Call for papers

Dear Colleagues!

CAES editors team awaits your papers for CAES Vol. 5, N 4. The issue is going to be published in the middle of December 2019.

Especially welcome will be papers on experimental archaeology and on mathematization of different aspects of semiotics.

CAES Vol. 5, № 3


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Comparing ornaments of Volosovo and Lyalovo potteries by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov

The technocomplex of Volosovo is supposed to be a continuation of Lyalovo technocomplex. In this paper degree of similarity of potteries of Volosovo and Lyalovo is estimated by Monte Carlo method. Have been taken two sets of potsherds of Volosovo technocomplex (Chernaya Gora and Volodary) and two sets of potsherds of Lyalovo technocomplex (Biserovo Ozero and Nikola-Perevoz). Index of correlation of Chernaya Gora and Volodary is 0.19, that of Biserovo Ozero and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.46, that of Chernaya Gora and Biserovo Ozero is 0.52, that of Chernaya Gora and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.3, that of Volodary and Biserovo Ozero is 0.24, that of Volodary and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.22.  Considered sites of Volosovo technocomplex are closer to the sites of Lyalovo technocomplex than to each other.

Keywords: Volosovo technocomplex; Lyalovo technocomplex; Neolithic pottery

Akulov_Lyalovo and Volosovo

Yeniseian languages and Ainu-Minoan stock

Alexander Akulov

Ainu-Minoan stock consists of the following languages/families: Ainu, Great Andamanese, Sino-Tibetan, Northwest Caucasian, Hattic, and Minoan. In order to resolve the question: whether the Yeniseian family belongs to Ainu-Minoan stock in this paper Verbal Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI) is applied to Ket and Hattic. VGCI can completely answer the question: whether certain languages are related. VGCI is a conjunction of two indexes: grammatical meanings sets correlation index and index of correlation of positional distributions of common meanings. If a value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then languages are related; if a value of VGCI is about 0.3 or less then languages are not related. VGCI of Ket and Hattic is 0.38, so they belong to the same stock. Due to the transitivity of relatedness Yeniseian family belongs to the Ainu-Minoan stock. Yeniseian family seems to be closer to the Western branch of Ainu-Minoan stock.

Keywords: Ainu-Minoan stock; Yeniseian family; Hattic language; Ket language; Verbal Grammar Correlation Index; comparative linguistics


Sizes and parameters of the late Neolithic logboat found by A.A. Inostrantsev in the southern coast of Lake Ladoga (preliminary notes)

Alexander Akulov,  Nadya Efimova

A fragment of a late Neolithic logboat was found by A. A. Inostrantsev during the constructing of the New Syas canal that took place in 1878 – 1880. The fragment is supposed to be a stern part. The boat was made from oak. The total length of the logboat was no less than 350 cm. For manufacturing of such a boat is required a trunk with a diameter of at least 75 cm (without bark) and the distance from the bottom of the tree to the crown should be at least 4 m. There were two bulkheads which were not inserted later but were carved from the same tree as the boat, and so they were an integral part of the boat. The middle section was intended for the rower; bow and stern sections could be used for some cargoes. The boat was intended for navigation in quiet water.

Keywords: logboat; Neolithic boat; experimental archaeology


An attempt to estimate the change of correlation index that happens in comparing ornamental traditions by the Monte Carlo method

Tresi Nonno

Monte Carlo method allows us to estimate the correlation index of two sets of randomly broken potsherds. A problem of the method is that conclusion about the degree of proximity can strongly depends on amounts of potsherds/elements in the compared sets. In order to clarify this point and to check whether a correction coefficient can be inserted into the formula of Monte Carlo some experiments of comparison of model sets have been made. Have been compared two sets modeling real sets of potsherds: one set (A) had 5 elements and another set (B) 7 elements, then the number of elements of A gradually decreased by one element upon each step and were  made comparison of different variants of new A with B. Now the received results don’t represent any regularity, it isn’t possible to speak about correction coefficients and experiments should be continued.

Keywords: mathematical semiotics; ornaments of pottery; semiotics

Nonno_Monte Carlo_change_estimation

The procedure of comparison of entire vessels ornamentations

In this paper is described a procedure of comparing of ornamentations of entire vessels. Ornaments are the same systems as grammars of languages: any ornament is <A; Ω> pair, where A is a set of ornamental elements and Ω is a set of positional distributions elements of A, thus, comparing of ornaments is the same procedure as comparing of languages. The scheme of comparison is the following: 1) should be compared sets of elements forming ornaments: should be estimated the proximity index of two sets of ornamental elements; 2) should be estimated the proximity index of positional distributions of common elements (elements of a certain ornament can be localized in top, middle and/or bottom of a vessel); 3) the proximity index of two ornaments is a superposition of proximity index of sets of ornamental elements and the proximity index of positional distributions of common elements.

Keywords: ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics; semiotics


CAES Vol. 5, № 2


Think pieces:

Comparing ornaments of the Pit-Comb Ware from the site of Okhta 1 and the sites of Hepojarvi and Toksovo by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov

The sites of Hepojarvi, Toksovo and Okhta 1 are connected by the Okhta river, so they could belong to the same local group. In order to estimate the degree of proximity of these sites Monte Carlo method of comparing ornamental traditions of pottery was applied to the corresponding sets of potsherds. The degree of proximity of Okhta 1 and Hepojarvi is 0.47; that of Okhta 1 and Toksovo is 0.49. The degree of proximity of Hepojarvi and Toksovo is 0.43, that of Razliv 4 and Razliv 6 is 0.49. Hepojarvi and Toksovo, Razliv 4 and Razliv 5 are sites evidently belonged to the same local group. Ornamental traditions of pottery of Okhta 1 and those of Hepojarvi and Toksovo demonstrate noteworthy resemblance, thus it is possible to conclude that these sites belonged to the same local group.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Hepojarvi; Toksovo; Okhta 1; Neolithic pottery ornamentation

Akulov_Hepojarvi and Okhta

Some results of the reconstruction of the technology of firing of Neolithic pottery of Northwest Russia

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

Conditions of successful firing of pottery in a bonfire are the following: 1) dry and warm weather; 2) a dry place for a bonfire: sand is better than humified soil, forest area is better than seashore or bank of river/lake; 3) a sufficient amount of properly prepared firewood (small firewood is better than large); 4) the place of firewood and the vessels should be warmed up no less than one hour; 5) when the vessels are put upon the coals they should be covered by brushwood as soon as possible; 6) after the vessels are covered by brushwood the fire should be let to burn naturally, but not to be fanned; 7) the vessels should be constantly covered by brushwood/firewood; 8) after three hours of active firing it is possible to stop supporting the fire and take pottery out of the ashes when it cools; 9) the absence of any distractions.

Keywords: Neolithic pottery firing; Neolithic pottery; experimental archaeology


Headscarf as a marker of femininity in modern Russian culture (some preliminary notes)

Yelena Kolesnikova

In Modern Russian culture a woman wearing a skirt or dress is usually perceived as more feminine than a woman in pants. Women who wear skirts/dresses and headscarves are perceived as super feminine women. The headscarf was the traditional headdress of married women in the Russian village, where the position of the woman was rather powerless and submissive. In Russian Orthodox Church headscarf remains mandatory for women; headscarf is the sign of woman obedience to her husband and to god. After about 70 years of communist rule and forced eradication of many archaic issues of society, the headscarf is mostly an element of fashion and/or convenient item of clothing rather than a marker of social status. However, headscarf still is a kind of marker of super-femininity, super-obedience to the male world.

Keywords:  femininity; headscarf; gender stereotypes; fashion; anthropology of clothing


Ainu copula and verbs of existence

Tresi Nonno

Copula verb links the subject of a sentence with a predicate that is expressed by a noun. Copula usually is in the same time verb of existence. In Ainu the situation is rather unique since Ainu has a special verb – ne that expresses only copular meanings and can’t be used to express the meanings of existence or presence. The same situation is in Chinese, and it seems that such grammatical feature is rather characteristic for whole Ainu-Minoan stock (to which Ainu and Sino-Tibetan languages belong). Also it is possible to suppose that singular form of verb “to exist”, “to be in a place” used with animate nouns – an, verb “to dwell in a place” – un, and copula – ne can be derivatives of the same ancient form; however, now even approximate view of this form can’t be reconstructed anyhow, and it is a matter of further researches.

Keywords: copula; verbs of existence; Ainu language; Ainu language history; Ainu-Minoan stock


Whether there were kings in Minoan Crete?

