More than a year ago, a whole series of materials on the subject of the emergence of metallurgy and the characteristics of the Aeneolithic = copper-stone age on the territory of the Old and New Worlds was published on the pages of IN. The conclusion was made about the polycentrism of the onset of metallurgy, the centers of copper metallurgy, the ancient cities, whose inhabitants already knew how to process the metal, and the migration routes of the ancient metallurgists were considered. Now it is time to get acquainted with the era when people learned to add ligatures such as arsenic, zinc, silver and, of course, tin to copper. And when they learned this, the copper age ended, and the bronze age came!
Cast bronze daggers "log" culture. State Hermitage.
And it so happened that in the vast territories of Europe and Asia, which were outside the zone of the first slave-owning states, at the turn of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. e., as well as in these countries themselves, conditions have developed that contributed to the development of bronze casting technology. At the same time, it coincided with the success in cattle breeding, which marked the entire second half of the 3rd millennium in gigantic open spaces from the Yenisei to the Iberian Peninsula. Improving nutritional patterns contributed to the rapid increase in fertility. And the growth of the population in turn immediately undermined the foundations of tribal relations. Now wealth began to accumulate in the form of livestock, but also clashes with other tribes were more frequent due to good pastures and fresh water sources that were of particular importance in the steppe regions. The war for the sake of enrichment due to the robbery of neighbors has now become a profitable fishery. What do the settlements of ancient herders, surrounded by high earthen ramparts and deep moats, found in the Upper Rhine region and in the lands of western France, tell us.
Bronze spearhead from the Museum of the Hallville family on Hamngatan Street, 4 building, in Stockholm.
The different tribes that inhabited Europe and North Asia, the Bronze Age in time mostly coincided with the II millennium BC. e., but for many it was preserved even at the beginning of the next I millennium. All this time, the development of patriarchal-clan relations was going on here and the dominant position of men both in the clan and in the family itself was strengthened. In the same Bronze Age traces of plow farming are becoming more numerous. Ancient ancestral communities are united into whole populous tribes, and at the head is the national assembly of male warriors. But as the number of these tribal associations continues to grow, only members of the communities closest to the place of the general meeting now take part in directing the life of the tribe. The rest of the meetings are represented by their elders and military leaders. Thus, power was more and more separated from the mass of the rest of the tribesmen. And so it is in the hands of the aristocracy, and power, and strength, and wealth, as well as the administration of all religious rites, because the elders and leaders of tribal military units often become priests to be closer to the gods and to be able to rely on their authority. and will.
Vessel "log" culture. State Hermitage.
If we look at the map of Europe and Asia of the beginning of the II millennium BC. Oe., we can see that to the east of the Yenisei River in the territory of the Baikal region and in the Baikal steppes, since the Aeneolithic era, the population of Glavkovo culture has lived (after the name of the suburb of Glavkovo in the city of Irkutsk, where many of its finds were found) in turn, it will be possible to see the presence of connections with the characteristic early Bronze culture in ... North China.
Chinese three-legged vessel of the Shang Dynasty from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The whole territory of modern Kazakhstan, the steppe and forest-steppe zones of Western Siberia, the Southern Urals and to the Caspian Sea is occupied by the Andronovo culture tribes (Andronovskaya was named after the very first find made near the village of Andronovo, in the south of Achinsk district in the Krasnoyarsk Territory), in this era its bulk is strikingly culturally homogeneous, even though they dwelt in a vast space. Further to the west, in the region of the Lower and Middle Volga, in the Black Sea steppes to the Dnieper, and further south to present-day Odessa, and in the north to the Oka River basin, there was a second huge community of tribes belonging to the “Srubnaya” culture They called for the characteristic ritual of burial of the deceased in wooden log cabins under bulk mounds.), and close to Andronovtsy culture. Also, the tribes close to her lived in Central Asia, which, incidentally, is not surprising, given their localization.
Bronze cast vessel of the Shang dynasty era from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Regarding the North Caucasus, it can be said that, although modern science considers the monuments found there as belonging to several different cultures, nevertheless, it considers that all of them were closely related to each other. For example, many features of related cultures are found in the monuments of the Bronze Age, found on the territory of Georgia and in Armenia.
