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Поволжская археология

Painted Astragals of the Bronze Age (Kyrykungir burial ground, East Kazakhstan)

Umitkaliev U. U. (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), Mitko O.A. (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation), Lbova L.V. (Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation)

page 232–246

UDC 903.26+903.082+543.429.9


(1019.18 Kb)
The publication presents materials of the funeral necropolis Kyrykungir (East Kazakhstan), in which two sets of astragals with traces of coloring pigments were discovered. The design of the burials accompanying the inventory and the general archaeological context allows dating these objects from the 12th to 13th centuries BC. Data from archaeozoological analysis and SEM-EDX analysis of the painted surface of objects (alchiks) are present in the paper. The species composition of animals has been established, demonstrating a combination of astragals of both domestic and wild species. A diverse chemical composition of paints with which objects were covered, as well as cases of renewal of staining, was revealed. In the initial version, individual astragals could belong to population with different traditions of making paints, possibly from different regions. The results allow us to offer a different point of view on the phenomenon of the presence of alchiks in archaeological cultures. The range of interpretations of astragals (alchiks) finds implies not only understanding them as elements of game traditions, but also designating their complex social and cultural role in the funeral rites of the population of Eurasia in the Bronze Age.


archaeologyBronze AgeAsyk – Astragal – Alchikgame traditionsfuneral ritepigmentsKazakhstan

About the author(s)

Umitkaliev Ulan U. Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor. Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilyov. Abylaykhan st. 6/7, Nur-Sultan, 010008, Kazakhstan;

Mitko Oleg A. Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor. Novosibirsk State University. Pirogova st., 1, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation;

Lbova Liudmila V. Doctor of Historical Sciences, Full Professor, Professor. St. Petersburg Polytechnic University named by Great Peter. Grazhdansky Prospekt 28, St. Petersburg, 195220, Russian Federation; Novosibirsk State University. Pirogova st., 1, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation;