Sergey V. Gusev

Early Holocene Coastal Sites of Eastern Chukotka

In the 1980s, a series of Early Holocene sites were found in the extreme Northeast of Eurasia, near the Bering Strait (Dikov 1993: 10—19). Mesolithic sites Puturak, Ithat IA, Ithat IB, IthatIIA, Chelkun IV, Likvylenvey, Ananayvey were discovered. Of these, only two sites have been dated according to C14: Chelkun IV (8150 years ago) and Ananayvey (8000 years ago) (Dikov 1993: 36—57). The remaining sites are dated on the basis of a typological analysis of a few and insignificant gun complex. N.N. Dikov also attributed the sites of Ulkhum, Kurupka I, Kymynanonvyvaam VII, Kymynanonvyvaam VIII, Kymynanonvyvaam XIII, Kymynanonvyvaam XIV to the Paleolithic, and the author also suspected several sites (Dikov 1993: 20—36). All sites without reliable dates. I had a chance to view some of the collections in the laboratory of the SVKNII in Magadan. The gun complex of these sites represents an Early Holocene technological complex for the production of plates and lamellar flakes from prismatic cores.

In the period from 1990 to 2014, archaeological surveys were carried out by the Beringian Archaeological Expedition (BAE) on the coast of the Bering Sea in Chukotka. This led to the discovery of the Early Holocene coastal sites of Naivan I, Kuivey 1, Nunligran 4, the description of which is devoted to this article. The objects are located very close to the coast on capes and lateral moraines with a height of 9—16 m above sea level. The landscape and location of the objects show that the life orientation of the population could be focused on marine bioresources.

The early seaside adaptation in the North Pacific Ocean was postulated by R.S. Vasilevsky long before the start of our work (Vasilievsky 2001: 31—38).

The Naivan site is located on the Chaplin Spit near the northern tip of the lake of the same name. Radiocarbon dates from the hearth in the excavation reflect the date of settlement between 7700 and 9000 years from our days.

A new impetus to the study of coastal adaptation and the use of marine biological resources was given by the publication in 2022 of a unique publication prepared by an international team (The Marine Prehistory 2022), one of the sections of which was prepared by the author of this article (The Marine Prehistory 2022: 291—313).

Keywords: Bering Sea, Eastern Chukotka, archaeology of the Early Holocene, seaside adaptation, marine bioresources, fishing, gathering.

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Anna I. Pankina

Alla V. Garkovik

Zoomorphic Portable Art of the Stone Age Of Primorye Region

The article is an overview of all currently known zoomorphic images from the collections of cultures of the Stone Age of Primorye (Final Paleolithic — Late Neolithic): ustinovskaya, rudninskaya, boysmanskaya, zaisanovskaya. The authors compiled a consolidated list of archaeological sites of Primorye, in the complexes of which zoomorphic images were found, indicating the geographical location and planographic features of the locations. The authors paid attention to both the morphological and technological features of the sculptures and the taxonomic features of the animals based on the method of biological classification. Zoomorphic sculpture of Primorye is characterized by the stability of technological techniques (preservation of the tradition of making “flint sculpture” throughout the studied period), there was also the development of new forms and technologies, including the appearance of clay figurines. The revealed species composition of the depicted animals (marine and terrestrial mammals, fish, birds, reptiles), with general stability, has small but significant differences for each of the cultures under consideration, which finds correlation in the ecological and climatic changes of the period of existence of each culture and the specifics of its economic orientation. The collections of zoomorphic sculptures of the Stone Age of Primorye are characterized by the presence of specific “seaside” features, which are expressed in individual plots (images of sea urchins and stars, etc.), however, in general, they find analogies in the pictorial traditions of the Mesolithic and Neolithic Kamchatka Peninsula, as well as the forest region of Eastern Europe.

Keywords: Primorye, Final Paleolithic, Neolithic, biological classification, zoomorphic sculptures.

