Materials science aspects of the production of wooden utensils of Bronze and Early Iron Ages from the North Black Sea and North Azov Sea regions


  • Kateryna Minakova Dnepropetrovsk University of the Humanities, Ukraine
  • Maryna Serheieva Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine



Archaeology, Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, wooden utensils, paleobotany


The article presents the results of analysis of nine wooden utensils of the Bronze and Early Iron Ages (Catacomb, Zrubna and Sciphian cultures) in comparison with previous analysis of different authors. In eight cases remains were represented by deciduous trees (mostly maple - Acer sp.). Comparison of this results with data from other investigators allowed to conclude that for making objects from wood used mainly local breeds. When selecting trees for making utensils, old masters have used certain principles such as ease of cutting and aesthetic preferences. For the manufacture of wooden utensils, pastoral nomads used mostly local wood that grew in gullies and floodplains. Most often for the manufacture of wooden utensils used maple, which is recorded in the Catacomb monuments, Zrubna, Scythian and Sarmatian burials. The generally accepted view is of the greatest accessibility of oak as a material for the manufacture of wooden utensils. However, our analysis and findings of other studies suggest limited use of wood for making utensils. Only in one case, for making fixed tray was used oak bark. However, generally we have to assume that the old masters avoided the use of oak wood for cutting wooden utensils due to its physical properties and considering that the tools were quite simple for working with brittle kinds of wood. In two cases (burial 17 and 23 of Vysoka Mohyla Zaporizhzhya oblast) the data shows that for producing of the bowl chestnut wood (Castanea sp.) was utilized. In the Steppe zone the willow and birch bark were broadly widespread. They could be used to make baskets and birch products, however, we do not have the results of relevant analyzes to talk about it with confidence.

Author Biographies

Kateryna Minakova, Dnepropetrovsk University of the Humanities


Maryna Serheieva, Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Candidate of Historical Sciences, senior researcher


Leskov, A.M. (1981), Jung- und spätbronzezeitliche Depotfunde im nördlichen Schvarzmeergebiet (Depots mit einheimischen Formen). PBF. XX. № 1. München, 168 p.

Antonov, A.L. and Otroshchenko, V.V. (2004), Ritual utensils of Zrubna community. Archaeology, № 1, Kyiv. p. 18-29. (ukr).

Berezanskaya, S.S. (1990), Usovo lake: settlement of Zrubna culture in the North Donets, Naukova dumka, Kyiv, 149 p. (rus).

Bidzilya, V.I. and Yakovenko, E.V. (1973), Ralo from late Yamna culture burial end of III - beginning of II millennium BC. Soviet archaeology, № 3, p. 146-152 (rus).

Brovender, J.M. (2010), Kartamisky complex of the Bronze Age in central Donbas, Archaeology, № 2, p. 87-101 (ukr).

Vikhrov, V.E. (1959), Diagnostic features of wood as the most important forestry and timber industry of the USSR species, AN SSSR Publishing, Moscow, 156 p. (rus).

Gammerman, A.F. and Nikitin, A.A. and Nikolaeva, T.L. (1946), The determinant of the woods on the microscopic features with album micrographs, AN SSSR Publishing, Moscow-Leningrad (rus).

Kiyashko, V.Ya. and Yatsenko, V.V. (2001), Burial of a set of instruments of the Middle Bronze Age. Historical and archeological investigations in Azov and in the Lower Don in 1999-2000, Azov, Vol.17, p. 274 - 286 (rus).

Korobkova, G.F. and Shaposhnikova, O.G. (2005), Settlement Mihailovka - reference monument of Yamna culture (environment, housing, tools, life support systems, industrial structure), W.p., St. Petersburg, 316 p. (rus).

Lagodovska, O. and Shaposhnikova, O. and Makarevich M. (1962), Mihaylivske settlement. Kiyv, AN URSR Publishing, 247 p. (ukr).

Neustadt, M.I. (1957), History of forest and paleogeography of the USSRin golotsen, AN SSSR Publishing, Moskow (rus).

Romashko, V.A. (2013), Final stage of the Late Bronze Age at Left-Bank Ukraine (based on Boguslavsky Belozersky Culture), Skif PH, Kyiv (rus).

Otroshchenko, V.V. (1984), Wooden tableware in Zrubna culture burials on Dnieper. Problems of archeology of Dnieper, Dnipro, DNU, p. 89-93. (rus).

Otroshchenko, V. (1992), The tradition of manufacturing wooden vessels in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the South Eastern Europe, Cimmerians and Scythians, Melitopol, p. 71-72 (rus).

Pyatyh, G.G. (1984), On the origin of wooden utensils carcass Volgaculture, Soviet archaeology, №2, p. 146-154 (rus).

