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

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2016. Vol. 18

The Moty – Novaya Shamanka Early Neolithic Cemetery in the Irkut River Valley

Author(s)
V. I. Bazaliiskii, S. A. Peskov, A. A. Shchetnikov, A. A. Tyutrin
Abstract
This article presents the results of a scientific investigation of Moty – Novaya Shamanka Early Neolithic cemetery which has been destroyed recently in consequence of anthropogenic activities in the lower Irkut river valley. The cemetery was located on the right bank of the Irkut river on a low hillock of a dune. The geological formations of the hillock and its burial complexes had been translocated by a bulldozer in 1991–2005 because of delimitation of the area of 3000 square meters for a farmstead. The archaeological excavations were carried out in the area of 107 square meters. A large quantity of destroyed human bones dyed by ochre was registered in the layer of resedimented geological deposits in a thickness of 1 meter, as well as grave goods made of nephrite and other kinds of rock and fragments of bone objects. The whole collection includes 15 nephrite adzes, 5 knives of green and white nephrite, 43 stone arrowheads, several abrasive tools, 41 stone shanks – elements of composite fishhooks of the Kitoi variant. The collection also contains several blades of composite insert tools, as well as chopping tools and fragments of bone harpoons, and fragments of varied bone and horn tips. Decorations are presented with pendants made of wild boars’ split fangs and of maral (Siberian red deer) fangs. There is a unique item – the “wand”, which has a finial in a form of a head of a bear. The Moty – Novaya Shamanka cemetery belongs to Kitoi tradition of burials of Early Neolithic in the Baikal region. This has been verified by the obtained 14С date – 6870±37 B.P. (ОхА-33243). The planigraphy of the cemetery and a total amount of burial complexes are unknown. Regarding the amount of the archaeological finds, the site is comparable with the Kitoi and Ust-Belaya cemeteries. This site is the only cemetery located in the valley of a tributary. All of other known cemeteries are located in the valleys of the main rivers - Angara and Lena, as well as on the coast of the Lake Baikal.
Keywords
Baikal region, cemetery, Early Neolithic, burial, grave goods, «the wand», bear, composite fishhook, nephrite
UDC
903.5(571.53)"6343"
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