Vladimir R. Erlikha,#, Aleksandr A. Kleshchenkob,##, Evgeny I. Gakc,###, Georgy L. Godizovd,####

a The State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow, Russia
b Institute of Archaeology RAS, Moscow, Russia
c The State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia
d North Caucasian Branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art, Maykop, Russia

#E-mail: verlikh@bk.ru
##E-mail: sansanych@bk.ru
###E-mail: e.i.gak@mail.ru
####E-mail: ggodizov@gmail.com

Keywords: Northwest Caucasus, Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, post-dolmen sites, periodization.

The article is focused on the results of studying the archaeological complex of Shushuk, which after its uncovering near the village of Pobeda (Maykop district of the Republic of Adygea) in 2015 has become a reference post-dolmen site of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages in the foothills of the Northwest Caucasus. The authors use the term “post-dolmen sites” to mean the entire variety of burial structures in the region of the specified period including the reuse of dolmens and their fragments, which were left not by the builders of dolmens. The most characteristic post-dolmen structure is cyst-frames, in which dolmen slabs are used. Based on the grave goods and the obtained radiocarbon dates, three periods of the site’s existence are distinguished. The Shushuk-I period (the Middle Bronze Age) is subdivided into two chronological groups (IA and IB). This period dates back to the 28th–24th centuries BC, although some burial complexes do not exclude its functioning until the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The Shushuk-II period (the beginning of the Late Bronze Age) does not extend beyond the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. The Shushuk-III period (the developed and final stages of the Late Bronze Age) is confined to the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. The paper correlates a number of post-dolmen sites known in the foothills of the Northwest Caucasus with the proposed periodization of the Shushuk archaeological complex.

DOI: 10.31857/S0869606322010056