image/svg+xml19XIII/1/2022INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.euGeophysical Studies of Wells in the Settlements of Konoplyanka 1 and Konoplyanka 2 (Bronze Age)Vladislav Noskevich1*, Natalia Fedorova11Institute of Geophysics Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Amundsen Street 100, 620016, Yekaterinburg, Russia1. IntroductionIn modern archaeology, at the initial stage of the search and localisation of ancient monuments, geophysical methods are actively used (Aspinal et al., 2008, Conyers et al., 2016, Scollar et al., 1990). In the Southern Urals, more than 20 fortifed settlements of the Bronze Age dating back to the 21st–18th centuries BC have been discovered (Gening et al., 1992; Zdanovich and Batanina, 2007). The architecture of the settlements is almost completely destroyed, and the earthen walls of the settlements, the ditches and dwelling cavities have been ploughed up. Over the study area of a number of settlements (Arkaim, Kamennyi Ambar, Konoplyanka, Andreevskoe, Sarym-Sakly, Ustye, Zhurumbai, Kuisak, Rodniki, Ulak), a magnetic survey has been carried out, as a result of which the locations of the outer defensive walls and ditches and the walls of buildings have been determined and the plans of settlements reconstructed (Tibelius, 1995; Punegov, 2009; Merrony et al., 2009; Noskevich and Fedorova, 2013; 2020; Hanks et al., 2013; Fornasier et al., 2014; Bakhshiyev et al., 2018). Inside many dwellings, local magnetic anomalies are clearly distinguishable: created by the remains of wells, utility pits and stoves. Archaeologists can use the obtained information concerning the structure of monuments and their precise referencing and then more purposefully select sites for excavation (Koryakova et al., 2018). The results obtained in the process of such excavations help to increase the reliability of the interpretation of the geophysical anomalies and link them with the site’s specifc structures.Extensive excavations were carried out at the Kamenny Ambar settlement and numerous wells were found inside the dwellings. These features aroused great interest: not only because of the artifacts found inside the wells, but also as they were the frst hydraulic structures found in northern Eurasia (Koryakova et al., 2019). Epimakhov et al.(2020) presented 44 radiocarbon dates from 18 wells from diferent eras of the Bronze Age. This settlement functioned for more than 150 years and, based on the materials obtained from the wells, it was possible to establish the absolute age and stages of settlement. It was revealed that most of the wells belong to the Sintashta-Petrovka period, which is characterised Volume XIII     ●     Issue 1/2022     ●     Pages 19–28*Corresponding author. E-mail: ubistu@gmail.comARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 23rdMarch 2021Accepted: 17thAugust 2021DOI: words:settlementwellmagnetic surveyGPRmagnetic susceptibilityBronze AgeSouth UralsABSTRACTIn the South Urals, numerous wells have been found inside dwellings in settlements of the Bronze Age. These features are of great interest, not only because of the artifacts found inside the wells, but also as the frst hydrotechnical structures within the territory of northern Eurasia. Geophysical studies were carried out over the area of two Bronze Age settlements: the fortifed settlement of Konoplyanka and the unfortifed settlement of Konoplyanka 2. A gradient magnetic survey was carried out and settlement plans reconstructed, which formed the basis for the selection of sites for the archaeological excavations. Comparison of geophysical and archaeological results showed that, using magnetic maps, it was possible to accurately reconstruct the plans of ancient settlements and localize the positions of wells. At the excavation site of the settlement of Konoplyanka 1, as a result of the magnetic susceptibility survey, it was established that the edges of the wells were reinforced with a special soil that has higher magnetic properties than the subsoils present. At the excavation site at the settlement of Konoplyanka 2, ground penetrating radar (GPR) prospection of the four wells was carried out, the depth and structural features of these wells being determined. Excavations at two of the wells confrmed the results of the geophysical studies.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2022 ● XIII/1 ● 19–28Vladislav Noskevich, Natalia Fedorova: Geophysical studies of wells in the settlements of Konoplyanka 1 and Konoplyanka 2 (Bronze Age)20by linearly-located blocks of buildings inside fortifed territories. The second period, marked by randomly-located dwellings, is associated with Srubnaya-Alakul artifacts and is represented by only four wells. During this period, a transformation of the architectural tradition took place, with both the layout of the settlement and the construction of the wells being changed.In the valley of the Karagailly-Ayat River (Chelyabinsk region, Russia), at a distance of about 20 km from the Kamennyi Ambar settlement, there are other settlements of the Bronze Age: the fortifed settlement of Konoplyanka and the unfortifed settlement of Konoplyanka 2. The fortifed settlement of Konoplyanka (hereinafter referred to as Konoplyanka 1) is located on the banks of the Akmulla river. The settlement was discovered based on the results of interpretation of aerial photographs (Zdanovich and Batanina, 2007). The total area is c.15,000 m2, and the area inside the fortifcations is c. 8400 m2. On the other bank of the river, at a distance of 800 m, there is the unfortifed settlement of Konoplyanka 2 (Figure 1b). The settlement was discovered in 1982 (Tarasov, 1983). As a result of archaeological research, 10 shallow dwelling depressions were found on the surface. Seven of them are almost closely adjacent to each other, located in one line along the edge of the coastal terrace in a north-north-west – south-east direction. Three more depressions are located 50 m to the north. This village is located about 100 m east of a small lake and 200 m from the current river bed.