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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2021 Volume XXVII

doi: 10.17746/2658-6193.2021.27.0289-0293

УДК 902.674

First Anthracological Study of Charcoal in Eastern Siberia Using the Evidence of the "A.P. Okladnikov Workshop" Site

Filatova (Sidorova) M.O., Filatov E.A.

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Archaeological wood is a rich source of information about people and paleoenvironment. Wood usually survives from the Paleolithic in the form of charcoal. That is why anthracological analysis or identification of timber species is the best way to study the remains of Paleolithic wood. Charcoal fragments found during the excavations in 1961 by V.E. Larichev and A.P. Okladnikov at the “A.P. Okladnikov Workshop” site located on Titovskaya Sopka (near the city of Chita) in the Eastern Transbaikal region, have been studied. Unique terrain, favorable location near a river valley, and presence of rich deposits of isotropic raw materials attracted humans to that area in the ancient times. Anthracological methods were employed for answering the questions about the strategies of using wood both for household needs and ritual purposes. The analysis of macroscopic features of anatomical wood structure has revealed that the samples belonged to the species of Rhododendron dauricum L. (Ericaceae). This species is widespread in the Eastern Transbaikal region and grows next to the archaeological site. For reconstructing the vegetation cover, the sources need to be expanded. The problem of the main type of fuel at that time remains open, since the Daurian rhododendron is a small shrub. Another curious question is how it was preserved after thermal exposure out of the variety of wood species. It might have been used for fumigation or for ritual purposes. Anthracological research is just beginning to be introduced into archeology, and therefore, testing the methodology on Siberian evidence is of crucial importance.


Paleolithic workshop, A.P. Okladnikov Workshop, Eastern Transbaikal region, anthracology

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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