On Early Medieval Contacts of the Urals and Western Siberia with Central Asia: The Evidence of Ceramics
On Ear ly Medieval Contacts of the Urals and Western Siberia with Central Asia: The Evidence of Ceramics
Tyumen State University, Volodarskogo 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russia
The study focuses on the Kushnarenkovo-type ceramics from sites in the Cis-Urals and those from sites of the Bakalskaya culture in Western Siberia (300—800AD). This type was first described in the 1960s as an indicator of major migrations relating to Magyar origins. The analysis of forms, technology, and decoration makes it possible to identify imported ware from local replicas of the Aral ceramics. Certain vessels from the Dzhetyasar cemeteries Altynasar-4, Bedaikasar-2, Kosasar-2 and -3, and Tompakasar, owned by museums, can be attributed to the Bakalskaya culture, whereas others were prototypes for replicas manufactured in the forest-steppe zone. The statistical analysis of the burial rite of contemporaneous Uralian and Western Siberian cultures reveals no features correlating with Kushnarenkovo vessels. These facts, along with the analysis of decorated utensils, coins, prestigious ornaments, and belt sets, evidence intense caravan trade between the Urals, Western Siberia, and Kazakhstan. Rather than an indicator of a specific culture, then, the Kushnarenkovo ceramics indicate a subculture of upper social strata, served by itinerant craftsmen or by manufacturers at trade factories.
Keywords: Ceramics, Early Middle Ages, Cis-Urals, Western Siberia, trade