New isotopic data on the diet of the saka period population from central Kazakhstan

Arman Z. Beisenov, Svetlana V. Svyatko, Daniyar B. Duysenbay, Islam K. Akhiyarov, Paula J. Reimer

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This paper presents the results of stable isotope analysis of the Saka period population of Central Kazakhstan. The analysed materials originate from 37 sites of the Tasmola Culture which is presently dated to the 8th - 5th c. BC. The sample include 31 humans from 31 burials and 6 animals from three settlements and three burials. Human isotopic results are widely scattered both in δ13C, and in δ15N ratios from the cemeteries of Koitas, Taldy-2, Akbeit and Karashoky. The obtained data suggests the presence of millet in Central Kazakhstan in the beginning of the Early Iron Age, either as agricultural crop or imported product. The findings of a small quantity of millet and barley grains in the cultural layer of one of the Tasmola Culture settlements supports this hypothesis. These findings represent the first phase of the research. A more representative series of samples, including faunal, is needed for a more comprehensive investigation of the topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalPovolzhskaya Arkheologiya
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan, A.Kh. Khalikov Archaeology Institute. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Archaeology
  • Burial
  • Central Kazakhstan
  • Methodology
  • Palaeodiet
  • Settlement
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Tasmola culture
  • Ultrafiltration method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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