Home History of Kazakhstan Ancient Kazakhstan Bronze Age Bronze era (XXVI-VIIIVV. BC)

Bronze era (XXVI-VIIIVV. BC)

23 August 2013
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The early period (the middle – the end of the 3rd millennium BC).

At the beginning of this time on the territory of Kazakhstan from the West get representatives of  so-called yamnik cultural and historical community. Apparently, in historical sense, their advance was very fast.  The units of the monuments found so far in Kazakhstan testify this. Yamnik economy was predominantly pastoral, they produced four-wheeled wooden carts, used brass instruments. Later, descendants of yamnik created afanasyevsk  culture which area, except Southern Siberia, included also East Kazakhstan.

Unique, the most eastern "yamn" monuments are burial mound  Karagash №2  (200 km south-east from the  city Karaganda) and burial, discovered in a burial ground Grigorievka-2 (35 km to the north of the city of Pavlodar).

The average period (XX-XIII centuries. BCE).

The part of the Western and Northern Kazakhstan was included into an area of sintashtinsk culture (the XX-XVIII centuries BC). The well-known fortified settlement  Arkaim (Chelyabinsk region. Russian) is also belongs to the area of sintashtinsk culture. In the Kostanay region there is Kamysty settlement (Pervomayskoe),which similar on the architecture to Arkaim.  Sintashtinsk burial grounds are Tanabergen II and Zhaman-Kargala I in the Aktobe area.

However as a whole this period is characterized  by monuments of an andronovsk cultural and historical community (XVIII-XIIIVV. BC). It stretches from west to east from the Urals to the Yenisei River and north to south from the boreal forest to the mountains of the Pamirs, Tien Shan and Altai.

The territory of Kazakhstan was the main area of ​​habitat of Andronian tribes. Materials of  numerous and bright monuments, including the settlements which have the considerable area and burial grounds with a large number of funeral constructions testify to it.

The leading role of the Kazakhstan region tribes, especially the region of the Central Kazakhstan, was caused by the richest deposits of copper ore and large-scale metallurgical production.

Into an andronovo community I entered three archaeological cultures: Petrovsk, Alakulsk and Fedorovsk.

Petrovsky culture (the XVIII-XVI centuries BC).

In northern Kazakhstan known its settlements - Petrovka II (which gave the name to the whole culture), Amangeldy I, Kenotkel V, Semiozernoe II, Novonikolskoe I, Bogoljubovo I. Characteristic feature of Petrovsk settlements is existence of defensive ditches. Petrovsk funeral monuments are presented by the isolated children's cemeteries, under barrow burials of adult male soldiers (occasionally women). In barrows of burial grounds Kenes, Ulubay, Berlik, Novonikolsky (Northern Kazakhstan), Satan's late Petrovsky burial ground (the Central Kazakhstan) were found the remains of two-wheeled fighting vehicles or chariots (in filling of graves prints of wheels with spokes are fixed).

Bones of pets, development of house crafts, such as pottery, weaving, the bone carving business, production of jewelry, the weapon and instruments of labor from bronze, production of chariots — all this certificate the statement of producing economy. There was the complex cattle breeding and agricultural economy which basis was made by pastoral cattle breeding.

The Alakulsk culture is dated the XV-XIII centuries BC.

Territorially it extended across all Kazakhstan, except its east areas. The material culture of  alakuls  grew on the basis of  Petrovsk  tribes culture.  That was shown in ceramics, ware stock, architecture, a funeral ceremony. The most known settlements — Alekseevsk, Perelesky II, Yavlenka I, Petrovka I (Northern Kazakhstan), Atasu I (the Central Kazakhstan). Grave pits in the cemeteries of Northern Kazakhstan (tombs Pereleski, Alekseevskiy, Konezavod, Amangeldy I and others) are under the mound of earth with stone-rings at the base. In Central Kazakhstan (tombs Maytan, Coppa, Nurken Bozingen etc.) burial mounds are found rarely - fixed fence in the form of rings from the plate which set on the rib and dug into the groove. The deceased was placed in a box made of stone slabs, mainly on the left or right side, in crouched position with wrists in the face of.

Before some graves in which buried representatives of exclusive group of warriors on chariots, placed couple of  horses in a gallop pose that symbolized the chariot harness. The copper vessel was found in one of early alakulsk grave Ashisu burial ground (Karaganda region). It was unique for the territory of steppe Eurasia and testified the extremely high level of alakuls metal working.

The Alakulsk culture a basis of  which was the material culture of petrovets, marks itself with the time of stable development of andronovo society. The cattle breeding and agricultural orientation of economy has further development, bronze casting manufacture, weaving, pottery and other homemade crafts get develop.

Fedorovsky culture

The Fedorovsk culture existed at the same time (the XV-XIII centuries BC) and together with the alakulsk culture. The territory of its distribution besides Kazakhstan took South Ural and Western Siberia, and in each region monuments differ a certain originality. The territory of its distribution besides Kazakhstan took South Ural and Western Siberia, and in every region the monuments exhibit with certain originality.

