Vasilii Soenov, Nikita Konstantınov, Synaru Trıfanova, Denis Soenov, Evgeniya Konstantınova

Keywords: Altai, archaeology, fortification, hill forts, 1st millennium AD, mountains


This paper presents the results of a study of fortified settlements of the first half of the 1st millennium AD in Altai. It established that all the settlements of this period are located in the northern part of the region. In total there are seven fortified settlements. The article describes their topographical location and aspects of their location. At two of the sites limited excavations were made of part of the fortifications. At both of these the work established the existence of two rows of ramparts and ditches associated with deeper shafts constructed using clay, earth and wood, and a clay matrix. The fortifications share characteristics indicating that local building traditions were followed in their construction. At one site the excavation of a shaft revealed the ritual burial of a sheep. The other settlements were examined by means of test pits. Sherds of pottery were found at all the settlements, along with fragments of animal bones and bone artifacts. The cumulative evidence suggests that most if not all of these fortifications were built in a short period of time in a tense military and political situation.