Stone Features from the Little Sea Area of the Lake Baikal
This article is devoted to the analyses of archaeological material found among the stone features of Khuzhir-Nuge VII, Shrakshura I, and Bazarnaia II sites located in the Little Sea area of the Lake Baikal. These features contained artifacts, faunal remains, and traces of hearths, presence of which is similar to the descriptions of animal sacrifices conducted during the ethnohistoric period in this region, which were devoted to the honouring of ancestors and local sprits. In this research, we analyze and compare stone feature forms, orientations, and pottery fragments, iron items, and animal bones found among them. Results of the faunal analyses provided new insights on how animals we reutilized during the rituals including information on what domesticated and wild species, their body parts, and animals' age were used during these practices. In addition, AMS radiocarbon dating made on ungulate bone from each analyzed archaeological site allowed to expand and add to the current understanding on when these stone features were made in Priolkhoniye region. This also let to consider, for the first time, certain similarities and changes with time in the practices of animal sacrifices conducted by the inhabitants of this region from the 10th to the 20th centuries AD.