Tresi Nonno

Evans suggested that the Minoan state was ruled by kings. However, there are no recordings about Minoan kings and Minoan frescoes demonstrate no figures which could be interpreted as kings unlike, for instance, Akkadian or ancient Egyptian art. Samples of Minoan languages represented in London Medical papyrus can be decoded by Hattic language, that is related with Northwest Caucasian languages, which are related to Sino-Tibetan family, that is related to Ainu. Thus, we can speak about Ainu-Minoan stock. Anarchist tendencies are rather well developed in cultures of different ethnicities speaking languages of the Ainu-Minoan stock; the most notable examples are Kaska, Natukhai, Taoist movements in China, and Ainu. Thus, it is possible to suppose that in Minoan culture anarchist tendencies also were rather well developed, and there probably were no kings in Minoan culture. However, until there are no explicit facts (sources) we can only make assumptions.

Keywords: Minoan society; Ainu-Minoan stock; Anarchism



CAES Vol. 5, № 1


Editor’s foreword


Comparison ornaments of the Pit-Comb Ware from some Neolithic sites of the Southern part of Karelian Isthmus by Monte Carlo method  

Alexander Akulov

Monte Carlo method estimates the degree of proximity of ornaments of ceramics by comparing frequencies of imprints: the higher is the correlation degree the closer are corresponding ornamental traditions. The method has been applied to the pottery of the following Neolithic sites of Southern part of Karelian Isthmus: Razliv 1, Razliv 2, Razliv 4, Razliv 5, Razliv 7, Glinyanyi Ruchei, Sosnovaya Gora, Tarkhovka, Toksovo, and Hepojarvi. All these sites belong to the same technocomplex. The average degree of similarity inside this set of sites is 0.37, while the average degree of similarity of Tarkhovka, Razliv 2 and Razliv 4 is 0.58. Also, the degree of similarity between Tarkhovka and Toksovo is 0.49. Tarkhovka, Razliv 2, Razliv 4 and Toksovo seem to be settlements belonged to the same local group/family: Tarkhovka, Razliv 2, Razliv 4 located upon seashore were summer settlements, Toksovo located in a forest area was a winter settlement.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Karelian Isthmus; Neolithic pottery; archaeology; Monte Carlo method


Think pieces

Comparing ornaments of pottery by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov,  Tresi Nonno

If there are two randomly selected sets of randomly broken potsherds it isn’t possible to restore entire ornaments, but it is possible to conclude about the most frequent imprints only. The most frequent imprints are supposed to be the most characteristic imprints of a certain ceramic tradition. And thus, comparing the frequency of different imprints we can conclude about the proximity of ornamental traditions of pottery and then about the proximity of corresponding technocomplexes. To estimate correlation degree of two sets of potsherds we should do the following procedures: 1) to estimate correlation degree of sets of represented imprints, 2) to estimate correlation degree of percentages of common imprints (imprints belonging to each of compared sets), 3) to take a superposition of two degrees of correlation. The closer are certain traditions of ornamentation the higher is the corresponding degree of correlation.

Keywords: ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics; Monte Carlo method

Akulov_Nonno_Monte Carlo

Semiotic stream of communication in the era of prosumer culture    

Hsiao-Cheng (Sandrine) Han

Social media has changed how people connect and communicate with each other. Many people might think visual communication is more concrete and easier to understand because images are expected to resemble the object they represent. However, the process of visual communication may encounter conflicts when the information is abstract. Social media users are becoming prosumers: people who can view, create, and recreate visual imagery to contribute to the content of social media. In the prosumer culture, is there a certain starting point in the semiotic stream of communication? Visual communication in prosumer culture requires more studies to unfold.

Keywords: Semiotic stream of communication; prosumer culture; communicative heptad

Han_Semiotic stream

Contemporary situation of Khanty language   

Marija Launonen

Khanty language faces numerous problems and tasks relating to dialect diversity, a small number of speakers, tensions between dialects, administrative divisions, education possibilities, urbanization and use of language in the contemporary world. A way that can be proposed to overcome these problems is to follow a Saami example in a decentralized approach to dialects, implementing online long-distance learning platforms. Several Khanty dialects are vigorously used among all age groups and have undisrupted intergenerational transmission, and the question in these cases, therefore, is about strengthening the language positions, not about reviving or revitalization. But there are few other dialects, where questions of reviving and revitalization are urgent questions.

Keywrords: Khanty language; language revitalization; Surgut idiom of Khanty language


African dress: performance 

Yuliya Vorotilova

The article is devoted to the diversity of performances with traditional West African cloth. Inspired by Africa, made with a technique derived from Indonesian Batik, designed in the Netherlands, wax prints heritage and design signature is a multicultural melting pot of beauty and industrial craftsmanship. Kente cloth – is a key symbolic as well as practical significance in Ghanian culture. Original kente is a status symbol of wealth and identity as it is a luxurious and expensive fabric. Today kente cloth is worn by many people who regard it as a symbol of African pride and dignity and some people use it to express their feelings through performances.