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Nikolay A. Klyuev

Igor Yu. Sleptsov

Alexander A. Gladchenkov

Evgeny Yu. Shapovalov

Irina V. Belova

Mikhail P. Tiunov

Alexander E. Gusev

Alexey M. Vorobyev

Natalia M. Pochivalova

Pavel S. Panin

Anna M. Kolganova

New Cave Archaeological Sites of Primorye (First Results of Research)

The article describes the first results of research of new archaeological sites in Primorye — in the Triangular cave and the Perspective cave. The works were carried out in 2021—2022.

In the Triangular cave, the burial of a man of the paleometal era was discovered. This is the first such find in Primorye. The skull and part of the skeleton of the buried were found. The preservation of the skull will allow you to recreate the appearance of a deceased person. Next to the deceased there was a funeral inventory — two polished axes, a polished knife and a bone puncture. The buried one was lying with his head towards the entrance of the cave. Stone axes were located on both sides of the skull, a polished knife broken in half was at the parietal part of the skull. The bone puncture was located on the left side of the bone remains, not far from one of the axes. When stripping the bones of the right hand, a fragment of hand-made pottery was found to the right of the remains. The nature of the finds leaves no doubt that a burial was found in the cave, conducted in compliance with a certain ritual, as evidenced by the composition and location of the accompanying tool kit. According to the typology of the inventory and the technical and technical characteristics of the fragment of pottery, the burial was tentatively attributed to the paleometal era. The burial studies have not been completed yet and will continue.

The site of an ancient man of the Middle Neolithic period was discovered in the Perspektivnaya cave. Ceramics and stone products were found. Their analysis showed that they were made by representatives of the Rudninskaya archaeological culture.

Osteological material was also obtained in the cave, part of which was connected with the vital activity of the ancient inhabitants of the cave.

Keywords: Primorye, caves, archaeological sites, burial, site, Middle Neolithic, Paleometal epoch.

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Nikolay A. Klyuev

Irina V. Belova

Natalia A. Dorofeeva

Research Results at the Late Neolithic Settlement Elenovka-3 in Primorye in 2021

This article is devoted to the introduction into scientific circulation of materials from the excavations of the settlement Elenovka-3, located in the North-West of Primorye. At the settlement was excavated pit of a small dwelling rectangular in plan with a distinguished entrance. The ceramic material is represented by fragments of molded flat-bottomed vessels of simple jar and pot-shaped forms with a rim having a molded roller. Vessels were ornamented mainly with impressions of a serrated stamp. Stone inventory is represented by single items belonging to several categories: chopping tools, arrowheads, abrasives, sinker, polishing.

This complex belongs to the Late Neolithic, but has no direct analogies with known cultures in the region. He finds the greatest similarity in the materials of sites located in Northern Primorye, in the valley of the river Bolshaya Ussurka. It is noted that the ceramic complexes of this group of sites have similar features with the ceramics of the Voznesenovskaya culture of the Lower Amur, and also has a number of features that bring them closer to the complexes of the Khanka Lake-side variant of the Zaisanovskaya culture of Primorye. The authors note that the combination of elements of different pottery traditions in the morphology and ornamentation of the complexes of these sites is the result of contacts between representatives of different cultural groups. It is concluded that it is necessary to conduct further studies of the Late Neolithic sites in the northern territories of the region.

Keywords: settlement Elenovka-3, Late Neolithic, Zaisanovskaya culture, Voznesenovskaya culture, Primorye.

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Pavel A. Pashentsev

Cultural and Chronological Stages of the Nabil Archaeological Culture (Sakhalin Island, I Millennium Bc)

The article presents a generalized look at the Nabilskaya archaeological culture of Sakhalin within 10th—2nd centuries BC. The origin of the culture hasn’t been clarified yet. The complexes of the Nabilskya culture were transformed throughout their existence. The changes took place at this period due to climate variability and culture processes. Possible reactions to climate cooling at the turn of the Subboreal and the Subatlantic ages were both the appearance of more in-depth dwelling pits of the Nabilskaya culture relative to the old ground surface and a large number of utility pits and additional chambers inside the dwellings. There is an archaeological complex of the Nabilskaya culture relating to this time in the South of Sakhalin. There is detected influence of the ceramic style of the Nabilskaya culture on the local one. Probably the process is caused by migration of the part of the Nabils from the northern Sakhalin to the south. As a result there was created the Susuiskaya archaeological culture. The late Nabil complexes had some alien cultural features. It was caused by the emergence of new cultural groups in the northen part of the island from the Far Eastern continental regions. The alien cultural faetures are marked by Piltunskaya round-bottomed ceramics with a roller on the neck, and flat-bottomed ceramics with a funnel-shaped neck with a turned-out rim of the Urilskaya culture. The impact of the alien cultural features on the ceramics of the late Nabilskaya culture is the most clearly reflected in both the manufacturing technique, the morphology and the decoration.

