In this project, we employed a multidisciplinary approach to studying Middle Holocene (Neolithic and Bronze Age) hunter-gatherers of the Cis-Baikal region in Siberia in an effort to better understand past hunter-gatherer life ways and boreal forest adaptations.
Shamanskiy Mys site on Ol’khon Island
Excavations yielded burials on the stony projections thought to represent shamans and/or important personages. Photo credit: T.G. Schurr.
Sacred Location on Ol’khon Island
Buryats and other indigenous persons visiting the island add prayer flags to this post and make small offerings to the spirit of the lake. Photo credit: T.G. Schurr.
As part of second major phase of the project, the BAP team undertook a comparative analysis of Cis-Baikal Siberians with Neolithic populations of northern Japan on Hokkaido Island.
Location of Rebun Island in northern Hokkaido, Japan
Location of the Hamanaka 2 site on Rebun Island
The Hamanaka 2 archaeological site on Rebun Island
Photo credit: T.G. Schurr
Ainu Blessing of the Hamanaka 2 Archaeological Site on Rebun Island
As part of the engagement with the descendant communities of the Neolithic peoples of Hokkaido, Ainu priests conducted a blessing ceremony at this site with BAP researchers and Japanese collaborators in summer 2011. Photo credit: Andrea Hiob.
The research described here was supported by funds from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant Nos. 410-96-0353, 410-2000-0479, 412-2000-1000, and 412-2005-1004), the Canadian Circumpolar Institute, and the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust (Andrzej Weber); the National Science Foundation (DDRIG BCS-0726623), the National Geographic Society, the University of Pennsylvania and the College Alumni Fund at the University of Pennsylvania. (T.G. Schurr); and Irkutsk State University in Russia (Olga Goriunova and Vladimir Bazaliiskii).
Weber A, Bettinger R, Anderson D, Bamforth F, Bush A, Katzenberg MA, Schurr T. 2004. The Neolithic and Bronze Age of the Cis-Baikal: some theoretical and methodological considerations. Vestnik IGTU 4(20): 10-19 [in Russian]. Link
Mooder KP, Weber AW, Bamforth FJ, Lieverse AR, Schurr TG, Bazaliiskii VI, Savel’ev NA. 2005. Matrilineal affinities and prehistoric Siberian mortuary practices: A case study from Neolithic Lake Baikal. J Archeol Sci 32: 619-634. Link
Mooder KP, Schurr TG, Bamforth FJ, Bazaliiskii V, Savel’ev NA. 2006. Population affinities of Neolithic Siberians: A snapshot from prehistoric Lake Baikal. Am J Phys Anthropol 129: 349-361. Link
Weber AW, Katzenberg MA, Schurr TG, editors. 2010. Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of the Baikal Region, Siberia: Bioarchaeological Studies of Past Lifeways. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Link
Schurr TG, Osipova LP, Zhadanov SI, Dulik MC. 2010. Genetic diversity in native Siberian populations: Implications for the prehistoric settlement of the Cis-Baikal. In: Weber A, Katzenberg MA, Schurr TG, editors. Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of the Baikal Region, Siberia: Bioarchaeological Studies of Past Lifeways. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 121-134. Link
For a fuller description of BAP research and publications, please go to the home page for the project: https://baikalproject.artsrn.ualberta.ca/