YAVORSKAYA L.V. Exotic Materials of the Bone Artifacts from the Golden Horde Cities’ Excavations

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.3.18

Liliya V. Yavorskaya

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Researcher, Laboratory of the Natural Scientific Methods in Archaeology,

Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 

Dmitriya Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5272-7442


Abstract. The material of bone items discovered during the excavations of the Golden Horde time in Bolgar’s central part has been examined using the methodological technique worked out in the Laboratory of the Natural Scientific Methods, Archaeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The most commonly used material among the bone items studied was animal bone. Its share is about 60 %. Another 30 % are items made of antler. These types of materials for the items along with teeth of domestic and wild mammalia, bird and fish bone were of the local origin and acquired from the animals living in the forest-steppe.

A number of items made of unusual imported bone material, large mammalia teeth, have been found. A pendant made of an inhabitant’s of the Eastern Siberia forests, male Siberian musk deer’s canine (lat. Moschus moschiferus) has been found. It was the first time walrus tusk (lat. Odobenus rosmarus) items were encountered at the Bolgar settlement. An arrowhead with an inscription and a bone seal, both made of this material, can be considered as items marking their owner’s high social status. The material of the well-known in the Golden Horde archaeology ornate bone quiver plaques from Bolgar and Azaq was attributed for the first time. It has been established that the central ornamental area plaques were made of the elephant tusk (lat. - Elephantidae) external layer. The discussed exotic materials were imported to the Golden Horde area from remote regions of Eurasia. It has been suggested and proven that this expensive and “exotic” material could be processed in well-equipped town workshops, which specialized not only in bone carving but also in glassblowing and jewelcrafting.

Key words: the Golden Horde, Bolgar, Azak, bone items, bone material, walrus tusk, ivory, craft workshops.

Citation. Yavorskaya L.V. Exotic Materials of the Bone Artifacts from the Golden Horde Cities’ Excavations. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 206-217. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.3.18.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Exotic Materials of the Bone Artifacts from the Golden Horde Cities’ Excavations by Yavorskaya L.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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