Keywords: Sakhalin, Paleometal age, chronology, archaeological stages, migration, cultural infiltration.

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Irina S. Zhushchikhovskaya

Anastasiya A. Lazina

Boris V. Lazin

New Traits to the Characteristic of Ceramic Ware of Yankovskaya Culture of Primor’ye Region (Based on Archaeological Materials from Posiet Bay Area)

The article is considering pottery assemblage attributed to Yankovskaya archaeological culture and originated from the Posiet Bay area in southwestern Primor’ye region. The collection containing artifacts from destroyed archaeological sites, mostly from Shelekha Cape site in northwestern part of Posiet Bay, is stored in local Posiet-village museum. Article is considering the features of morphology, technology and decoration of ceramic wares. Our observations allow to note that pottery assemblage of Posiet Bay area shows some differences in comparison with pottery assemblages from well-known Yankovskaya culture sites. Most distinctive feature of considered collection is serial presence of samples reflecting high technological and esthetic levels of pottery-making. This is concerning to the characteristics of ceramic pastes, shapes modelling, surface treatment, firing, decoration of ceramic wares. Revealed features indicate significant role of non-utilitarian wares purposed for the specific, not ordinary cases. It may be supposed that Shelekha Cape and adjacent territories were the area where certain socially important events took place in the prehistoric times. Interesting results are obtained from the comparative study of Yankovskaya culture pottery from Posiet Bay area and published materials on Baijinbao type pottery from archaeological sites of Bronze Age in Northeast China Similar features appearing in techniques and motifs of pottery ornamentation may be interpreted as probable evidence of some cultural connections between neighboring regions.

Keywords: southwestern Primor’ye region, Posiet Bay, Yankovskaya archaeological culture, museum collection, ceramic ware, technology, morphology, decoration, Northeast China.

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Elena V. Sidorenko

Influence of the Krounovskaya Culture in the Complexes of the Vetroduy Settlement

The specific features of the paleometallic epoch in Primorye are cultural diversity and the coexistence of archaeological cultures at certain periods of time. These processes are especially vividly recorded in the cultures of the eastern and northeastern Primorye. The region is a relatively isolated territory bounded by the Sikhote-Alin Ridge and the Sea of Japan. Isolation contributed to the long-term preservation of the appearance of the archaeological culture. New migrants entered into various kinds of contacts with the aboriginal population (armed conflict, assimilation, borrowing innovations), which determined the motley ethno-cultural environment. The paper analyzes the signs indicating the contacts of the representatives of the Vetroduy settlement with the carriers of the Krounovskaya culture of the Paleometal epoch of Primorye. The elements of the Krounovskaya culture are high cone-shaped spinning wheels with a straight base and thick-walled vessels with a short neck and steep almost horizontal shoulders. The dynamics of the development of the Krounovskaya culture and radiocarbon dating give every reason for possible contacts: the Vetroduy settlement existed at the same time with the Krounovskaya sites of southern and eastern Primorye. Previously, signs that appeared in complexes under the influence of the Bolshebukhtinskaya culture of the Amur region and the Kunaleiskaya group of the Lidovskaya culture (Lidovsko-Yankovskaya) were identified. These data indicate that in the first centuries AD, intensive cultural interaction took place in the north-eastern Primorye while preserving the aboriginal tradition. According to the results of the conducted research, the settlement of Vetroduy (Terney district, the basin of the Dzhigitovka river) becomes the northernmost site influenced by the Krounovskaya culture.