Keywords: kente cloth; wax cloth; identity; performance


CAES Vol. 4, № 4


Editor’s foreword


Comparing Çatalhöyük with the palace of Knossos by matrix-vector method

Alexander Akulov

Çatalhöyük and the palace of Knossos look much alike: they both seem to be samples of the same architectural tradition. Matrix-vector method represents the plan of any building as a 3D vector and allows estimating degree of resemblance of any buildings: the higher is the degree of resemblance the more alike are plans of corresponding buildings. The degree of resemblance of Çatalhöyük and the palace of Knossos of the Protopalatial stage is 0.88; that of the palace of Knossos and the house of Myrtos is 0.57; that of the palace of Knossos and Villa Alpha is 0.73; that of the palace of Knossos and the palace of Pylos is 0.81. Thus, the palace of Knossos is closer to Çatalhöyük than to the palace of Pylos and to samples of earlier Minoan architecture.

Keywords: Knossos; Anatolian – Minoan connection; Çatalhöyük; Minoan architecture; topology


Think pieces

An attempt to reconstruct the technology of making of the Pit-Comb Ware

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

The Pit-Comb Ware was produced without a wheel. The potter builds up the vessel from the top to the bottom putting one coil of clay upon another. The technique of coiling allows the potter to control the thickness of the walls. When the vessel is generally formed then so-called paddle and anvil technique should be performed. The technique is a very important part of the process since it helps to remove voids and to make the vessel be more firm. Vessels which haven’t been undergone the paddle and anvil stage can easily break during firing. Next step is smoothing the surface of the vessel with shell and with fingers. And the last step is ornamentation.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; coiling; experimental archaeology


An experiment of the firing of some samples of the Pit-Comb Ware in a bonfire

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

The process of Pit-Comb Ware is badly described in the corresponding literature. In order to understand the temperature and the regime of Pit-Comb Ware firing an experiment was performed. Five reconstructed samples of Pit-Comb Ware were fired in a bonfire set in a steel can for about 11 hours. The temperature varied from 800 Cº to 1500 Cº. Two of five vessels broke. The temperature during the process of firing should be more stable, serious oscillation of temperature helps appearing cracks and doesn’t help normal firing. It looks like Neolithic people fired their pottery with the temperature of about 900 – 1000 Cº. Also a more dry and stable weather should be chosen for the process of firing.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; experimental archaeology; Neolithic pottery technology


Images of androgynous beings of Jōmon epoch

Tresi Nonno

Jōmon dogū are anthropomorphic and zoomorphic clay figurines which are found in Japan in layers of Jōmon period (13000 – 300 BCE). Their meanings and functions are unknown; generally, they can’t be sources for learning something about Jōmon life. However, if, for instance, a dogū depicts wild boar it is logical to conclude that wild boars were important for Jōmon people. There are some anthropomorphic dogū which have breasts and a vertical line running upward from genital area to breast. This line looks like an erected penis. It is possible to state that dogū with breasts and penises are depictions of androgynous beings. It isn’t possible to say whether these figurines depict deities, but it seems that androgynous beings were an important part of Jōmon people worldview.

Keywords: Jōmon; dogū; Ainu; androgynous beings; people of converted gender; LGBT


African textiles seen by different eyes

Yuliya Vorotilova

When the Western world first saw African art in 1900-s it was viewed as strange and exotic. Items of African art, the booty of colonial wars, influenced Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani and changed the course of 20th– century art. Textiles – whether hand-woven, factory – printed, resist-dyed, stamped or embroidered – are arguably the most obvious visible signifier of culture throughout the African continent, or for that matter wherever in the world people of African descent have settled. It is ultimately Africans as consumer – critics who will keep African arts at high aesthetic standards, even if the aesthetic ideology may be constantly evolving.

