Wool carpets from Alan burials of the 8th–10th centuries: wool quality and production technology

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of Archeology RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: Institute of Archeology RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: Free University
Address: Germany, Berlin
Affiliation: German Archaeological Institute
Address: Germany, Berlin
Affiliation: Institute of Archeology RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Institute of Archeology RAS, Moscow
Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok
Address: Russian Federation
Journal nameRossiiskaia arkheologiia
EditionIssue 4

A significant part of the textile woolen finds from the early medieval Alan burials in the rock cemeteries of the North-Western Caucasus are woolen carpets, both produced locally and imported. The main types are pile carpets and those without pile. The paper presents the findings on the production technology and wool quality of three samples from the Moshchevaya Balka cemetery and six samples from the Podorvannaya Balka cemetery. For three of them, radiocarbon-calibrated dates were obtained in the interval between the early 8th – the middle 10th century. Technological analysis of wool carpets of four types established that the difference consisted not only in the weaving techniques. Each type is characterized by the use of specific raw wool. The imported carpets were made of high quality wool, typical for regions with a developed tradition of sheep breeding. Carpets with pile bands were produced from medium quality wool. For polychrome pile carpets, they used both wool of mixed type, containing down, intermediate, and coarse fibers, and more homogenous wool with almost no coarse fibers, which, perhaps, indicates a higher stage of sheep breeding development in the importing region. Local carpets are made of two types of wool – the light and the dark one, their quality varying considerably, including within one item. For light wools, they used both dyed and undyed fibers, while the dark ones were not dyed. In the wool of local breeds there is a large amount of coarse fibers, which distinguishes them from other samples. 

Keywordscarpets, quality of wool, Great Silk Road, Moshchevaya Balka, Podorvannaya Balka
Publication date22.01.2019
Cite   Download pdf To download PDF you should sign in
Размещенный ниже текст является ознакомительной версией и может не соответствовать печатной

views: 1895

Readers community rating: votes 0

1. Alberto F. J., Boyer F., Orozco-terWengel P., Streeter I., Servin B., Villemereuil P., Benjelloun B., Librado P., Biscarini F., Colli L., Barbato M., Zamani W., Alberti A., Engelen S., Stella A., Joost S., Ajmone-Marsan P., Negrini R., Orlando L., Rezaei H. R., Naderi S., Clarke L., Flicek P., Wincker P., Coissac E., Kijas J., Tosser-Klopp G., Chikhi A., Bruford M. W., Taberlet P., Pompanon F., Barbato M., 2018. Convergent genomic signatures of domestication in sheep and goats. Nature communications, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 813.

2. Alekseyeva E. P., 1955. Archaeological excavations near the village of Zhako in Cherkessia. KSIIMK [Brief Communications of the Institute for History of Material Culture], 60, pp. 48–53. (In Russ.)

3. Alekseyeva E. P., 1992. Arkheologicheskie pamyatniki Karachayevo-Cherkesii [Archaeological sites of Karachay-Cherkessia]. Moscow: Vost. lit. 216 p.

4. Bidzhiev Kh.Kh., 1983. Khumarinskoye gorodishche [The Khumara fortified settlement]. Cherkessk: Kar.-Cherk. otd. Stavr. knish. izd. 168 p.

5. Brandt L. Ø., Schmidt A. L., Mannering U., Sarret M., Kelstrup C. D., Olsen J. V., Cappellini E., 2014. Species identification of archaeological skin objects from Danish bogs: Comparison between mass spectrometry-based peptide sequencing and microscopy-based methods. PloS One, vol. 9, iss. 9, e106875.

6. Bronk Ramsey C. OxCal Program v4.2.3. Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, 2013 (Electronic resource). URL: http://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/oxcalhelp/ hlp_contents.html.

7. Bronk Ramsey C., 1995. Radiocarbon calibration and analysis of stratigraphy: the OxCal program. Radiocarbon, vol. 37, iss. 2, pp. 425–430.

