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New Studies of Bolgar Ceramics: Historical and Cultural Approach

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.2, No. 32)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 228-237

Keywords : archaeology; Bolgar fortified settlement; pottery; firing; historical and cultural approach; pre-Mongol period;

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The many years of history of the studies of Bolgar ceramics have resulted in the need for its division into subgroups in accordance with certain visually identified signs: design technology, color and relative plasticity of clay, presence of impurities in the dough, and firing degree. Over ten subgroups of common Bolgar group of ceramics were identified based on the materials from the excavations at Bolgar fortified settlement. Of particular interest is the ceramic material from layers VI (late 10th – first half of 11th centuries) and V (second half of 11th – early 13th centuries) in terms of the general stratigraphy of Bolgar fortified settlement, as it reflects the development of pottery in this area since the beginning of the establishment of the Volgar Bolgaria state. It should be noted that in the early layers a rather large portion of all group I ceramics is represented by subgroups with the signs of elongation of the hollow body on a circle. A total of 3 subgroups are distinguished in terms of quantity in the materials of VI, and 6 subgroups in layer V. The variety of the subgroups reflects the different approaches of Bolgar pottery craftsmen to the selection and preparation of clay raw materials, vessel construction techniques, surface treatment of the products, and firing modes. A small percentage of common Bolgar ceramics is composed of fragments of ware with signs of firing in a regenerative medium. The author suggests that this was home-crafted ceramics not intended for market distribution.

Last modified: 2020-07-06 18:07:58