International Scientific Conference "Archeology of the Arctic"
November 19-23, 2017

The study and preservation of archaeological sites in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district: perspective directions.

The study and preservation of archaeological sites in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District: perspective directions.


North of the Western Siberia is the unique region even in worldwide circumpolar area. This statement is determined by its boundary situation between European and Asian northern areas and amazing condition of native cultures comparing other European and Northern America regions. These features of Western Siberian Arctic and Subarctic territories bring the great study potentials for researcher. The retrospective analysis of regional cultures allows to model the human occupation of the North, formation of the economical and biological adaptation system, cultural interaction in altitude and longitude directions, preservation and translation mechanism of traditions etc. The realization of these potentials and the modelling can help to create the history of the region and to solve some actual current problems.

Historical cultural heritage of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District consists the archaeological sites first of all because there weren’t any towns with stone buildings till the end of XIX century; wooden buildings are very rare. Human occupation of the region take place in Stone Age (about 20 millennium BC), and the archaeologic sites of Mesolithic are known here with 8 millennium BC.

More than 500 archaeological sites from the earliest stages of the human history till Late Medieval times are known at the moment. Eleven sites and site complexes are attributed as Stone Age (Paleolithic-Neolithic), 60 - as Eneolithic-Bronze Age, 47 - as Early Iron Age, 102 - as Medieval Age, 10 - as Late Medieval Age. Russian town is only one. The most part of sites are in complexes with geterochronic HCH objects that could total from 2-3 till 20-30. Their presence relates with degree of researches of one or another territory; wide survey studies of Purovsky region YNAD and Bovanenkovsky GCF allow to find such complexes. The collections of artifacts of these sites are deposited and exhibited in Yamal-Nenets District’s Museum-exhibition complex named by I.S.Shemanovsky.

Two archaeological sites have the Federal status - ancient sanctuary Ust’-Poluy (Early Iron Age, I century BC - I century AD) and the only one Russian town in the territory of District - Mangasea (1602-1672).

The preservation of cultural heritage in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District has particular importance, encoded in the legislation of the Russian Federation. Research conducted in compliance with Federal Law No.73, associated with economic development, is the primary (sometimes only) source of archaeological data in areas with inaccessible archaeological sites. Conducting surveys on areas of planned development or land allocation, and rescue excavation of threatened archaeological sites help mitigate the loss of archaeological information about the prehistory of the Russian Arctic.

The key components of archaeological practice in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District are survey (characterizing historic and cultural resources in a given area), developing a conservation plan, and rescuing important tangible heritage in construction zones and areas of operational facilities/industrial zones. Regular monitoring of archaeological sites, control after execution of their preservation, archaeological survey of river basin and sea coast are the general tasks that could solve by academic institutions, government organizations geared towards protection of cultural heritage, and regional science institutions are focused  on implementing current legislation, preservation of national cultural heritage, and obtaining scientific knowledge about Artic history.

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