East Kazakhstan, Bronze Age, hoard, metal tools, cauldron.
Abstract: This article presents a hoard of the Bronze Age metal objects found in the East Kazakhstan region. Paralels to the items from the hoard are found among antiquities of the Andronovo culture of the Altai, the Tien Shan area, Jetysu, Xinjiang. The assemblage from Zaisan published here enlarged the group of hoards typical for the Late Bronze Age. The most interesting objects among the ones included in the hoard are the riveted cauldron and the axe with curved butt and grid decoration.
Archaeological studies revealed the wide distribution of axes with curved butts that allow us to consider them as characteristic instruments of the Late Bronze Age period in the areas of East Kazakhstan, the Altai, Jetysu, Central Asia, and the northern part of Central Asia. Researchers came to the conclusion that this type of axes can be dated to the 12th - 9th (poss. 8th) centuries BC.
Metal vessels of the Late Bronze Age (especially, the copper ones) are rarely found in the eastern part of the Euasian steppes. Besides the cauldron described in the article, some metal vessels were discovered in Central Kzakhstan at the cemeteries of Ashchisu and Nurataldy-1 (20th - 19th centuries BC). Also, similar objects are known among the materials of the Izmailov cemetery in East Kazakhstan, and metal items of the Andreevka hoard from south-eastern Kazakhstan dated to the 12th - 9th (poss. 8th) centuries BC.
Meanwhile, the closest parallels to the cauldron from the Zaisan hoard can be seen in the western part of Eurasia. Taking into account V.S. Bochkarev's classification that consists of three main groups of metal cauldrons, the vessel from East Kazakhstan may occupy an intermediate position between the groups IIB and IIIB. This allows us to date the cauldron to the end of the 13th - 12th centuries BC, while the more probable date for the Zaisan hoard as a whole lays within the range of the 12th - 9th centuries BC.
List of illustrations:
Fig. 1. Localization of the hoard in relation to the settlements of Oskemen, Zaisan, Kokjyra, and Daiyr (prepared by D. Duisenbay).
Fig. 2. The Zaisan hoard. 1-2 - Chisels; 3-5 - adzes (photo by S. Starikov).
Fig. 3. The Zaisan hoard. 1 - Axe; 2 - axe fragment; 3 - punch; 4 - socketed hammer (photo by S. Starikov).
Fig. 4. The Zaisan hoard. 1 - Hook; 2 - bronze rings (photo by S. Starikov).
Fig. 5. The Zaisan hoard. Metal vessel (photo by S. Starikov).