CAES Vol. 9, № 1


Think pieces:

On the etymology of the hydronym Oredezh

Alexander Akulov

The hydronym Oredezh has neither Uralic nor Indo-European etymology, but can be explained through the language of the people who lived in the region in the Neolithic period. Those people spoke a language that was a juncture between Yeniseian languages, Caucasian languages, Hattic, and Sumerian. Oredezh/Uredezh originally was *ur-deʔG;it consists of Proto-Yeniseian roots: *ul/ur – “water” and *deʔG “lake”. And this name meant simply “river oxbows” or “river backwaters”. In the current context the root *ul/ur means “river”, but not just “water”. The Oredezh river is famous for its meanders and swampy oxbows. The level of the Littorina Sea was 5 to 7 meters higher than that of the present Baltic Sea, and therefore the level of water in rivers that flew into the sea also was higher than the present, so there were more oxbows in the Oredezh river, and they probably were larger than the modern.

Keywords: hydronymy; substrate hydronymy; Leningrad oblast; Neolithic period; Paja Ul Deˀŋ


Poinamukaru niushpe ashinka shiri tinka

Alexander Akulov

Describing the Ainu of the Northern Kuril islands D. M. Pozdneev shows the following proverb:  poinamukaru niushpe ashinka shiri tinka, and, according to Pozdneev, this saying means: “cutting a tree with a stone ax took great efforts”. However, this translation shows just the general meaning, but doesn’t express the precise meaning of the saying, and also the recording of the proverb is quite inaccurate. This proverb originally had the following view: poyna mukar ni-us-pe asin-ke sir e-cin-ke and its original meaning is the following: “to cut a tree [with] a stone ax is [as difficult as] to stretch land like a skin of an animal”.  

Keywords: Ainu; Ainu of the Northern Kuril islands; Kuril Ainu; Ainu language; Kuril islands


Some questions on reflexes of –eu– in Slavic languages

Alexander Kitaev

The Slavic languages are traditionally believed to have (-)ju- as the result of the change of the proto-IE diphthong (-)eu- in the first syllable and, as a consequence, the elision of -j- with the palatalization of the consonants before: Ceu > Cju > C’u. Some scholars try to show examples of this palatalization, and some even try to reconstruct this prosthetic -j- as a Balto-Slavic isogloss. This reconstruction seems to be currently accepted. But when we start checking the list of all stems proposed to us to illustrate this sound change, we face some serious contradictions and difficulties that could make us call this description into question.

Keywords: phonology; etymology; Slavic; Balto-Slavic; reconstructions


How many voices are there in Ainu really?

Tresi Nonno

Japanese linguists usually describe Ainu as a language with a passive voice. One example considered as passive is hapo or wa a-en=koyki – “I was scolded by mother”. Such sentences can’t be considered examples of passive since they contradict all conditions of the passive voice. Other items considered passive are personal markers enci= (1sg) and unci= (1pl) used in Ishikari/Asahikawa dialect. These markers show that the marked person is a patient/target/beneficiary of an action. When these markers are used, then other personal markers are absent. These markers could be considered as implementations of passive, but in Ainu there are no personal markers like enci= and unci= for other persons and numbers. A voice cannot carry out itself only for some persons and numbers, so this case also can’t be considered a true passive. And thus, Ainu should be considered a language without voices.

Keywords:  Ainu language; passive voice; voices


Uganda: impressions of a trip

Yuliya Vorotilova

The current paper is the first part of the trip report of the ‘grand voyage’ to Uganda and Tanzania that I took in February 2022. The primary purpose of the visit was to participate in the International conference at the Russian Cultural Center (Dar es Salaam). The first part is devoted to Uganda (Fig.1). The current paper consists of my own impressions of the places, that I visited, and my own live photos from the trip. Having only one week, I visited the so-called Grand triangle of Uganda: Kampala – Jinja – Masindi, and thus crossed the country from the Central part to the West, but in this article I focus on the sites of the Uganda capital – Kampala.

