Koksharovsky Kholm and Chertova Gora, Two Neolithic Sanctuaries in the Ural and in Western Siberia: Similarities and Differences
Koksha rovsky Kholm and Chertova Gora, Two Neolithic Sanctuaries in the Urals and in Western Siberia: Similarities and Differences
Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, S. Kovalevskoi 16, Yekaterinburg, 620990, Russia
Two Neolithic sanctuaries are compared: Koksharovsky Kholm in the Middle Urals, and Chertova Gora in Western Siberia. They were apparently established by related but separate populations represented by the Koshkino-Boborykino and Kozlov-Poludenka decorative traditions (respectively), dating to the 7th–5th millennium cal BC. Sanctuaries were arranged on high salient promontories. At Koksharovsky Kholm, the ritual meaning of each place was accentuated by two ditches separating the sacred space from the dwelling area. Anothe r attribute of these sanctuaries was variously sized and shaped structures made of wooden poles or slabs. At Koksharovsky Kholm, remains of much smaller (less than 1 ? 1 m) structures resembling chests were found, and at Chertova Gora, birch-bark box-like containers. Stone tools from the two sites differ. Parallels include intact or broken clay vessels, rods with notches, fl int arrowheads, etc. Some appear to have been made for ritual purposes, and some were broken intentionally. Offerings of artifacts were accompanied by sacrifices of wild animals, birds, and fishes. At Chertova Gora, an offering of hemp grains was found. Parallels with the Mansi, Khanty, and Udmurts may imply ideological continuity.
Keywords: Trans-Urals, Western Siberia, Neolithic, sanctuaries, sacred space.