dated to four periods: Old Beringian. Birnirk, Punuk, and Thule.

As the surface area of one-chamber houses (12-24 sq. m) indicates, they might have been inhabited by six to eight persons. Three-chamber ones might accommodate eight to twelve individuals.

Judging by the surface area of the hill available for residence, up to five one- or three-chamber dwellings could function in the village at the same time. The total population size can thus be estimated at 32-44.

A number of artifacts, suggestive of various occupations, has been found at the site, some of them related to construction activities. The soil was broken up with hoes made of beaver tusks (several such hoes have been discovered, all of them extremely worn-out or broken). After the ground had been made loose, it was taken away using shovels which were made of nerpa or walrus scapulae and attached to wooden handles.

Carcasses of whales, walruses, and nerpas were dressed out immediately on the shore. However, the tools used for that have been found on the site as well. They include chert knives and scrapers in bone holders, etc. Many bone artifacts are ornamented with engravings, some patterns consisting of several representations.

Ceramics made by Asiatic Eskimos has never been examined in detail. The most common fragments were those of large pots with a round bottom and oil lamps. Small dishes are rare. The vessels are often decorated with impressed patterns which include concentric circles or bunches of radial lines. The designs were made with special trowels manufactured from walrus tusks. These trowels were also used for patting walls of unbaked vessels in order to harden them. Clay was tempered with sand and crushed shells. Baking was done at low temperatures, apparently in an open fire.

Further studies of settlements on the Asiatic coast of the Bering Strait will take place during the next field seasons.


Е.В. Цвек. Веселый Кут — новый центр Восточнотрипольской культуры


The site near Vesely Kut village. Tal'noye district. Cherkassy province. Ukraine, situated on a promontory of the first terrace of the Gorny Tikich river, is one of the earliest major settlements of the East Tripolye Culture. Having a surface area of 150 ha. it is circular in plan, with a street grid and a very dense concentration of dwellings (Fig. 1). The principal element of the layout is the farmstead. The presence of several densely spaced living and utilitarian constructions in such complexes, as well as the nature of artifacts, suggest that each farmstead was jointly owned by a group of relatives

So far, seven farmisteads have been excavated, with a total of about 70 constructions being revealed. Twenty-six of these have been completely excavated, including 16 dwellings and leu utilitarian buildings.

The living dwellings arc one-storey surface constructions usually having two rooms, the total floor area ranging from 50 to 125 square metres Most houses are elongated in plan, some being L- or T-shaped, in keeping with the local house-building tradition of the earlier period in the Bug - Dniester interfluve. According to the layout and the number of compartments, three basic types of houses are distinguished: rectangular, L-shaped, and T-shaped (Fig. 2). Several details of the interior have been described: floors, walls, bench-like eminences, altars, and stoves. The floors were earthen. Along the shorter walls of the houses, adobe eminences were constructed (benches, judging by the known parallels).

In some constructions, rectangular adobe altars were found All houses have stoves of the dome-type with pits nearby. The walls were usually made of wood and adobe. Home houses had ceilings.

Apart from the dwellings, utilitarian constructions of different types were unearthed Their floor area was 34-115 square metres. Pieces of clay with impressions of twigs, and traces of vertical poles along the perimeter suggest that the walls of the utilitarian constructions were less massive than those of the dwellings, and had wooden frameworks. These constructions were used for grinding and storing grain, manufacturing stone tools and pottery, storing food, and dressing skins Like the living houses, they were pans of the farmsteads. Unique among the utilitarian buildings is a complex consisting of two workshops with kilns for baking pottery. The larger workshop included a drying-room, a room with a two-chamber kiln, and the potters working place (Fig. 3). In the smaller workshop, there was another kiln and an altar with a binoculars-shaped vessel on it

The pottery was classified according to the scheme suggested for the developed Tripolye Culture sites in the Bug - Dniester interfluve. Four categories are represented. The distinctive feature of the first, most numerous category is the carved ornament. The most important one in this category-is the first group, represented by vessels with a fluted ornament (34. 8%) It includes pear-shaped vessels with lids (Fig. 4: 1-6), craters (Fig. 5: 1-3), binoculars-shaped and globular vessels (Fig. 9: 4, 5), amphora-like jugs (Fig. 5: 7, 9), and beakers (Fig. 5: 6). All vessels arc decorated with fluted. spiral designs arranged in a rhythmic zonal fashion. The principal pattern is a spiral band consisting of several furrows. This was the period when the fluted spiral ornament became completely developed and replaced the earlier elements.

The second group of the first category is represented by one subgroup only, its characteristic feature being the channeled ornament. The predominant types are jugs and beakers (Fig. 5: 6-9).

Vessels of the third category have a stamped decoration which consisted of several patterns. The principal type in this category is a pot (Fig. 6: 2, 3, 5-8). Vessels of the fourth category are completely unornamented. They include saucers (Fig. 7: l, 2 7-10), beakers (fig. 7: 3-6), and other less common types.

Vessels of the fifth category arc distinguished by a two-coloured or monochrome decoration (Fig. 6: 1. 4) Those of the two-coloured type have either a red design set off by a thin black line (Fig. 6: 1) or a red-on-white painting (Fig. 6: 42) Monochrome designs are red. The most common forms in this category are craters, jugs, beakers, and "binoculars". Some painted vessels from Vesely Kut were imported, but some were made by local potters.

Bone, stone, and antler artifacts arc few (Fig. 8) They arc larger and more uniform in size than those of the preceding period, and their shapes, especially the working edges and surfaces, arc quite sophisticated.

The principal occupation of people living at Vesely Kut was agriculture, as evidenced by plant remains and tools. Cultigens included three species of wheat, barley, and legumes. Agricultural tools (hues, sickles, querns, and grinding stones, see Fig. 8: 1, 2, 9) were found in all constructions. A high level of agriculture attained by people of the Bug -Dniester area suggests that the soil was ploughed Along with agriculture. animal breeding was practiced, cattle being the principal domestic animals. Hunting played a minor rote. There are indications that fishing and gathering were practiced as well.

Other domestic activities were housebuilding ami the manufacture of tools and other artifacts. The high level of house-building techniques at Vesely Kut is evidenced by diverse and complex constructions and by a variety of tools used for building houses (Fig. 8: 3-5. 10). The pottery manufacture, too, was highly developed, as demonstrated by specialized workshops with drying-rooms and two-chamber kilns. The construction of a kiln and its exploitations were beyond the capacities of a single family. Pottery-making, then, was a communal craft. Leather and textile manufacture was also important (Fig. 8: 6, 8). As the pottery-making, skin-dressing, and stone-working workshops at Vesely Kut demonstrate, these crafts had attained a considerable degree of specialization.

The layout of the site attests to a complex social structure. The farmstead was an aggregation consisting of several living houses, utilitarian constructions, and a common courtyard. Such aggregation was apparently inhabited by an extended family. Diversified economy and complex social stricture were mirrored by ideology Rectangular altars, present in many houses, were the organizing element of domestic sanctuaries, and ritual objects were found around them. A distinctive feature of Vesely Kut and other synchronic East Tripolye sites is that animal figurines were common (Fig. 9: 2), whereas anthropomorphous ones were relatively rare. Fertility cull played the central role in religious beliefs. The myth of the two mistresses of heaven, thai existed throughout the developed Tripolye, is reflected in vessels with relief representations of women's breasts {Fig. 1, 2). The prayer of rain, too. was related to the dual deity, whose attributes were vessels shaped like binoculars, and craters (Fig. 5: 1-3; Fig. 9: 4. 5). Coupled vessels having male and female attributes (Fig. 10: 7) probably also attest to the cult of divine spouses.

Cults related to specific crafts are evidenced by finds made in a pottery workshop mentioned above. The construction of the kiln was accompanied by a religious ceremony, as demonstrated by tiny clay cones (Fig. 9: 1) that were arranged in a special way under the foundation of the wall of the kiln In one of the workshops, an altar was discovered with a binoculars-like vessel on it (Fig. 9: 4). Fragments of 1 bull's skull were found nearby. Triple vessels (Fig. 9: 5), and burials of sheep under the floors of the houses are paralleled by finds from sites of the Lengyel Culture.

Western links of Vesely Kut are demonstrated by a specific group of vessels resembling those from sites of Verbkovice-Kostianec type both in shape and decoration (Fig. 9: 3-5). Another indication of contacts with Lengyel Culture is a copper spectacles-shaped pendant found in a house at Vesely Kut (Fig. 10: 3). Similar pendants are known from burial grounds and settlements of Kuyava Culture, and from a hoard from Hlinsk near Lipnik, southern Czechia. Ail these finds date from Lengyel IV stage. Also present at sites of Vesely Kut type are vessels similar to those of Tiszapolgar and Early Bodrogkeresztur stages of Polgar Culture (Fig. 10: 1, 5, 6).

Several East Tripolye sites, including Vesely Kut, Penezhkovo-Bugachevka, Kopiuvata, Olkhovec 1, Khar'kovka, Deshki, and others, are close to each other in several aspects, including economy, ideology, topography, layout, house-building techniques, and specific features of the ceramic assemblage. They may be described as sites of Vesely Kut type, Vesely Kut itself being the best known one, and their existence marks the highest development of Middle Tripolye in the Bug - Dniester area. Most likely they derive from sites like Onoprievka and Shkarovka. Similar complexes are known from territories situated much further to the east. Thus, ceramic assemblages of Veremye type sites in the Dnieper basin resemble those of Vesely Kut group, suggesting an eastward migration from the Bug - Dniester interfluve.

In the eastern fringes of Vesely Kut. a group of potsherds with a gray surface and a dark-brown painting was found. Later, ceramics of that type becomes characteristic of the final stage of developed Tripolye in the eastern area. This fact demonstrates that the settlement existed for a long time; also, it points to the place inhabited at the final stage of the site's existence and attests to the beginning of a new wave of migration from the Dniester - Bug region in the eastern direction.

Sites of Vesely Km type are replaced by sites like Miropolye and Garbuzin, which conclude the middle stage of Tripolye in this area. Because Vesely Kut and other sites of this group are synchronous to Zaleshchiki and Polivanov Yar in the Dniester basin, and Klishchev and Kolodistoye in (he Bug basin, they can be attributed to the second half of the transition period BI-BII, which corresponds to Cucuteni AB/2. Based on radiocarbon dates, it may be suggested thai sites like Vesely Kut existed in 3200-3100 ВС (uncalibrated), or 4000-3900 ВС (calibrated).

Vesely Kut is thus the most important site of developed Tripolye. Large sites of that type, about 150 ha in area, played the role of economic and cultural centres.


Л.А. Соколова. Погребение в колыбели Окуневского могильника Уйбат V


Archaeological data-are highly relevant for the study of religious beliefs and ethnic history of the prehistoric tribes of Siberia, East Asia, and America. Numerous archaic features have survived in recent aboriginal cultures of these territories, providing an opportunity of establishing links between archaeology and ethnography.

One example of such links is A. P. Okladnikov's reconstruction of an Upper Paleolithic site and dwelling at Buret', South Siberia, shown by him to be close to settlements and houses of Chukchi. Another parallel is a human figurine from Buret', dressed in a typically Arctic hooded overalls.

Especially intriguing are analogies provided by Okunev Culture, which in the 3rd millennium ВС occupied vast regions of southern West Siberia. Recent excavations have resulted in an extensive body of data pertaining to Okunev origins, ideology, and art.

In 1993, mound № 1 was excavated at Uybat V burial ground by the Middle Yenisei Expedition of IIMК headed by I. P. Lazaretov. In grave № 7, a skeleton of a one-year-old child was discovered in a stone cyst 90 cm below the buried soil level The cyst was overlaid by several large stone slabs. On the northern wall of the cyst, there was an ochre representation of the so-called "sun with legs" having 1 point in the centre.

The child's skeleton was lying supine in an extended position, humeri slightly raised, elbows put apart A bunch of marmot's teeth, 65 in number, was found clutched in the child's right hand. To the left of them, there were four teeth of a musk-deer, joined two-by-two, and under the right hand, a needle-case made of a bird's long bone with a bone needle inside The child's skull was crushed by a 3-4 cm wide wooden bar preserved at the length of 38 cm Given the good preservation, it may be suggested that the bar was made of larchwood. To the right of the skull, fragments of a 10 cm high box made of birch-bark were discovered Beneath the skeleton there was an oval layer of decayed organic matter whose dark colour stood out against a much lighter bottom of the grave. Apparently the child's body was wrapped in I shroud or laid on a mat. A layer of birch-bark was found beneath the humus (Fig. 1)

The position of the skeleton and several details of the burial suggest that the child was buried in abirch-bark cradle. The fact that the skull was crushed by the collapsing construction indicates that at the moment of collapse there was no earth inside the skull or the cradle, probably because the burial was protected by a hood spread above it. Because the falling construction pushed the back of the cradle to the right of the skull, it can be assumed that the back was made of a separate sheet of birch-bark and attached to the side with something like a leather strap. The bar was bow-shaped and could function both for strengthening the edge of the back and as an independent constructive clement, the latter suggestion being more likely, given the position of the arch and the back.

The proposed reconstruction combines distinctive features of types V and VI of Siberian cradles according to L. V. Khomich's classification (Khomich 1988: 48) (Fig. 2). Such cradles were widely used throughout northern Eurasia, from Sakhalin and the Lower Amur basin in the east up to the Pechora in the west. In our view, the extremely wide spatial and temporal boundaries of this cultural feature attest to its substrata nature and support V. N. Chernetsov's theory of the Uralo-Siberian ethno-cultural community which originated in the Neolithic following the eastward migration of early Uralic speakers (Chernetsov 1973: 14-15).

Children's burials in cradles have been registered in various parts of Siberia; however the most striking analogy are the famous Aleut mummies, not only children's, but those of adults as well (Laughlin 1983: 33). The idea of ancient links between Siberians, Esko-Aleuts, and northern Amerindians is gaining more and more support. Several writers speak of a common linguistic substratum underlying Samodic and Esko-Aleut stocks (Vasilyev I970: 157; Fainberg 1981: 137). Also, archaic myths of the Raven cycle were distributed over most of these territories. evidencing deep-level ideological similarities. Such parallels cannot be due to chance. Other highly suggestive correspondences, both material and ideological, can also be noted.

Parallels between Okunev and Aleut funerary rites are highly relevant for the interpretation of burials of adults in Okunev mounds. Apart from rare exceptions, Okunev skeletons lie supine with raised and flexed legs, a burial posture very common in the Early Bronze Age. But, contrary to what is observed in Afanasyevo or Catacomb Culture graves, legs of Okunev skeletons never fall apart in a diamond-like fashion, although the feet do not always adjoin, as they would do if they were tied together. This means that something in the grave prevented them from falling арап. In our opinion, this could be a leather or fur nig in which the dead person, whose legs were flexed, was wrapped. The degree of flexion in this case would depend on the size of the rug, which could imitate the shape of the cradle, like in Aleut burials, or be associated with it. The custom of placing bodies of adults in cradles is closely related to the specific nature of Siberian cradles, which were perceived as the means of transporting bodies (during migrations even big children who could not endure prolonged fast walking were carried).

Another possible way of approaching this problem is to analyze representations on bone plaques found in Okunev burials. I believe that these drawings depict dead people placed in burial nigs. Their loose hair would then stress the mournful nature of the representations (Fig. 3). When these drawings are compared with small steatite human heads also found in Okunev graves, it becomes apparent that the semantics of the two groups of representations is different. Those on the bone plaques emphasize me hair, loose and partly covering the face, whose features are barely distinguishable. In contrast, the faces of the steatite heads are well modelled and display a certain artistic standard, being narrow and often having a pointed chin; the hair, however, is either lacking altogether or shown carelessly tied up in a bunch (Fig. 5).

A drawing on a bone plaque from Chernovaya VIII (mound No. 9, grave № 7) has several engraved transverse stripes and a triangular one in the lower part, possibly representing a belt with which the burial nig was fastened. This practice might account for the fact that sometimes the feet of skeletons in Okunev graves are close together (Fig. 3).