Keywords: Uganda; Kampala; boda-boda; Kasubi tombs; Baganda people; Buganda kingdom


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


CAES Vol. 8, № 2


Editor’s foreword


Dating of the Neolithic site of Toksovo by the comparison of frequencies of ornamental imprints on potsherds

Alexander Akulov

The Neolithic site of Toksovo was discovered in 1926, but has never been properly dated, however, a collection of potsherds was picked on it (the site is located in the southern part of the Karelian Isthmus, on the southern bank of Kavgolovo lake). Not far from the site of Toksovo there is another Neolithic site (Hepojarvi) that was properly dated (5314 – 2342 cal BCE). The Comb-Pit Ware of Hepojarvi site is subdivided into three subtypes: the Comb-Pit Ware of the early stage, of the developed stage, and of the late stage. The collection of potsherds of Toksovo site is very close to the developed Comb-Pit Ware of Hepojarvi, and so Toksovo site existed in the 4th millennium – in the very beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE.  Both sites belonged to the same group of people; initially people dwelled on the site of Hepojarvi and later appeared the site of Toksovo.

Keywords: Comb-Pit Ware; Neolithic pottery; ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics


A modification of the formula used in the comparison of randomly selected assemblages of potsherds

Tresi Nonno

The formula that was usually used in the comparison of two randomly selected assemblages of potsherds didn’t account for the potential error, though the information about the possible error was reported separately. And so it is useful to have a formula that would account for the potential error. Previously in a special paper it was shown that the potential error is connected with the ratio of numbers of potsherds of the compared assemblages. The potential error can be accounted for if the (1 – δ) coefficient is inserted into the formula (δ is the relative error). This parameter shows how close the compared collections are in the quantitative aspect, and to what extent the possibility of deviation is excluded. Also in the paper is shown a table containing values of the degree of resemblance which were given by a standard set of assemblages of the Pit-Comb Ware.  

Keywords: comparing assemblages of potsherds; mathematical semiotics; ornaments of pottery; semiotics


Think pieces:

Some thoughts on the roots of the Ainu bear ritual iomante

Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

The Ainu bear ritual iomante, in our opinion, began when hunters killed a she-bear and brought her cubs to their settlement, raised them, and then killed them to get their meat; this happened in a very distant past, perhaps even before the Jōmon period. While the cubs were raised, the people began to treat them as beings that had ontological status close to human beings. These bears already were not just prey, and so the killing of such bears should have implied an apology for the murder. Gradually the practice of propitiating the souls of bears developed, and the rites became more elaborated. Bear rituals could exist at least in the late Jōmon: in some sites attributed to this time were found clay figurines depicting bears. These figurines mean that there were certain special notions about bears, and so it is possible to suppose the existence of some bear rituals.

Keywords: Ainu beliefs; bear; bear ritual; Ainu; Jōmon


A formalization of rituals that allows estimating degrees of their similarity

Tresi Nonno

Any ritual is a semiotic system and can be formalized just like any other semiotic system, and after formalization, it is possible to estimate the degrees of similarities of different rituals. Any ritual can be considered as a play/performance and can be described by the following system of sets: Participants (P), Tools and locations (T), Actions (A), and Expected results (R). To estimate the degree of similarity of two rituals should be estimated the degree of similarity of P of one ritual with P of another ritual, T of one ritual with T of another ritual, and so on, finally should be taken arithmetic mean of four received values. The procedures of formalizing and comparison of rituals are shown on the material of the Ainu bear ritual – iomante, Ainu ritual kamuy nomi, and the bear ritual that was practiced in Lithuanian Panevėžys.

Keywords: rituals; comparison of rituals; cultural anthropology; semiotics; mathematical semiotics


Roman townsman in the countryside

Vladislav Semenov

In most studies of the socio-economic history of ancient Rome, attention is paid either separately to urban life or rural life, but the phenomenon of a person entering an alien environment stands aside. In this regard, the question arises: to what extent in ancient times there was a discrepancy between the inhabitants of the city and the countryside. This small study on how a Roman citizen behaves in a village raises a number of problems of this nature. What was the countryside like for the inhabitants of a Roman city? How did he behave there? And whether a Roman citizen wanted to live in a village? The article attempts to find answers to these questions.

