STEPPE AND FOREST-STEPPE VOLGA REGIONS IN THE EARLY NEOLITHIC PERIOD: THE PROBLEM OF CONTACTS


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Abstract

According to the radiocarbon chronology formation of the Neolithic communities acquainted with manufacturing baked clay pottery takes place in the Steppe and Forest-steppe Volga region in the early Atlantic period about 6000 BC. Weakly ornamented Yelshanka point-bottomed pottery borrowed from Transurals was developing in the Forest-steppe Volga region at this period. As for the Steppe Volga region, plain-bottomed richly ornamented Cairshak pottery influenced by the traditions of the Transcaucasus Neolithic centers was spreading. Establishing close contact between Steppe and Forest-steppe Volga regions population dates as far back as the last quarter of the 6 th millennium BC which caused extrinsic for the Asiatic region features of the Yelshanka pottery such as smoothed body rib, crown bulge, geometrized ornament of drawn lines and dimples forming triangles, punctured zigzags. In the early 5 th millennium BC latitudinal contacts tended to substitute longitudinal ones which is proved by differences having appeared between the Steppe and Forest-steppe Volga region pottery. Tradition of producing ribbed vessels with crown bulge continued in the steppe was lost in the forest-steppe. Distribution of the non-ornamented plain-bottomed pottery of the Lugovskoy type in the Middle-Volga area also confirms the fact of developing latitudinal contacts. There is no such pottery in the Steppe Volga region but it can be found in numerous cultures south of the Russian Plain. As the most ancient sets of such pottery were found in the Bugo-Dnestr culture so it could be supposed that its dispersion beyond the original territory happened under the eastward pressure of the Tripolye culture. External character of the non-ornamented plain-bottomed pottery of the Lugovskoy type is proved by its typological heterogeneity. Vessels with body rib and crown bulge are characteristic for some of the pottery sets with sporadic ones having dimple-pearly girdle (e.g. Ust-Tashelka). In other sets the number of vessels with dimple-pearly girdles is much bigger while there are much less vessels with body rib and crown bulge (e.g. Krasny Gorodok, Lugovoye III) which reflects the process of assimilating the new-comers by the descendants of the Yelshanka culture.

About the authors

Aleksandr Viktorovich Viskalin

Ulyanovsk State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: alvisk@mail.ru

candidate of history sciences, associate professor

Russia, Ulyanovsk, Str. L.Tolstogo, 42

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Copyright (c) 2014 Viskalin A.V.

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