The motif of wrapped figures survives into the later, Karasuk, period. On a Karasuk site of Torgazhak, about 250 ornamented pebbles were found, most of them anthropomorphous. Some of these display wrapped figures and show certain details of clothing. hair and composite belts (Fig. 4). We thus arrive at the following conclusions:

1. Burials in cradles or nigs are a distinctive feature of Okunev funerary tradition. This may be regarded as a firmly established fact with respect to children's burials, and as a more or less plausible suggestion with respect to those of adults.

2. This tradition is paralleled by certain practices of modern peoples of Siberia and adjacent territories.

3. The custom of cradle burials or rugs is reflected in representations on Okunev bones plaques, also found in graves.

4. Certain ideological elements related to the semantics of cradle burials are seen in Paleoasiatic myths and shamanistic rites.


Н.М. Малов, В.В. Филипченко. Памятники Катакомбной культуры Нижнего Поволжья


At present, the Catacomb Culture in the northern part of the right-bank Lower Volga area is represented by 20 settlements and 82 burials.

Most settlements arc situated in the Volga floodlands, on high promontories defended by elements of natural relief In basins of the smaller rivers they ace located on low terraces and near the old riverbeds (fig. 1). The depth of cultural deposits is considerable. They contain bones of domestic animals, potsherds (fig. 2), stone (fig. 3) and bronze artifacts (fig. 4). Ceramics is usually decorated with parallel rolls stuck on it; there are also fragments of clay censers, stone axes, anvils, a fish hook, knives, and a sickle. The only settlement of I characteristically Catacomb Culture type is Yelansky Ruchey The nature of the settlements and the artifacts found there are indicative of a fully sedentary life based on animal-breeding and some agriculture.

So far, seven groups of burial mounds and two ground burial fields have been excavated. Most burials were made in rectangular pits (54%) and catacombs with side chambers. Simple side chambers are few (9%). Pits were sometimes covered by layers of logs, and entrances to burial chambers of catacombs were barred with wooden blocks. Graves usually contain inhumations. Most bodies were placed either on the left side, head directed towards the north, or on the right side, head pointing towards the south (i.e. face directed towards the east). In ten cases, the crania were artificially deformed; three of the bodies were dismembered. There were six cenotaphs and eight collective graves. In 30% of the burials, mats made of organic substances were found; in 45% there was red ochre or, less often, chalk. Artifacts were present in 63% of the burials, the most common category being ceramics (43%). With respect to shape, vessels (fig. 4) are subdivided into jars, vessels with "shoulders", and rounded ones with smooth profiles. Most are decorated with cord, comb, and other impressions, carved lines, pinches, and bosses. Ornamental patterns are arranged in zones and horizontal bands. The most common ones are herring-bone design and triangles.

Other artifacts include a fish hook and an awl (both made of bronze), a knife made on a quartzite flake, two pestles and an anvil (mortar?) made of sandstone, ornaments (stone and bone beads of various types, a horn pin, bone tubes of the spiral and flattened-oval type, bronze beads, belt-pieces and one-and-a-half-coil pendants), weapons (a pick-axe and two knives made of bronze, and a flint arrowhead with a notched base) (fig. 4).

Three successive stages are seen in the evolution of the Catacomb Culture in this region (fig. 5).

The first, pre-Catacomb stage (fig. 5A) is synchronous with Yamnaya (Pit-Grave) and Catacomb sites in Kalmykia and, to a lesser degree, with early Poltavka sites east of the Volga.

The second stage (fig. 5Б) is contemporaneous with early Catacomb Culture sites in Kalmykia, the Seversky Donets and the Middle Don basins, and the steppe zone east of the Volga.

The third, late stage (fig. 5B) is marked by the appearance of new features in the burial rite and burial goods. These traits were later developed in early Srubnaya (Timber-Frame) and Pokrovsk cultures of the same territory.

The totality of the data suggest that during the Middle Bronze Age this area was inhabited by people of the Catacomb Culture, not by those of Poltavka Culture. This had important implications for the early period of the Late Bronze Age, since the principal role at that time was apparently played by descendants of the Catacomb population.


Н.А. Аванесова. Новое в погребальном обряде Сапаллинской культуры


One of the crucial phenomena in the origins of the early urban civilization in Bactria was the Bronze Age Sapalli Culture (Askarov 1973; 1977). Over the recent yean, several new burial fields representing us final stage were excavated by the Samarkand University Department of Archaeology, and a number of highly important facts has emerged.

Special attention should be paid to Buston VI, a burial ground where over ninety variously preserved burials have been excavated along with three constructions (trapezoid and square in plan, made of cemented bricks), three ground altars, square and rectangular in plan, and many charcoal lenses remaining from bonfires.

The burial ground functioned for a long time,. is evidenced by its complex stratigraphy Altogether 116 burials were made during the Molala and Huston periods Most of them were made in pits with side chambers, catacombs and simple pits (rectangular with rounded comers, oval or round) were less frequent. Round pits were surrounded by stone pavements.

In nine cases out of ten, the entrance to the side chamber was situated in the longer side of the grave pit The chamber was separated from the entrance by a low threshold Sometimes the entrance was closed by a jagged piece of rock or a river boulder instead of being bricked up

No strict regularity has been observed in the orientation of the chambers (mostly along the E-W axis) and that of the buried persons. The skulls of most skeletons, however, were directed towards the west. The bodies were placed in the graves in a hexed position, on the left (women) or right (men) side, usually with bent arms, hands being close to the head or the lace Most burials arc single, but several double ones have also been registered

Some of the burials were "secondary" in that the bodies were partly or completely dismembered. Cremated remains have also been found. Other categories arc cenotaphs (the burial constructions of these are identical with usual graves except that there arc no bones or burial goods), and burials with remains of thanksgiving or expiatory human sacrifices (bodies of (fie dead persons were dismembered and bones cleft). There was also a large group of symbolic burials (those of animals, "dolls", hands, tali, and other symbols) The burial rue apparently depended on the nature of death, social status, and religious beliefs peculiar to various sections of Sapalli society in late 2nd millennium ВС. The traditional element of the rite was the funerary feast with meat being eaten. As the animal bones suggest, only certain joints of meat were put in the grave (hind part of the sheep's carcass, brisket, and shoulder).

The unusual nature of this burial ground is evidenced by several facts, including the presence of a sacral centre (fig. 1), cremation burials, and several symbolic burials accompanied by clay artifacts.

In the southwestern, highest, part of the burial ground, a ceremonial centre was excavated mound which, judging by the available evidence, funerary rites were performed (fig. 1). Tile uniformity of cultural remains and the fire-worship rite attest to the integrity of the entire complex, which included "incinerators", hearth-altars, cenotaphs, and remains of bonfires. Evidence of fire-worship (remains of bonfires, cremation of human and animal bodies; hearth-altars; charcoal in sacrificial altars and vessels, in some of which ochre was also found; human bones painted with, or lying on, ochre; traces of fire in the bottom parts of some graves; charcoal and ash added to mudbrick) was detected in 78 cases.

Thus fire seemed to have played a major role in the funerary rite on the final stage of Sapalli Culture. This is also evidenced by remains of three constructions which we believe to be incinerators (fig. 2: A, E). The walls of these constructions are sometimes charred, and calcinated human and animal bones were discovered inside. All three constructions are oriented along the east-west axis. Their details vary, two chambers being trapezoid and the third one square. Their walls were deeply sunk into the ground (fig. 2: B). No less than two cremations were made in each chamber. Apart from a small amount of calcinated bones, several potsherds were found in the chambers (those of art unbaked cylindrical vessel with a conical lid, a Begazy-Dandybay type ceramics with paste inlay, a stem of a Molaly stage vase), and a bronze pendant with a nail-shaped head similar to those from Late Andronovo burials in Tajikistan (fig. 3: 1-4; cf. Isakov and Potemkina 1989: 156, fig. 8-3; Vinogradova and Pyankova 1990: 102, figs. 3-9, 10).

Three bonfires were made for each cremation act. Their traces were found at the level of buried soil south, west, and east of the incinerators (figs. 1; 2: B). These finds are closely paralleled by the Vedic texts, where cremation, described as an offering to the sacred fire carrying the body to heaven, is said to be made in three open fires (Rigveda X, 16, 18; Atharvaveda XVIII, 2, 7; Asvalayana-grihyasutra IV, 1, 2).

The survey of the area around the "crematorium" revealed a ritual complex including a libation altar, a hearth-altar for funerary repasts, a sacrificial altar, and cenotaphs (figs. 1: №№ 53. 62. 91, 92, 95).

The libation altar (fig. 1: №62) is a square pit 0,9 m by 0,9 m, with a small rim and flat bottom, oriented along the NW-SE axis. Its walls, rim, and bottom bear traces of heavy fire.

The hearth-altar for ritual repasts (fig. 1: 91) is located 2 m south of incinerator № 2. It is a rectangular pit with rounded corners, 1,01 m by 0,6 m, oriented along the NW-SE axis. Its walls bear traces of heavy fire, and its fill contained lenses of charred earth and ash with fragments of animal bones, some of them calcinated. On the bottom, near the edges, there were accumulations of pure white and orange ash and fragments of Andronovo-type vessels. It appears as though water was poured on burnt bones and pottery.

The sacrificial altar (fig. 1: №53), situated 3 m of the trapezoid brick cyst No. l, is especially noteworthy. It is also a brick cyst, rectangular in plan, 1,06 m by 2,01 m, oriented NW to SE. It includes three layers. The upper one was represented by poorly preserved remains of an animal's hide (blackish-grey decay with some hair). The middle layer contained shattered human bones all along the surface. In the lower layer, there were fragments of human bones (a radius, an ulna, a left femur joined to a left innominate, and four lumbar vertebrae). At the same level, in the southwestern part of the chamber, a vessel and five ribs of a ram were found. The layers were separated by sand, gravel, charcoal, and decayed remains of an animal's skin.

These finds suggest that a human sacrifice (probably an expiatory or a thanksgiving offering) was made. This is also evidenced by two cenotaphs excavated to the right and to the left of the sacrificial altar (№92, with an ochrous layer on the bottom, and №95, where chalk was found instead of ochre). These cenotaphs might have been used as receptacles for reciprocal "donations" given in response to offerings.

Both the fire-worship and the cremation rite have close correspondences in the Vedic tradition and the ideology of Andronovo people. Of course this is not to say thai the funerary rite practiced by the population of Buston was an exact copy of the Aryan one; however their apparent similarity should not be overlooked. The impact of Andronovo tradition on the material culture and ideology of Sapalli people is quite apparent (Askarov 1987: 57-58; 1990: 3-4), and excavations at Huston VI and VII have provided new evidence thereof (Avanesova 1992: 35). A number of finds made there illustrate a process of slow infiltration of new people who had gradually populated the area and had eventually changed its ethnic appearence (Alekseev, Askarov, Khojayov 1990: 72). The artifacts (pottery, ornaments, weapon) as well as the details of the burial rite (pavements, trapezoid cysts, "mounds", cremations, buried horse skins with legs, etc.) are highly indicative of the Andronovo tradition and are easily recognizable as such wherever they are met. What they document here is the important role played by the Andronovo people in the formation of the Old Bactrian ideology. The emergence of a local ritual centre based on fire-worship apparently coincided with the Indo-Aryan migration. While some of the Vedic parallels (hymns and formulae of Rigveda X, 14, 16 , 18, Yajurveda VI, 10-15, Atharvaveda XVIII, 1-4, Chandoghya-upanishad III-19, V-10-14 etc. ) may be questioned, others are too striking to be accidental.

Some information relevant for the reconstruction of the ritual practices is provided by a group of unbaked clay artifacts which were found in some "symbolic" burials and include figurines, altars, a vessel, a scoop, and "playing pieces". Their manufacture was not subjected to fixed standards, since the artifacts found in various burials differ with respect to size (fig. 4). They were certainly not used in the same way their real counterparts were. Most likely, their function was ritual. Their prototypes among the earlier Bactrian assemblages and in adjacent regions have not been revealed so far. Possibly these symbolic artifacts were innovations triggered by the southward migration of the Andronovo people. Another possibility is that their manufacture mirrored some social changes which produced an impact on the ideology of the Sappali society in the final Bronze Age. Also, they might have reflected a higher social status of the people whose burials they accompanied. Perhaps their primary function was the modeling of the world through a materialization of images (Avanesova 1993: 15-19).


Р.А. Литвиненко. Памятники Покровского типа на Северском Донце


In the late 70s, a new group of burials was detected in the Seversky Donets area (Bratchenko, Gershkovich 1979; Pislary 1980). Previously they were attributed to Abashevo Culture. Finds made in the Donets basin and elsewhere suggested that the distribution area of Abashevo Culture in theUkraine reached as far west as the Dnieper (Berezanskaya 1987). At present it has become clear that so-called "Abashevo" sites in the Seversky Donets basin should be regarded as a separate category, now called Pokrovsk group.

About 100 Pokrovsk type burials are known in the Donets area. Their main distinctive features are related to ceramics. Vessels are bell-shaped, jar-like, or having an angular profile. Some are ornamented with horizontal furrows, triangles, diamonds, carved lines, and comb impressions. Sometimes the entire surface is covered with broad relief stripes made by a comb with large sparse teeth (fig. 3-8). Pottery found in late Pokrovsk burials resembles that of Srubnaya (Timber-Frame) culture. Vessels were frequently put in places unusual for Srubnaya burials: behind the head, behind the back, near the abdomen or close to the feet.

Peculiarities of the funerary rite also attest to the specific nature of Pokrovsk group. Half of such burials were made in earlier mounds of the Early and Middle Bronze Age. Single graves were always made in the southeastern sector of the mound. Some mounds contain a group of main burials arranged in a circular or bow-like fashion around the central one (fig. 2-3, 6, 4). Apart from inhumations, two cremations and four cenotaphs have been excavated. Graves are mainly ground pits whose size depended on the age and social status of the buried person. The skeletons were usually lying on the left side in a slightly (flexed position. Burial goods other than ceramics include bronze artifacts (knives, fig. 5: 5, 9; 7: 12; 8: 14, 16, 17; head pendants, fig. 4: 16; 6: 16; 8: 5, 6, 9, 10; needles, plates that were attached to wooden vessels, fig. 7: 13; 6: 11, and cramps used to fasten wooden objects, fig. 7: 3: 8: 22, 23). Bone artifacts are represented by a buckle and bushes (fig. 4: 1, 3; 6: 7; 7: 4). One of the bushes is decorated with carved meanders and triangles (fig. 5: 4). Possibly, this artifact was used as a top of a staff (Otroshchenko 1990). In one of the burials, a stone mace head was found together with a bone bush (fig. 4: 4). Some burials contained faience. antimony, and paste beads; also, a phallic nephrite pendant was found (fig. 6: 4; 8: 11, 20, 21). The chronology of Pokrovsk burials in the Seversky Donets area is based on the stratigraphy of the mounds. Pokrovsk burials transect those of the middle period of Mnogovalikovaya (Ceramics with Multiple Rolls) Culture and predate those of the developed stage of Srubnaya (Timber Frame) Culture. Because Pokrovsk and late Mnogovalikovaya Culture burials have the same stratigraphic position, they are apparently synchronous. As seen on the map (fig. 1), Pokrovsk sites are situated in the left-bank Seversky Donets area and the Don - Donets interfluve (fig. 1), whereas late Mnogovalikovaya sites are located in the right-bank Donets zone and further south and west. A narrow strip along both banks of the Donets is both a borderline and a contact zone where both groups meet. Pokrovsk people in the Seversky Donets basin had evidently migrated from the middle Don. It appears that the Pokrovsk phenomenon provides a key for understanding the origins of Srubnaya Culture in the Donets area.


Д.Г. Савинов, В.В. Бобров. Курганы Андроновской культуры могильника Юрман I в Западной Сибири


Andronovo Culture has become a focus of attention due to its vast distribution area spreading over the steppe and forest-steppe of southern Urals, Central Asia, Kazakhstan. West and South Siberia, as well as to the historical impact produced by the emergence of Andronovo cattle-breeders especially in the eastern and northern parts of their range, to their mysterious origins, and to unresolved issues related with their linguistic and cultural affinities.