8. Gleba M., 2012. From textiles to sheep: investigating wool fibre development in pre-Roman Italy using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Journal of Archaeol. Science, vol. 39, iss. 12, pp. 3643–3661.

9. Ierusalimskaja A. A., 1996. Die Gräber der Moscevaja Balka. Munchen: Fruhmittelalterliche Funde an der Nordkaukasischen Seidenstrasse. 338 p., 228 ill.

10. Ierusalimskaya A. A., 1967. On the North Caucasian “Silk Road” in the early Middle Ages. SA [Soviet Archaeology], 2, pp. 55–78. (In Russ.)

11. Ierusalimskaya A. A., 2012. Moshchevaya Balka: Neobychnyy arkheologicheskiy pamyatnik na severokavkazskom shelkovom puti [Moshchevaya Balka: a specific archaeological site on the North Caucasian Silk Road]. St. Petersburg: Izd. GE. 384 p.

12. Kaloyev B. A., 1993. Skotovodstvo narodov Severnogo Kavkaza: s drevneyshikh vremen do nachala XX veka [Cattle breeding of the North Caucasian peoples: from ancient times to the early 20th century]. Moscow: Nauka. 233 p.

13. Karaulov N. A., 1903. References from Arab writers of the 10th and 11th centuries AD on the Caucasus, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Sbornik materialov dlya opisaniya mestnostey i plemen Kavkaza [Collected materials for the description of areas and tribes of the Caucasus], 32. Tiflis. 1, pp. 1–63. (In Russ.)

14. Korobov D. S., 2014. Sistema rasseleniya alan Tsentral’nogo Predkavkaz’ya v I tys. n. e. (landshaftnaya arkheologiya Kislovodskoy kotloviny): dissertatsiya … doktora istoricheskikh nauk (Rukopis’) [The settlement system of the central Ciscaucasian Alans in the 1st Millennium AD (landscape archaeology of the Kislovodsk Depression): the thesis for a Doctoral Degree in History (Manuscript)], 1. Moscow. 610 p.

15. Krupnov E. I., 1960. Drevnyaya istoriya Severnogo Kavkaza [Ancient history of the North Caucasus]. Moscow: Izd. AN SSSR. 520 p.

16. Kuz’min V., 2008. Ancient Christian temples of the Caucasus. Nauka i zhizn’ [Science and Life], 12, pp. 102–111. (In Russ.)

17. Lv F.-H., Peng W.-F., Yang J., Zhao Y.-X., Li W.-R., Liu M.-J., Ma Y.-H., Zhao Q.-J., Yang G.-L., Wang F., Li J.-Q., Liu Y.-G., Shen Z.-Q., Zhao S.-G., Hehua E., Gorkhali N. A., Farhad Vahidi S. M., Muladno M., Naqvi A. N., Tabell J., Iso-Touru T., Bruford M. W., Kantanen J., Han J.-L., Li M.-H., 2015. Mitogenomic meta-analysis identifies two phases of migration in the history of eastern Eurasian sheep. Molecular biology and evolution, vol. 32, iss. 10, pp. 2515–2533.

18. Maan O. V., 2012. Iz istorii torgovo-ekonomicheskikh svyazey drevney i srednevekovoy Abkhazii (VI v. do n. e. – 70-e gg. XIX v.) [From the history of trade and economic relations of ancient and medieval Abkhazia (the 6th century BC – 1870s)]. Sukhum. 344 p.

19. Mamedov T. M., 1993. Kavkazskaya Albaniya v IV–VII vv. [Caucasian Albania in the 4th–7th centuries]. Baku: Maarif. 216 p.

20. Moskalenko L. P., Filinskaya O. V., 2012. Kozovodstvo: uchebnoye posobie dlya studentov vuzov [Goat Breeding: a textbook for university students]. St. Petersburg: Lan’. 272 p.

