Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.381-387

УДК 903.7

Animals in Ritual Practices Among the Carriers of the Eastern Version of the Pakhomovo Culture

Efremova N.S., Molodin V.I., Durakov I.A., Vasiliev S.K., Selin D.V.

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Abstract

This article analyzes bone evidence from ritual complexes at the archaeological site of Tartas-1 of the Late Bronze Age. Many animal bones were found in cultural layers, sacrificial pits, and holes remaining from posts. Numerous fragments of pottery discovered at the site indicate that the ritual of sacrifice was the main function of the complexes. In some cases, it was possible to reconstruct the ritual of placement of meat in the pits. The evidence from the cultic complexes illustrates the main components of the ritual: pottery and meat food, sometimes accompanied by ochre and individual artifacts. Bones of domestic animals (cows, goats, sheep, and horses) prevailed. Bones of wild animals (elk, roe deer, and bear) were rare. The main feature of animal bones was fragmentation and special composition of meat food intended for the ritual: teeth, fragments of jaws, and bones of the limbs dominated among the identified parts of the skeletons. According to ethnographic data, many traditional societies of today also use animal skulls and limbs for sacrifices. Many bones showed traces of fire impact, which could imply ritual burning of the sacrificial food. Analysis of the species reveals the economic structure of the ancient population living in the region during the transition from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. The choice of meat for ritual sacrifices from predominantly domestic animals despite the abundance of fish and advanced gathering economy indirectly indicates the important role of livestock in the economy of the carriers of the eastern version of the Pakhomovo culture.

Keywords

Late Bronze Age, Eastern variant of the Pakhomovo culture, Baraba forest-steppe, ritual complexes, osteology, sacrifice

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
E-mail: sbornik.iaet@gmail.com