The principal aspects of Andronovo studies in the eastern region of West Siberia are local peculiarities of funerary rites and ceramics ornamentation The use of new approaches, taking into consideration sex dimorphism, social criteria etc.. has resulted in two hypotheses, one focusing on cultural transformation in the lowland forest-steppe regions like Baraba and Tomsk area (Bobrov, Mikhailov 1989: 103), another stressing cultural homogeneity in the hollows separated by mountain ranges (Bobrov 1992: 35) However, more archaeological data, especially from the mountainous zone, are required to arrive at definite conclusions. The area of particular importance is the Kuznetsk Hollow, which, despite being relatively isolated by taiga and mountain ranges, had stronger links with the Upper Ob forest-steppe than had the Chulym-Yenisei or Syda-Yerba hollows. One of the recently excavated burial grounds in this region is Yurman I, situated on an elevated smooth plateau, 5 km east of Kamenka village. Promyshlenny district, Kemerovo province Apart from twenty large medieval mounds (Yunnan II), those representing Andronovo Culture, ten to twelve in number, were discovered here (Yurman I).

In 1993, three mounds of Yurman I group were excavated. Mound No. I contained two burials (№№ 1 and 2), while mounds №№ 2 and 3 contained one burial each. The grave pits were square in plan. 2,4 m by 2,4 m, and 2,8 m by 2,8 m. They had slightly rounded comers which were directed towards the cardinal points. The graves were 1,6-1,95 m deep, and in their lower parts 0,25-0,3-metr-wide subsoil steps were left on which the roofs of the burial chambers rested (Fig. 1: 4; Fig. 2: 1. 2; Fig 4: 1).

The burial const met ions were rectangular (or almost square) frames made of massive larch-wood blocks 2. 1 m by 2,2 m and 2,2 m by 2,3 in in size The roofs in all chambers consisted of similar widely spaced blocks oriented SW-NE and covered with large sheets of birch-bark In mounds №№ 1 and 3, there were wooden poles 15-20 cm in diameter. Their lower ends rested on the roofs of the chambers, while the upper ones, judging by the preserved remains, reached the ancient surface (Fig. 2; 4: 1).

Mounds Nos 1 and 3 contained remains of cremations made elsewhere. In each of the burials in mound № 1 there were remains of two cremations, and one in mound № 1 The ashes were initially placed in special wooden frames (Fig. 2; 4: 1). Beside them, clay pots were placed in the comers of the burial chambers (Fig 2; 4: 1).

Mound № 2 contained an inhumation burial (a flexed skeleton of a male aged 33-40 lying on the side) (Fig. 1: 4). Phalanxes of hands and feet, as well as the forearm hones were painted with ochre. Behind the skull (here were two large clay vessels, and under one of them, a bronze tanged dagger (Fig 1:1) Here and in the northern coner of the chamber, ribs of an animal were found, as well as round bone plaques, and several small wooden objects of an unknown destination. Altogether there were twelve vessels in the graves (Fig 1: 2, 3; 3; 4: 2-5).

Pots from mound No 2 stand out by their large size and ornamental compositions made in the "meander" style. These two features as well as the presence of a dagger and the fact that the body was cremated attest to the buried person's special status.

Similarity of morphological traits and size of vessels from the two graves in mound no 1 not merely indicates that they belong to the same culture and period, but suggests that the buried persons had the same social status or were relatives.

Vessels from mound № 3 are decorated with impressions of a comb with sparse teeth. This, together with other characteristics (careless manner of decoration, ornamented rim, parquet designs), makes the group lather peculiar and is possibly due to the influence of an alien tradition Notably, in some of these features, vessels from mound № 3 resemble tar-like pottery from Strelka burial ground, northern Khakassia, which is believed to evidence Andronovo influence on Okunev tradition in the northern parti of the latter's distribution area (Savinov 1981: 114-115).

The dagger in an Andronovo burial (fig. 1: 4) is a find highly unusual for southern West Siberia Because it was lying together with the vessels near the skull, rather than being attached to the belt, its function was most likely ritual. Burials at Yurman I are a synchronous association and should be dated to 1300 – 1000 ВС (Vadetskaya 1986: 46-47).

Features peculiar to Yurman I are these: (1) two and more vessels placed in the comer of the burial chamber (mounds №№ 2 and 3), (2) dagger (mound № 2). and (3) transformation of decorative patterns (mound № 3) At the same time, there are several traits which are characteristic of other Andronovo sites in Kuznetsk Hollow. Some traits have an even wider distribution within the territory occupied by Andronovo people. These include the filling of grave pus with earth taken from the subsoil, buna! constructions in the form of frames consisting of one or two tows of beams (round or squared) made of coniferous trees.

Especially noteworthy are wooden pillars vertically placed on the roofs of the burial constructions and reaching the ancient surface level. The stable association of these pillars with cremation burials and vessels suggests that they might have symbolized an "axis" for the communication of the dead with the living.


Н.В. Полосьмак. Исследование второго кургана могильника Пазырыкской культуры Ак-Алаха I


For the third consecutive year, the South Altai Expedition of the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography has been excavating Pazyryk Culture (Early Iron Age) tumuli at Bertek, highland Altai, in an area bordering on China and Mongolia. Burial chambers are normally situated in the frozen ground. Finds were made whose unique preservation is due to permafrost. In 1990, mound № 1 was excavated at Ak-Alakha 1 group where two high-ranking persons, a man and a woman, were buried (Polosmak 1991, 1992). Two years later, mound № 2, adjoining the first one and containing a rich burial of an eight-year-old boy, was excavated.

The second mound was 11 m in diameter, its height being 40 cm above the modem surface. It was constructed of large pebbles which covered the earth taken from the grave. The oval grave, 2,4 m by 3,6 m, was oriented NE to SW and occupied most of the inner area of the mound. It was filled with large and small pebbles densely placed in rows and interspersed with earth. The grave was enclosed by an oval line of large stone slabs.

At a depth of approximately 1 m. the permafrost layer began. At 1. 82 m from the ancient surface, a skeleton of a horse was discovered lying along the northern wall of the grave pit. The animal was placed on its belly with legs bent. There were iron bits in its teeth, and in its frontal bone there was a hole made with a pick.

The body of the boy was placed in a wooden frame 95 cm by 200 cm at the depth of 2,16 m below the ancient surface. The bottom of the pit below the frame was densely paved with small greenish pebbles. The frame, made of thin logs, was frozen all through and badly deformed by stones, despite having a double roof. The space between the walls of the grave and the frame was densely packed with stones. Under the roofs of the frame, a child's skeleton was found lying in a flexed position on the right side.

Beside the facial pan of the child's skull, there were fragments of a smashed clay pot. Also near the skull, a sacrum of a ram was found (a wooden dish on which it probably lay lias not been preserved). Above the skull, golden foil from a headdress was discovered. Below it, along the skull, there were plaques (also made of golden foil) which had small holes and were apparently sewn on the headdress. To the right of the skull, below it, a massive golden earring was found (fig. 4). On the child's neck there was spiral of one a half coils, made of a bronze tube covered with golden foil (fig. 4). A fragment of fur clothing was found on the child's chest. Beside the waist there were bronze artifacts: a pick with a partly preserved wooden haft, a dagger in a wooden sheath, a hook, and fragments of two double wooden buckles. Near the feet there were eight bone arrowheads, points directed downwards. Thanks to the permafrost, part of the child's hand has been preserved.

Nothing specifically "childish" has so far been detected in children's burials of the Pazyryk Culture. The headdress of a child from Ak-Alakha is similar to the helmets of adults buried in mound № 1. The preserved part of top of the child's helmet, made of golden foil, is a stylized representation of a bird's head to whose top a figurine of a homed horse was attached by means of strings passed through special openings (fig. 1). This headdress, reconstructed on the basis of the specimen found in mound № 1, was apparently an indicator of a high social status of the military caste. Burials of men in similar helmets have been excavated at Ulandryk, Yuslyd, Tashangin. and Saylyugem (Kubarev 1987: 98-100; 1991: 106-108: 1991a: 101),

The bronze socketed pick is round in section, and its length is 12,5 cm. This is a reduced replica of an "adult" pick. The preserved part of its wooden haft, covered with thin leather, was fastened to the haft by means of a wooden wedge. The pick was attached to the belt with a leather loop which had a carved end shaped like a griffin's head. A clasp made of a boar's canine was passed through the loop (fig. 2: 1). Such a way of fastening was more than once registered in Pazyryk burials (Mogilnikov 1983: 28, 31-32, fig. 2: 6; 5: 8, 6; Kubarev 1987: 279, tab. XXVIII: 2). The manner of attaching and carrying weapons belongs to the important characteristics of a culture, one which is very seldom evidenced by archaeological data. The specimen discovered at Ak-Alakha, excellently preserved, makes it possible to see all the details of fastening the belts. Despite its small size, the pick might have been a true weapon, as demonstrated by the quality of its manufacture and the care with which it was attached. The bronze dagger, 17,5 cm long, was also a reduced replica of a real prototype. It has a straight hill with a mushroom-shaped top, a heart-shaped guard, and a broad blade, rhomboid in section (fig. 2: 2). Its sheath consisted of two parts, an outer one, wooden, and an inner one, leathern. The lower part of the sheath has not been preserved. On the upper part, near the hilt, two protrusions were carved, and a similar pair was made in the middle. The front part of the sheath has a leather cover. Both pairs of protrusions, which imitate the ends of metal plaques fastening the sheath, have round wooden buttons attached to them (fig. 2: 2). The inside of the wooden part has a slot in which the blade was insetted. The inside of the sheath is made of thick leather and its shape is the same as that of the wooden pan. Both the dagger and the sheath have numerous parallels among the burial assemblages of the Pazyryk type in southeast Altai. The Ak-Alakha specimens stand out as the best preserved ones.

The buried child had a leather belt, 2,5 cm wide. Its front part was ornamented by a suede string passed through the openings crosswise. Two poorly preserved wooden buckles, shaped like animal figurines, were attached to the belt (fig. 3: 1). Such buckles arc quite rare in Pazyryk burials, and none have so far been met in children's graves. The belt was an important part of a warrior's costume, an indicator of his social position; wooden buckles, especially carved ones, apparently attest to the dead person's membership of a military elite.

The bronze hook fastened to the belt was probably related to the quiver, which has not been preserved (fig. 3: 2). Eight bone tanged arrowheads, 4-5 cm long and triangular in section, were found in the grave, all in one place, so there probably was a quiver. Also found in the grave was a small smashed jug decorated with notched clay strips attached to its body.

The date of the burial should be estimated at 500-200 ВС. Stratigraphic observations suggest that mound no. 2 was constructed after mound № 1.

Pazyryk burials of children, like those of adults, are quite diverse. The child buried in Ak-Alakha mound № 2 evidently belonged to the family which was part of the military elite of the nomadic society. Both the burial chamber and the mound above it are similar to the constructions associated with burials of adults. The distinctive feature of the Ak-Alakha child's burial is that the stone mound constructed above it was closely adjacent to mound № 1, thus marking the child's dependence on the two adults and possibly attesting to their relationship. In all Pazyryk burial grounds in east Altai, burials of children adjoin those of adults (Rudenko 1953: 15, fig. 2: mound no. 7, burial of a child; Kubarev 1987: 28: 1). Tumuli containing children's burials usually belong to the common chain of mounds.


Э.Б. Вадецкая. Исследование коллективных могил Позднетагарской культуры в верховьях Чулыма (раскопки кургана 2 у деревни Береш)


The only mounds still undisturbed by ploughing in the Chulym Basin, southern Krasnoyarsk Region, are large tumuli representing the Tagar Culture and containing graves in which dozens and hundreds of people were buried. Although such graves have been excavated in Siberia for over a century now, it is not yet clear why should there be so many people buried in each. Some writers believe that burials were usually made in many stages and people who had originally been buried one by one, were later reburied in a common pit; however, some graves were initially communal and contained remains of tine war dead or victims of the epidemics. Others suggest that corpses were first stored in some sanctuaries and then placed in a communal grave over which a mound was constructed.

According to the third view, a communal grave was the place where members of a certain clan were buried over a century or longer. This idea, however, is disproved by observations concerning the order in which the bodies and artifacts were arranged in the graves, and by some other facts. Specifically, no passages through which bodies might be carried into the burial chambers have been detected under the mounds. Second, not only in tacts bodies were put into the graves, but dissociated ones as well, and even separate skulls and postcranial bones. Also, all remains within a chamber were burnt, and a common tire was made for that purpose. Nevertheless, there arc cases where chambers which had been filled with corpses and burnt were later reconstructed to accommodate a new group of bodies. These observations indicate that successive burials were indeed made.

The Institute of the History of Material Culture Siberian Expedition has excavated over a hundred mounds with communal graves in the south Krasnoyarsk Region. However, only one of them, a Tagar mound near Beresh village, Sharypovo district, has yielded important new evidence regarding the burial rite. The mound was excavated by the present author in 1982.

Burial construction

Two graves were dug at a distance of 1,5 in from one another (fig. 1). The northern one was a rectangular pit 6,5 m by 4,6 m, oriented along the north-to-south axis. The southern one is almost square in plan, 5,5 m by 4,5 m. The bottom of each pit was covered with birch bark on which planks were laid. Along the walls, vertical logs, 20-25 cm in diameter, were dug into the ground close to one another, their height above the ground being 1,8 m. They were supported by frames, 1-1,2 m high, made of four rows of logs each. The frame in the larger pit had a roof made of wooden blocks (fig. 3), and there were shelves for the bodies inserted between the second and third rows of logs. The southern pit was covered by two layers of logs, the northern one, by three layers. The logs were 40-60 em thick (fig. 2). The underlying logs in the northern pit were partly supported by the overlying ones of the southern pit. The entire construction was covered with birch hark. On the western side of the larger pit, there was a corridor-like passage whose walls were made of vertical logs dug into the ground, whereas the roof was made of short transverse logs and covered with birch bark. On top of the construction, above the birch bark, rectangular pieces of turf were piled up to a height of at least 1 m. Because lire roofs were as thick as 1,6-2,0 m, the entire mound looked like a truncated pyramid no less than 2,5-3 m high (fig. 19). The tumulus was enclosed by a stone wall, 28 m by 20 m, made of sixteen vertical pillars which were dug into the ground at equal distances, four of them in the comets, and connected by sandstone slabs. Both the width and the height of the wall were up to 2 m. The entrance was marked by two massive slabs. Later the entrance was walled up with stone slabs laid to the height of 1 m.

Burial rite

Both graves were disturbed by looters. What remained in the southern grave were eight skulls and numerous postcranial bones from four individuals fig. 5). All of these were found under the collapsed logs. Most likely, separate skulls and postcranial bones had been buried in this case. In the northern grave, there were remains of 63 individuals, mostly mummified (figs. 6, 7). They were arranged along all the walls of the pit, on the bottom, and on the shelves. It is impossible to say whether the bodies were laid or seated. Initially, the central part of the pit was apparently occupied by a large open fire, since no traces of bones, artifacts or organic matter were found here.

Mummification techniques

The following parts of the mummies had been preserved: skeletons, gross, twigs, clay stuck to the skulls, remains of painted plaster, pieces of leather and birch bark. The best preserved one was a male skeleton which lay near the middle of the eastern wall and was pressed to the ground by the shelf. Its bones had been charred but had not fallen apart; soft tissues had been carbonized. The skeleton was covered (from head to hips) with a coarse fabric with clay plaques stuck to it; below the shroud there were remains of skin and clothing. Near the left hip there were a knife and an awl, to the right, an iron disk (probably a mirror) and a large round buckle from the belt; between the legs there were fragments of a wooden case with a knife and an iron awl.

Under and above the bones, a layer of twisted bunches of grass, up to 3 сm thick, was found. The chest, too, was filled with grass. On both sides of the spine, inside the chest, there were 1-1,3 cm thick twigs which still had bark on them and were pierced, the diameter of the holes being 1-2 mm. Because the ends of the twigs were situated 5-6 cm above the first cervical vertebrae, the head was probably fastened on them.