Typical bronze ax of bell-shaped cup culture of the Early Bronze Age era 2300 - 2000 BC. Discovered near Budapest. (Historical Museum, Budapest)
Reconstruction of the burial culture of bell-shaped cups. (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid)
The territory of the Volga-Oka interfluve belonged to the Fatyanovo culture tribes, and the Middle Podneprovye region from the Eneolithic period was inhabited by the tribes of the Middle Dnieper culture. The center of Europe — the districts of the Czech Republic, then Lower Austria, Silesia, Saxony, and Thuringia — belonged first to the tribes of the culture of bell-shaped cup fields, and then to the tribes of Unitez culture, so named after the cemetery near the village of Unetitsa near Prague (2300 — 1600 of the year BC) , and eventually transformed into a Lusatian culture (the Luzhitsky culture was named after the region in Germany, and where the burial of this culture was first discovered.).
Reconstruction of the ax of the puddle culture. Biskupin Museum. Poland.
This culture has spread even wider and has covered a wide area in both Germany and Poland. Then its influence spread to the south - to the lands of the Danube Basin, where in the territory of modern Hungary a special center of bronze culture was formed, which had a connection through the Balkans with a powerful Cretan-Mycenaean civilization.
1700 Ax - 1200's BC. Discovered in the territory of Hungary. (Historical Museum, Budapest)
At the very beginning of the Bronze Age in northern Italy, France and the Iberian Peninsula, in the Eneolithic, the formation of a large center of ancient European metallurgy took place. The south of the Iberian Peninsula was inhabited by tribes of El-Argars culture (named for the locality of El Argars in southern Spain). The British Isles are also characterized by constancy of culture. This is the general cultural and historical picture characteristic of the beginning of the II millennium BC. er., and which over time, of course, could not remain unchanged.
Sample ceramics El-Agar culture. (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid)
Bronze sword of el-argarsky culture (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid)
CULTURES IN DETAILS
Now we will talk about the centers of culture of this ancient era and how they changed over time. So, let's start with the fact that the huge region of Eurasia in the Bronze Age was inhabited by the Andronov and “Srubnaya” cultures. At first they lived in the Middle Volga and the Southern Urals, and their culture had a great resemblance to the tribes of the catacomb and pit culture. But then at the beginning of the Bronze Age they moved further east up to the Minusinsk Basin, and in the west they reached the Dnieper and the lands in the lower course of the Southern Bug. It is believed that they first domesticated the horse as beef cattle, and later as a means of transportation. But they also engaged in farming, that is, they became more settled and began to settle in large settlements. The maintenance of cattle in their stalls in the winter was also known to them, that is, they already possessed a multitude of skills inherent in people of a fairly high level of civilization. Although with regard to writing, it was unknown to them.
Bronze Age Stone Maces (Museum of Archeology and Ethnography of Tyumen State University)
This is proved by the excavation of the Andronovo settlement near the village of Alekseevsky, on the Tobol River, where the remains of livestock pens, including covered ones, were found near the dwellings. The inhabitants of the Andronovo and "log houses" villages united into communities, each of which was completely autonomous. The inhabitants of the villages made fabrics and sewed clothes from them, owned knitting techniques, worked on leather and fur, and made leather shoes. Tools, tools and weapon - all this was also produced by masters who were available in each community. Andronovtsy also skillfully sculpted pottery. Pots differed well polished surface and beautiful geometric patterns, similar to the complex patterns of Central Asian carpets.
Already in the early burials of Srubna culture, foundry molds were found for casting battle axes of characteristic shape, which came here from Dvorichya through the Caucasus. Daggers, spear and arrowheads, and, of course, various jewelery - earrings, bracelets and plaques that decorated the clothes were made of bronze. Initially, casting was carried out near the house. But as the technology and the range of products became more complex, specialists appeared - foundry workers. Many lived in communities, but by the end of II millennium BC. er wandering masters appeared and, apparently, there were quite a lot of them. Moving from one community to another, they worked to order and walked, and most likely, drove on carts further to where the work was for them. To this day, many buried treasures with casting molds, bronze ingots, metal scrap and finished products have been preserved. They are found throughout the territory where the tribes of “Srubna” culture lived, as well as in many areas of Western and Southern Siberia, as well as in Kazakhstan.