Keywords: Paleometal epoch, Krounovskaya culture, Lidovskaya culture, Yankovskaya culture, Tetyukhinskaya group, Vetroduy, contacts.

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Alexander A. Orekhov

Ornamental Plates of the Old and New Eskimo Cultures

The article presents the experience of comparative analysis based on archaeological and ethnographic materials of ornamented plates of ancient Eskimo cultures (Old Bering Sea, Ipituak, Birnirk, Punuk and Thule archaeological cultures). It is noted that each culture had its own type of ornamentation and compositions. Ornamented plates had different decorative and sacral meanings. The plates were used as sewn-on elements of clothing, headbands, diadems and men's belts, these facts are not always reflected in scientific publications. In different Eskimo cultures, the way the ornamented plates were used was similar, but gradually these traditions began to get lost. In the ethnographic literature, only sewn-on plates of headbands and hair ornaments are mentioned, the semantics of certain elements of the ornament and compositions are reconstructed only partially and rather conditionally. This article notes the aesthetics and sacred nature of the ornament and images, analyzes some of the ancient Bering Sea traditions of decorating hair with bone plates and figurines, heads with diadems, clothes and headdresses, men's belts with ornamented ivory plates. For the manufacture of plates, walrus tusk and deer horn were used as a material, which was sometimes polished. In the process of changing Eskimo cultures, despite mutual influence and their partial coexistence, there is a simplification of the ornament and compositions. Researchers note geographical and chronological differences in ornamentation and ways of using ornamented plates. Comparative analysis of ornamented plates of adjacent cultures is the task for further research.

Keywords: Old Eskimo cultures, ornament, sewed plates, diadems, brow bands, man’s belt, semantic, Chukotka peninsula, eskimos, Old Bering sea culture, sacral.

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Elena A. Sergusheva

Artur R. Laskin

Research of the Verkhny Nergen-6 (Khabarovsk Region)

The article presents the results of research of the Verkhny Nergen-6 (Nanai district of Khabarovsk Krai) archaeological site, excavated in 2020 during archaeological rescue excavations. The excavation of 198 m2 investigated the pit of a semi-underground dwelling and its surrounding space. The analysis of the archaeological material demonstrates two episodes of the site’s settlement — by the people of the Poltsevskaya archeological culture of the Iron Age and the Mohe archaeological culture of the early Middle Ages. Ceramic materials of the Poltsevskaya culture in their technical and morphological characteristics correspond to the late stage of the culture and are close to the materials of the Amurskiy Sanatoriy, Malmyzh-1 sites. They were concentrated outside the dwelling. Several sherds of Mohe vessels, an iron arrowhead and a glass bead were found in the filling of the pit-dwelling. Ceramic vessels are molded, decorated with a pasted split roll under the rim edge and a horizontal row of stamped ornament in the area of the shoulders. In the base of the square pit-dwelling was frame-pillar structure. The corners of the pit-dwelling are strictly oriented to the cardinal directions. Four retaining pillars were located at the same distance from the corners of the pit-dwelling, strictly along diagonal lines. The roof was with four sloping surfaces. Square-shaped hearth is slightly shifted from the center of the dwelling to its north-western wall, where, obviously, was an entrance decorated with two stepped ledges. The infill of the hearth was completely floated, single seeds of cultivated (Setaria italica, Panicum miliaceum and possibly Glycine max) and edible gathering (Vitis amurensis) plants were found in the floatation sample. The species diversity and the quantitative ratio between the seeds of cultivated and gathering plants demonstrate the predominance of the remains of cultivated species in the hearth’s infill of the dwelling. Apparently, for the inhabitants of the dwelling, cultivated plants as a food resource were of predominant importance than the products of plant gathering. Research on the Verkhny Nergen-6 site expands the geography of Mohe agriculture almost to the northeastern border of the Middle Amur Lowland.

Keywords: Lower Amur, Iron Age, early Middle Ages, Poltsevskaya archaeological culture, Mohe archaeological culture, semi-underground dwelling, water flotation, agriculture, plant gathering.

