Yavorskaya L.V. New Data on the Role of Madzhar in Golden Horde Trade of Skin and Leather Products: Archeozoological Aspect

Liliya V. Yavorskaya, Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of the Natural Scientific Methods in Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dmitriya Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation
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Abstract. Documentary sources on Italian sea trade of the 13th – 14th centuries report about the export of large volumes of animal skins and processed leathers from the Golden Horde. A significant problem was the finding out places of slaughtering livestock and processing raw materials of animal origin by archaeological methods, since organic remains are not preserved in the cultural layers of settlements and cities of the Golden Horde. The article analyzes three collections of animal bones from archaeological excavations in the craftsmen’s quarter of the Golden Horde city of Madzhar during 2014–2017. In the 2014 year’s collection at excavation site no. X (10), where the master of bone carving lived, a fact of special selection of goat and ram horns for products being manufactured of their horn covers was identified, aside from production wastes of a dense horn. In pit no. 2 (2016), an archaeozoological research has revealed a specific anatomical set of domestic ungulates remains: shattered heads and distal parts of the legs, which can be formed only as a result of massive slaughter of livestock to obtain skins. At excavation site no. XIII of 2017, archaeozoological research was able to record not only a specific anatomical set, but also traces of the use of small cattle bones in leather processing devices, which, combined with the archaeological context, made it possible to identify the presence of a specialized seasonal leather workshop on this site. It was established that cattle was slaughtered right in the cities, as well as artisans processed the obtained skins on specially equipped seasonal workshop sites. Thus, archaeozoological research showed that Madzhar, like other cities, participated in the production of animal skins and leather, which subsequently became the most important export products of the Golden Horde state.
Key words: The Golden Horde, the city of Madzhar, archaeozoological analysis, anatomical set of bone residues, leather production, export of animal skin.
Citation. Yavorskaya L.V., 2020. New Data on the Role of Madzhar in Golden Horde Trade of Skin and Leather Products: Archeozoological Aspect. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 202-210. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.11
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New Data on the Role of Madzhar in Golden Horde Trade of Skin and Leather Products: Archeozoological Aspect by Yavorskaya L.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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