Keywords: ancient Rome; ancient city; townspeople; villagers


CAES Vol. 8, № 1


Think pieces:

A conclusion about the structure of the winter settlements of Paja Ul Deˀŋ after experiments on making stone axes in the winter period

Alexander Akulov

Manufacturing of stone axes/adzes was a matter of vital importance for Paja Ul Deˀŋ. In winter boulders are covered with a thin layer of ice, and therefore, before grinding an ax/adz on a boulder it is necessary to remove ice from it. The best way is to pour hot water on the boulder or build a fire on it. However, if the manufacturing of stone axes is required regularly, it is much more convenient to make a boulder always be without ice. If a boulder is placed inside a dwelling where the positive temperature is constantly maintained, then it is not covered with ice. It is logical to suppose that in order to be able to produce axes/adzes at any time Paja Ul Deˀŋ could bring medium-sized boulders to winter dwellings, or winter dwellings could be specially constructed so that natural boulders convenient for making axes would be inside dwellings.

Keywords: Neolithic stone industry; Neolithic dwellings; experimental archaeology


Sumerian and the Ainu-Minoan stock

Alexander Akulov

Since the very deciphering of the Sumerian language many pretty naïve attempts to attribute it to different language families have been made. It seems highly possible that Sumerian is rather close to Northeast Caucasian languages which belong to the Ainu-Minoan stock. To resolve this question in the current paper Sumerian is compared with Tabasaran by the Verb Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI). If a value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then the compared languages are related. VGCI of Tabasaran and Sumerian is 0.4, it means that Tabasaran and Sumerian belong to the same family, and due to the transitivity of relatedness, Sumerian is a part of the Ainu-Minoan stock.

Keywords: Sumerian; Tabasaran; Northeast Caucasian; VGCI; comparative linguistics


Medeina/Medeinė as a relic of Neolithic beliefs

Yelena Kolesnikova, Mindaugas Peleckis

Medeina originally was a deity of forests in Lithuanian mythology, later in the 13th – 14th centuries she became also a deity of war. The fact that a deity of forests became one of the central deities in the mythology of medieval society is rather unique. Also a fact pointing to the archaism of Medeina is her connection with the bear cult. The character of Medeina seems to be a relic of beliefs of a substrate ethnic group. The name of Medeina/Medeinė is derived from Lithuanian words medis “tree” or medė “forest”; which have no reliable Indo-European etymology. The root mede “tree” / “forest” can originate from a language of the Neolithic people of the East European plain, these people spoke a language related to Yeniseian, Caucasian, and Hattic. The root mede “tree” / “forest” correlates with Proto-Northwest Caucasian form *maźV “pine-tree”. The name Medeina/Medeinė originally could sound like Mæde/Mædə.

Keywords: Medeina; Lithuanian mythology; bear cult


The meaning of Sumerian culture for the reconstruction of cultural patterns existing in societies speaking languages belonging to the Ainu-Minoan stock

Tresi Nonno

Sumerian language belongs to the Ainu-Minoan stock. The relatedness of languages supposes a certain similarity of the corresponding cultures. Sumerian culture is especially valuable for understanding conceptions existing in cultures of the Ainu-Minoan stock because throughout its history it developed by its internal logic, without experiencing serious external influences, and also had a well-elaborated tradition of recording different aspects of its own life. The closer a certain Ainu-Minoan culture (in geographical, historical, and social aspects) is to Sumerian culture, the more it is possible to project onto it items of Sumerian culture. Cultures remote from Sumerian culture both in time and geographically have usually only the most basic features in common with it. However, if the question is a reconstruction of patterns/mechanisms of a certain culture of the Ainu-Minoan stock, then Sumerian culture can be used more as a certain ideal example rather than as a source of direct analogies/projections.

Keywords: Sumerian culture; Ainu-Minoan stock;cultural patterns


The semantics of the Ainu bear ritual iomante: bear as a kind of inaw

Tresi Nonno, Alexander Akulov

Bear was one of the most important beings for Ainu. Bears were not only named kamuy, but were considered as true kamuy by the Ainu. And bear ritual iomante was one of the most significant rituals in the system of Ainu rituals. In the system of Ainu religion inaw is a universal sacrifice, i.e.: a bridge between the world of people and the world of kamuy, a bridge through which ramat can flow from the world of kamuy to the world of people. And the iomante ritual serves to establish a connection/bridge with the world of kamuy, and grace from the world of kamuy flows over the bridge into the world of people: people become more successful in hunting. And thus, bear in the iomante ritual can be considered as a kind of inaw.

