First bonfires on Taimyr lit 6000 years ago
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First bonfires on Taimyr lit 6000 years ago

January 29, 2021

The fact that Taimyr has been constantly inhabited since the Mesolithic era was discovered by the largest specialist in the field of archeology of Siberia and the Far North, Leonid Hlobystin.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In 1967, when the first excavations began by the Polar Expedition of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of Archeology’s Leningrad Branch in Taimyr, its 36-year-old leader was already a recognized scientist.

It was Hlobystin who became the organizer of the expedition, which spent nine seasons researching the most ancient cultures of the Siberian Arctic. During that time, over two hundred monuments from the Mesolithic to the Middle Ages were discovered and studied in Taimyr. Before the start of excavations, Hlobystin’s team knew only four of them on the territory.

Leonid Hlobystin

From the very beginning of the Taimyr epic, the scientist made friends with the local history museum in Dudinka. In 1967, on the occasion of their 30th anniversary, museum workers received premises and actively collected funds. The basis of its archaeological collection was the unique finds, donated by Leonid Hlobystin.

The Middle Stone Age in the collection is represented on Taimyr by cores and knife-like blades from the Mesolithic site Tagenar IV.

On Tagenar, archaeologists of the Polar Expedition unearthed the remains of one of the sites. There, around the fireplace lay numerous knife-like plates, jasper cores from which the plates were chipped off, and scrapers, incisors, blades made of them, inserted into the bases of bone and wood.

The era of the Neolithic, the New Stone Age is illustrated by chisels and arrowheads found at the Taimyr site of Maimeche I. Here, a round pit was excavated for a dwelling of the Golomo-earth plague type, in which the peoples of Taimyr lived at the beginning of the 20th century.

In the sixth year of research, the head of the expedition, together with the archaeologist Albert Melentyev, at the mouth of the Polovinka river, not far from Norilsk, excavated the ancient settlement of Abylaakh I. In Ust-Polovinka, as they named the place, one of the five bronze casting workshops found in Taimyr was discovered. Hlobystin showed Nikolay Urvantsev the fragments of crucibles and bilges, drops of casting from this site. The discoverer of the Norilsk riches, after laboratory analysis, informed the archaeologist that some of the samples contained copper from the Norilsk-1 deposit. So it turned out that the people of the Bronze Age used the Norilsk native copper. Finds from the sites of that era also ended up in the archaeological collection of the Taimyr Museum.

At the age of 52, in March 1983, Leonid Hlobystin brilliantly defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic  of Ancient history of the Taimyr Arctic and issues of the formation of cultures in northern Eurasia. The work carried out by the scientist during the nine most difficult field seasons in Taimyr made the territory of the peninsula the most archaeologically studied. The finds, handed over to scientists in the local history museum, illustrate the discoveries.

In March 2021, museum workers are preparing to celebrate the world-famous archaeologist’s 90th birth anniversary. Leonid Hlobystin died in 1988. He lived very little, but managed to do so much.

Read about other unique items from local museums in our Artefacts section.

Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: Taimyr Museum of Local Lore

January 29, 2021

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