История башкирского народа. Том 1
История башкирского народа : в 7 т./ гл. ред. М.М. Кульшарипов ; Ин-т истории, языка и литературы УНЦ РАН. – М. : Наука, 2009. – 400 с.: ил. – ISBN 978-5-02-037008-1.
Т. I. – 2009. – ISBN 978-5-02-037010-4 (в пер.)
Первый том «Истории башкирского народа» посвящен древнейшим этапам истории Южного Урала – территории, где происходило формирование башкирского народа. В книге последовательно описано складывание исторического ландшафта в эпоху камня, бронзы и раннего железа; освещены основные этнокультурные процессы. Книга построена на основе археологических источников с привлечением широкого круга антропологических, фольклорных и лингвистических материалов.
Data provided by archaeology, physical anthropology, folklore and linguistic studies all testify to a continuous cultural tradition in the Southern Urals since the most ancient antiquity up to Modern times.
Man has started settling the Southern Urals within the last 30,000 years. Harsh climate conditions had not allowed men to dwell in the region all around the year. All the historical relics of the Paleolithic epoch are but remnants of temporary hunting camps. Yet one observes a beginning periodicity and regularity in the first ancientmost appearance of human collectives here. Cave sanctuaries with polychromous wall paintings and the bear cult had been rather regularly employed by man during considerable spaces of time. During that historical period most early cosmogonical notions of South Ural hunters began shaping which subsequently made the basis of the world’s origins narrated in the Bashkirs’ epic saga Ural – Batyr.
The Mesolithic times saw the appearance of a stationary population on Bashkortostan territory. From an archaeological point of view we can observe the formation of several human communities having as yet unclear features. By the start of the Neolithic epoch there forms a community of fishers and hunters with a stable structure. A cycle of «forest-mountain zone – mountain vicinities – forest steppe» forms itself. Changes concern both material and spiritual spheres. Sanctuary rites move from dark space of caverns onto open-air sites by or near monumental cliffs. By now caverns, deep rivers and lakes appear as if entrances to the nether World where the deceased go to. This phenomenon is succinctly traced by the pisanitsas or rock paintings. It is in that period that the image of Shulgen – Lord of the subterranean world had been born.
Some tokens of animal husbandry i.e. the production mode of life make their start by the end of the Neolithic on the terrain of historical Bashkortostan. Two traditions here can be traced. One is associated with small stock breeding peculiar to the cultures of the Northern Pontic steppe zones. Also found are some feeble hints at the start of the horse domestication process which had been an endemic of the lower Urals prairies.
The archeological features and bounds of relevant cultures of the period in question are not clear-cut. The individual differences of certain relics of culture are at times abrupt and hard to be juxtaposed with their kin. The population density of the region is fairly small. It is hardly probable for any stable ethnical communities to be shaped at that period. Common world outlook and perchance language are only beginning to form during the historical times researched.
By the beginnings of the Bronze Age in the South Urals as was the case in Eurasia at large the principal geographic and landscape zones of mountainous forests, Southern taiga, forest-steppe and steppe ones terminate their formation. At the beginning of that epoch already two principal cultural and economic areas start shaping themselves and subsequently the unique culture of the Bashkir people takes its start as the result of an interaction of the two.
In the North of the Bashkir Land in the forest and forest-steppe zones sedentary population’s mode of life who were heirs to the archaeological cultures of the Stone Age was being formed. The base of their subsistence economy was many faceted, hunting playing major part here at first. In the South, in the steppe zone spreads the production type based on pasturalism, bearers of which had been the incoming intruding population of the Abashev and Sintashta cultures. The economic pivot of the steppe communities had for long been maintained by animal husbandry. The horse-rider or cavaliers’ culture and the horse worship come to life within the ancient animal husbandry communities. That epoch also saw the beginnings of man’s tapping of this land’s rich natural resources. During the Late Bronze Age a mighty centre of non-ferrous metallurgy takes its shape in the South Urals having its own ore deposits base and original contours of items produced. From the archeologist’s viewpoint at this historical stage one can discern but a feeble interaction of the Southern (steppe) and Northern (forest) population.
A most violent crisis had hit the South Urals at the transition point of the Bronze and early Iron Ages. The steppe population deserts from the region, the steppe growing empty. The bulk of the population migrates down South to Central Asia, another part of them moving North to the southern edge of the woods there. A strong influence of the steppe peoples ( the Log and Alakul cultures) is being traced in the forest cultures of the final years of the outgoing Bronze Age (the Maklashev and Mezhov-Cherkaskul) cultures.
Primarily that had been reflected in the way the clay pottery was ornamented and in females’ decorations. Distant reverberations of the Bronze Age are found also in the Ural Batyr epic saga. Ergo that historical epoch has left its traces in the Bashkir people’s culture as well.
The anthropological characteristics of that epoch allow of two major types to be singled out, viz. the Uraloid and the Pontic-European ones which subsequently were to become one of the principal anthropological types of the present-day Bashkir populace.
The territory of Bashkortostan begins to be peopled anew in the VII – VI –th centuries BC only. A powerful nomadic congregation is formed in the steppe zone having a pre-state social structure (the Prokhorov culture). In the forest-steppe zone there shapes a peculiar culture which had imbued elements of a nomadic steppe population (the Kara-Abyz culture).
A close interaction of the populace of all landscape zones is peculiar for the period of the Early Bronze Age. The existence of a mighty union of nomadic tribes in the region had stimulated the development of economic, cultural, military and other ties. At the boundary of the New and Old eras the steppe-forest and steppe zones here turn into densely populated areas. A trading route that later on turned into an offshoot of the famed Silk Road started functioning during that time.
By the close of the Early Iron Age the elements peculiar to the steppe culture enter the forest-steppe in the North all the more. The historical relics of that period’s nomadic population became located at the spot of the modern City of Ufa, across the Mesyagut forest-steppe and the Chusovaya River valley they find their way onto the Kungur forest-steppe terrain which is now the Perm District of the RF. Those events had given an impetus to a new spiral of the ethnogenetic process in the region that ultimately led to the shaping of the Bashkir nation.
The archaeological study of this land alongside the data furnished by physical anthropology demonstrates a permanent sojourn at the South Urals territory of a certain share of an indigenous population. The tradition has been in its continuity since the Mesolithic times already.
The South Urals in a historical perspective has always acted as a territory of transition linking the Northern Eurasia’s Western and Oriental regions, experiencing a continuous influence from the South. That is why regardless of persistence of a certain autochthonous nucleus, major part has always been and is now played by an intrusive population when shaping this land’s cultural image. This peculiarity of the region has been reflected also in the multiplicity and mosaics of the archaeological cultures of the Southern Urals.