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05 November 2020

The Genoese Gazaria and the Golden Horde

Stratum Plus
The Genoese Gazaria and the Golden Horde

The second volume of academic papers “The Genoese Gazaria and the Golden Horde” is dedicated to the memory of an outstanding scholar, archaeologist, historian and numismatic, founder of the Russian School of Golden Horde archaeology, Professor of Moscow State University G. A. Fedorov-Davydov. By this volume, we wanted to address a few key issues raised in historical and archaeological studies of Byzantium, Genoese Gazaria and Golden Horde. Issue number one: we want to demonstrate possibilities for integration of different types of sources while studying broad historical problems through archaeological methods; number two — searching new ways to elucidation and understanding of different narratives of Eurasian medieval history through material culture; and number three — identification of specific features in material manifestations of vital activities by states, as a whole, and by their local regions, in particular. The articles collected in the second volume mainly address historical, geographical and archaeological studies of the vast Mongol Empire, which functioned across Eurasia in 12th—14th centuries. Having appeared in the 12th century, it then got divided into a number of new states, which, in their turn, were to cardinally change the political map of the Old World. The previous volume lay the beginnings for a fundamental overview of Eurasian archaeology of the mentioned period, using the modern knowledge of sources. With this volume, we have managed to expand the studied territory — from the Danube to the Amur, and from the Upper Volga to the Black Sea. Thus, we have added the historical regions where the Mongol ethnicity evolved and then spread its statehood in Far East, Transbaikalia, Siberia and Middle Asia — to the traditionally studied Eastern-European lands in the Volga and the Black Sea region. In the west, the studies in this volume encompassed territories in the Northern Caucasus, Dniester and Danube basins. Sections in the second volume were determined by this wide territorial span: it relies on historical geography and follows the logic of evolution of the Mongol Empire, from the Baikal basin where their ethnicity and state were born, through their early conquests in Far East, and to the remote western lands, “wherever the hooves of the Mongol horses can reach”. The present volume includes 5 chapters: Siberia, Transbaikalia and Far East; Middle Asia; Middle Volga; Lower Volga; Northern Caucasus, North Black Sea region and the Crimea, including 40 articles prepared by 56 researchers from 6 countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Ukraine). The electronic edition will enable free access to the published studies for all interested readers. The territory of Far East is addressed in papers examining such cultural phenomena predating the emergence of the Mongol state as Jurchen architecture (N. G. Artemieva) and use of celadon — one of the most common and recognizable groups of porcelain ceramics (E.I. Gelman). It is examined whether the archaeological sources can make corrections to the history of function of Primorye sites in Mongol time (O.N. Dyakova). Some recent archaeological studies on the Khirkhira hillfort and one of its necropolises contribute with some new data to a better understanding of the history of the Transbaikalia (S.E. Baksheeva, E.V. Kovychev, N.N. Kradin, S.D. Prokopets, M.P. Rykun, A.V. Kharinsky). A set of papers on specific features of Mongol archaeological sites across the whole territory of Siberia — from its eastern to its western boundaries — are brought together in the same volume for the first time. A number of researchers have demonstrated cultural transformations in the regions due to an inflow of new populations during the Mongol time: to Lower Angara region (P.O. Senotrusova, P.V. Mandryka), Middle Yenisei region (S.G. Skobelev, A.V. Vybornov), south of Western Siberia and Altai (A.A.  Tishkin), until ethnic consolidation of the Tartar groups of Western Siberia in the Modern Times (S.F. Tataurov). Some precious knowledge is offered by studies into the role played by different types of Medieval archaeological sites as sources helping to distinguish internal and external regional boundaries in Southern Siberia (I.L. Kyzlasov), and by a review of the current condition of Mongol urban sites in Tuva (D.K. Tulush). Archaeologists who study Middle Asia also identified a number of material and cultural-religious innovations that emerged in Chuya Valley (V.A. Kolchenko) and Western Kazakhstan (A.E. Bizhanova, A.A. Bisembaev, E.D. Zilivinskaya, M.D. Kalmenov) during the Mongol Time. Studies into medieval archaeology of the Middle Volga region address a variety of topics. Questions are addressed about specific ethnic features of the population in Bulgar Ulus of the Golden Horde (E.E. Vorobyeva, K.A. Rudenko, D.A. Stashenkov, M.I. Fedulov). A few authors examine the issues of organization and functioning of the cities in the Middle Volga region during the Golden Horde (D.Yu. Badeev, S.I. Valiulina, V.Yu. Koval). Several authors addressed post-Mongol epigraphic inscriptions in the region (A.M. Gainutdinov, A.G. Sitdikov, A.S. Starkov). Two articles examine ethnic and religious aspects in the composition of the population of Ukek town and its environs (D.A. Kubankin, L.F. Nedashkovsky, M.B. Shigapov). A new perspective is offered on the administrative division of the khan’s ‘domain’ (E.M. Pigarev). Materials of archaeological studies on the unique complex of mausoleums in Voronezh Oblast are offered for the academic discussion (M.V. Tsybin, N.M. Savitskiy). The same section contains a publication of new data obtained through a detailed study of an extraordinary burial of a warrior from the Shumaev barrow cemetery (Z.V. Dode), and a historical review of the transfer of power in the Golden Horde after Khan Uzbek’s death (I.Yu. Lapshina). Works on Byzantine and Golden Horde archaeology of the South Russia encompass the Northern Caucasus, Black Sea region, including the Crimean Peninsula, and up to the Danube region, and demonstrate a remarkable intertwining of various academic topics. Some papers are dedicated to the historical-geographic studies of vast territories (S.G. Bocharov, E.E. Kravchenko, A.P. Minaev, N.I. Yudin). The authors address history of architecture, urban topography and specific issues of studies of urban necropolises, localization and attribution of outstanding archaeological sites and phenomens (V.A. Babenko, A.V. Dmitriev, S.V. Dyachkov, Yu.V. Zelenskiy, V.P. Kirilko, A.N. Maslovskiy, E.I. Narozhniy, L.M. Noskova). Studies in economic history of the Golden Horde based on archaeo-zoological evidence deserve special attention (L.V. Yavorskaya, L. Bacumenco-Pîrnău, L. Bejenaru, S. Rafailă-Stanc). The editors of this volume of “The Genoese Gazaria and the Golden Horde”, while aiming to implement their idea to prepare and write an academic paper on historical geography of the Mongol Empire and its states-successors, believe that this second volume is another step towards building a team of researchers who will be able to implement such a demanding project. It will be impossible to meet modern requirements in trying to understand the history of the Russian statehood and the affinity of its peoples without undertaking a fundamental overview of material culture of the two superpowers, which had an important impact on its evolution: the Byzantine heritage, on the one hand, and the Golden Horde heritage, on the other.

Source: Bocharov S.G., Sitdikov A.G., edit (2019) The Genoese Gazaria and the Golden Horde. Stratum Plus. Vol.2. 824 p.

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