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Поволжская археология

To the Question about the Functions of Rural Settlements in the Economic System of the Golden Horde

Yavorskaya L.V. (Moscow, Russian Federation)

page 136–147

UDC 902


(489.55 Kb)
The study posed a question – nomadic steppe or rural settlements provided the cities of the Golden Horde with meat food. In the meat consumption of all the studied cities, the most important place was occupied by beef – the products of mainly rural settlements, lamb and horse meat – the products of steppe cattle breeding, played an auxiliary role. In the cities around which there were unlimited areas for grazing cattle, the proportion of beef in the diet was significantly, 10–20% higher than in steppe and semi-desert cities along the lower reaches of the Volga and Akhtuba, where a narrow strip of azonal landscapes significantly limited grazing. In cities that functioned in the 13th and 14th centuries, the proportion of beef increased significantly in the 14th century. This is due to the formation of rural districts by the 14th century and the establishment of regular supplies of the main meat product from them. The study of archaeozoological collections from five rural settlements of the Volga region and the Crimea revealed a high – 80–85%, the proportion of beef in their meat diet. This means a very high number of cattle kept in rural settlements in relation to other types of domestic ungulates. The villagers of the Golden Horde were engaged in specialized cattle breeding and were the main suppliers of meat products to the Golden Horde cities. In addition, they were important participants in the export of animal skins in the economic system of the state.


archaeologyGolden Hordecitiesrural settlementsmeat productsbeefspecialized cattle breedingresource zones

About the author(s)

Yavorskaya Liliya V. Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology RAS. Dm. Ulianova st., 19, Moscow, 420012, Russian Federation;