RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE CHRONOLOGY OF NEOLITHIC-BRONZE
AGE ARCHAEOLOGICAL CULTURES IN OB-IRTYSH FOREST-STEPPE:
This research was undertaken as part of RFBR project, grant No. 18-09-00406 “The Population of Middle Om River Basin in Early Holocene by Latest Data from Archaeological Complexes: periodization, chronology, and cultural genesis”
The long-term studies in the ﬁeld of relative and absolute chronology of Neolithic – Bronze Age archaeological cultures permitted the author and his colleagues to develop the most up-to-date concepts on this subject pertaining to the region between Ob and Irtysh rivers. Such archaeological sites as funeral complexes, settlements, and sanctuaries were the primary foci of the studies. Radiocarbon dates are made in the high-rated laboratories in Russia and Germany. The chronological range of the reviewed cultures covers the time span between 7 th millennium BC (Early Neolithic) and 8 th century BC (Bronze-Early Iron Age transition period).
Keywords: prehistory, Ob river, Irtysh, Neolithic, Holocene, Bronze Age, funeral complex, necropolis, archaeological culture, radiocarbon dating.
ANCIENT CULTURES FROM THE SOUTHERN PART OF JAPANESE ARCHIPELAGO: THE RYUKYU ISLANDS
A.V. Tabarev, D.A. Ivanova
This research eff ort was sponsored by a grant from Russian Foundation for the Research in Humanities (project № 15-01-00018 «Th e Time of Overlords and Stone Tombs: Ancient Cultures of the Pacifi c at the Turn of the Eras»)
Archaeological data from the Ryukyu islands attest to a particularly early presence of man on the southern islands of Japanese archipelago (since the late Paleolithic nearly 30000 YBP), unique patterns of local cultural genesis (e.g. “Shel Midden Culture”, gusuku, etc.) since the early Holocene till 11-12 th centuries AD as well as a broad spectrum of links to main parts of the archipelago
(Kyushu, Honshu), continental areas (China, Korean peninsula, Indochina), and the insular world of South-East Asia (Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia). The authors focus on the details concerning chronological sequencing of archaeological cultures found on the archipelago, on predominant pottery styles, on hypotheses about routes and times of introduction of certain agricultural practices (e.g. rice cultivation) to the Ryukyu island, and on the elements of commercial interaction including distribution of decorations found as parts of burial assemblages.
Keywords: Japanese archipelago, Ryukyu, Okinawa, Shell Middens culture, burials.
J. Cassidy, N. Kononenko. A CASE STUDY IN ABRUPT CULTURE CHANGE: THE COLLAPSE OF THE LATE NEOLITHIC ZAISANOVSKAYA CULTURE AND THE IMPACT OF EXPANSIVE CULTURAL INTERACTION ON THE NORTHERN SEA OF JAPAN IN THE PRIMORYE REGION OF THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST
THE LOCATION AS AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOURCE
Among the types of archaeological sites there are objects not buried under or otherwise tied to any cultural layer (or are largely redeposited), yet widely referred to in archaeological literature and textbooks. Th e author extensively explores Russian terminology for objects of this kind. Th e problem is in Russian the term “location” might seem somewhat ambiguous, yet has had a broad usage lately in various contexts. Th e author has set up an ambitious goal to escape this ambiguity by thoroughly analyzing the usage of the term both in historical retrospective and in contemporary works, in academic publications as well as administrative and legal documentation. To make things clearer, the author
compares relevant Russian terms with their counterparts in European languages. He also traces the term’s origins back to such disciplines as paleontology. He maintains that from there the defi nition of “geoarchaeological location” and the corresponding research methodology – i.e. identifying the elements of the “core” and structure of the altered cultural layer – came into Paleolithic studies.
RESULTS OF RESEARCH OF DEFENSIVE CONSTRUCTIONS AT KOKSHAROVKA-1 ANCIENT TOWN SITE IN PRIMORYE REGION
The paper overviews results of research (based on excavations in 2014) of defensive constructions of Bohai and post-Bohai time Koksharovka-1 ancient town in Primorye Region.
It became clear that the wall of the ancient town was rebuilt and before it was constructed there was a settlement of Bohai time in the area of the site. Two stages of the wall construction have been distinguished. At the late stage the wall was built wider and higher. A clay bound stone wall with outer side fortified with wooden stockade was erected on the top of it. The main wall was earthen with inclusion of stones. Its peculiarity of principle consists in the way of construction. The technology diff ers from majority of known valley towns of medieval epoch in Primorye Region where “hangtu” technique or wooden chests were used for building earthen walls, or the walls were built of stone blocks. In case of Koksharovka-1 the wall was built not by multiple thin horizontal layers and streaks, but by several thick layers inclined at the angle of 40-45 degree from the basement to the top. Layers of inner and outer slopes of the wall were made one by one alternately, covering on the top previous layer of the opposite slope. The basement of the wall was deliberately dug into the basic earth and was made in the shape of steps. Close analogies to the way of construction of Kokshrovka-1 wall are seen in cross-sections of the walls of Novorossiya-2 and Krasnoye Ozero ancient towns. Similar way of construction of the wall by several thick layers of earth is also observed in cross-sections of walls of Koksharovka-2 and Steklianukha-1 ancient towns. By the moment of construction of walls of the ancient towns mentioned above their constructors, same as those of Koksharovka-1, probably had not been influenced by traditions of Chinese fortification. Most probably, here we see ways of building of defensive constructions specific to local population.
Keywords: Primorye Region, early medieval epoch, Koksharovka-1 ancient town, defensive constructions.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF NEOLITHIC CULTURES IN THE FAR ESTERN PRIMORYE CULTURAL AREA 6500-6000 ybp
Kim Jae Youn
This article is the first ever to comparatively analyze Neolithic materials from Lower Amur region, Russia’s Maritime Province (Primorye), and Korean Peninsula. The author particularly focuses on dating, peculiarities in dwelling structures, tools, and prevailing archaeological features including vessel shapes, ornamenting, and production techniques. It’s been established that the earliest Korean pottery occurs on the eastern coast (plain undecorated earthenware and red polished pottery with beaten (stamped) decoration), and its origins with high probability are traced to archaeological cultures of lower river Amur basin. The appliqué ceramics and Osanni type from Korean Peninsula demonstrate
their ties to the Neolithic cultures of Primorye. The author maintains that those ties can attest to the existence of a whole single cultural domain on these territories which could likewise include the Lower Amur region. In other words, all of the three above mentioned regions constituted one distinct Far Eastern Primorye Cultural Area in the Neolithic some 6500-6000 YBP. Other epochs witnessed similar cultural processes in this part of the world, and we need further in-depth investigations to be continued to elucidate on that.
Key words: Neolithic, Korean Peninsula, Lower Amur, Primorye, archaeological cultures, dwellings, ceramics.
MORE NOTES ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TRADESMANSHIP WITHIN SMOLNY CULTURE SOCIETY
Smolny culture sites in Primorski Krai sometimes yield artifacts whose features disagree with locally produced items. To be more specific, we speak of a certain variety of armor plates, a bead made of dark blue paste glass, and a bead made from pale green nephrite. Such beads and armor plates never occur on the neighboring occupations of the Bohai and Mohe people. Furthermore, the
plates were never found on any other Far Eastern sites either. On the other hand, since 8th century AD those plates have been ubiquitous on sites throughout Forest-Steppe Altai. Sources of nephrite don’t exist in Primorye. Closest natural nephrite deposits are located in Zabaikalye (Transbaikalia). Paste glass, the substance one of the beads is made of, comes from the Near East. It seems very unlikely that the items produced as far as thousand miles away from Primorye could come into possession of the Smolninsky people from the nearest neighbors. Most likely, such goods were brought here by traveling merchants. In antiquity there existed one particular route other than the famous Silk Road.
It was the so called Sable Road, a pathway for importing western goods to the Far East. This route, marked out by an array of Sogdian colony-trading stations, went to Transbaikalia and farther to Amur via Altai and western Mongolia, with the ending point, most probably, at a certain settlement in the middle reaches of river Arsenyevka. Geographically, the place was the junction of the Bohai, Smolny, and Mohe cultural areas. This trading post could easily be reached by small boats, from Amur via its tributary Ussury river, and farther on to the river Arsenyevka itself.