Keywords: African cloth; kente cloth; Art


CAES Vol. 4, № 3


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Traces of Yeniseian people upon the East  European plain 

Alexander Akulov

In North and central part of the East European plain there are many hydronyms which are usually supposed to be of Finno-Ugric origin, but actually can’t be sufficiently explained through any of existing Finno-Ugric language. These hydronyms can be subdivided into three groups: 1) hydronyms with: [sa]/[ʃa]/[ʒa]/[ta]/[da]/[ra]/[na] ending, 2) with [ga] ending, 3) with [ma]/[va] ending. These hydronyms can be explained through Yeniseain languages, for instance, in Ket language: /sesj/ – “river” /qoksj/ – “stream”, “creek” /ulj/ – “water”. In an ancient Yeniseian language the root for “river” could probably have variants [ses] and [tet] and then it is possible to suppose the following transformations: [ses]/*[sas] à [sa] à [ʃa] à [ʒa], [tet]/*[tat] à [ta] à  [da]/[ra] à [na]. Hydronyms with [ga] ending correlate with Ket root [qoksj]; and hydronyms with [ma]/[va] ending correlate with Ket root [ulj] “water”.

Keywords: Yeniseian languages; substrate hydronymy; Pit-Comb ware technocomplex


Where can Kaskaean settlements be found? Some preliminary notes on the topography of  Kaskaean land

Alexander Akulov

Hittite sources about Kaska had no aims to describe Kaskaean land per se, but only described those Kaskaean terrains which were close to Hittite land, while most of Kaskaean lands were unknown for Hittites. Toponymy is the key for Kaskaean topography. Many Kaskaean toponyms were initially related to rivers, so it is perspective to look at names of rivers of Black Sea region.  Kaska people were a branch of Hattians and a ‘bridge’ between Hattians and people speaking Northwest Caucasian languages. The most perspective location in Kaskaean region is Özlüce/Gelevara river. Word Gelevara contains component –vara that correlates with Hattic root ur(a/i) “well”, “spring” and with Common West Caucasian ʕarə “stream”, “torrent”. In Kaskaean region there are no other modern names of rivers containing -ura/-vara component: it seems that in the basin of Gelevara the density of Kaskaean population was relatively high and Kaskaean settlements potentially can be found there.

Keywords: Kaska; topography of Kaska; Kaskaean toponymy; Gelevara river; Bronze Age Anatolia


On the possibility of representation of any  culture as an algebraic  structure

Tresi Nonno

When someone says that certain culture can’t be subjected to math methods of description, it means that the person imagines the culture as something that is outside the process of history. Such ideas don’t help the progress of ethnosemiotics, but only provide help to different obscurantist movements. The fact that different cultures are guided by different logics should not abash us at all since any cultures can be represented as an ordered pair of the following view: <A; Ω> where A is a set of concepts and Ω is a set of distributions determined upon A. Different <A; Ω> pairs can be compared and degrees of likeness can be estimated. There can be certain difficulties with degrees of correlation of different A sets, in such cases particular elements of different A sets should be represented as <A; Ω> pairs and then compared the same way as semiotic systems.

Keywords: cultural anthropology; ethnosemiotics; cultural anthropology theory; ethnosemiotics theory; math methods in cultural anthropology and ethnosemiotics


A general overview of the chronology of  the Pit-Comb Ware technocomplex in the basin of Lake Onega  

Tatyana Vasilyeva,   Alexander Akulov

The chronology of the Pit-Comb Ware can be subdivided into two stages: early stage (end of 5th – end of 4th millennia BPE) and late stage (end of 4th millennium – the beginning of 3rd millennium BPE). And the early stage consists of two phases. The first phase is represented by thin-walled vessels of semi-ovate shape with a rounded or rounded-conical bottom; the clay of these vessels has a moderate admixture of sand/grus; ornaments are mainly formed by horizontal patterns of pits. In the second phase vessels retain forms of the previous phase; appears an undetermined organic admixture; ornaments are mainly made by prints of rope. Late stage differs seriously from the preceding one: pottery of the late stage is represented by large thick-walled pots made of rough, badly mixed clay with an abundant admixture of grus/sand. Forms of vessels are more diverse, there are sharpened bottoms and more variable ornamentation.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Pit-Comb Ware periodization; Neolithic pottery of Karelia


Magic in African art

Yuliya Vorotilova

The article is devoted to magic in African traditional symbols. According to the Makilam, in all the various interpretations of the magic proposed by sciences that study the Other, there arises the problem of how to transcribe the thinking of a culture of oral tradition which does not use writing. People who are close to Nature do not reflect on their lives and work using formal logic. Any attempts to reduce the magic spirit to its mythic thought or to logic mean that it is a strictly mental entity. We need to find another sort of logic of the psychic dimension, which is hardly possible to be defined in terms of our binary, technical and mathematical modes of thinking.

Keywords: African symbols; magic, art, the adinkra, the knot symbol