The skull was filled with a compound consisting of grass, charcoal, and earth. Eye sockets and mouth were filled with clay. The twigs were probably stuck into the clay, after which the neck was covered with clay and wrapped in grass, and leather straps were tied round it. Some fragments of clay bear impressions of grass and leather straps. The entire head was plastered with a thin layer of clay all over, and a mask was modeled, very' crude but apparently bearing certain resemblance to the face of the dead person. All the clay head and the body were covered with leather whose pieces were sewn together. Slashes were made on the place of eyes, and a leather nose was sewn onto the face. The leather head was again plastered with a layer of clay 0,5 cm thick, and an additional layer of plaster was applied to the face and decorated with a design made in red paint (fig. 8, 9). Only traces of paint have remained on the Beresh mummies, but some of those from other burial grounds still retain a design consisting of red circles, dots, trefoils, and, less often, black stripes (Kuzmin, Varlamov 1988: 149-152). After the face had been decorated, the head was again covered with leather (fig. 10).

A longitudinal section was made through the body, and the internal organs were removed, after which the chest and the abdominal cavity were lilted with a compound in which grass was present. Twigs were arranged along the spine, and their upper ends were thrust into the clay which was stuck under the lower jaw. The eye sockets were filled with clay in which a bead imitating the pupil was inserted. Anns, legs, neck, and trunk were wrapped in bunches of dry grass fastened with leather straps and covered with pieces of leather sewn together (fig. 10).

Dressing the mummies

The straw-and-leather mummy was dressed in a full set of clothing. To imitate trimmed hair, massive clay plaques, triangular in section and widening toward the ends, were attached on each side of (he head (fig. 11). They were modelled on ribs of animals and their front sides were covered with mica. In their lower part they had holes through which straps attaching the plaques to the head were apparently passed (fig. 9, 10). Fragments of similar plaques have already been found in other burials, but their meaning was not understood (Martynov, Martynova, Kulemzin 1971: 127). On top of the head of the Beresh mummy, between the carved plaques, there is a thin coiled plait stuck in a leather pouch. This type of hairstyle was very common in the Yenisey area in 200-600 AD (Vadetskaya 1985: 10-12).

The clothing of the mummy consisted of two shirts (one woolen, another leathern), two fur coats, and a fur bib (fig. 12). There were also many ornaments made of bark and clay. Clay plaques which were attached to the headdress and to the flaps of the fur coats arc especially numerous; similar ones decorated the walls and the ceiling of the frame. Plaques were ornamented with patterns of several types: inscribed triangles sometimes forming an oblique cross, concentric circles, representations of carnivores, and vegetable designs showing branches of trees with or without leaves. The usual patten? on round and pyramidal plaques consists of six or twelve bosses around the central one. All plaques were covered with sheets of mica or, less often, gold (fig. 14-16). True ornaments arc rare and include several glass beads (several monochrome and one with an "eye" pattern), two golden earrings, and five bronze pendants. There was also a human figurine made of birch bark (fig. 13).

Iron and bone buckles and pins arc few, implying that these items were usually manufactured of wood. A wooden case with a knife and an awl, and a bronze minor in a pouch were attached to the belt of the mummy. True mirrors, knives, and daggers were replaced with wooden replicas (fig. 17, 18).

Vessels and sacrifices

Vessels were made of birch bark (boxes), wood (dishes), and clay. Only one of the boxes, an oval one with a high lid, has been fully preserved. It contained remains of iron artifacts (fig. 17: 3). Numerous vessels were placed on the roof of the chamber, of which a part, 4 sq m in area, has been preserved. At least eleven wooden dishes and about as many clay vessels were piled there. Including those vessels which fell down during the fire, no less than fifty vessels and the same number of dishes must have been placed on the roof. Some dishes contained bones of animals whose meat was eaten during the funerary repast (mostly heads of rams and an entire kid). Also put on the roof were at least three horse skins with heads and parts of legs above the knees.

Vessels made of clay (gray and reddish-brown) are represented by large pots and jars, some of them having vertical handles, small jars, and beakers. Unique specimens include globular and bomb-shaped vessels with narrow necks, a saucer, and a pot with a spout (fig. 17: 6; 18: 5).

During the construction of the stone wall around the mound, human sacrifices were made. One of the victims, buried lit a small pit behind the northeastern cornerstone of the wall, was an adult who, judging by the skeleton, lay in an unnatural position, spine strongly bent, and was apparently killed with a knife thrust in his abdomen where it remained (fig. 4).

Seasonality of burials

No evidence of repeated burials has been found. The roof of the chamber was tightly packed with vessels and covered with animal skins, suggesting that the funeral was a single event. Other proofs of that arc remains of a canopy which was apparently attached to the ceiling and spread over all the bodies. Also, mummification was probably performed with a view of preserving the dead person's appearance up to the funeral. Mummies differ with respect of the degree to which the bodies had dissociated. Before carrying them into the grave from the place where they had been kept, the straw legs of some of them had to be fastened to twigs. Artifacts (especially vessels) date from different periods, yet they were put into the grave simultaneously, implying that some were brought from the place where the mummies were originally stored.

The upper entrance to the chamber was connected with the pit by an opening I m wide and 40-50 cm high cut through one of the logs of the second layer. However, it is too narrow for the bodies to be passed through. Perhaps its purpose, like that of the hole above the pit, was to secure the passage of air into the burning chamber. Clearly, the chamber was set on fire through sonic opening in the mound above the pit, and this was a single act.

Date of the tumulus

Both graves under the mound differ both in funerary rite and burial goods. In the southern chamber, miniature bronze replicas of two daggers and two knives were found. In contrast, virtually all weapons found in the northern grave were made of iron. However, stratigraphic observations, such as absence of earth taken from the northern grave and thrown onto the southern one, territorial proximity of both pits and the fact that they arc parallel to each other, suggest that both were made simultaneously.

The absolute date of both graves may be provided by the golden spiral earring from the northern grave. It has a long plate decorated with small impressed bosses imitating granules of metal (fig. 18: 4). In West Siberia, the Upper Ob region, and the Novokuznetsk area, such earrings appeared no earlier than 200 AD and disappeared about 500 AD (Shirin 1994: 9). Earrings belonging to three more types, that existed in West Siberia after 200 or even 300 AD, were found in tumuli near Shestakovo together with fragments of clay plaques (those from the mummies' headdress and round ones), similar to those from Beresh. That the Beresh mound cannot be earlier than 200 AD is also evidenced by one more grave in this mound, published by A. V. Subbotin (fig. 23). Here, too, mummies were placed on the bottom and on the shelves of the burial chamber, the walls and the ceiling were draped with cloth ornamented with clay plaques, and small beakers and pots were among the ceramics. But on the whole, the assemblage from this grave is earlier since it includes buckles shaped like 8, Hunnu type belt-points, and an unornamented earring; also, two archaic artifacts were present: a standard with figurines of goats, and a yoke-shaped amulet (both were quite common in the region before the turn of the Christian era, see Subbotin 1983: 64-66). The date of the grave is established on the basis of imported Near Eastern beads with golden and silver inlays, decolourized with manganese (a technique used since 100 AD). There are also gilded reel-shaped beads which circulated in 0—300 AD and were especially popular in India, Central Asia, and the East Mediterranean in 100-300 AD (Alekseeva 1978), as well as small violet beads, most likely Indian, which were manufactured in 200 BC – 200 AD (Galibin 1993: 67-68). Overall, according to the beads, the grave published by Subbotin should be dated to 150-250 AD. Consequently, the grave published in the present article was constructed no earlier than late 3rd or early 4th century AD.

Siberian communal graves with mummies were traditionally dated to the last two centuries ВС because they contain replicas of Hunnu ornaments (buckles, belt points, and buttons). Hunnu prototypes of these artifacts were manufactured in 100 ВС - 200 AD. As early as 1983 I questioned the belief that these artifacts, which were used for a very long time, should be referred to as dating criteria. I tried to support my view with several radiocarbon dates falling in the range of 100-300 AD and with the fact that one of the graves with mummies contained a birch-bark box (Berezovo Mound: fig. 20-22) which has an imitation of a 300-500 AD Chinese minor on its lid (Vadetskaya 1983: 53). Replicas of similar mirrors were very popular outside China since the 2nd or 3rd centuries. Tile consideration of imported glass beads with due regard to their types, material, and chronology has again demonstrated that the graves in question are later than it was traditionally believed. Indeed, replicas of Hunnu artifacts co-occur with beads whose large-scale manufacture began only in the 1st century AD. So the proposed late date of the Beresh mound can hardly be disputed, although the date suggested in my preliminary publications was 1st century AD (Vadetskaya, Gultov 1986: 99).


С.С. Миняев. Новейшие находки художественной бронзы и проблема формирования "геометрического стиля" в искусстве сюнну


Zoomorphic bronzes (plaques and buckles of various forms, buttons, etc.) belong to the most impressive examples of Hsiung-nu art (fig. 1). A number of other Hsiung-nu bronzes are treated in a way that may be described as geometric. They include "lattice", or "openwork", buckles of the belts and small artifacts such as points, buttons, etc. Their detailed analysis makes it possible to trace an evolutionary sequence beginning from originally zoomorphous "Scytho-Siberian" representations, most of which were strongly influenced by the Near Eastern art. In the following we shall exemplify this suggestion.

Plaque-buckles of the upper belt. Artifacts whose origins is best documented are "lattice" plaque-buckles. Perhaps one of the original compositions is a scene showing fantastic animals standing beside a symbolic tree (Peter I collection). It is encompassed by a rectangular frame on which there are pits for the inlay, shaped like tree leaves. The tree and the animals are well modelled, and the heads are quite realistic. Buckles of this type were prototypes for bronze plaques, but many details had been lost in the process of repeated copying and additional modelling of the casts. The frames of some bronze plaques still retain the heads of animals rendered in the same manner as those on the buckles from Peter I collection, but the entire composition becomes geometric. Later only several pits remain of the heads of the animals, and eventually they disappear as well. The original scene depicting animals beside a tree turns into a geometric composition. The latest plaque-buckles look like trapeziums with zigzag edges and have little if anything in common with the original composition (figs. 2: 3, 4).

Apparently most representations on plaque-buckles were subjected to a similar remodelling with a gradual simplification and stylization of zoomorphous scenes. This applies to representations of three mountain goats, two couples of snakes ultimately transformed into a lattice consisting of small diamond-shaped cells (fig. 3), and a horse fight (here, the artifacts gradually diminished, their weight dropping from 100-110 g to 18-20 g).

Round openwork buckles of the upper bell. The original "Scytho-Siberian" composition is seen on a ring from Peter I collection showing birds walking in file. Being initially realistic, the representation was gradually becoming more and more schematic. First, only heads situated along the edge of the plaque remained of the birds. Next, the heads, too, turned into pits, which eventually disappeared as well, the composition turning into a geometric pattern: two concentric circles connected by several radii whose number also diminished with time (fig. 5).

The evolution of rectangular plaque-buckles and openwork rings demonstrates certain regularities in the schematization process: at the first stage only heads of animals or birds are preserved of the zoomorphous scenes, then they turn into comma-like pits, and ultimately the buckle frame becomes smooth.

Small bronze artifacts (buttons, spoon-like clasps, ornamented belt buckles, fig. 6). Representations on these artifacts undergo a similar transformation ultimately turning into geometric patterns. Stages of this evolution can be traced in series of buttons representing a sitting bear, spoon-shaped clasps, and openwork belt buckles. These artifacts, too, have clear-cut prototypes among the collections of Siberian gold. Hsiung-nu buckles are less expressive, but the transformation process was similar to the one described above.

As our analysis demonstrates, "geometric" compositions in Hsiung-nu art were the outcome of the stylization process thai occurred during the repeated copying of original Scytho-Siberian zoomorphous representations, primarily those on golden artifacts from mounds of the noblemen (many such artifacts belonged to Peter I and Witsen collections, and some have recently been found in undisturbed assemblages). However, these representations did not result from the evolution of Scythian art proper, since some of them have demonstrative parallels in the Near Eastern tradition, whose impact on Scythian an has been discussed more than once.

Let us turn back to the first composition showing animals beside a symbolic tree. The subject had been used in Near Eastern art from lime immemorial, the earliest known examples being representations on the cylindrical seals dating from Period С in Susa. Minor modifications disregarded, this scene continued to be popular in the Near East throughout the period of 1500-900 ВС, when it was depicted on cylindrical seals and bronzes, and even later, as evidenced by a fragment of a 9th century ВС vessel from Hasanlu. A similar scene is represented on a golden pectoral from the Sakkyz hoard which in a way may be viewed as an intermediate link between the Scythian an and that of the Near East. Scenes of this type were adopted and modified by Scythian artisans, the outcome of the process being seen on buckles from Peter I collection. These, in turn, were copied and remodelled by Hsiung-nu jewellers (fig. 2).

Another scene popular in Hsiung-nu art was that of a hoofed animal clawed by a griffin and a feline. While virtually the same scene is obseived mi a steatite beaker from Khafajah, the link connecting it to Hsiung-nu art are golden plaques from Peter I collection (fig. 7-9).

Such examples (whose number may be enlarged) indicate that representations related to a very ancient Near Eastern tradition penetrated into, and were modified by, the Hsiung-nu milieu via the Scythian world. A rapid transformation of zoomorphous scenes, which over a short period turned into geometric compositions (fig. 10-11). implies that the Hsiung-nu jewellers failed to fully comprehend their contents, simplifying or eliminating many details and even images unfamiliar to them while retaining or realistically enriching only scenes which were easy for them to understand, namely those showing animals. And. because Scytho-Siberian traditions were so radically changed by the Hsiung-nu, it may be suggested thai aesthetic criteria inherent in Hsiung-nu art formed outside the Scytho-Siberian area.

It is quite probable that originally the elements on which the Scytho-Siberian animal style was based were not part of the Hsiung-nu art, the characteristic features of the latter being engraved representations on organic materials like bone or antler and on minerals. Such representations, sharply differing from the "Scytho-Siberian" canon, have been found on many Hsiung-nu sites.

The rapid evolution of the prototypes which before the Hsiung-nu conquest were basically stable over several millennia demonstrates that the new ethnic, cultural, and linguistic (Proto-Mongolian?) milieu with its peculiar mythological and epic imagery was quite alien to the Near Eastern tradition. Some of the prototypical compositions had been retained possibly due to the fact that certain ideological similarities did exist; others were stylized and transformed by the Hsiung-nu in accordance with their own aesthetic norms.


В.А. Завьялов. К вопросу о происхождении статуэтки Будды из Хельго


Wide-scale excavations thai were started several years ago at an early medieval settlement of Helgo, situated about 30 km west of Stockholm on one of the small islands on Lake Malaren, have yielded highly important and well-documented findings which have long been published and have aroused considerable interest not only of Scandinavian scholars but also of those from other countries. We will not touch upon the entire problematics of this key site, many aspects of which were discussed in a monograph (Thirteen Studies on Helgo, 1988). The present paper focuses on just one unique find, a bronze figurine of the Buddha (figs. 1-2).

The figurine was found during one of the early field seasons (Excavations at Helgo I, 1961: 88, 112, colour pl. A. figs. 18-20) near the western edge of pit no. 124, in square M-34, 12 cm below the modern surface. Initially it was thought to belong to the artifacts discovered within foundation I. The subsequent survey of this complex demonstrated that it included two wooden constructions (IA and IB) of which only stone slabs of the foundations have remained (Excavation at Helgo III, ! 970: 126-127). The Buddha figurine was apparently located in construction IB together with other imported artifacts, suggesting that the entire assemblage was a hoard. However, contrary to what might he expected in this case, the finds were scattered, possibly due to the fact thai (he layer was disturbed by a road which was later built at thai place Hut if so, then all the artifacts found here might as well belong to construction 1A (Excavation at Helgo III. 1970: 135. fig. 62, pl. 49) As the analysis of the distribution of finds in construction IA demonstrated, some of them were imported artifacts most of which were located in the comers of die house, mainly in the northwestern corner, the closest to construction IB Among the finds from construction 1A there were two fragments of silver Arab coins (Excavation at Helgo III, 1970: 132-133). Altogether seven Arab coins, minted between 742/743 and 827/833 AD, were found in construction I (Excavation at Helgo I, 1961: 240-241, figs. 79-80)

The Buddha figurine was examined in a separate publication (Ahrens 1964: 50-52. figs. 1-3) Using parallels available at that time. Ahrens found it to be close to bronze figurines from East Turkestan (the Tarim and Dunghuan basins). Stylistical feature! (specifically, the way in which folds of clothing arc rendered), the proportions of the figurine, and the "inspired" look of the deity, brought Ahrens to the conclusion that the Helgo Buddha was possibly made in that region in the 5th century AD He also noted the relevance of tins find (along with stratigraphic data) for the dating of the entire structure (IA, IB) and especially for the beginning of its functioning. According to his conclusion, based on the totality of the evidence, the house was built after 500 AD and existed until 800 AD, whereas the imported rarities could have got there in (he 7th century and kept in the house until the early 9th century. Finally Aniens (raced the route by which the figurine could have been carried from Fast Turkestan along the Silk Route to Syria, from where the Arabs or (he Vikings could have brought it to Sweden (Ahrens 1964: 52).

