Академическое издательство «Гео»

Keywords: Tuva, landscapes, Scythian time, climate change, geoarchaeology.


Landscape regularities of human colonization of the Tuva territory in the Scythian time (8th–3rd centuries B. C.)

A.B. Glebova and K.V. Chistyakov

A_glebova@mail.ru, kirill.chistyakov@gmail.com

We discuss the issues related to the human colonization of the Tuva landscapes in the Scythian time. An analysis is made of the spatial and landscape confinedness of archaeological sites having regard to the Late-Holocene rhythms of climate change in the mountains. For the historical-landscape analysis the MapInfo 12.0 GIS technologies were used in compiling the landscape map of the Tyva Republic, the scheme of physical-geographical regionalization and the schematic map of spatial distribution of archaeological sites from the Scythian time. The then most developed landscapes include the steppe mountain-valley and forest-steppe low- and mid-mountain landscapes, which was associated with the main economic sector, namely nomadic stockbreeding. The culture of the Scythian time existed under a colder and more humid climate than at present. An increase in humidity in originally dry areas led to an increase in steppe vegetation productivity growing in depressions and on slopes of mountain ranges. These factors created favorable conditions for the development of nomadic stockbreeding. A spatial analysis of the distribution of archaeological sites in the physical-geographical provinces of Tuva intimates that depression landscapes were colonized mostly in the Scythian time. The Tuvinskaya depression province (the archaeologically richest area of Tuva) and the Ubsunurskaya depression account for 52 and 21 % sites, respectively. The mountain landscapes were colonized to a considerably lesser extent; the largest number of sites (15 %) are located in the Western-Tuva mountain province. In the Scythian time, the cores of development of the Tuva territory were represented by the intermontane depressions (Tuvinskaya and Ubsunurskaya), the connections between which were provided by a small number of large valleys and mountain passes.

Keywords: Tuva, landscapes, Scythian time, climate change, geoarchaeology.

DOI: 10.21782/GiPR0206-1619-2016-3(101-110)