The Holocene Environment and Transition to Agriculture in Boreal Russia (Serteya Valley Case Study)

Pavel M. Dolukhanov1, Anvar M. Shukurov2, Kh.A. Arslanov3, A.N. Mazurkevich4, L.A. Savel'eva3, E.N. Dzinoridze3, M.A. Kulkova5 and Ganna I. Zaitseva5

1School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU, UK.
2School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU, UK.
3Institute of Geography, University of St. Petersburg, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
4Hermitage Nuseum, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
5Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Pavel M. Dolukhanov pavel.dolukhanov@ncl.ac.uk Anvar M. Shukurov anvar.shukurov@ncl.ac.uk

Cite this as: P. Dolukhanov et al. 2004 'The Holocene Environment and Transition to Agriculture in Boreal Russia (Serteya Valley Case Study)', Internet Archaeology 17. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.17.3

Summary

Table of Contents | This article is Open Access

This article outlines the results of one of the aspects of a multidisciplinary project currently conducted in the upper part of the basin of the Western Dvina River in North-Western Russia. The project was targeted at prehistoric lake dwelling sites in the valley of Serteya River, a small tributary of the Western Dvina, and aimed at the precise dating of the initial transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture in that area. The methods used included pollen, diatom and geochemical analyses under strict time control provided by radiocarbon dating. The initial settlement emerged at c. 6200 cal. BC, when the valley was filled by a fresh water lake with a relatively high lake-level. The initial indices of agriculture became perceptible in the deposits of Usvyatian Culture (4600-3400 cal. BC), featuring large-scale constructions of pile-dwellings. Indices of swidden type agriculture became apparent in the deposits of Zhizhitsian Culture, 2300-2200 cal. BC.

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