In the course of work on a joint Russian-Norwegian project "Eastern Connections 500-1000 AD", which integrated data on Buddhist sites in Central Asia and was coordinated by Prof. Egil Mikkelsen of Oslo, by whose consent the present article is published, another interpretation was suggested, differing from the one outlined above. Specifically, it is highly likely that the figurine was manufactured in Kashmir, which in the 7th century AD became one of (he centres of Buddhism and where bronze figurines were manufactured on a large scale (Pal 1975: 47-48). Especially noteworthy among (he published Kasmirian figurines are two. dating from (he 7th century and representing Gautama Buddha. Both are quite close to the Helgo specimen (figs. 3, 4). This is especially true of a figurine (fig. 3) from the Los Angeles Museum of Art (Pal 1975: 88, No. 20). The similarity concerns several details, namely (1) the lotus-shaped throne on which the Buddha is sitting in a logic posture known as paryankasana, (2) the position of hands, (he right one resting on (he right knee in a gesture of munificence while the left holds the edge of the upper clothing (sanghati), (3) the arrangement of the folds of clothing and especially the collar of sunghati which leaves part of shoulder, and chest uncovered, and (4) the way in which the hair is arranged

Despite their similarity, both figurines were apparently not cast in one mould, as evidenced by a number of differences. The lower pan of the lotus flower in the Helgo specimen consists of three rows of petals having round tips, while in the Los Angeles figurine there are only two rows, and the petal tips are sharp. The pedestal of the Los Angeles specimen, unlike its Helgo counterpart, is continued below the tips of petals and separated from them by a relief line Below the feel of the Helgo Buddha (here is a line of "pearls" interrupted by horseshoe-shaped folds of dhoti, a feature that is not seen in the Los Angeles Buddha Also different are (he position of palms of the right hands, the sanghati, the tips of the ears, and the parietal eminence (usnisha). The folds of the sanghati in the Los Angeles figurine arc more convex, and they are also seen on the shoulders. The eyebrows, the eyes, and the relief lines on the neck, too, are different. All these details notwithstanding, the similarity is quite apparent. These are just two modifications of a single prototype. The third one is represented by the figurine from (he Ford collection at Baltimore (fig. 4).

Pal has established certain stylistical and technological features specific for Kashmirian figurines. The former ones include (1) the tendency of representing a healthy and vigorous body by stressing the muscles on the chest and abdomen. (2) the roundness of the face, contrasting with its elongated outline in Gandhara and Gupta representations. (3) the nose that is wide rather than aquiline, (4) the blank expression of the eyes, especially when they arc inlaid with silver, and. sometimes, their slant position peculiar to the Mongoloid race, and (5) the abscence of stamens in the lotus flower which rather resembles that of the artichoke The technological features are the following: (1) most figurines are cast of brass; (2) lips, eyebrows, and eyes are often inlaid with silver, copper, and gold, and there is a special mark (urna) on the forehead between the eyebrows. In certain cases even the clothing is inlaid with copper to accentuate the richness of texture (Pal 1975: 12, 13. 30). It is easy to see that virtually all the features listed above are present both in the Helgo specimen and in its parallels.

Apart from the Gandhara art that had influenced the Kasmirian tradition. Pal has noted southern influences coming from the area around Mathura and the nearby Swat Valley (Pal 1975: 22, 36, 37). The Swat Valley was another centre where Buddhist bronze figurines were manufactured, some of them being close to the modifications described here. Kashmirian Buddhas, including the one from Helgo, are very close to the figurine which now belongs to a Japanese collection (Paul 1984: 426, fig. 23). Here, the similarity is observed in the folds of clothing, the collar of sanghati, the position of hands and feet, and the convex lines on the neck: the details of the throne, however, are different. Notably, the bronze figurine from the Swat Valley has been used by Pal as a parallel to a terracotta plaque from Damkot in the same valley, dating from the 6th century (according to Pal) and showing the Buddha silling in a yogic posture The details of his clothing, especially the collar of the sanghati. are very close to those on all the representations described above (Paul 1981: 423. fig. 7). Importantly, the terracotta plaque was found in the course of excavations.

Thus, in terms of style, the Helgo figurine is quite similar first and foremost to its Kashmirian counterparts, and also to terracotta and bronze artifacts from the Swat Valley, implying that it might in fact have been manufactured cither in one of the centres in Kashmir or, less likely, the Swat Valley. The Kashmir connection would become even more striking if the analysis would demonstrate the Helgo specimen to be cast of brass. We should apparently agree with Pal's idea that both Buddhas (from Los Angeles and from the Ford collection at Baltimore) stylistically anticipate the subsequent development of Kashmirian bronzes and possibly reproduce some actual statue (Pal 1975: 24). Perhaps the Helgo figurine, too, derives from this prototype. The interdependence of clay and stone sculptures, their reduced terracotta replicas, and painting, is an inherent feature of Buddhist an. Interestingly, the special sign (urna) on the forehead of one of the boddhisattva's clay statues was marked by a pit in which a golden ornament wuth а lug welded to it was placed. The statue was discovered inside a Buddhist sanctuary of the Kushano-Sasanian period (4th century AD) at Dal'verzintepe, Tokharistan (Turgunov 1989: 88) This is an illustrative example showing the development of the inlay technique which later became so characteristic of the Kashmirian bronzes Our analysis of the early medieval representations of the Buddha has demonstrated that the late date (7th century AD) suggested for the Helgo figurine on the basis of its Kashmirian parallels is in better agreement with the archaeological context of he site. Arab coins which were found together with the Buddha figurine and the latest of which was minted between 827 and 833 AD do not rule out the possibility that bronze figurines of that type were manufactured even later, in the 8th century AD.


В.Д. Гукин, С.И. Курчатов. Позднекочевническое погребение у села Паланка


A medieval burial discovered in 1990 near Palanka village, Moldavia, is described. Siratigraphic observations and details of the burial rile show it to be unique in the Pontic area. The artifacts found in the grave differ from those which were common in the region in 900-1400 AD, and have parallels among the earlier assemblages from other areas The bronze amulet, which was pan of a necklace, dates from the 10th century and evidences a westward migration of the Pechenegs. However, the burial rite (position of the buried person, vertical stelae, stone cyst covered by a stone slab) is suggestive of the Kuman tradition typical of the later stages of the nomadic culture Difficulties involved in the interpretation of this unique find are aggravated by the fact that so far we have no information concerning ethnic affinities of the nomads who inhabited the Dniester-Carpathian region in 900-1400 AD making it part of the population system which encompassed the entire Eurasian steppe.


С.Г. Колтухов, С.И. Андрух. Скифские погребение V в. до н.э. из Северо-Западного Крыма


In 1993, three burials belonging to the Archaic Scythian Culture were discovered by the Ukrainian Institute of Archaeology North Crimean Expedition. The burials were made in earlier (Bronze Age) mounds situated in the northern pan of Tarkhankut eminence, near Ryleyevka village, Razdol'noye district, Crimea. This is not the first find representing the Archaic Scythian Culture in northern Tarkhankut. In 1885, a 5th century ВС burial was found in Kara-Merkit mound near Kashtanovka village. In 1895, F. Lashkov excavated two burials, apparently of the same period, near Tavkel' - Neyman village (now Berezovka). In 1886, I. Nagly discovered a burial of a Scythian warrior in a mound near Ryleyevka village. In 1976, A. A. Stolbunov found a Scythian anthropomorphous statue beside a mound near Kotovskoye-Slavnoye highway. The latter find has been dated to late 5th century ВС by V. S. Ol'khovski and G. L. Yevdokimov. So there are reasons to believe that a group of Scythian burials dating back mainly to the 5th century ВС, existed in mounds south of the dry riverbed adjoining Lake Bokal Results of the 1993 excavations support this belief.

Burial in mound 1. Situated in the centre of the mound. The outlines of the grave have not been traced The skeleton of an adult person was destructed by looters. Only the leg bones were preserved. Their position suggests that the individual lay on the back, head facing west, legs flexed. Alter the soft tissues had dissociated, the leg bones fell apart forming a diamond-like configuration. The artifacts that had remained in the grave included a bronze armour with shoulders, an iron spearhead, and two bronze bridle-pieces. Iron butt-pieces of the two spears were wrapped in the armour. In the filling of the grave, two bronze arrowheads were found. The burial should be dated to the 5th century ВС.

Burial in mound 2 was made in a small catacomb in the centre of the mound. An adult person was lying supine, head oriented towards NNW. To the left of the corpse, part of a horse's carcass and an iron knife were placed. Near the left knee, bronze arrowheads were found. To the right there was a small bronze hatchet, a large iron spearhead, and an iron butt-piece from this spear. Between the pelvic bones and the left knee, there was art iron sword with a butterfly-shaped guard and a double-spiral top of hilt. On the left femur, a bronze bell-shaped bridle-piece was lying. The finds suggest that the date of the burial is 5th century ВС.

Burial in mound 4 was situated in the centre of the mound. The contour of the grave has not been traced. The western part of the grave was destroyed by recent excavations. Judging by the preserved bones, the burial was that of a low-statured person lying supine in an extended position, head directed towards the west. On the bottom of the grave, there were remains of decayed damask cloth. To the north of the skeleton, part of a sheep's carcass and an iron knife were placed. Between the right hand and the left hip, there was an iron sword with a butterfly-shaped guard and a bronze hilt designed in the animal style. Near the right hand, there was a bronze bridle-piece. To the right of the skeleton, a bronze plaque was found together with bronze harness ornaments shaped like sturgeons and cast in one mould. In our view, these artifacts share certain stylistic features with later sturgeon-shaped frontlets from Solokha mound. Artifacts found in the area destroyed in recent times include a spearhead fragment, two fragmented bronze sturgeonshaped ornaments, and fragments of a red amphora belonging to the so-called Aegina type. S. Yu. Monakhov, who has kindly agreed to date the amphora, believes that it was manufactured in the second quarter or in the middle of the 5th century ВС.

So both earlier and recent finds demonstrate that in the 5th century ВС, the territory adjoining Lake Bokal was already occupied by the Scythian nomads. This could be due to two factors. First, it is possible that the river flowing along the riverbed which is now dry was one of the permanent water sources in the northern part of Tarkhankut eminence, and the environment of that area was no less hospitable than in the foothills. The second, no less plausible explanation is that the nomads concentrated around the Greek town or settlement. According to one of the versions, the coastal area of northwestern Crimea around Lake Bokal was the place where Tamiraka, a town mentioned by Strabon, Ptolemeus, Arrian, an anonymous author, and Stephan of Byzanty, was located. Clearly, the vicinity of a Greek settlement situated on one of the most important coasting-trade routes would be highly advantageous for the Scythian nomads.


С.Л. Соловьев. Периодизация жилого строительства античной Березани


The article deals with construction practices used by the inhabitants of Berezan' settlement, which is one of the key sites of the Classic Period in the northern Pontic area and is highly relevant for understanding processes related to the Greek colonization. Four constructive stages may be traced at Berezan', beginning from the appearance of the first dwellings in late 7th cent. ВС to the ultimate abandonment of the island in late 3rd cent. AD. These stages do not fully coincide with the historical periods which have been described for the site. The article is based on data obtained over the recent ten years of excavations.

The first stage covers the last decade of the 7th and the 3rd quarter of the 6th cent. ВС. Because the site has been excavated to a considerable extent (Fig. I), and due to the natural processes responsible for the formation of the island's current appearance, it seems unlikely that earlier parts of the settlement, described in Greek written sources, would ever be discovered. The article presents new support tor a widely held view that during the first stage, all dwellings were of the underground or semi-underground type. Almost 200 complexes of that category have been excavated. Within the first stage of the settlement-planning, two consecutive periods arc evident, the general tendency being towards greater complexity and the separation of residence and utility areas without a stringent regulation of the entire constructive process.

A brief description of underground and semi-underground dwellings is presented. They were quite primitive, rectangular or oval in plan. In the 2nd quarter of the 6th cent, ВС, round dwellings appeared. The surface area of all the dwellings was in the range of 5-12 m. The interior was very poor, and sometimes there arc no traces of it whatever Usually, wood and clay were the principal materials, stone being used only occasionally.

The 2nd stage dates from the late 3rd quarter of the 6th to the 1st half of the 4th cent. ВС. During that time, Greek residence buildings of the urban type, made of adobe and stone, first came into being Also, the bases of a regular planning with a developed street grid were formed. This took quite a short time (only several years, according to the present author). Newly built houses had a surface area of 100-260 m and consisted of 5-8 residence and utility compartments. Inside the rooms, depending on their function, there were stoves, hearths, portable braziers, chimney like const motions, pavements and drains. In the courtyards, paved with potsherds and pebbles, there were wells, pits used for storing food, drains and domestic altars. All houses were arranged in blocks, each comprising no less than eight houses. The size and the arrangement of blocks were defined by the street grid. The streets differed in width and probably importance and were originally organized according to a more or less regular, roughly orthogonal, layout. In the fringes of the surface construction zone, underground dwellings were still being built, but on a smaller scale.

In the 1st third of the 5th cent. ВС, the zone occupied by surface dwellings sharply diminished in size; the former principles of its planning, however, remained the same. This marked the transition to a new period of the 2nd constructive stage at Berezan'. One of its principle features was the reappearance of underground constructions. Although the technological practices became more advanced, the general layout was still irregular. The new part of the settlement that emerged during this period broadly coincides, both in meaning and basic function, with the Olbian trading quarter of the Classic Period.

The 3rd constructive stage began in the 2nd quarter of the 4th cent. ВС and continued throughout the 3rd cent. ВС. It was marked by a gradual decline of the settlement and the slowdown of the construction process. Only surface houses are known from that stage. The general structure approaches that of a village belonging to the Olbian polis. Constructive remains of the Late Hellenistic Period have not been discovered at Berezan', despite the presence of a few artifacts of that time.

According to the present author's view, a new sedentary population did not appear on the island until the mid-2nd cent. AD. Life flourished here throughout the 1st half of the 3rd cent This period probably coincided with the 4th constructive stage, its distinctive feature being the coexistence of surface and underground buildings. The surface houses of the Roman Period aggregated into irregular clusters entirely resembling rural dwellings of the Olbian khora. Unlike them, underground dwellings were rectangular in plan and their surface area was 10-18 m. The characteristic feature of their interior were stoves which are usually found in the sides of the pits and consist of two chambers situated one above another. Houses and utility structures were built mainly in the coastal areas of the northern and eastern parts of the island. The construction process was largely chaotic. The complete standstill of this process was due to the general decline of the Olbian rural periphery in the late 3rd cent. AD.


Р.А. Рабинович, М.Е. Ткачук. Исследования на поселении древнерусской культуры у села Рудь в Молдове


Since the early 1950s, a systematic survey of medieval sites has been under way in Moldavia. Олег the recent years, more than ninety unfortified and nineteen fortified sites were discovered which some researchers attribute to the Old Russian culture. On many of them, large-scale excavations were conducted. Especially abundant finds were made at Yekimautsi and Alehedar However, already in the late 60s and early 70s, the attribution of many sites traditionally believed to represent Old Russian culture became a highly controversial issue in Moldavian airhaeology and medieval history. Specifically, serious doubt was cast on allegedly Old Russian cultural affinities of sites like Lukashevka and Braneshty. This makes it especially important to survey those Old Russian sites in the Dniester-Prut interfluve which, according to the finds made there, should be regarded as standard. One of them is a settlement near the village of Rud, Dondushen district, northern Moldavia (fig. 1).