Keywords: Smolny culture, Bohai, Mohe, trade, “Sable Road”, Sogdian colony-trading station.
LATEST EXCAVATION RESULTS
COMPLEX STUDIES AT NOVOSELISCHENSKOYE ANCIENT FORTIFIED TOWN SITE IN KHANKA REGION OF PRIMORYE
Ya.E. Piskareva, E.V. Astashenkova, S.D. Prokopets, E.A. Sergusheva, A.L. Ivliev, N.A. Dorofeyeva, M.A. Lyaschevskaya, V.B. Bazarova, N.F. Pshenitchnikova
The article presents preliminary results of a complex archaeological study of an ancient fortifi ed town site named Novoselischenskoye. The site is located 18 km west of Lake Khanka. The research goal was to understand the subsistence system of an ancient town, taking into consideration environmental peculiarities of Khanka lowlands in the early Medievity. The authors have tried to outline the sphere of their academic interest at current stage of the research project. They report the beginning of eff orts to defi ne environmental conditions back in the early Middle Ages with the help of pollen-and-spore analysis of soil samples. It’s been established that the beginning of 4th-7th centuries coincided
with a prolonged period of cooling and drying of climate and this phenomenon is reflected in spore-pollen spectrums of samples from cultural layers of the site. The authors could determine the fl oral species that dominated the area during the active time of the site. With the use of flotation technique, the authors obtained data on cultivation of at least two species of domesticated plants by the inhabitants of the town. Traceological analysis of a stone tool found inside a dwelling showed multiple use of the tool for different household jobs. Aerial photography and photogrammetry permitted to seriously correct and enhance topographic mapping of the site area, and acquire new data about fortifications of the mediaeval town. Advanced technology-assisted investigations agree well with conventional rchaeological methods results. It was revealed that the site has seen three phases of habitation reflecting the Neolithic, Paleometal, and early Medievity. The authors maintain that during the fi rst two phases the site could
be described as a settlement without any defense structures like wall or moat. During the third phase, the time of the Mohe invasion of Khanka region, the site takes shape of a fortifi ed town. At the time the site area shrinks signifi cantly, and its inhabitants feel the need to fortify it. Th e authors have analyzed basic fortification (a wall and a moat) as well as dwelling building techniques. To sum up, the authors report that even at the current stage of research they have succeeded in reconstructing certain facts about environmental and climatic conditions as well as obtaining important knowledge on aspects of the mediaeval population of Primorye’s subsistence system.
Keywords: early Middle Ages, Khanka region, Mohe town site, paleoecology, paleogeography, photogrammetry.
STONE ARTIFACTS ON ZAISANOVKA-1 SETTLEMENT SITE BY DATA FROM EXCAVATIONS IN 1988 AND 2000
Yu.E. Vostretsov, N.A. Kononenko
The authors present results of their examination of a stone tools collection gathered during excavations at a multilayered site named Zaisanovka 1 in 1998 and 2000. This site, the namesake for a huge time span within the Neolithic in the south of Russia’s Far East, has been known since mid-1900s
owing to G.I. Andreyev. Recurring excavations at the turn of the millennia were conducted with the use of advanced new technologies and achievements of Russian archaeology, and resulted in obtaining new materials and knowledge of the site as well as the Neolithic in general in the region. It’s been established that the unearthed dwelling contained an untainted assemblage of artifacts and ecofacts attributed to the Gladkovski stage of the Zaisanovski cultural tradition. It’s been established that the inhabitants conducted economic activity in the Posyet inlet some 4000 YBP during the phase of climatic warming and sea transgression. The dwellers used raw materials both locally available and delivered from elsewhere. The basic element of stone industry was obsidian
obtained from the vicinity of Paktusan volcano 300 km off of Zaisanovka 1. Among other objectives, the authors paid particular interest to the morphology of stone tools, chipping and producing technique, and search for the starch residue. The authors separated retouched, polished tools, and pebble tools. Traceology permitted to discriminate between different functional purposes of the tools, which could be associated with hunting, fishing, gathering, or processing.
Keywords: East Asia, Neolithic, Zaisanovskaya cultural tradition, stone tools, traceology