Keywords: Ainu beliefs; bear; bear ritual; bear feast; Ainu


CAES Vol. 6, № 4


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Interpreting the proximity values of potsherds collections received by the Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov

If we are going to learn to what degree the collection of potsherds x belonging to the technocomplex X is close to the collection y belonging to the technocomplex Y, then the degree of proximity of x and y should be compared with that of y and yn (yn is a random collection belonging to Y). If the degree of proximity of x and y is the same or higher than that of y and yn, it means that x and y are related. If the aim is to compare different subgroups that have been singled out within a certain collection of potsherds then a standard set of collections can be used as a source of thresholds. A standard set of collections should contain several collections in order to be representative; also collections of the set should have originated from sites that have been proved to be related.

Keywords: comparing collections of potsherds; mathematical semiotics; Neolithic pottery


Whether the site of Hepojarvi is a settlement of repeated settling?

Alexander Akulov

The site of Hepojarvi is the first excavated Neolithic settlement in the south of the Karelian Isthmus, in the immediate vicinity of Saint Petersburg. The pottery of the site has been subdivided into three types: Sperrings pottery, Comb-Pit Ware of the developed stage of the Neolithic period, and the late Neolithic pottery. The site was supposed to be a settlement of repeated settling. In order to clarify: whether population shifts really took place on the site in this paper three subgroups of pottery are compared by the method of Monte Carlo. Within the pottery of Hepojarvi can be distinguished three subgroups, but they are separated from each other no further than collections of pottery of related local groups. The tradition of pottery was maintained and it is possible to say that there were no population shifts on the settlement during the Neolithic period. 

Keywords: Comb-Pit Ware; Pit-Comb Ware; Neolithic pottery; Hepojarvi settlement; ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics  


Historical reenactment in modern Russia as a subculture

Yelena Kolesnikova

The so-called historical reenactment in Russia is a special subculture with its own ideology. Usually reenactors are adherents of different conservative worldviews (they are adherents of so-called ‘traditional family values’ and sexism; demonstrate negative attitudes toward feminism and LGBT, and also toward liberal ideas). Also historical reenactors consider things as more important than semiotic systems. This tendency serves the devaluation of history as semiotics. Semiotics should be the backbone of any historical research and any experiment/reconstruction: one should not simply reconstruct a certain item, but should first of all understand/reconstruct the role of the item inside the corresponding culture. Under the influence of this historical reenactment the importance of semiotics in historical sciences is subjected to devaluation, and experimental archaeology is converted into a cosplay show. Serious historians should distance themselves from movements of such kind, and oppose something to such movements or at least not hesitate to criticize them.

Keywords: historical reenactment; modern Russia; subcultures; ethnography of contemporaneity


Problems of the Aleut language education

Rodion Kosorukov

Aleuts are the indigenous people of the Alaska Peninsula. They speak the Aleut language, but only 96 fluent speakers remain anywhere, with the largest concentration on the island of Atka in the central Aleutians. On Atka and Bering Islands is spoken Western or Atkan dialect. The differences between Western and Eastern dialects are not fundamental. There are some differences in the lexical composition, syntax, and some morphological differences. The Bilingual Education Act of 1967 opened up the possibility of teaching in American schools on languages other than English. The Alaska Native Language Study Center, initiated by Michael Krauss at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, produces textbooks and other literature in the Aleut language. However, since the 1980s, there have been no new Aleut language textbooks for the Alaskan school system. And in recent years the Aleut language was excluded from the school curriculum. 

Keywords: Aleut language; Atkan dialect; Aleut language education


How to compare different systems of ruling represented in different societies

Tresi Nonno

Any particular aspect of a society can be represented as an ordered pair of the following view: <A; Ω> where A is the set of members of society, and Ω is the set of relations defined upon A. In the case of the system of ruling the Ω set can be formed by the following two relations: direct communication with the center of decision making and immediate influence on the center of decision making. And thus, any system of ruling can be represented as a 3D vector (x, y, z) where x is the number of people belonging to the considered society, y is the proportion of people who can directly communicate with the decision-making center, and z is the proportion of people who can immediately influence on the decision-making center. The degree of resemblance of two systems of ruling is the degree of resemblance of the corresponding vectors.

