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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 2

A BIG MOHE DWELLING CONSTRUCTION IN THE WESTERN AMUR REGION

S.P. Nesterov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Lavrentieva ave., 17, Novosibirsk, Russia, 630090
Keywords: Troitsk Group of Mohe, Amur Region, Osinovoe Ozero, dwelling, frame-pillar structure

Abstract

In 2012 a big dwelling (№ 3) belonging to the early Medieval period (the Troitsk group of Mohe culture) was excavated in the Amur Province, Russian Far East. The remains of its construction comply with the building concepts of the VIII-IX centuries and have a number of interesting features. The article’s objective is to introduce to scientific use the new original data on its construction. The dwelling’s specific features include its dimensions exceeding 7 m in length in comparison with 5-6 m typically observed by archaeologists. Another specific feature is the carcass composed of 7-meter logs based only on 4 angle posts. The central supporting posts for sloping beams were absent. Such types of big Mohe dwellings have never been found before. Angle poles used to be dug into the ground right after preparing the surface area or after removing the humus layer. Afterward the foundation pit would be dug out bypassing angles with poles, which resulted in forming triangle bases around poles. In the Amur Region such building method also has never been discovered before. Another specific feature previously unobserved in Medieval dwellings is lining the foundation pit walls with vertical rows of wooden slabs. So, the dwelling № 3 at Osinovoe Ozero (Lake) Site was of a frame-pillar type placed down to the foundation pit at 1.5-1.8 m. The base of the construction was composed of four logs, each over 7 m in length and 22-30 cm in diameter. Four rafters were put into the base corners, joined at the top making a rectangular chimney. The pitched roof was covered with wooden planks, filled with ground, or trimmed by divot. The entrance was located at the southern roof slope on a comfortable level for inhabitants from the surface with stairs. Such dwelling looked like a pyramid covered with grass. Its key elements are similar to the dwelling № 2 at Osinovoe Ozero (Lake) Site dated (14C) to the late IX century.