Arrowheads: bone, bronze. (Museum of Archeology and Ethnography of Tyumen State University)
At the same time, the development of bronze-casting caused a revival of trade between the tribes, and those tribes and communities in whose lands metal deposits were discovered engaged in their mining. Such areas of ancient metallurgy were found in many areas of the USSR, again in Kazakhstan, in the southern Urals and in the Caucasus.
Again, treasures tell us about the formation of the clan aristocracy, who had the opportunity to acquire richly decorated weapons, articles made of gold and precious stone. Another sign of the presence of aristocracy is the huge bulk mounds.
One of the most famous is the mound in the tract "Three Brothers", located near the city of Steppe. There is no doubt that only a lot of people could fill such a huge mound. The “Wide Grave” barrow on the Lower Dnieper, near the village of Lepetiha, and barrows in the steppes of Central Kazakhstan are just as huge. As a rule, they hide the rich burials of the leaders inside the stone crypts.
The study of ancient settlements and burial mounds of the Andronovo culture shows that many of their features then became very characteristic of Sakas and Savromats already in the 6th — 4th centuries. BC er The anthropological study of the remains of ancient Andronovites and Savromats also suggests genetic affinity, which suggests that those tribes that created Andronovo culture, both in culture and language, were the direct ancestors of the Saks and Sauromats, that is, their language belonged to the Iranian branch. Indo-European language group. The language of the Scythians, Savromats (and later Sarmatians), Sakas, and from modern - Ossetian language, ascending to one of the ancient dialects of the Sarmatian language, all belong to the East Iranian subgroup of Indo-Iranian languages of the Indo-European language family.
Karasuk burial. Landscape Museum-Reserve Kazanovka.
In the second half of the II millennium BC. er Andronian tribes began to spread southward and eventually settled on the lands of southern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where numerous monuments belonging to their culture were discovered. Finds of artifacts similar to those of the Andronovo culture are also found on the territory of ancient Khorezm and also in the south of Central Asia, right up to the borders of modern Afghanistan and even Iran, that is, their habitat was extremely wide.
Typical Karasuk knife. Found in China, belonged to the era of Shang. (Chernusky Museum, Paris)
But then something happened that caused such a strong change in the culture of the Andronovs that in the areas of the Middle Yenisei and Altai a culture of its own arose, called Karasuk (1500 — 800 BC), so named after the excavation of the cemetery on the river Karasuk. Another form was pottery; bronze articles also became completely different in appearance than in Andronovo time; in addition to traditional farming, cattle breeding and, first of all, sheep breeding became widespread; and the population of the region has become more mobile. Even the physical type has changed and has become more close to the type similar to the type of population of Northern China. Perhaps the reason lies in the mass migration of Chinese from North China? Later, this assumption was confirmed by studying the Karasuk monuments. It turned out that the bronze products of Karasuk were changing in proportion to the distance to the Great Wall of China. This was confirmed by the fact that on the Karasuk steles (vertically installed stone slabs-monuments), the ornaments directly go back to the typically Yin ones.
Two bronze knives. (Chernusky Museum, Paris)
The Yin vessels on three hollow legs were found in the Baikal region, as well as in the Minusinsk Basin and in the Altai, where Karasuk monuments are especially abundant, and in Kazakhstan - in the Semipalatinsk region and near Zaisan Lake. Moreover, according to the Chinese chronicles, it was in these places that the Din-ling tribes living in North China and close to the Chinese were settled. So most likely they brought with them to South Siberia their techniques of bronze-casting skill, which in turn were borrowed by them from residents of the Shang (Yin) kingdom in China.
Bronze Age Knife Reconstruction. (Museum of Archeology and Ethnography of Tyumen State University)
Karasuk monuments are found in Siberia until the VIII century. BC Oe., when there begin to spread gradually ornaments and products that bear the imprint of Scythian culture. At the same time, and first of all in Altai, the first products made of iron appeared. The burial rite was the burial of the deceased in a stone box under the bulk mound. Daggers and knives of characteristic shape, pendants, beads, metal plates and buttons are found in the burials. Total found over 2000 such graves. It is believed that it was precisely in Karasuk time that the horse ceased to be only a means of infiltration, and it began to be used already for riding. Warriors of the Karasuk culture were armed with spears with cast bronze tips with slots on the blades and bronze piercing swords, like the swords of Crete-Mykene.
Bronze sword rapier. (Lyon Historical Museum - Gadan Museum)
To be continued ...