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Nadezhda G. Artemeva

Sergey V. Makiyevskiy

Andrey P. Mikhalchenko

A New Site of the Bohai Time on the Territory of Primorye (to Raise the Question of the Medieval Road Transport System)

The article is devoted to the study of a new archaeological site discovered by remote sensing of the earth on the territory of Primorye. High-resolution satellite images in the Google service made it possible to identify a previously unknown object of archaeological heritage (hereinafter referred to as OAN) in an area with limited access — in the border zone. According to the analysis of the ceramic material found on the settlement, the site was dated to the Bohai time (VII—X centuries). Its location is confined to the narrowest point of the valley passage, located between the mountain ranges. The hillfort is a square-shaped fortification, angled to the cardinal points, with a gate displaced from the central part of the ramparts. The gates of the southern and northern parts are reinforced with tower ledges, as well as the corners of the fortification. The study of defensive structures, the remains of the dwelling and the planigraphy of the site made it possible to determine its functional purpose as a fortification built to protect the medieval road and transport route. The site is located at a junction from which traffic, both river and road, is clearly visible. The study of the sites of the Bohai culture in Northeast Asia has been going on for decades. In Primorye, settlements, burial grounds, religious buildings were investigated, but road stations or fortifications on the communication routes were not known. “The settlement of Kongorova Pad” is so far the only site of the Bohai time, which makes it possible to trace the ways of communication of the central regions of the state of Bohai with the peripheral zones, as well as to identify the infrastructure of transport communications.

Keywords: Far East, Primorsky Krai, settlement, ramparts, ceramics, the state of Bohai, road transport system, “The settlement of Kongorova Pad”.

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Alexander L. Ivliev

On Variations of Bronze Coins of Chinese Northern Song Dynasty

In the process of identification and registration of numismatic findings in the medieval archaeological sites of the south of Russian Far East the author of this paper has found many variations of already known types of bronze coins of Northern Song Empire (960—1127). The paper makes description of variations of Huang Song tongbao (皇宋通寶, 1039—1054) coin with a legend written in kaishu or regular script. A data of all detected variations of Song Dynasty coins is also given. A comparison of the number of variations of each type of coin with duration of their mintage demonstrates no stable relationship between these characteristics. On the other hand, a correlation between the number of variations and annual volume of production of certain coin is traced. Taking into account features of coins mint technology in Medieval China and available data on number and location of mints it is possible to conclude that most probably variations of coins indicate their production in different mints. Coins of different mints being the same by main features — the legend, size and general design — could differ by secondary features — width of outer and inner borders, presence of “beams” on the corners of the hole, size of the characters of the legend etc. This specific set of design features of certain variation allows us to find corresponding to it by design variation among matched coins (对钱) (in case of Huang Song tongbao it is a coin with zhuanshu or seal script) which also should be a production of the same mint.

Keywords: numismatics, coins of Northern Song, variations of coin types, variants of variations, medieval archaeological sites of the Far East of Russia.

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Roman A. Artyomkin

The Role of Sharks in the Life Support of Ancient Humans

This article assesses the importance of the role of sharks in the life of ancient communities living on the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. Their availability as a resource is considered, as well as their place in the subsistence system. The article is based on the analysis of archaeological data from sites of different cultural and historical periods of the Pacific coast, as well as materials of ethnographic research. The characteristics of the biological species most frequently found among the remains of sharks are given. Based on the peculiarities of their ecology, it was assumed that the most preferred objects of fishing among sharks were species of small size and not dangerous to humans. Probably, similar species were used as a food source. These species played a particularly important role in the nutrition of communities living in tropical latitudes. In addition to species that do not pose a danger, among the remains there were species that pose a significant threat to humans. It was suggested that these species, in addition to being a source of food, could play the role of a source of raw materials for tools and jewelry, demonstrating the high status of the owner. In addition, the importance of the presence of lagoons and estuaries in the shark fishery is emphasized. This is explained by the peculiarities of the biology of sharks and is proved by the correspondence of the most widely represented collections of finds to the peak of sea level transgression about 5000 years ago.

Keywords: archaeozoology, sharks, fishing, subsistence system, lagoon.

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