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

Archaeological studies in the North-West coats of the Gydan peninsula.

S.N. Skochina, D.N. Enshin

Institute of the North Development, SB RAS, Tyumen



The currently available knowledge about the processes of  human colonization of the Arctic zone of Eurasia in antiquity and the Middle Ages is quite fragmentary. One of the least studied in this respect areas is the Gydan Peninsula. In 2015-2016 a team of the Institute of the North Development, SB RAS performed a comprehensive archeologo-ethnographic study of the Gydan. As a result two Middle Age camp sites Khaltsyneisalya 1 and 2 were discovered. As of today these sites are the northernmost known archeological sites in the territory of the peninsula.[Enshin, 2016].

Both sites were discovered on the west coast of the peninsula in the neighborhood of Khaltsyneisalya cape not far from the Khaltsanayakha river estuary in the Gulf of Ob. Both sites were geomorphologically referred to similar systems - butte-lake and channel-river.

In the process of the study over 100 artifacts were obtained including ceramic pots shreds, stone and iron items. Analysis of the ceramics suggested possible uniformity of the complexes from both sites. All in all 12 predominantly pot-shaped vessels with flat bottoms and a thickening on the outside under the rim were identified by the collars. The upper part of the vessels was densely ornamented with sparse ornamentation of the body. The ornament was made with a comb stamp and a rod with rounded or rhombic work edge. Main elements of ornamentation were slanted comb stamp imprints, horizontal straight or wavy lines, and pit impressions (Fig. 1, 1-4).

The  Khaltsyneisalya 1 materials were represented with three stone tools on dark-gray siliceous sandstone plates fashioned in bifacial edge striking technique.  Two of them (Fig. 1, 6, 7) had been used as scrapers for hides treatment, the third tool had no traces of wear.  On Khaltsyneisalya 2 site only an iron knife fragment was found (Fig. 1, 5).

The closest analogues to this complex were found mostly in the Yamal peninsula -  Tiutei-Sale 1 (early complex - 5th-7th centuries AD), Bukhta Nakhodka, camp sites in the basins of the rivers Nguri-Yakha and Yuneta-Yakha, a group of sites on lakes Yarte, camp site Mutnaya 5, Malaya Khadyga VI, in the complexes on lake Murymalto, the Yuribei river, occupation site Pyasyadeiyakha 2 near Novy Port village; in the Gydan materials the analogues were found in the materials of occupation site  Torato 7 [Fedorova, Kosintsev, Fitzhugh 1998; Bagashev, Volkov, 2004; Zakh, Ryabogina, Ivanov, 2005; Plekhanov, 2013]  The ceramic complexes of the described group of sites became known as the "Tiuteisalinski type ceramics" and were dated as the Middle Ages period around the 5th-8th centuries AD.

In this way today we have archaeological evidence of colonization of the Gydan Peninsula in the Middle Ages by the population of Tiuteisalinski cultural tradition, the representatives of which reached even its northernmost territories.




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  2. Zakh V.A., Ryabogina N.E., Ivanov S. I. Yamal studies near Novy Port // Vestnik of archeology, anthropology and ethnography. - Tyumen: Institute of the North Development, SB RAS Press. 2005. – Issue 5. – PP. 223-226.
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  4. Plekhanov A. V. Yamal Arctic in the Middle Ages: classic tundra zone sites).// Russian North archaeology. from the Iron Age to the Russian Empire. Russian archaeological research conference. Surgut, 1-4 October 2013 / Papers". Ed. V.A. Borzunov. – Ekaterinburg-Surgut: "Magellan" Press, 2013. – PP. 157-166.
  5. Enshin D.N. Research Project Report: Archaeological studies in Purovsky and Tazovsky districts of the Yamal-Nenets AO in 2015. – Tyumen: Institute of the North Development, SB RAS Archive, 2016.


List of Illustrations:

Fig. 1. 1 – location map of Khaltsyneisalya sites 1, 2; 2-4 – Tiuteisalinski type ceramics; 5 – iron knife fragment; 6-8 – stone tools; 

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