ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2018. Vol. 24

Fishing Equipment and Ichthyofauna from the Early Neolithic Complex Shrakshura 3 at Lake Baikal

A. G. Novikov, A. M. Mamontov, O. I. Goriunova

In recent years, attention has increasingly been paid to the reconstruction of fishing in the Early Neolithic at the Lake Baikal. But due to the small number of stratified sites of this period containing fishing gear and remains of fish bones, the reconstruction was carried out, practically, on the materials of one site – Ityrkhei. New data on the fishing in Early Neolithic on the Little Sea coast of Lake Baikal is presented in this article. Study based on the analysis of artifacts associated with fishing (rod of composite hooks, weights, fish-bait, and article for knitting nets) and remains of fish bones. Materials were obtained from the cultural layer 2 of Shrakshura 3 site. The complex is dated by radiocarbon method (AMS-date on the bone of an ungulate animal) within 7420–7290 cal BP. The species composition and ways of catching fish have been reconstructed. It was revealed that the fish species composition on the site is represented by coastal fishes: perch (Perca fluviatilis), roach (Rutilis rutilis) and pike (Esox lucius). The perch is significantly dominant among them. Fishing was aimed at the extraction of species that constantly live in coastal shallow water areas, being a stable source of food production. The diverse tools associated with fishing indicate the existence in the Early Neolithic of various fishing methods: with a fishing rod and a net. The presence of fishing nets is confirmed in the findings of stone sinkers and bone tools for knitting nets, and the availability of individual tools (fishing rods) is witnessed by widely represented hook gear. According to ethnographic data, stone sculptures of fish were used as baits when fishing in shallow water with the aid of a harpoon. All these methods of catching fish are known on Lake Baikal from the Late Mesolithic. In the Early Neolithic the hook gear is improved, the typological forms of composite fishing hooks and lure fish become more diverse. Studies have confirmed that in the Early Neolithic on the coast of the Little Sea of Lake Baikal, fishery played a significant role in the economic activities of the population. The new data obtained on the materials of the layer 2 of the Shrakshura 3 site widely expanded our views on ancient fishing on the Little Sea of Lake Baikal in the Early Neolithic.

About the Authors

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 

Mamontov Anatolii Mikhailovich, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Head Specialist, Limnological Institute SB RAS; 3, Ulan-Batorskaya st., Irkutsk, 664033, Russian Federation, e-mail: mamontov@lin.irk.ru 

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

For citation

Novikov A. G., Mamontov A. M., Goriunova O. I. Fishing Equipment and Ichthyofauna from the Early Neolithic Complex Shrakshura 3 at Lake Baikal. Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2018, Vol. 24, pp. 61–73. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.24.61 (in Russ.)

Lake Baikal, Little Sea, Early Neolithic, fishing tools, fish fauna, radiocarbon dating

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