«BULLETIN OF THE IRKUTSK STATE UNIVERSITY. GEOARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, AND ANTHROPOLOGY SERIES»
ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2017. Vol. 22

Burial Complexes of the Osinskii Island (Bratsk Reservoir)

Author(s)
I. V. Ulanov, A. V. Verenskaya, G. L. Ivanov, E. D. Nikulina, A. Yu. Taranovskii
Abstract
The article describes the materials of burial complexes from Osinskii Island. Osinskii Island is located on Bratsk Reservoir at the Angara River. In 1979 there was diagnosed graves destruction by reservoir waves. In 1981, 1982 the archaeological detachment of Irkutsk Museum of Local History under the leadership of V. I. Smotrova (Berdnikova) has executed saving excavations. 12 graves and ritual complex were found. These materials were published in various articles. In 2016 the water level of reservoir fell and thus was found 2 graves. This article describes all 14 graves and ritual complex and discusses interpretation and chronology of graves and complex. Most of the complexes are located in the northern part of the island. The oldest grave dates back to the Early Neolithic and it may be related with Kitoi mortuary tradition. In the southern part of island is the cemetery with 3 graves, that dated to Xiongnu time. This cemetery indicates to the cultural and political influence of Xiongnu Empire to this territory. One burial found in 2016 has two 14C dates – 1555±20 BP (UCIAMS-186303) and 1595±20 BP (UCIAMS-186304) – and has analogues with burials of the Cherenkhyn type. Here is found an artifact mad of a horn with tamga signs, an iron knife, iron bit and bones of a sheep's leg. Other 2 destroyed burials don’t have clear cultural and chronological markers and are pre-dated in the wide frameworks of the Middle Ages. Also in the northern part of the Osinskii Island was found a ritual complex. This is a stain of bark from the fireplace in which bones of the sheep, fragments of ceramics and pebbles with flakes are found. Similar complexes of the Middle Ages are found on both shores of the Bratsk Reservoir. The seven cremations of the Balagan Buryats of the 18th and 19th centuries interpreted as graves belonging to the blacksmiths clans. This conclusion is based on the ethnographic observations and finding artifacts. The recently discovered graves testify to the need for new rescue excavations on Osinskii Island. It remains a perspective site for searching of the burials from the Neolithic to ethnographic modernity.
Keywords
Bratsk Reservoir, Osinskii Island, Neolithic, Xiongnu, Middle Ages, Buryats, Darkhan, graves, ritual complex, tamga signs
UDC
903.5(571.53)
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