Olga N. Korochkova

Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

E-mail: Olga.Korochkova@urfu.ru

Keywords: the Urals, the Bronze Age, the West Asian metallurgical province, the Koptyaki culture, the Seima-Turbino phenomenon

The focus is on the phenomenon of the Koptyaki culture in the Middle Trans-Ural region of the early Bronze Age demonstrating the formation of a production centre in predominantly appropriating economic environment. A limited area, a small number of sites, among which the sanctuary Shaitanskoye Lake II occupies a prominent place, an unprecedented number of metal objects (over 200 are known today), the “eneolithic” appearance of some groups of pottery – all this distinguishes the Koptyaki culture sharply against the background of neighbou-ring and remote synchronous metalliferous cultures of the first third of the 2nd millennium BC (Petrovka, Alakul, Krotovo, Tashkovo, and Odinovo). Such an unusual combination of signs testifying to advanced metal process­ing technology, on the one hand, and to the preservation of many archaic features of the preceding stone era, on the other hand, requires a balanced assessment and emphasizes a particular model of the introduction and development of innovations by people living in a region devoid of conditions for cattle breeding and agriculture development. The author proposes a hypothesis of conjugation of the Ural metal complex with copper ore de­posits of the Middle Trans-Urals. There is a sort of paradox which deserves a special discussion: the formation of an independent metal-working centre in the Trans-Urals in the early 2nd millennium BC which absorbed the latest achievements of the principal technological traditions of the era – those of Seyma-Turbino and Petrovka-Alakul – took place in a zone that did not provide the conditions for food production. The latter circumstance seems to be important, since it significantly expands our idea of the resource base of the Eurasian forest belt cul­tures and reveals the factors and conditions that ensure their integration into the system of ties of the West Asian (Eurasian) metallurgical province.

DOI: 10.31857/S086960630003386-3