Home » Uncategorized » CAES Vol. 8, № 4

CAES Vol. 8, № 4


Editor’s foreword


How often the Neolithic people of Okhta 1 could visit those of Sarnate and Šventoji 43: some preliminary notes on seafaring of Paja Ul Deˀŋ

Alexander Akulov

There are two routes from the mouth of Paleo-Okhta to the region of Sarnate Šventoji : a short and a long. The short one is about 800 km, the long one is about 1000 km. The short route took about 37 days, the long route took about 44 days. For Paja Ul Deˀŋ a matter of vital importance was not to waste time in the favorable season for navigation. Therefore, they go on such a voyage in a group of about 8 to 16 people. Such a group was divided into ‘watches’ that replaced each other, maintaining the pace of the voyage. A large and roomy boat was required for a group of 8 – 16 people. It is possible to conclude that sea boats of Paja Ul Deˀŋ were frame structures covered with the skins of marine or land animals. Such voyages took the whole summer, and therefore hey could not be performed more often than once a year.

 Keywords:  Neolithic period; Neolithic people; Neolithic seafaring; Neolithic boats; Paja Ul Deˀŋ


Think pieces:

On the etymology of the hydronym Sestra

Alexander Akulov

In early recordings the river Sestra, which flows into Sestroretskii Razliv, is mentioned in the form of Sestreya which originated from Finnish Siestar-oja. This hydronym has neither Balto-Finnic nor Slavic etymology. The Sestra is a relatively large river on the Karelian Isthmus, and at least 9 Neolithic sites were discovered near its mouth. The main summer activity of the Neolithic people who lived in the region was fishing, and those people definitely could consider the mouth zone of Sestra as a good location for fishing. Those people spoke a language that was a relative of the Yeniseian family: sies of siestar correlates with Yeniseian ses “river”, tar correlates with Ket tɯl and Yugh tar “lower reaches of the river”. Thus, sies-tar/ses-tar means “lower reaches of the river”, this name refers not to the whole river, but to the part that was most important for the Neolithic people.

Keywords: Karelian Isthmus; Sestra river; hydronymy; etymology; Neolithic period; Paja Ul Deˀŋ


On the etymology of the Ainu word *emciu/*emciw

Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

Japanese words emishi, ebisu and ezo were derived from Ainu *emciu/*emciw. In the word-form of emciw can be singled out the suffix of –iw that is used in counting people: iwan-iw “six people”, i.e.: the –iw suffix means “human being”, or “people”. We suppose that the word-form of emciw is an example of fusion: i belongs to the suffix and to the stem at once, so the stem is emci. This emci correlates with the personal marker of enci= that is used in Ishikari/Asahikawa and in Tokachi dialects. This personal marker expresses first person singular in the forms that can be interpreted as passive, it shows that first person singular is a patient, a target or a beneficiary of an action. In this enci= the attention is especially focused on the first person singular. And thus, the word emciw can be translated as “my people”, “my group”, “ours”.

Keywords: Emishi; Emciu; Emciw; Ainu; Ainu language; etymology


On the etymology of the word Alatyr and the origin of the Alatyr stone

Yelena Kolesnikova

The Alatyr is a stone mentioned in Russian folklore; it is described as the navel of the earth, endowed with sacral and healing properties. The word Alatyr has no Indo-European etymology, but can be explained through Yeniseian languages. The component ala correlates with Ket al “in the wood” and Pumpokol ála “field”. The component tɯr correlates with Ket and Yugh tɨ̄ĺ [tɯl] “navel”, and Proto-Yenisseian *tɨr [tɯr]. Thus, alatɯr means “taiga navel”. One of the main activities of Neolithic people was hunting, and it was important for them to mark the boundaries of hunting grounds of different local groups. Initially notches on trees were used as boundary markers, but stones with natural and artificial dimples were more stable markers. The word alatɯr initially denoted notches on a tree (in Ket there is the word ĺátɨĺ [latɯl] “depressions in tree trunks”) and later it also began to denote dimples on stones.

Keywords: sacral stones; Alatyr; mythology; folklore; etymology; Neolithic period


On Japanese recording of some Ainu toponyms in the late 18th century

Vasilii Shchepkin

Some Japanese text of late 18th centuries written by officials who inspected southern Kuril Islands provide us with valuable data of how Ainu toponyms were recorded for the first time. Japanese authors mention Ainu toponyms when describing their trips along the islands and accompany them with explanation of names or description of places to which the toponyms relate. At the same time, collation of etymology of Ainu names and their descriptions by Japanese provide ground for questioning some names to be toponyms and raises some issues concerning the usage of toponyms in Ainu everyday life and the influence of recording toponyms on their being.

Keywords: toponyms; Ainu; Japanese; Kuril Islands; cartography; oral societies



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