The site was discovered in 1968. It consists of a fortified centre, called Farfuria turkului ("Turkish plate") and the residence quartets surrounding it. The site is oval in plan and is enclosed by a 4-6 m high ring-shaped rampart and a moat. Excavations, initiated by G. B. Fedorov in 1969-70, revealed residence and utility constructions dating back to 800-1200 AD. In 1981-83, the works were continued by V. S. Beilekchi.

In 1989, new excavations were conducted in the residence quarters, 200 m east of the fortified centre. The present article summarizes their results. The cultural layer was uncovered over a 200 m area. Three semi-underground dwellings were found, and a kiln for baking pottery.

Semi-underground dwelling I (fig. 2) was traced on a slope of the river terrace, 25 cm below the modem surface. It is nearly rectangular in plan, 300 cm by 350 cm in size, its depth being 100-150 cm from the modem surface level. The rectangular stove made of stone slabs was in the southwestern corner, its orifice facing northwest. On the floor of the dwelling, a layer of green clay used for making pottery was found, probably associated with a two-tier pottery kiln discovered near the dwelling. The pottery found in the filling of the construction Is represented by fragments of 9th century hand-made ceramics typical of Luka Raykovetskaya culture, and those of wheel-thrown ceramics dating from the 10th and 11th centuries. Mouth types of wheel-made pots are rather variable (fig. 7: 1-8). Overall, the pottery found in the dwelling is characteristic of 10th-11th century Old Russian sites in the Dniester-Prut interfluve. The dwelling dales back to 900-1100 AD.

Semi-underground dwelling 2 (fig. 3) was discovered 30 cm below the modem surface. It was trapezoid in plane, 275 cm by 240 cm by 250 cm by 260 cm in size, and its depth from the modern surface level is 110-125 cm. The stove, made of stone slabs, was in the southwestern comer, its mouth facing southeast. In the floor, there was a small depression, used either for everyday domestic purposes or as a cache. Small pieces of iron slag and fragments of hand-made, early wheel-made, and later wheel-made pottery were found in the dwelling. The dwelling dates back to the 9th or early 10th century.

Semi-underground dwelling 3 (Fig. 4) was revealed 30 cm below the modem surface. It is almost rectangular, 420 cm by 460 cm, 125-155 cm below the modem surface. The stove, made of stone slabs, was in the southern corner. The dwelling was destroyed by fire in the 10th century. Charred wooden planks were found all along the walls, which were constructed in the following way: along the outer earthen wall of the pit. boxes made of thick planks were placed. Each box was filled with loose clay. The space between the earthen wall of the pit and the wooden box was also filled with clay. Finds from dwelling 3 include iron artifacts (Fig. 5: 3-4) and fragments of hand-made and wheel-thrown pottery. As the ceramics suggests, the dwelling should be dated back to the 10th century.

Kiln I (fig. 5) was revaled 30 cm below the modern surface. It is vertical and has two chambers, that is, belongs to the two-tier type. Its depth below the modern surface is 135 cm. The lower chamber (furnace) is oval, 110 cm by 95 cm, its height ranging from 32 cm to 50 cm. The upper chamber, where pottery was baked, is almost round, 90-95 cm in diameter. The horizontal wall separating the two chambers has four air-holes. There is no pole supporting this wall. The orifice of the furnace faces the pit which was dug beside the kiln. Several fragments of 10th-11th century wheel-thrown pottery were found in the pit. suggesting that the date of the entire complex should be the same.

The kiln unearthed at Rud is the only two-tier kiln known from Old Russian settlements of the Yekimaiusi-Alehedar-type culture in the Dniester-Prut interfluve. lis constructive features (especially the absence of a pole supporting the horizontal wall) are unparalleled on most of the Old Russian territory, Therein many parallels, however, among the two-tier kilns known from the central pail of the Dniester-Prut interfluve. on the territory of the First Bulgarian Kingdom (northeastern Bulgaria. Dobrudja, left bank of the lower Danube), in the distribution area of the Balcan-Danube Culture, and in the east, where the steppe and forest-steppe variants of Saltovo-Mayatsk Culture were distributed.

The two-tier kiln without the supporting pole is the classical type of Saltovo kilns, one which can be traced back to North Caucasian traditions. Given the role of Turko-Bulgarians in the formation of Balcano-Danube Culture (and thus the genetical affinities between Saltovo-Mayatsk and Sallovo-Danuhe cultures), it is no wonder that kilns of that type were discovered in the lower Danube region.

However, their presence not only in the central part of the Dniester-Prut interfluve (outside the principal distribution area of Balcano-Danube Culture) but, as the excavations at Rud have demonstrated, also in the north of the interfluve, in settlements of Yekimautsi-Alehedar-type culture, again highlights the role of Saltovo-Mayatsk component in early medieval cultural history of that region. It is hoped that further excavations at Rud might elucidate this controversial issue.


А.Н. Кирпичников, А. Стальсберг. Новые исследования мечей эпохи викингов (по материалам Норвежских музеев)


In 1992 a group of specialists including the authors of this article carried out work in the archaeological museums in Trondheim. Bergen and Oslo in connection with the scientific project "Viking Age Swords in Scandinavia and Ancient Rus". The signs on the blades and the finishing of the handles were studied specially- One hundred and five swords were examined. They come from different cemeteries from the 8th-10th centuries in Middle. Western and Eastern Norway. The markings on the blades were made by threads of iron or damascened steel. While hot these threads were forged into the upper third of the sword blade and on both sides. The main part of the signs is names or something having the same meaning and symbolism. The remaining part contained different signs.

The investigated blades were in different degrees of conservation. They were partly bent, partly broken. Most of them were already cleansed and conserved by the museum laboratories The signs on them were barely visible and nobody had paid attention to them. Those signs were completely discerned by the help of microscope, a special lamp with different colors, usually also by stereo X-raying and always by normal X-raying. The surface was not mechanically treated. The process of investigation was documented by drawings, photographs and verbal descriptions.

The medieval swords were the only weapons which were given special signs. They were first and foremost connected with the production and were "company marks", marks of craftmanship, quality, and they were not seldom given a magic function. It turned out that all the investigated swords had signs on them. It seems that double-edged swords without signs were not made In any case, no such were found.

The signs on the blades are grouped according to their descriptive contents anil idea.

35 swords had inscriptions in Latin letters.

Ulfberht, the name of the Carolingian smith (fig. 1 -2). Together with the earlier known swords of this type 55 swords are now known in Norway. The workshops making these swords seem to have developed during Charlemagnes's time, and are supposed to have been located on the Middle Rhine. They produced weapons during the 9th first half of the 11th centuries. Swords with this name were of course not the work of one man alone. The original signature was gradually taken into use by hereditary smithies which turned into real factories of weapons, or rather, manufactures of cold weapons. Their production was spread all over Europe and even reached Asia. According to our informations 180 swords with the signature Ulfberht have been found in Europe.

During the 10th century competitors to the ULFBERHT-smithies grew up. They marked their blades with their own names. On (wo swords we found the signature INGERIH FECIT (fig. 3). on one CEROLT. It is hard to say anything about the productivity of these smithies. They were also located in Western Europe.

Twelve swords with letter-like signs constitute a special group. In different signs one could see the Latin letters В, С, E, F, H, O. P. R, and most frequently I and L. These signs arc unreadable. The letters are made up by geometrical figures in an arbitrary order. The signs and crossbeams in some of the combinations obviously imitated some personal name or the name of a smithy. Such falsification obviously did not have any negative effect on a possible buyer. It is possible that they, at least to a certain degree, are fairly qualified locally made imitations of continental examples. The geography of the finds of such swords makes us look for their place of origin somewhere in Northern Europe, first and foremost in the countries around the Baltic. In this group one specially notes a sword with the letters BR and signs which partly remind of runes (fig. 4).

On 30 blades there are different geometrical signs, usually in the shape of vertical lines, diamonds, rectangles, compositions shaped like hour glasses, by lines connected in the middle by crossbars. These signs are most probably decorative signs and reflected an obligation to mark this or that product alternatively by different figures. The figures are made in different configurations, and there was no standard as to their succession. We suppose that in this group, as well as in other groups, one may find examples of local production.

The following group of 18 blades is characterized by signs shaped like crosses, circles, semicircles, sometimes omega (fig. 5). These are signs from cosmic symbolism, meaning the sun. crescent, the heavenly world. Based on the information by the Bagdad philosopher el-Kindi those swords may be regarded as Frankish weapons. Weapons with such signs were probably bought for protection by its magic powers. Here we will mention a sword of possible Scandinavian production with the picture of a one-eyed face (fig. 6). It is possible that Odin was shown this way, or it was the owner of the weapon, or the maker, or even the enemy. Pictures of men on medieval swords are known in written and archaeological sources in Europe and Asia.

We found no signs on single-edged swords without sunken middle line, so popular in Norway.

As a result of the examination one may conclude that large parties of high quality swords of continental production were imported to Scandinavia. They were probably highly valued. The population had the means to buy them. However, the imported weapons were not sufficient. Every male of the free population in Noway and other Scandinavian countries had, as is well known, his own weapons. This fact may have stimulated the production of local weapons. The forging and signing of such objects, among them also those with complicated patterned steel, were no secret to Scandinavian smiths. It is hard to find out quantitative relations between local and imported blades. The tendency of these two factors is, however, clear. Future investigations will probably clear this military-technical situation.

A special publication of the materials from this international project concerned with the study of swords is planned. It is necessary to continue the investigation of blades in Scandinavian museums.




Х.А. Амирханов. Адаптация и некоторые аспекты культурогенеза (на примере раннеголоценовых памятников Кавказа)


The analysis of cultural adaptations which, in the present author's view, include purposeful functional and morphological adjustment of the tool kit to the food-extracting strategies, presents a highly complex task. Its complexity is due to both subjective (the approach taken by the researcher) and objective reasons. The primary one among the latter is the fact that most palaeolithic and mesolithic sites display considerable variation both in terms of animal species represented and in the tool kit which can be related to hunting. In this situation, к is almost impossible to associate specific tool types with specific animals hunted. Yet the claim that "hunting specialization in the Upper Palaeolithic is not reflected by the tool kits" (Gvozdover 1974: 48-52) is an apparent overstatement.

A situation which is optimal in this respect arises when virtually all animal remains found on the site represent one single species, while all tools which may be regarded as hunting weapons belong to one or two types. This is precisely the situation with three synchronous early Holocene sites in the Caucasus which are diagnostic for three different archaeological cultures: Chokh, Satanay, and Kvachara.

Chokh site is situated on a plateau-like eminence in Central Dagestan. The site is of an open type and contains three cultural strata, the upper one dating from the early Neolithic, and the two lower ones, to the Mesolithic. The site is eponymous for the Chokh archaeological culture The finds are abundant. over 40 thousand flint tools being discovered only in the mesolithic layers. As the animal remains suggest, hunting was highly specialized: 98% of bones are those of wild goats and mountain rams. Hunting tools are represented by peculiar arrowheads of the "Chokh type" (Fig. 1-2, 3, 4. 5). Points of this type are known only from sites of the Chokh Culture.

Satanay site is situated in the piedmont zone of northwestern Caucasus. The site is of an open type There is only one cultural layer dating back to the Upper Palaeolithic - Mesolithic boundary and representing Gubskaya Culture. Over 15 thousand flint and bone tools were found. Animal remains are also demonstrative of specialized hunting, but the object was different: wild horse (97% of the total number of bones). Instead of Chokh type points, the predominant type in Satanay is a large double-edged bone point, lense-shaped in section (fig 1-6). It is characteristic of Gubskaya Culture. Projectiles supplied with such points were evidently the weapon used in hunting horses.

Kvachara site, unlike the two above sites, is situated in Transcaucasia (Abkhazia) and is a cave site. There are three cultural strata, the lower one dating from the late Upper Palaeolithic, and the two upper ones being mesolithic. The upper stratum is the best studied one (1443 artifacts). Kvachara is the key site of the Western Caucasian Pontic Culture. About 80% of the faunistic remains are represented by bones of the cave bear, which was the principal object of hunting. The main tool, like in Satanay, was the bone point, but of an entirely different type. Points found in Kvachara are elongated, roundish in section, and have two symmetric longitudinal slots for (lint inserts (Fig. 1 -1). These points were attached to projectiles and spears, which were used in bear hunting.

The paleoenvironment of the three sites was different. Chokh was surrounded by middle-mountain steppe. Satanay was situated on the border between the steppe and the broad-leaved forest of the piedmont, whereas Kvachara was in the sparse low-mountain forest zone. The fauna of the three regions, too, was different. As the analysis presented above has demonstrated, environment was the principal factor responsible for the specifics of local archaeological cultures. In this case, tools, being the indicators of ethnicity, demonstrate that entirely different hunting techniques were used, implying that fundamental food-extracting strategies were different as well.

So the cultural adaptation in the highlands was far from being universal and did not result in cultural uniformity. It was more variable here than it was in the plains. This may provide an explanation for the cultural mosaicism which is so characteristic of the mountainous areas. The sources of this diversity may go back as far as the Stone Age.


В.А. Алёкшин. Мустьерские погребения Западной Европы


Burials of Western European Neandertals have been discovered in Belgium and France.

Review of sources. Our analysis of all the available information regarding Mousterian burials has made it possible to establish most details of the Middle Paleolithic funerary rite. The results, summarized in Tables 1-5. are outlined below.

Belgium. Spy. In 1886, remains of two Neandertals were discovered near the entrance to the grotto. They belonged to a female (skeleton № 1) and a male (skeleton № 2). Because both skeletons were well preserved, and the woman was placed on her side in a flexed position, the hand being close to the mandible, both burials were probably intentional, although it was not possible to trace the graves. Here, complete bodies were buried. The woman, whose bones were situated in anatomical order, was placed parallel to the entrance to the grotto. Bones of the man were intermixed, so the body might have been dismembered after death.

France. Le Moustier. Remains of an adolescent male Neandertal were found in March 1908 by O. Hauser, who took the bones of the lower extremities and of the left forearm out before the skeleton had been cleared front earth. The inadequate excavation technique used by Hauser (incomplete cleaning of the remains), lack of reliable documentation, and allegedly misleading reports, aroused considerable skepticism in a number of archaeologists (Bordes 1959; Leroi-Gourhan 1964; Vandermeersch 1976). However, an unbiased reanalysis of the evidence suggests that Hauser's information should be considered to be basically trustworthy (Schott 1989; Binaut 1991; Smirnov 1991). A complete skeleton of a male adolescent (layer J) was lying in a flexed position on the right side. The grave was situated under the edge of the roof of the rock shelter. The position of the skeleton indicates that the burial was intentional. In 1914, remains of an infant were discovered by D. Peyrony al the same site (layer I) in a small pit 50 cm wide and 50 cm deep (fig. 1). The position of the skeleton was impossible to establish. Long before Hauser's excavations, the lower cave of Le Moustier was excavated by E. Riviere. In August 1896, when he was away from the site, a woman's skeleton was discovered in the cultural layer and taken out. At present, only the brain case has remained of it. According to Moil (1979). it belonged to a woman with characteristically Neandertal features. The possibility of an intentional burial cannot be not ruled out in this case. However, the available archaeological description of the skeleton is unreliable since the excavations were done by nonspccialists.

La-Сhapelle-aux-Saints. In August 1908. a grave. 145 cm by 100-85 cm by 30 cm was found in the shelter. A complete body of a man was laid into the grave on his back with Hexed legs. The burial was situated parallel to the entrance to the shelter (figs. 2, 3). The cranium was surrounded with stones. Near the skeleton, pieces of ferriferous sandstone were found. It is not clear whether the presence of red paint in the grave is accidental (it could have got there from the cultural layer) or whether it was placed there intentionally.

