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Вotai ancient settlement.

Ancient settlements Northern-Kazakh of area.

«Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved»

Thomas Fuller.

Kazakhstan and the New Silk Road.

Over 25 thousand archeological encampments are on th archeological map of Kazakhstan, and 2 thousand of the are found in Northern Kazakhstan, most of them back to prehistoric times. Botai is a unique object of the IV - III century B.C. The Botai settlement with an area of 15 ha sits on a flat land on the right bank ofthe Iman river. The surface bears many dents made by the ancient people when they built their dwellings.
The archeologists excavated over 10, 000 m2, thoroughly examined nearly 100 dwelling sites, found over 300 thou­sand artifacts and many hundred thousand bones, 99,9% of which be­long to horses. The dwellings are located throughout the entire territory of the settlement, whereas the household outbuildings are mostly found on the borders of the settlement, next to the river bank, and, as a rule, are smaller in size and do not have hearths.
The hearths, shaped as rounds or semi­squares, were outside. The household outbuildings are long and rectan­gular in shape and have a 1,5 meter deep foundation pit. A great number of tools were found at Botai, since this place, being close the water, was used for treating animal skins, raw materi­als, and bones. The dwellings are pre­dominantly located in the center of the settlement.
The research conducted in Botai and discovery of similar monuments (in Krasnyi Yar, Rotshinskoye, and Sergeyevka) demonstrated that the new culture has been discovered. And the name for it is the Botai culture. Proto-lndo- Europeans were representatives of this culture. They lived in big settlements and had diversified household. The core of their household systems was horse breeding. Besides that, the popu­lation went hunting and fishing.
They processed bones, wood and stones. They made kitchen and table pottery and decorated it with geometric, tex­tile and comb ornaments. Judging by a stylized drawing of wheels and animals on one of the fragments of the vessel, it suggests that the Botai people had wheeled means of transport. The roots of horse breeding are found in the preceding Neolithic Age, when fishers and hunters chose to have a settled lifestyle and work to­gether as a group.
The first stage of horse domestication refers to that pe­riod. As time passed by, they learnt to breed horses. It was the second stage of horse domestication. The climate in the steppes was more humid and vegetation was more luxuriant at the end ofthe IV - III century B.C. According to the date of some pa- lynologists and soil scientists, the grass reached 2 m in height. Millions of hors­es inhabited these places at that time.
Naturally, most of them were wild and untamed. Ancient people had to use domestic animals to hunt them. This explains the weak morphological differ­entiation between the wild and domes­ticated horses. Even today it appears to be a complicated scientific problem, but one can see the first positive re­sults. The findings of American scien­tists D. Antony show that some of the examined teeth ofthe Botai horse bear traces of bone and hair bridles.
There are other archeological evidences to support the Botai horse domestication (hobble clasps and bridle elements). In 2008, the chemistry and biology lab of Bristol University (Great Britain) received the first results of analysis of the crust on the walls ofthe Botai ves­sels - fatty molecules of kumis. This confirmed the theory of Kazakhstan sci­entists that the Botai culture represen­tatives of the IV millennium B.C. bred horses and milked the mares.
It is dif­ficult to overestimate this discovery in assessing the role of steppe cultures in the formation of world civilizations. In 2004, the scientists organized an exhibition of archeological find­ings, which were exhibited in the mock-up models of the Botai dwell­ings.
They plan to establish an arche­ological museum in Petropavlovsk to house these exhibits. They have also prepared a draft project of the his­torical and cultural sanctuary of Botai and tourist routes to include monu­ments of nature, history and archeol­ogy of Northern Kazakhstan.
During the past three years, the Botai sanctu­ary has seen protective measures, and archeological excavations under the Study and Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage program.

Cultural heritage, Madeni Mura Elena Chernyshova Text

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