ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2018. Vol. 23

Results of the Study and Dating of the Early Neolithic Burial Complexes in Olkhon Region (Lake Baikal)

O. I. Goriunova, A. G. Novikov, G. V. Turkin, A. W. Weber

For the first time all Early Neolithic burial complexes in Olkhon region (the western coast of Lake Baikal) have been generalized and analyzed. There were studied nine cemeteries and single graves, including 28 burials. The largest among them are Khotoruk 2, Khonkhoiskaya Guba 2 and Kurma 11. According to the features of the outside and inside grave constructions, the body position in the grave, orientation, additional details of the funeral rite and the typology of the associated inventory, two main groups of burial places are identified, united by a stable set of characteristic features: Khotoruk (Olkhon region variant of the Kitoi mortuary practice) and Kurma variant. They differ in a body positioning; presence or absence of the ocher; set and typology of associated inventory. It was revealed that the first group is characterized by the placement of the deceased: they have been laying on the back with bent legs, on the right side with bent legs and skewed, and for the Kurma group – stretched out on the back. It is noted that Early Neolithic burials with different mortuary traditions cannot be found on one cemetery. They belonged probably to different groups of the population. The age of the burial complexes was determined on the analysis of new AMS-dates, taking into account their correction for the reservoir effect. In accordance with them, the Kurma group existed within the range of 8177–7330 cal BP, and Khotoruk – within the range of 7749–7163 cal BP. It is highly possible that for some period both practices co-existed. On the territory of Olkhon region, the burials with the Kitoi tradition (Khotoruk group) have local differences from the “classical" Kitoi”, which area lies in the Upper Angara region (the presence of stone structures and a body positioning with bent legs in different variations). According to the peculiarities of the body positioning, they are close to the East Baikal (Fofanovo) group and a number of burials of Shamanka II cemetery in the Southern Baikal. The variety of burial practices discovered in the territory of the Olkhon region testifies to the more complex ethnic processes taking place in this region.

About the Authors

Goriunova Olga Ivanovna, Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher, Scientific Researcher Center "Baikal Region", Irkutsk State University; 1, K. Marx st., Irkutsk, 664003, Russian Federation, Leading Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: as122@yandex.ru 

Novikov Alexei Gennadievich, Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher, Scientific Researcher Center "Baikal region", Irkutsk State University; 1, K. Marx st., Irkutsk, 664003, Russian Federation, Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS; 17, Akad. Lavrentiev av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation, e-mail: as122@yandex.ru 

Turkin Gennadii Vladimirovich, Candidate of Sciences (History), Archaeologist, «Altamira» LLC.; 73-6-43, Angarsk, 665830, Russian Federation, e-mail: angtur@list.ru 

Weber Andrzej W., Ph. D., Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta; 13-15 HM Tory Building, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H4, Canada, e-mail: aweber@ualberta.ca

For citation

Goriunova O. I., Novikov A. G., Turkin G. V., Weber A. W. Results of the Study and Dating of the Early Neolithic Burial Complexes in Olkhon Region (Lake Baikal). Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series, 2018, Vol. 23, pp. 44–70. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.23.44 (in Russ.)

Lake Baikal, Olkhon region, Early Neolithic, burial complexes, Khotoruk group, Kurma group, radiocarbon dating, reservoir effect

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