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Izvestiya of Altai State
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The News of Altai State University

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L.M. Pletneva

Spindle Whorls of the Early Iron Age from the Tomsk Ob Region

The paper analyzes an artifact of the archaeological culture — the spindle whorls of the Early Iron Age from the settlements and hill forts of the Tomsk Ob Region belonging to the Shelomok and Kulay cultures. They have not been found yet in the grave fields. They were made of stone, bone, and clay. Most of the spindle whorls from the Tomsk Ob Region are made of stone, and this fact makes it stand out among other cultures, including forest-steppe Altai and Pritobolye. Stone spindle whorls have the largest diameter, and almost all of them are disk-shaped. Bone spindle whorls were very rare. Clay spindle whorls are mostly disc-shaped. One of them is biconical. Stone and clay spindle whorls have different ornaments, but there are dominant patterns in both groups: radially diverging or undulating lines which sometimes divide the surface into four (cross) and more parts. The Kulay spindle whorls of the Kulay are marked with the symbol of this culture — the so called «duck» (S-shaped curve). A minority of the spindle whorls are decorated with recesses. Many of them are not ornamented. The author of the paper shares the opinion of researchers that spindle whorls have utilitarian and sacral functions since each artifact in archeological and traditional cultures has these functions. Judging by the semantics of the ornaments (triangles, sunbeams, direct and wavy lines, cross), spindle whorls are associated with fertility and well-being.

DOI 10.14258/izvasu(2015)4.2-25

Key words: archeological culture, settlements, hill forts, grave fields, spindle whorl, ornament, functions of spindle whorls

Full text at PDF, 12485Kb. Language: Russian.

Tomsk State Pedagogical University (Tomsk, Russia)
E-mail: tspu_kae@mail.ru


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