La Ferrassie. Several Neanderthal burials were excavated in level C, under the roof of the rock shelter (fig. 4) in 1909-21 and 1973. All were situated parallel to the entrance to the cave. No. I was a male (fig. 5) and № 2 a woman. Apart from these, there were four skeletons of children (№№ 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6, 8). The woman was buried in a flexed position on her right side, and the man was placed supine with bent legs. Above the man's skeleton, there were three stones, which were apparently laid upon the roof of the grave. The grave itself, however, has not been traced. Both the male and the female skeletons were complete. The children were buried in refuse or utility pits. The size of their graves was as follows: 70 cm by 30 cm by 40 cm (graves №№ 3, 4a, 4b), 40 cm by 32 cm by 5 cm (grave № 5), 145 cm by 120-40 cm by 35 cm (grave № 6). All the children's skeletons, except that from grave № 6, were incomplete. In most of them the arm and leg bones were missing. Possibly, bodies of children were dismembered before being buried. In grave № 6 (fig. 6), which was partly covered by a stone slab with cup-like depressions (fig. 7), a complete skeleton of a child was found. Its skull, which lacked the facial part and the mandible, lay 125 cm east of the postcranial bones, in a more elevated part of the grave, where it could not have rolled down. Evidently the child's head was displaced post mortem, long after the funeral. The bottom parts of graves №№ 1, 3, 4a, 4b, and 6 were reddish probably because they overlaid level A whose colour was the same. There are no indications that ochre was strewn into the grave.

La Quina. An incomplete skeleton of a Neandertal woman, with ankle and foot bones missing, was found in 1911 in an area before the entrance to the rock shelter. H. Martin (1923) believed that the individual had drowned. The skeleton was situated parallel to the entrance, on the right side, in a horizontal plane. The skull was above the level of the postcranial bones, which is a characteristic feature of intentional burials. The position of the skeleton and its preservation also do not support the claim that the skeleton belonged to an unturned person who had fallen victim to an accident. The body was probably incomplete (Vandermeersch 1987; Smirnov 1991).

Regourdou. in 1937, remains of a young adult male Neandertal were discovered inside a rock shelter in a 50-cm-deep grave. The bottom of the grave was paved with pebbles, and above the grave there was a 50-cm-thick layer of stones (figs. 8, 9). Apart from the presence of a grave, some other facts also indicate that the burial was intentional. Specifically, the upper part of the body was laid on the right side with arms bent. The skeleton was incomplete: the skull, the atlas, and the ankle and foot bones were missing. The mandible, however, was present, indicating that the body was dismembered after the soft tissues had dissociated. Yet the time gap between death and dismemberment could not be too large, since the first cervical vertebra was apparently still connected with the skull and was severed from the body with it. Also, according to E. Bonifay, the upper postcranial bones retained their anatomical order.

Roc de Marsal. A burial of a child aged 2,5-3,5 (fig. 10, 11) was found in level V, in a grave 90 cm by 70 cm. The grave, in which the child's body lay in a flexed position on the right side, was situated at a right angle to the entrance to the site. The skeleton is incomplete: left ankle and foot bones are missing. Perhaps a dismembered body was buried.

La Masque. In 1886. remains of a male adolescent Neandertal were discovered, including fragments of the skull, vertebrae, a complete set of hand bones, a patella, and foot bones. The total number of bones is so large that the find should he classified with remains of complete dismembered bodies, according to A. Smirnov (1991), who was the fust to assert that the La Masque individual was intentionally buried. However, no information concerning the excavations is available. The find has not been published.

It is widely held that some Neandertal skeletons were accompanied by grave goods (Obermayr 1913; Bergounioux 1958; Binford 1968; Harrold 1980; Binaut 1991; Smirnov 1991). Because all Middle Paleolithic burials are situated at sites which are very rich in artifacts, it should be specified, which criteria are used to decide whether the artifacts were associated with the burial or with the cultural layer containing it. Before this is done, the mere fact that artifacts were present in the grave is not sufficient Ю claim that they were placed there by people.

At present, only those artifacts should be viewed as burial goods, which were found on, under, or adjacent to, the dead person's hand or forearm bones, or on the chest. The nature of the artifacts, their location in the grave, like any other details of the funerary rite, depend on the social standards, which are defined by cultural radiation. So the second criterium is whether the co-occurrence of artifacts and their position relative to the grave ami to the body provides any evidence of standardization.

All available data regarding artifacts and animal bones found in the vicinity of Neandertal remains attest to the absence of any regularity in their arrangement and to the lack of standard sets of artifacts, implying that objects found together with Mousterian burials excavated in France and Belgium should not be viewed as burial goods. The significance of two similar artifact assemblages from La Ferrasie 5 and 6 is diminished, first, by the lack of reliable information concerning the position of artifacts in the graves, and second, by the possibility that tools from grave no. 5 were situated above the skeleton. Overall, we concur with those writers who maintain that Neandertal graves contained no burial goods (May 1986; Chase, Dibble 1987; Gargett 1989).


Mousterian burials in Western Europe were traditionally associated with several successive stages of the Wurm glaciation: Wurm I (Regourdou, possibly La Masque), Wurm l/ll (La Quina), Wurm I/II - early Wurm II (Roc de Marsal), Wurm II (Le Moustier. La Ferrassie, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints, Spy) (Vandermeersch 1965). The beginning of Wurm I was usually dated to 75.000-70.000 BP, and Wurm И was thought to begin 50.000 years BP. Later this chronological framework was revised The beginning of Wurm 1 was dated to 120.000 BP, and the beginning of Wurm II, to 75.000 BP (Dennell 1983: 199). Taking this, as well as a number of new radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dates, into consideration, all Mousterian burials should be associated with Wurm II, specifically with its beginning, 75.000-70.000 BP (Regourdou and possibly La Masque), middle. 60.000-50.000 BP (La Quina, Roc de Marsal), and end, 45.000-35.000 BP (Le Moustier, La Ferrassie, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints).

Interpretation of burial rite

The position of the human remains with respect to (he entrance to the site is different. In early burials (tab. 2), bodies were positioned either at a right. angle to the entrance (Roc de Marsal, fig. 10) or parallel to it (La Quina). In late burials (tab. 3-5), the position was always parallel to the entrance (La Ferrassie 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6, 8, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints, Spy 1, see fig. 2, 4). This regularity is supported by data from Qafzeh, Skhul, Shanidar, and the Crimea (Alekshin 1993, 1993a).

In early burials (tab. 1-2), only incomplete, possibly dismembered, remains were round. These skeletons lack either both the skull and bones of legs and feet (Regourdou) or only leg and foot bones (La Quina, Roc de Marsal, see fig. 11), or bones of both lower and upper extremities (La Masque). The skeletons of adults as well as those of children were subjected to postmortem manipulations. Utter, in the end of Wurm II (tab. 3-5), mostly complete bodies were buried, either in anatomical order (Spy I, Le Moustier adolescent. La Ferrassie 1, 2, 6, La Chapelle-aux-Saints, fig. 3, 5) or in disarray (Spy 2), although the tradition of burying dismembered corpses was still practiced (La Ferrassie 3. 4a, 4b, 5, 8), (he missing bones being mainly those of upper and lower extremities. So it may be suggested that incomplete burials were gradually replaced by complete ones. The same tendency is seen in the Mousterian of the Palestine. Iraq, and the Crimea (Alekshin 1993. 1993a, 1994).

Middle Paleolithic graves of Western Europe provide no evidence of burial goods, red paint being intentionally put in the graves, or ritual food.

Certain differences related to sex and age of the persons buried should be noted. Women (La Quina, La Ferrassie 2), an adolescent (Le Moustier), and a child (Roc de Marsal) were buried on their right side (fig. 11). the right arm being flexed in the elbow joint, (he right hand being near (he face (La Ferrassie 2, Le Moustier adolescent), while the left arm was extended along the body (Le Moustier adolescent) or flexed, the left hand touching the knee (La Ferrassie 2). One hand of the child from Roe de Marsal was near the face. The legs were pulled close to the chest (La Ferrassie 2). In one instance (Roc de Marsal). the hips were strongly bent backwards so that their angle with the spine was 135 degrees. The ankles were also pulled back so that the ankle bones formed a straight angle with the femora (fig. 11). One more woman (Spy I) and a child (La Ferrassie 6) were placed on the side in I flexed position, the woman's hand being near the mandible. The heads of women were directed towards the east (Spy I, La Ferrassie 2) or northeast (La Quina), while those of children were oriented towards the east (La Ferrassie 6) or north (Roc de Marsal).

The bodies of men (La Ferrassie 1, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints) were buried in a supine position, with their legs flexed and placed to the right of the trunk. The right arm was strongly bent. the forearm bones being nearly parallel to the humeri, while the hand was close to the head. Tile left arm was extended along the trunk (fig. 3, 5). In an early burial (Regourdou), the men's trunk was laid on the left side. Male skeletons were oriented to the west (Regourdou, La Ferrassie 1) or southwest (La-Chapelle-aux-Saints).

The characteristic feature of the Early Mousterian are burials of dismembered corpses of adults and children (tab. 1, 2). Among the Late Mousterian burials, only those of children had been dismembered (La Ferrassie 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8, see tab. 5). A complete skeleton of a child was found in one grave only (La Ferrassie 6), but even here, the head was severed from the body and buried in a separate place of the grave.

Graves of adult men and women as well as those of adolescent men were arranged in grottoes, under the roofs of the rock shelters, or outside, near the entrance to the cave. Burials of children are found inside the grottoes or rock shelters.

Nearly all male burials are distinguished by special features of the burial rite (tab. 1, 3). Thus, in Regourdou. the grave pit was paved with stones and there was a layer of stones above the grave (fig. 9); some stones were present above the burial at La Ferrassie 1, and the head of the La-Chapelle-aux-Saints man was surrounded with stones. The grave of a 3-year-old child at La Ferrassie 6, like those of adult men, was covered with a stone slab having cup-like pits on if (fig. 6, 7) Given that all the unusual details of the rite are characteristic of male burials, it may be speculated that La Ferrassie 6 child was a boy.

All available data pertaining to sex and age differences in the burial rite indicate that some sort of a system of sex-and-age classes existed already in (he final Middle Paleolithic. The fact that unusual features of the rite are related with male burials only рrоbablу points towards the higher status of adult men in the Mousterian society.

While at the end of Wurm II it became usual to bury complete bodies of adults, the archaic practice of dismembering corpses was still being applied to children, possibly attesting to their lower social status.

The custom of severing the head from the body was registered in two burials. In one instance (La Ferrassie 6), the head was put in a separate place of the grave, in another (Regourdou) it was removed. Because in the latter case the mandible was found with the rest of the bones, it may be suggested that either the grave was reopened after funeral or. which is more likely, that it remained open, so that after the soft tissues had dissociated, the skull and the leg bones were taken away. A similar situation was registered at Kebara (Alekshin 1994). The Regourdou burial indicates (hat sonic kind of skull or head cult existed already in the early Mousterian.

Taking the skull and the leg bones out of the grave at Regourdou had not resulted in the disruption of the anatomical order of other parts of the skeleton, implying, firstly, that the grave remained open after the funeral, and, secondly, that death and postmortem manipulations with the remains were not separated by a long period of time. The Regourdou burial also indicates that apart from dismembering bodies with flint tools which left traces on the bones (Le Mori 1988, 1989; Ullrich 1986), the Mousterians practiced another technique, one which left no traces. In the latter case, manipulations were apparently performed after the dissociation of soft tissues. Judging by the high proportion of Western European Mousterian burials where the skeletons were incomplete but no traces of manipulations were round on the bones (seven cases out of fifteen), the second technique was rather common.

So the analysis of data indicates that the Neanderthals of Western Europe performed specific actions which can only be interpreted as elements of the burial rile. Tile most important feature of Mousterian burials is the stability of posture. Sometimes the position of the skeletons is virtually identical (La Ferrassie 1, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints, see fig. 3, 5), clearly indicating that burials associated with different stages of Wurm II in Dordogne (Roc de Marsal, Le Moustier, La Ferrassie. and possibly Regourdou), Charente (La Quina), and Correze (La-Chapelle-aux-Saints) represented hunting populations whose beliefs were very similar and remained the same over many millennia.

Most of these sites were hunting camps which were situated in the most 'convenient places and were used for a long lime. This explains why two to seven graves were found on some of them (Spy, Le Moustier, La Ferrassie). Perhaps La Quina also belongs to this group, since isolated fragments of human bones were found in its cultural horizons, apparently being the remains of completely destructed Mousterian burials.

In remote shelters (Regourdou) and small grottoes which were rapidly filled with deposits (La-Chapelle-aux-Saints), only single, burials were found.

Despite several specific features (position of the skeletons), burials of the Western European Mousterians have many points of resemblance with those of the Near Eastern Mousterians (graves made in cultural horizons, absence of burial goods, ritual food, red paint, or remains of funerary repasts) and demonstrate the same temporal trend (change of position of the skeletons relative to the entrance to the site, and gradual disappearance of the custom of dismembering bodies) (Alekshin 1993, 1994) and the Crimea (Alekshin 1993a). So the burial rite attests to a developed system of ritual behaviour which characterized Mousterian populations all over Eurasia.

Burying dismembered corpses has much in common with burying bones, skulls, skins, viscerals, and scales left after eating the prey. This custom was widely practiced by hunter-gat he re is with a view of reviving the killed animals and thus restoring the natural balance disturbed by their death. Perhaps the Mousterian hunters tried to revive the dead tribesmen in the same way, hoping to restore social balance and protect the population from extinction. So burials were a means of opposing death. However, the absence of burial goods, remains of food, or red paint, attests to the lack of systematic beliefs regarding the other world.


А.Д. Столяр. Становление искусства как археологическая реальность


The submarine gallery at Cosquer, the black panels of Chauvet... Every discovery of a new cave "museum" is met with enthusiasm and becomes a sensation of modern cultural life. However, cheerful reaction to each separate find is eclectically combined with an almost complete lack of scholarly interest in the origins of the entire phenomenon of human creative activities in the Pleistocene, an event of immense significance for all future cultural history. The extraordinary nature of this early artistic insight and the apparent futility of almost century-long attempts at its interpretation have turned the origins of art into an eternal mystery of the universe, one which is insoluble in principle.

Upper Paleolithic art has thus become something of a miracle, an extra-historical phenomenon. This view, however, stands in sharp contradiction with the current tendency in mankind's self-cognition: to emphasize the evolutionary nature of creative mind (Teilhard de Chardin, Le Roy, Vernadsky).

This makes it especially important to integrate the rich experience in reconstructing the origins of human intellect. The methodological foundations of our work, which is largely hypothetical, are shared by a number of writers, W. Davis (1986) being an example. Our principal postulate is that art was rooted in the Lower Paleolithic, and that it concluded a long process of accumulation and transformation of specific nonutilitarian activities, ultimately culminating in the use of images.

* * *

Three traditional archaeological hypotheses trying to explain the origins of art, namely those of "macaronis", or "meanders" (H. Breuil, 1911), "hands" (G.-H. Luquet, 1926), and "natural forms", or "fusus naturae" (J. Boucher de Perthes. 1847-49), have all become entirely obsolete. None of them has been supported by a single piece of new evidence (P. Graziosi, 1956; P. J. Ucko. A. Rosenfeld, 1966, a.o.) Their theoretical basis is highly deficient; in fact, they can be described as worst examples of commonsense thinking. What they basically tried to claim was that the very first artistic acts of Paleolithic man, which allegedly resulted in perfect works of art. were motivated by a spontaneous and momentary inspiration of separate individuals.

But has the rejection of these speculations made the matter hopeless? Should Pleistocene art really be conceived of as an eternal play of mysterious forces. Or, on the contrary, more effort should be made to understand why the explanation attempts have failed and to find new approaches based on archaeological data alone?

The first step in this direction would be to formulate the problem in more rigid terms. Because the art phenomenon is highly complex, one cannot expect to understand it considering only the performance techniques but leaving out of account the psychological evolution, the intellectual essence of these activities. For that reason, the existing classifications of the earliest works of art should be supplemented by one more important psychological criterion, according to which three groups of representations can be established: (1) those usually described as realistic, or naturalistic. (2) signs, and (3) representations of a rhythmic or ornamental nature (fig. 1). The principal one since the earliest Upper Paleolithic was the first group, which includes representations of animals, the objects of collective hunting, the principal activity of Paleolithic man.