Keywords: social structures; mathematical semiotics; systems of ruling


CAES Vol. 6, № 2


Editor’s foreword


Buyeo group and Manchu

Alexander Akulov

In this paper the question of relatedness of the Manchu language and Buyeo group is resolved by Verb Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI). The method supposes a direct comparison of really existing/existed languages. The method is based on the idea that language is ordered pair <A; Ω> where A is set of grammatical meanings and Ω is set of positional distributions defined upon A, and VGCI is a superposition of indexes of correlation of both sets. If the value of VGCI is about 0.3 or lower then languages aren’t related. If the value of VGCI is about 0.56 and higher then compared languages belong to the same group, but not just to the same family. VGCI of Japanese and Manchu is 0.39; VGCI of Korean and Manchu is 0.46, i.e.: Buyeo and Tungusic languages form a family, not a group; Manchu is closer to Korean than to Japanese.

Keywords: comparative linguistics; Buyeo languages; Manchu


Think pieces:

A general outline of the technology of manufacturing of the logboat found by A. A. Inostrantsev on the southern coast of Lake Ladoga

Alexander Akulov

The paper represents a general outline of the technology of manufacturing the logboat found by A. A. Inostrantsev on the southern coast of Lake Ladoga. The logboat was made of oak, its length is 362 cm, and its maximum width is about 70 cm. Its dating varies from 5000 to 2000 BP. Neolithic people seldom made logboats of oak; they mainly made boats of such wood as linden, aspen, or poplar. That’s why aspen or poplar is going to be used in the future reconstruction of the logboat. It is supposed that first the trunk was cracked into two halves lengthwise by wooden or bone wedges, and then the logboat was made of half of the trunk.

Keywords: logboat; Neolithic boat; Neolithic people of Lake Ladoga; Neolithic technology


Paja ul deˀŋ

Alexander Akulov

Paja ul deˀŋ [padʒaul’deˀŋ] “People of big water” is a conventional name of Neolithic inhabitants of the territories of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad oblast in their hypothetical reconstructed language. In order to be able to speak about a certain ethnicity, it is necessary that this ethnicity would have a convenient designation. It is possible to state that these people spoke a Yenisseian language since upon the territory of East European plain there are some Yeniseian hydronyms. Also in the Sami language there are some words of Yeniseian origin. When an ethnicity known only by archaeological data acquires currently existing and well-described relatives – it is a remarkable fact. It is possible to reconstruct the worldview of Paja ul deˀŋ on the base of related cultures.

Keywords: Paja ul deˀŋ; Neolithic period; Yeniseian languages; Pit-Comb ware


A preliminary attempt to compare ornaments of Jeulmun and Jōmon

Tresi Nonno

Jeulmun and Jōmon potteries coexisted in time and in space, and look pretty much alike. In this paper a precise method is applied to the comparison of ornamentation of both potteries to avoid speculative reasoning/conclusions about their closeness/proximity. The scheme of comparison is the following: 1) should be estimated the correlation index of two sets of ornamental elements; 2) should be estimated the correlation index of positional distributions of common elements (elements of a certain ornament can be localized in the 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. In the current paper a very small selection has been considered, but it is clear that some Jeulmun vessels demonstrate more resemblance with certain Jōmon vessels than with other Jeulmun vessels.

Keywords: Jōmon; Jeulmun; pottery ornamentation; semiotics; mathematical semiotics


Topological method of comparing plans of archaeological sites

Tresi Nonno, Alexander Akulov

The plan of any settlement/site can be represented as a set of elements/zones in which is determined the relation of adjoining. And thus, the plan of any settlement can be fully described by the following sets: the set of elements and by sets of interconnections of each element. And then the index of correlation of plans of settlements is a superposition of two indexes of correlation: the index of correlation of sets of zones/elements and the index of correlation of sets of interconnections.  The higher is the index of correlation of settlements, the more similar are compared settlements, i.e.: they consist of more similar sets of elements, and interconnections of the common elements are more similar.

