Boldyreva E.M., Vasilyev D.V., Zilivinskaya E.D. Yurta-Shaped Dwellings and Buildings of the X-XII Centuries in Samosdelka Hillfort

 
Ekaterina M. Boldyreva, Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher, Department of Archaeological Monuments, State Historical Museum, Red Square, 1, 125009 Moscow, Russian Federation
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Dmitriy V. Vasilyev, Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of School “Archaeology of Low Volga Region”, Astrakhan State University, Tatischev St., 20а, 414056 Astrakhan, Russian Federation
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Emma D. Zilivinskaya, Doctor of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher of the Department of Physical Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prosp. Leninsky, 32a, 119334 Moscow, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article is devoted to the publication of a number of Yurta-shaped dwellings of the X-XII centuries, discovered during excavations at the Samosdelka hillfort in the Volga Delta and at Left-Bank Samosdelka settlement, adjacent to the mentioned hillfort. The hillfort is known as the place of the supposed localization of the medieval cities of Saqsin (XI-XIV centuries) and Itil (IX-X centuries). The article briefly describes the planigraphy of the archaeological monument and the conditions of four circular dwellings discovering. Three of them belong to the X century and date back to the Khazar era. One dwelling has a more complex structure and belongs to the heyday of the city of Saqsin (XI-XII centuries). The design features of dwellings are analyzed, and archaeological and ethnographic analogies are given to both dwellings as a whole and to their individual elements. Two early circular buildings had no traces of a fireplace inside, so we can consider them not as dwellings, but yurta-shaped structures for household purposes. There were fireplaces in one building of the X century, found on the periphery of the Left-Bank settlement, as well as in the construction of the XI-XII centuries in the Central part of the hillfort. We can rightfully call these structures yurta-shaped dwellings. The last building has the most complex design, it is made using burnt square-shaped bricks for lining the edge of the laying bench and the walls in the basement. Bricks were also used as supports for poles and pillars. The presence of bricks indicates the time of the appearance of this dwelling after dismantling the hillfort citadel walls for getting building materials out of them. The discovered dwelling is a confirmation of the words of Abu Hamid al-Garnati, who wrote that in the city of Saqsin, the noble Oguzes had large “tents” like domes that can accommodate a large number of people. We can find direct analogies to such dwellings in the construction of Kazakh yurta-shaped buildings of the XIX - early XX centuries.
Key words: Samosdelka hillfort, Khazar era, the city of Saqsin, the Volga Delta, Yurta-shaped dwelling.
Citation. Boldyreva E.M., Vasilyev D.V., Zilivinskaya E.D., 2020. Yurta-Shaped Dwellings and Buildings of the X-XII Centuries in Samosdelka Hillfort. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 211-229. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.12
 
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Yurta-Shaped Dwellings and Buildings of the X-XII Centuries in Samosdelka Hillfort by Boldyreva E.M., Vasilyev D.V., Zilivinskaya E.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.





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