21. Munchayev R. M., 1975. Kavkaz na zare bronzovogo veka [The Caucasus at the dawn of the Bronze Age]. Moscow: Nauka. 415 p.

22. Orfinskaya O. V., 2001. Tekstil’ VIII–IX vv. iz kollektsii Karachayevo- Cherkesskogo Muzeya: tekhnologicheskie osobennosti v kontekste kul’tury rannesrednevekovoy Evrazii: avtoref. diss. … kand. istor. nauk [Textiles of the 8th–9th centuries from the collection of the Karachay- Cherkess museum: technological features in the context of the early medieval Eurasian culture: a synopsis of the thesis for a Doctoral Degree in history]. Moscow. 20 p.

23. Pakhunov A. S., Elkina I. I., Devlet E. G., Vagner M., Tarasov P. E., 2017. Wool fabrics of the Moshchevaya Balka and the Yanghai cemetery. RA [Russian Archaeology], 3, pp. 46–56. (In Russ.)

24. Rast-Eicher A., 2008. Textilien, Wolle, Schafe der Eisenzeit in der Schweiz. Basel: Archäologie Schweiz. 212 p.

25. Rast-Eicher A., Jørgensen L. B., 2013. Sheep wool in Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe. Journal of Archaeol. Science, vol. 40, iss. 2, pp. 1224–1241.

26. Reimer P. J., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck J. W., Blackwell P. G., Bronk Ramsey C., Buck C. E., Cheng H., Edwards R. L., Friedrich M., Grootes P. M., Guilderson T. P., Haflidason H., Hajdas I., Hatté C., Heaton T. J., Hoffmann D. L., Hogg A. G., Hughen K. A., Kaiser K. F., Kromer B., Manning S. W., Niu M., Reimer R. W., Richards D. A., Scott E. M., Southon J. R., Staff R. A., Turney C. S., van der Plicht J., 2013. IntCal13 and MARINE13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon, vol. 55, iss. 4, pp. 1869–1887.

27. Ryder M. L., 1964. Fleece evolution in domestic sheep. Nature, vol. 204, no. 4958, pp. 555–559.

28. Ryder M. L., 1970. Structure and seasonal change of the coat in Scottish wild goats. Journal of Zoology, vol. 161, no. 3, pp. 355–361.

29. Ryder M. L., 1990. The natural pigmentation of animal textile fibres. Textile history, vol. 21, iss. 2, pp. 135–148.

30. Ryder M. L., 1992. The Interaction between biological and technological change during the development of different fleece types in sheep. Anthropozoologica, 16, pp. 131–140.

31. Savchenko E. I. Opis’ k otchetu Labinskogo otryada za 1982 god (Mogil’nik Moshchevaya Balka) [The list of finds to the report of the Labinsky crew for 1982 (The Moshchevaya Balka cemetery)]. Arkhiv IA RAN [The Archive of the IA RAS], R‑1, № 2358. (Unpublished)

32. Savchenko E. I., 1999. Moshchevaya Balka as a key point of the Great Silk Road in the North Caucasus. RA [Russian Archaeology], 1, pp. 125–140. (In Russ.)

33. Shishlina N. I., Orfinskaya O. V., Golikov V. P., 2003. Bronze Age textiles from the North Caucasus: new evidence of fourth millennium BC fibres and fabrics. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, vol. 22, iss. 4, pp. 331–344.

34. Tekeyev G. X.-U., 1988. New materials from the rock burials of the early Middle Ages in the territory of Karachay- Cherkessia. Voprosy srednevekovoy arkheologii Severnogo Kavkaza: sbornik nauchnykh trudov [Issues of medieval archaeology of the North Caucasus: collected papers]. Cherkessk: Karach.-Cherk. NIIIFE, pp. 151–160. (In Russ.)

35. Zeder M. A., 2008. Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact. Proceed. of the national Academy of Sciences, vol. 105, no. 33, pp. 11597–11604.

Система Orphus