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

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2019. Vol. 27

On the Position of the “Small Houses” Culture in Periodization of the Yakutia Middle Ages (Based on the Aiyy-Taibyt Settlement in Yakutsk)

Author(s)
N. S. Kiryanov
Abstract

The discovery of the «Small Houses» culture (15–16th centuries) by A. P. Okladnikov in 1940s has been a significant achievement of the Middle Ages Yakutia’s archaeology, which provided the interesting materials on the ethnic history of Early Yakuts. Further study of that culture by I. V. Konstantinov in 1970s allowed to detect the transitional phase of «Small Houses» culture from the Iron Age to the traditional Yakut culture of the 17th century. In 1970–80s A. I. Gogolev discovered the Kulun-Atakh cattle-breeding culture of the 14–16th centuries in the Central Yakutia, which afforded ground for assuming that the «Small Houses» culture is a peripheral non-cattle-breeding variation of the Kulun-Atakh culture. On the contrary, A. N. Alekseev considered the «Small Houses» culture to be earlier than the Kulun-Atakh one and suggested to date it as 13th century. A limited factual evidence of the culture (only 4 settlements) would not allow to draw any firm conclusions about its position and role in the periodization of the Yakutia Middle Ages. The discovery and excavation of the 15th century Aiyy-Taibyt settlement in Yakutsk allowed to refute a popular misconception that only the round-bottomed pottery was characteristic of the «Small Houses» culture: the vessel № 4 in this settlement was flat-bottomed. Complementary studies also proved that there is no unique feature for the «Small Houses» culture. All its characteristics and properties resemble the Kulun-Atakh culture: the small sizes of the residential and household buildings, rich osteological material, smooth-walled, thin-walled, round-bottomed and flat-bottomed dishware of barrel and jar shape with descending short vertical ridges, etc. The absence of the cattle and horse bones in the «Small Houses» culture settlements confirm that its monuments represent the utmost periphery of the Kulun-Atakh culture habitat and supposedly were left by the Yakut-like Evenki reindeer-breeders. Thus, the absence of the unique features allows to completely designate the «Small Houses» culture as belonging to the Kulun-Atakh cattle breeding culture of the 14–16th centuries, and recognize this problem as a historiographic aspect.

About the Authors

Kiryanov Nikolai Sergeevich, Leading Researcher, Head of S. A. Fedoseeva Museum of the Arctic archaeology, Arctic Research Centre, AS RS(Ya); 1, Petrovskii st., Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), 677007, Russian Federation, e-mail: ns_kiryanov@bk.ru

For citation

Kiryanov N. S. On the Position of the “Small Houses” Culture in Periodization of the Yakutia Middle Ages (Based on the Aiyy-Taibyt Settlement in Yakutsk). Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2019, Vol. 27, pp. 56–72. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2019.27.56 (in Russ.)

Keywords
Yakutia, Middle Ages, Yakuts, «Small Houses» culture, Kulun-Atakh cattle-breeding culture, Aiyy-Taibyt
UDC
903(571.56)"653"
DOI
https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2019.27.56
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