The preliminary stage of the study is completed with the definition of the nature of the earliest representations of animals in the Upper Paleolithic. The development of this stable artistic canon over a period of 8.000 years or so makes it possible to establish a series of stratigraphically datable standards (fig. 2): engravings at La Greze (pre-Solutrean), Pair-non-Pair (Aurignacian or Perigordian), and representations made by percussion technique at Abri Beleayre (early Aurignacian). According to typological and technical criteria, the Beleayre quasi-engraving should be preceded by a very similar, although technically simpler, contour at Hornos de la Pena (a "two-legged" bull drawn with a finger on clay). This tentative chronological series supports Breuil's first periodization of 1905-06. later rejected by himself, based on the assumption that the early Aurignacian drawing was the prototype Tor all the Upper Paleolithic two-dimensional animalism.

The same approach, it appears, can be used to solve the entire problem. Thai is, one can reconstruct successive stages which would ultimately and necessarily (provided thai our assumptions regarding the "natural" course of artistic evolution are true) result in a certain type of representations, whose main feature is a rigidly two-dimensional ("two-legged") static profile completely devoid of details.

Viewed in the perspective of a "normal" development of culture, this earliest, but already mature, although archaic, drawing made by the Upper Paleolithic man must have concluded a very considerable prehistory of ait: a period of unknown duration, marked by nonutilitarian activities of the final Lower Paleolithic, those which should be described as pre-art.

However, one who is searching for any sorts of rudimentary symbolism in the Mousterian of Europe, a region which later became the core area of Upper Paleolithic art. is faced with one crucial difficulty. If, in fact, the development was autochtonous, implying that an was created solely, or largely, by the descendants of European Neandertals, then what about the African homeland theory which, using a number of irrefutable facts, speaks in favour of population replacement, especially in Western Europe? Given that a number of demonstrably Middle Paleolithic traditions, including those related to nonutilitarian activities, are observed in early Upper Paleolithic assemblages, the rigidly migrationist view should probably be regarded as biased. Also, some Upper Paleolithic populations, like the Sungir people who lived only 25.000 years ago, seem to have retained certain biological characteristics of the Neandertals.

These facts indicate that extensive mixture, both biological and cultural, was the crucial factor in the interaction process that involved the high intellectual potential of migrants who had arrived from the south and the adaptive skills of the aborigines who had accumulated a rich experience of coping with harsh conditions of the periglacial zone. Such coadaptation could provide a powerful stimulus for social progress (maybe including a final shift to exogamy) and, possibly, for the transition from the "natural" symbolic activities of the Neandertals to an proper, an inherent characteristic of modem Homo sapiens.

Viewing the Middle Paleolithic legacy in this perspective, one apparently begins to discern one of the most important phenomena of menial evolution: the duality of material activities in the late Acheulean and, later, in the Mousterian. Specifically, the principal stem of "utilitarian" practices (mainly hunting) gives an offshoot in the form of early nonutilitarian (rudimeniary symbolic or prototheoretical) manifestations.

First and foremost, one should consider the indisputably semantic Mousterian representations (fig. 3). They can be tentatively interpreted as a semantic unity, the earliest iconic system focusing on big game hunting. Carving, percussion and painting with red ochre indicate that the Neandertals had mastered the principal artistic techniques. This alone, however, does not appear to be a sufficient basis for the "early Aurignacian" drawing. First, the image of the animal should have crystallized.

The second source of the "realistic" animal style was provided by elementary symbolic actions. Their beginning is evidenced by the famous bear caves whose ritual nature has been firmly established by excavations at Regourdou, France. These sites represent the first stage, which might be described as the simplest NATURAL ART using real bodily pans (head or extremities) of the animal as natural "signs" denoting the animal itself. Natural art concluded the evolution of the hunting pantomime, which was the syncretic source of future expressive and graphic acts. The earliest assemblages of that type date from the Acheulean and include pans of elephants' carcasses at Torralba and Ambrona. Spain, and heads of carnivores at Lazaret, France (wolf), Azykh and Kudaro I, Caucasus (bears), The same Middle Paleolithic tradition continued into the Upper Paleolithic (caves in Hungary, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere) and, moreover, survived virtually up to the present in the form of the famous bear festival.

The characteristic features of the second stage, coinciding with the boundary between the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic, were a greater dynamics of intellectual transformation and, ultimately, the rejection of the initial literal naturalism by the use of images resulting in a primary generalization. The principal artistic form of that stage was THE NATURAL MODEL (fig. 4). Representing the objective of the hunting act within the program of the initiation pantomime, such a model combined the real head of an animal with a conventional idea of its body mass. The latter was at first substituted by some natural object like the stalagmite integrated into a Mousterian association at Basua. Italy. Later, after the artistic practices had been radically enriched, the animal's body was rendered by clay "hills" in the ossuary at Pech-Merle, and later, by the famous "bear" in the Casteret-Godin gallery at Montespan. Several writers, including K. P. Oakley, and T. J. Molleson (1971), T. J. Molleson. K.. P. Oakley, and J. G. Vogel (1972). denied the Mousterian age of Bosun anil insisted thai the site was actually younger. Yet the published absolute dates do not disprove the suggestion that the cave was used in the Middle Paleolithic, as evidenced by footprints, clay "balls", etc. They do conflict, however, with other absolute dales (some suggesting final Upper Paleolithic or even Holocene age) given by the same authors. Some writers, including H. Delport (1986), P. G. Balm and J. Vertut (1988) have expressed disagreement with our view (based on the supposed evolutionary sequence of natural models) that rue Montespan "bear" mist be dated to the early Upper Paleolithic. However, the traditional late Magdalenian attribution of this unique sue is not supported by a single piece of evidence and should be regarded as an example of scholarly folklore

Because the development of animalistic sculpture was accompanied by the enrichment of perception based on images, it eventually became unnecessary to supplement the body model with a real head and skin of the beast. Titus the evolution of the model resulted in a crude and monumental life-size clay sculpture. This primary artificial form of animalism marked the transition to the third, final stage of art formation. Its essence was the evolution of elementary artistic forms. With regard to the principal material used, this epoch might be called THE CLAY PERIOD.

Because unbaked clay is so ephemeral, the Clay Period is yet a missing link. Its principal feature must have been a large figure of an animal (a direct derivate of the natural model) leant against the cave wall and thus opening a way to the flattening of the body and ultimately to a bas-relief side-view representing a static "two-legged" figure. This evolutionary sequence can be tentatively reconstructed on the basis of pieces of modelled clay at Casteret-Godin gallery of Montespan and some later replicas like clay bas-reliefs at Tuc d'Audoubert and Bedeilhac which are already developed and worked out in detail. Partial dematerialization (gradual flattening of the body) ultimately reselling in a static profile bas-relief, and the concomitant enrichment of perception by the introduction of conventional imagery placed maximal emphasis on the contour line drawn with the finger on clay.

So the final outcome of the tripartite evolutionary sequence (Natural Art - Natural Model - Clay Period) culminating in the upsurge of symbolic thinking in the earliest Upper Paleolithic was a clay "draft" of Homos de la Реnа type. All its inherent features (see above) can be easily interpreted when viewed in that perspective. Conceptual in the semantic sense (the main aim being evidently to depict a generalized representative of an animal species) and schematic in manner, these drawings had prepared a basis for Lite aesthetic "germination" of the naturalistic symbol of the animal. While Pair-non-Pair engravings mark the beginning of this sublimation process, its more mature stage, one that had reached the level of an artistic image, is seen in the elaborately stylized bison at La Graze.

Origins of the Upper Paleolithic naturalistic animalism were examined here using mainly monumental art. Small works, as we have demonstrated, were secondary, in that their roots dr. not reach deeper than the elementary forms of an itself. A number of small works can be shown to derive from monumental prototypes, with which they share certain stage-specific features, evidencing a tremendous psychological impact of cave art.

The same applies to the second category of Upper Paleolithic representations, those which are anthropomorphous and focus on a generalized image of woman. They, too, arc much less deeply rooted in Middle Paleolithic practices than are monumental representations of animals (leaving aside the Neandertal funerary rites which, in very broad terms, might be viewed as a prerequisite for the human theme in art). The most ancient human representations, contemporary with the Clay Period of animalism, are the earliest Venuses (some of which were apparently made of clay) and the earliest signs. While the sequence of artistic forms was roughly the same as with animal representations (sculpture-bas-relief-drawing), figurines of women exist throughout the Upper Paleolithic, and the rate of their evolution was apparently slower This may be due to the fact that, unlike animal images, the generalized image of woman, showing exaggerated bodily features, was associated not so much with the emotional sphere as with that of cognition, providing man with a possibility to create tile first conceptual explanation of the world. The abstract and spiritual nature of this theme is also evidenced by a very wide distribution of "female" ideograms (fig. 5), which were especially popular in the late Magdalenian (fig. 6).

The semantics of these signs becomes more apparent if we consider unique cave compositions like Lascaux, Pindal, Pech-Merle, etc., which have never been analyzed in this respect. The final conclusion concerning the animistic nature of this image of the Great Foremother is upheld by a new interpretation of a peculiar group of small drawings (especially noteworthy is the relation between the female symbol and the bird, an allegory of the soul) This image, polysemantic like social life itself, was boundless in its theoretical functions. It cemented the eternal unity of generations in a human group and contained the first philosophical interpretation of the inevitable interchange of lift and death not merely by providing a fantastic explanation of man's relationship with nature, but also by arranging this relationship in the best possible way.

The general, and unexpected, conclusion of our study is that at the time-depth of 200-250 thousand years one can already see the emergence and. subsequently, the development of artistic activity, which was the crucial element in the evolution of human mind, a unique "workshop of consciousness" that largely determined the human phenomenon. In this system (fig. 8), the aesthetic arrangement of abstract symbols and the birth of (he artistic image of the animal are not the first, but the second {both in time and importance) outcome of man's mental evolution, one that met the increased needs of social intellect. However, by maintaining thai art is secondary by origin, we are in no way trying to disparage its role. On the contrary, art is now seen to be the peak event in the evolution of Homo. In the entire perspective of man's spiritual development, it was beauty that made man truly human.




Ф. Олсворс-Джонс. Датирование палеолита в Восточной Европе


Three related projects arc currently under way concerning the transition from middle to upper Palaeolithic in European Russia, the Ukraine and Moldavia. Numerous questions relating to this region and time period remain unresolved, for example, whether it formed part of the so-called "core area" where upper Palaeolithic industries first appeared, as has been claimed in Moldavia for the "Brnzeni culture" and might even be true for Kostenki if the antiquity of the lower humic bed could be demonstrated, whether the middle Palaeolithic might have lasted longer than elsewhere in some locations such as the Crimea, and with what type of hominid it may been associated. This is also a time period which is particularly interesting and difficult from a methodological point of view, since it is near or beyond the limit of the radiocarbon dating technique, and the reliability and comparability of other newer techniques is still being put to the test.

1. 14C dates using the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) technique arc being obtained in Oxford (Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QJ). The samples were collected by Dr. P. Allsworth-Jones during two visits to the C.I.S. in 1992 and 1993 which were sponsored by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (62 Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3JW). the British Academy and the B.B.C. (which awarded him a Seton-Watson bursary to help with the second visit). They are being processed as part of the S.E.R.C. financed science-based archaeological dating programme run by the laboratory with the approval of its Advisory Panel, so far 23 dates have been obtained from 7 sites in the three countries concerned.

2. Electron spin resonance (ESR) and thermolumininescence (TL) dates arc being obtained by Dr W. J. Rink (Department of Geology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M1) under a project funded by the Leakey Foundation of which he is Principal Investigator. The ESR dating laboratory at McMaster is directed by Professor H. P. Schwarcz (who together with Dr. C. B. Stringer and Dr. P. AIlsworth-Jones is a co-investigator of the project) and it is financed by a grant from the US National Science Foundation. Apart from sites in the C.I.S. Dr. Rink has also investigated 6 others in Central and Western Europe under the terms of this project, and an earlier project also funded by the Leakey Foundation.

3. "The Middle Palaeolithic of the Crimea" is being investigated he Professor A. E. Marks (Department of Anthropology. Southern Methodist University. Dallas. Texas 75275, USA) under the terms of an Agreement between himself and the Ukrainian Institute of Archaeology from which he has received a grant from the US National Science Foundation. The Ukrainian team is headed by Dr. V. P. Chabai. Head of the Palaeolithic Section of the Crimean Branch of the Institute (Krymskii Filial. Institut Arkheologii ANU This Agreement embraces not only dating but also all other aspects relating to the sites involved, and the 14С, ESR and TL dates obtained by virtue of the first two projects mentioned will be published as pan of this project in so far as they relate to those sites.

The principal sites investigated in the three countries so far as follows.

Moldavia. Brnzene, Ciuntu, and Buzdujeni. three caves or rockshelters in the north-west of the country, previously excavated by Dr. N. A. Chetraru (Muzeul National de Istorie a Moldovei) and Dr. I. A. Borziac (Muzeul de Arheologie si Etnografie). Thanks to the cooperation of the Moldavian Institute of Archaeology and its Director Dr. V. A. Dergaciov (Institut de Arheologie si Istorie Veche al Acadcmiei de Stiinte a Republicii Moldova) new sections were prepared at all three sites in 1993 by a teams under the leadership of Dr. I. A. Borziac. Samples were taken for dating purposes and also for micromorphological analysis of the deposits, which is being carried out by Dr. C. A. I. French (Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DZ).

Ukraine. In 1993 the following sites were investigated by the joint Palaeolithic expedition: Kabazi II (Dr. V. P. Chabai). Kabazi V (Dr. A. Yevtushenko). Starosel'e (Professor A. E. Marks. Drs Yu. E. Demidenko and VI. Usik). GABO (Dr. V. N. Stepanchuk). Skalisty (Dr. V. Yu. Cohen), and Zaskal'naya V (Professor Yu. G. Kolosov), Apart from the Institute and its Crimean Branch, the expedition benefited from the assistance of the cooperative "Arkheolog" and its Director Dr. V. I Bidzilya. In 1992 samples for 14С dating were also taken from Zaskal'naya VI, and from Buran-Kaya III which is being excavated by Dr. A. A. Yanevich (Ukrainian Institute of Archaeology).

Russia. In 1992 samples were collected for 14С dating from Kosienki XIV-Markina Gora. thanks to the cooperation of Drs. N. D. Praslov and A. A Sinitsin (The Institute of the History of Material Culture of Russian Academy of Sciences).

Work on various aspects of these projects is continuing. Under current arrangements the joint project concerning "the Middle Palaeolithic of the Crimea' is due to carry on for three years, and Dr. Rink still has more to do in connection with the ESR and TL dating, but no further collection of 14C samples is presently evisagrd.




Р.Ш. Левина. Библиотека ИИМК


The archaeological library assessed by the Institute of History of Material Culture (IIMK) is the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Founded in 1859 by the Archaeological Commission, it continues to be Russia's principal centre of information in this area. Its total number of storage units is 200 thousand, half of them foreign, encompassing virtually all domains of archaeology from Paleolithic to the Late Middle Ages, as well as theory and history of the discipline, its logistics, and the application of scientific methods. Related disciplines. including numismatics, epigraphies, sphragistics, historical geography, history of prehistoric and medieval an and architecture, ethnography, linguistics, paleoanthropology, paleozoology, paleobotany and quaternary geology, are also amply represented.

Each year the number of books and journals owned by the library increases by about 2.500, obtained mostly through the centralized distribution system of the Academy of Sciences Library. Russian periodicals are received through subscription, and much is donated by various institutions and individuals. Newly acquired literature is regularly exhibited; also, topical exhibitions arc being arranged.

The library is used by archaeologists and related specialists from Russia, other republics of the fanner Soviet Union, and foreign countries, as well as by undergraduate students.

The bibliographic base of the library consists of a system of catalogues, the most important onebeing the topical catalogue constructed according to a scheme elaborated in the 30s by the leading librarians and people working at the institute. The catalogue contains information on monographs as well as articles, both Russian and foreign.

A great deal of research is being done at the library. Since 1959, a comprehensive bibliographic index entitled "Soviet Archaeological Literature" is being published. There are eight volumes of it so far, covering virtually every book and article in archaeology and adjacent disciplines that appeared in the U.S.S.R. in 1918-81 (83, 262 titles altogether). Volume nine (1982-84) is now in print, and further ones are being prepared for publication. Information on current literature appearing in Russia and the CIS is being entered into catalogues, and indexes referring to the most important works are being published in "Russian Archaeology".