Koloda V.V., Gorbanenko S.A. Rural economy of the bearers of the Saltov culture in forest-steppe zone. Summary

In the basis of military and political power of Khazar khaganate there was highly developed economy that was grounded on agriculture and cattle-breeding. The development of these brunches seems to be very important for northwestern outskirts of the Khazaria; this ensured its military and political and economic domination over neighbour tribes of the East Slavs. For the latest quarter of the century there were carried out scale archeological explorations of the settled structures; they were independent economic micro-regions of the khaganate’s forest-steppe zone. The base sites became settlements with adjacent villages: Verhniy Saltov, Mohnach, Korobovy Hutora on the river Severskiy Donetz (Kharkov region). The received data and the usage of the methods of natural sciences allowed to add some information to the existing notions about the development of agriculture and cattle-breeding of the population of the mentioned region in the middle of the VIII — the beginning of the X centuries A.D.

The analysis of the territory convinces us of the fact that the choice of a settlement place was dictated by natural and climatic conditions that would be the most suitable for the field farming and settled animal breeding. Farmers used various implements of high quality for all agricultural operations: tillage, harvest gathering and crop processing. Tillable implements were designed in various way and there were accessories served the basis for the tillage; they allowed to work the soil of different density and texture. The existance of subsidiary implements for the tillage (mattock and spade) may indicate the existence of gardening. The harvesting was implemented by sickles and scythes of different types. Crop processing was realized mainly with the help of hand rotary millstones, infrequently — with the help of grain graters.

In spite of the broad spectrum of growing crops (several sorts of wheat and barley, rye, millet, oat), the farming of the inhabitants of the examined sites was subordinated to a considerable degree of animal breeding needs. The harvest keeping was carried out in pits-granaries, barns, in special jars-pithois. It depended on the amount of harvest, soil characteristics and the role that played grain farming in certain families and kins.

Archaezoologic complexes indicate a high level of animal-breeding development; with this, hunting was no longer important for provision of meat products. There prevailed grown-up and half-grown-up animal units in a herd. It is an indicator of stability of animal-breeding in general. Predominance by quantity of animal units of bovine animals and small cattle is typical for all the sites. Together, they always possess an absolute advantage over pigs and horses. The meat products derived from bovine animals steadily takes up the first position (frequently, they absolutely prevail). The role of meat products of small cattle is very often insignificant (10—15%). The part of a pig in a herd is insignificant (from absolute absence to a third of a herd). The quantity of horses in a herd is the most stable — about 15%.

In summer time cattle was supported by daily pastures or was pastured distantly. In the archaeological materials there is a fixed presence of warm cattle sheds; il; allowed to keep a part of a herd in winter time straight in a settlement successfully as well.

The examined range of materials of the three main bases convinces of the fact that the population of forest-steppe settlements of the Khazaria was far from providing itself with food stuff in necessary quantity on its own. It needed the entering of farming products from without; for this there served their significant neighbourhood (outdoor villages) of the economic micro-regions.

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