Central Kazakhstan version of  Fedorov culture in his time was named Nurinsk. Fedorovsk vessels unlike the alakulsk have a smooth profile and more difficult geometrical ornament. In the steppes of Central  Kazakhstan is known for one and half a dozen monuments including the settlement of Ust-Kenetay, Ikpen I, Mayorovka, Enthusiast II; burial Bougouly I, Balykty, Akimbekov, Alpymsa, Shoindykol. Two tendencies in housing construction development are noted: the construction of a small timber frame ground buildings and construction of large rectangular structures of half earthen type.

At cemeteries found the burial in mounds and fences from slabs laid flat or dug vertically. The most characteristic features of a funeral ceremony are cremation and a construction tsist — construction on perimeter of a grave of walls from flatwise put stone tiles. Burials always accompany 1 or 2 vessels, ware stock put not in all graves. Small number of fedorovets’s funeral stock is explained by factors, most likely, reflecting specifics of funeral ritual.

A number of the funeral monuments possessing the considerable sizes and a difficult design testifies the developed social structure of fedorovets (a burial ground of Aksu-Ayuly-2 in the Karaganda region). It is undoubted that construction experience of fedorovsk masters formed the basis of the next era architecture.

Late period (the XII-IX centuries BC).

Sargarinsko-alekseevsk culture

Sargarinsko-alekseevsk culture — was called so according to the name of two main monuments: Sargara's complex (the Akmolinsk Region) and settlements Alekseevskoe (Kostanaysk Region). Monuments of this culture are in the territory of all Kazakhstan, and also steppe Altai in Russia. The clay vessels decorated on a neck with the molded or shaped roller were an indispensable component of their stock. Not less than two hundred settlements (for example,  Sargary, Alekseevskoe, Sadchikovskoe, Atasu I, Myrzhyk, Taldysay, Bougouly II, Coppa I ) and about 40 burials ( for example, Sargary, Karatugay, Aktoprak) of this culture are known.

On many settlements (Atasu  I, Taldysay) signs of own bronze casting manufacture — the furnace for copper smelting, slags, casting molds meet. In total the economy of the population of the late bronze period is characterized as mainly cattle breeding, a mountain pasture orientation. Funeral constructions of sargarinsko-alekseevsky culture represented the superficial soil sepulchral holes surrounded with stone rings. In the Central and East Kazakhstan burial grounds differ in stone structures of various types.

On the brightest burial grounds the late bronze culture of the Central Kazakhstan population was called begazy-dandybayevsk. Both the burial ground, which gave the name of culture, are in the Karaganda region (burial Dandybai currently flooded with reservoir). On Begaza's burial ground the constructions called mausoleums were dug out which were grandiose for that time. They represent the quadrangular rooms. Their walls are put from massive stone blocks and are arranged with the huge stone plates which have kept to the present height to 2 m.  Unfortunately, all of them are plundered still in the ancient time, however the stock remains (bronze products and the very carefully made ceramic vessels), say that in them people of a high social rank were buried. Currently, more than half a century after the excavation work on the mausoleums burial Begazy, carried out restoration works.

Stone mausoleums of  Begazy-Dandybay were also investigated in the cemeteries Enbeksuygush, Aibas-Daras, Bougouly-3 Sangyru-1, Sangyru-3, Horta-2 (all in the Karaganda region).

At present, one of the most important problem questions of Kazakhstan’s  late bronze age archeology  is the ratio of these two cultural entities. Along with the recognition of their coexistence, the concept of existence in most parts of Kazakhstan single-Begazy Dandybay culture, which has had impact on tribes of many adjacent regions of Siberia and South Ural is developed.

Large stone mausoleums, according to this concept, are burial places of governors (leaders) of  local breeding associations, which served by large settlements of protocity type (Kent, Bougouly-1, etc.), and small burials and settlements belonged to the ordinary population.

The largest monument of that time, the settlement with sargarinsk ceramics - Kent (The Karaganda Region), occupying the space of  30 hectares and is applying for the status of the ancient city.

The period of  transition from the Bronze Age to the early Iron Age (VIII century. BCE).

Basic monument is the settlement Dongal (The Karaganda Region) which ceramics was allocated in the special type (dongalsk) combining signs of sargarinsko-alekseevsk ware with features, had development during the subsequent era of early iron. The Dongalsk ceramics was revealed in materials of Kazakhstan and Altai’s many settlements, and also in cemetery ground burials Kyzyl (The Karaganda Region).

Dwellings of that time reduced in size and have a clearly defined common architectural features - walls made of stone slabs, the presence of a hearth from stone bars and exit in the form of "G"-shaped corridor. Formation of dongal type monuments was associated with changes in system of economic activity — transition to mobile nomadic cattle breeding. Subsequently, it changed all shape of culture and for three millennia defined a course of historical processes in a steppe belt of Eurasia.

In Southern Kazakhstan on materials of the settlement Burgulyuk allocates karzhantausk type ceramics, largely similar to dongalsk ware.


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