Keywords:  comparing of settlements; mathematical semiotics; semiotics


CAES Vol. 5, № 4


Editor’s foreword


Stone adzes and axes found by A. A. Inostrantsev on the southern coast of Lake Ladoga in the context of the stone industry of some other Neolithic sites in the neighborhood of Saint Petersburg

Alexander Akulov

Visiting the location where the New Syas and New Svir canals were being dug A. A. Inostrantsev found many stone axes and adzes. The present text is aimed to summarize information about stone axes and adzes found by Inostrantsev; and also to consider stone axes and adzes from some other Neolithic sites of the neighborhood of Petersburg, such as Ust-Rybezhna, Okhta 1, Tarkhovka, and Hepojarvi. Most of axes and adzes from these sites have been made of shale as well as axes and adzes from the collection of Inostrantsev. Thus, it is possible to state that the adzes and axes collected by Inostrantsev correlate well with axes and adzes of other Neolithic sites of the region.

Keywords: stone adzes; stone axes; Neolithic stone industry; Russian Northwest; Lake Ladoga


A regularity of change of the error that takes place when randomly selected sets of potsherds are compared by the Monte Carlo method

Tresi Nonno

The Monte Carlo method estimates the correlation index of two random sets of potsherds. For estimating the potential error of the method set A (20 potsherds) is compared with set B (15 potsherds). The number of elements of B is gradually decreased by one element and variants of each new B are compared with A. Results are the following: if the ratio of the numbers of elements of two compared sets is 1 – 0.7 then the potential error is 1% or less; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.65 – 0.6 then the potential error is 4 – 5%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.55 – 0.5 then the potential error is 7 – 8%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.45 then the potential error is 14%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.4 and less then the potential error is about 19%.

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

Nonno_Monte Carlo_error

Think pieces:

Hydronymy of Yeniseian origin in the basin of Oka river

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

In the basin of Oka river there are some rivers which names end with –ul/-ur: Chistur, Dandur, Mokshur, Nasmur, Ninur, Pynsur, Shersul. These hydronyms look much alike hydronyms of Yeniseian origin which exist in Siberia (for instance: Agul, Langur and so on). The ending of -ur/-ul looks much alike Yeniseian root “water” that has the following forms in different Yeniseian idioms: ul/ūl/ūr/kul. In Uralic and Indo-European languages there is no such root. Thus, it looks like the territory of the East European plain was inhabited by a western branch of Yeniseian people in the Neolithic period. Also the fact of good preservation of hydronyms of Yeniseian origin in the basin of Oka correlates well with the fact that the traditions of Neolithic pottery (Pit-Comb Ware) were maintained much longer in the basin of Oka than in other territories of East European plain.

Keywords: Yeniseian languages; substrate hydronymy; Neolithic period

Akulov_Efimova_Yeniseian hydronymy


Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

Inaw is an inseparable item of any Ainu ritual. Usually inaw is a little stick with shavings. Usually inaw are made of willow.  Inaw has been rather well described in ethnographic literature; however, its meaning/functions and the etymology of the word inaw still remain to a certain extent unclear. According to our data the word inaw originally is a compound of two morphemes: i “something” and naw “to curl, and thus i-naw” means simply “shaved”, “curled”. Inaw is a universal ‘pure’ item that can hold and transmit ramat. In the system of Ainu religion inaw is a universal sacrifice, i.e.: a bridge between the world of people and the world of kamuy, a bridge through which ramat can flow from the world of kamuy to the world of people.

Keywords: Ainu; Ainu religion; inaw; Ainu folklore; ethnosemiotics


Some preliminary notes on the Neolithic textile of the territories of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad oblast

Nadya Efimova

The question of reconstruction of clothing is one of the most important parts of reconstruction of everyday life of Neolithic people of the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, but we have no evidence of textile manufacturing in these territories. And therefore it is possible to turn to the material of Narva culture that had regular contacts with people who lived in the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast in Neolithic epoch (for instance, in the site of Okhta 1 have been found amber adornments originated from Narva culture). In Narva culture existed textile manufacturing: upon the sites of Šventoji and Sarnate have been tools which can be interpreted as textile tools and a fragment of textile made of linden. Thus, it is possible to state that Neolithic people who lived upon the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast could regularly see textiles and very likely could manufacture it.

Keywords: Neolithic textile; Neolithic period of Northwest of Russia; Narva culture



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 of oak. The total length of the logboat was no less than 350 cm. For the 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 carved from the same tree as the boat and were not inserted later, 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 conclusions about the degree of proximity can strongly depend 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. 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