Krivtsov-Grakova, O.A. (1949), Bessarabian treasure, Historical museum, Moscow, 27 p. (rus).

Litvinenko, R.A. (1997), Wooden utensils in the graves in Zrubna culture of Azov and Donetskregion. Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the history of the ancient tribes of the southern Russian steppes, Saratov, p. 106-109 (rus).

Lyashko, S.N. (1994), Wood Crafts in the Eneolithic and Bronze Age in Ukraine, Naukova Dumka, Kyiv, 189 p. (rus).

Tsimidanov, V.V. (2000), Secrets of the bowls in Zrubna culture. Don archeology, № 3-4, p. 142-148 (rus).

Litvinenko, R.A. (2004), Wooden utensils in Babino culture. Donetsk archaeological collection, vol. 11. Donetsk, p. 20-54 (rus).

Dudin, A.A. (2009), On the metal parts of wooden utensils early nomads of the south of Eastern Europein the Scythian period, Vitaantiqua, Kyiv: CWD “Kiev The University”, № 7-8, p.123-129 (rus).

Dudin, A.A. (2009), On the question of the functional purpose of the wooden bowls of the early nomads of the steppes of Eastern Europe (IX-VII centuries BC.), Starozhitnostі Stepovoy Prichornomor’ya i Krim, Zaporіzhzhya: ZNU, vol. XV. p. 34-36 (rus).

Minakova, E.V. (2011), Wooden utensils in the burial of pit-grave culture. Archaeology & Fortifіcation of Middle Podnіstrov’ya. Kamianets-Podіlsky, p. 11-15 (rus).

Mіnakova, K.V. (2012), To problem of the dishes of the Bronze Age, Problems of studing of the arcaeoligacal sites in Eastern Ukraine, Luhansk, p. 307-312 (ukr).

Krasilnikov, K.I. and Telnova, L.I. (1993), Study of the mound near the villageof Preobrazhenneon the KrasnayaRiver. Ancient cultures Podontsovya (Issue 1). Collection of scientific papers. Lugansk, Publishing department of the regional department of the Press, p.108 (rus).

Shishlina N.I. and Gak, E.I. and Samoilenko, V.G. (2010), Zapadnomanychskie catacomb burial cemetery Baga-Burul in Kalmykia. Materіals and studies of the archaeology of Eastern Ukraine, vol. 10. Lugansk, SNU, p. 142-167 (rus).

Kravets, D.P. (1992), On the issue of wood in Donetsktribes Catacomb culture. Donetsk archaeological collection, vol.6, Donetsk, p. 30-35 (rus).

Parusimov, I.N. (1998), Excavations of burial mounds in the area Zimovnikovsky. Proceedings Novocherkassk archaeological expedition. Vol. 3. Novocherkassk, p. 3-43 (rus).

Sergeeva, M.S. (1998), Wooden utensils of the ancient cities of the Middle Dnieper, Archeology, № 1, p. 118-128 (ukr).

Kravchenko, E.A. and Gorbanenko, S.A.and Gorobets, L.V. and Croitor, R.V. and Razumov, S.N. and Sergeeva, M.S. (2016), The results of the wood originating from the settlement Uch-Bash. From bronze to iron: Farm residents Inkerman doliny, Kyiv, IA NASU, p. 296-297 (rus).

Sokolov, V.B. (1984), Chestnut, Timber industry, Moskow (rus).

Sukachev, V.N. (1940), The determinant of tree species, Goslestehizdat, Moscow (rus).

Romanov, M.A. (1982), Finds of the the carts of the Bronze Age in the Stavropolregion. KSIA. Moscow, vol. 169, p. 102-108 (rus).

Muhopad, S.E. (1989), Scythian burial area Solonyano-Tomakovskoy irrigation system. Problems of Dnieper archeology, Dnepropetrovsk: Publishing House of the DSU, p.72-84.

Kovaleva I.F. (1976), The report on research work (intermediate stage). The study of archaeological sites in the area of construction of irrigation system Tsarichanskoye. Dnepropetrovsk, 55 p.

Sanzharov S.N. (2006), A report on the research of theArchaeologicalResearchCenter«Heritage» in 2005 EUNU. Dahl. Lugansk, 2006. Archives of Luhansk oblasnogo museum. F 2 op. 02-231

Bratchenko S.N., Sanzharov S.N. (2001), Rare bronze tools from the catacombs of Sіverskodonechchini and Donschini (III mil. BC), Luhansk, 108 p.



How to Cite

Minakova, K., & Serheieva, M. (2017). Materials science aspects of the production of wooden utensils of Bronze and Early Iron Ages from the North Black Sea and North Azov Sea regions. Skhid, (1(147).