Ancient cultures

The territory of the modern Mordovian land began to be mastered by man, apparently in the Paleolithic - the ancient Stone Age, when the western part of the Middle Volga region was inhabited. However, the earliest settlements in the region belong to the Mesolithic - the Middle Stone Age (IX - VI millennium BC). This time is dated to the parking lot of people on the banks of rivers and lakes near. Zarechnoye Krasnoslobodsky and the Old Kachevka of the Tengushevsky district. Their farming was of an appropriating nature and was based on hunting, fishing and gathering. The climatic conditions after the retreat of the glacier approached the modern ones.

The Neolithic Age, the new Stone Age, dated in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of Russia, became the time of the primitive society's heyday - V - the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. e. At this time, pottery, grinding and drilling of stone appear, weaving occurs. To the level of mastery, the production of stone tools: axes, tips of spears and arrows, bits, etc., is made. However, the economy remains an appropriator, based on fishing and hunting. On the territory of Mordovia, Neolithic sites were found along the banks of the rivers Alatyr, Vada, Moksha (Imerk, Kargashin, Mashkin, etc.). They belong to the Volgo-Kama culture (the Volpinsk, Imerk settlements), which some researchers (O. Bader, A. Kh. Khalikov) refer to the ancient Finno-Ugric. In addition, the parking lots of the Balakhna culture (Andreevskoye and Imerk settlements) were recorded, which was part of the common culture of the pit-combed ceramics.

Further development of the territory of modern Mordovia is associated with the era of the Eneolithic - the Copper-Stone Age (mid-III - beginning of the 2nd millennium BC), which is associated with the appearance of metal (copper) tools. The most typical for the region are the settlements of the Volosovo culture in the basins of Vada, Moksha and Sura. The population was engaged in hunting, fishing, gathering, lived in semi-dugouts connected to each other. Characteristic are the finds of human, animal, bird and fish figures from silicon (Shimasovskaya parking - anthropomorphic figure, 2nd Kargashinsky parking - beaver). In the burials there are amulets from the teeth of animals. Most scientists write about the Finno-Ugric affiliation of the hair folk. In addition, the settlements of the tribes of the Imerk culture were found in the Mordovian region (named after the monument at Lake Imerka of the Zubovo-Polyansky District). They lived in semi-dugouts in river floodplains, on sand dunes. Monuments of the Imerk culture belong to the settlements near the village of Yakutsk. Volpino, Novaya Usad, Shiromasovo, the working village of Shiringushi, Lake Mashkino.

The transition to the productive sectors of the economy (farming and cattle breeding) is associated with the Bronze Age, which dates back to the Mordovian region in the first quarter of the second millennium - the VIII-VII centuries. BC. e. During this period, the region gradually turns into a zone of contacts of different civilizational strata, as the tribes of Balanovo, Abashevskaya, Primo-Shanskoe and logs enter the territory of Mordovia and begin to interact with the local population.

The Balanovo tribes were part of the wider Fatyanovo culture and initially occupied the territories to the south of the Baltic, the interfluve of the Dnieper and the Volga. At the turn of III - II millennium BC. They moved to the Volga along the Desna, Oka, Moksha, Sura. Most specialists attribute these tribes to the Proto-Baltic branch of the Indo-Europeans. Their main occupation was cattle breeding, combined, apparently, with slash-and-burn agriculture. In the territory of Mordovia, such a settlement was first discovered by P. D. Stepanov (Osh Pando near the village of Sainino, Dubien district). In addition, there are known burial cemeteries near. Chukaly, Andreevka, Kirzhemany.

The Abashevites belonged, apparently, to the ancient Indo-Iranians and settled in the second-third quarter of the II millennium BC. e. Podonye, ​​Middle Volga and the south of the Urals. The main occupation was cattle breeding. Known burial mounds of Abashevites near. Old Ardatov, Kirzhemany.

The Primokshan culture was singled out by PD Stepanov in the 1950s. and contacted them with the Indo-European tribes of the Don region. The tribes of the Primokshan culture settled on high coastal capes (near the village of Zhuravkino, Tengushevo, Paevo, etc.).

The logging culture was widespread in the middle and second half of the II millennium BC. e. in the steppes and forest-steppes of Eastern Europe from the Urals to the Dnieper. The logs were engaged in cattle breeding, agriculture, and bronze metallurgy. Their monuments are known along the river. Big Sarka, Insar, Nuya, Piana. Widely distributed burial mounds (near the village of Kochkurovo, Semilei, Pikshasi, Alovo, Atyashevo, etc.), the settlements were investigated in the village of. Aksenovo, Bersenevka, Kirzhemany.

On the basis of the interaction of the newcomers with the local population, a Pozdnyak culture (middle II - the beginning of the 1st millennium BC), whose tribes were engaged in cattle breeding and metal processing, agriculture played a supporting role. Monuments of the Late Ages are known from. Kulikovo, Kuraevo (Tengushevsky District), Shaverki (Krasnoslobodsky District), Zhabino (Ardatovsky District).

The Iron Age (7th century BC - the beginning of the 3rd century BC) was a natural stage in the development of the territory of Mordovia, which followed the Bronze Age. At this stage, the region was completely populated by the tribes of the Gorodets culture, whose Finno-Ugric identity is not disputed. Their farm was complex, combining forestry, slash farming, hunting and fishing. The raw material for the iron tools was local. Typical settlements were settlements and settlements (Narovatovsky, Samozleisk, Kargashin, Tengushev, etc.). Gorodets tribes were the ancestors of the ancient Mordvins and Ryazan-Oka tribes.

The "overgrowing" of Gorodets culture in the Old Mordovian in the first centuries AD. e. is associated with a number of internal and external factors. The earliest monument of the ancient Mordovians is considered to be the Andreevsky burial mound in Bolsheignatovsky district (the first centuries AD), where prototypes of many Mordovian things were found: pottery, various decorations (sylhams, temporal pendants with a weight, breastplates). The extensive settlement of the Old Mordovian tribes contributed to the isolation of the northern population (the present-day Nizhny Novgorod region), which became the basis for the formation of the Mordva-Erzi, and the southern (Upper Poserye, Upper and Middle Primokshane), which became the basis of the Mordva Moksha. Formation of the binarity of the Old Mordovian ethnic community occurs in the second half of the 1st millennium AD.

In addition, in the territory of modern Mordovia in the 1st millennium AD. lived related Mordvinians Ryazan-Oka tribes (north-west of present-day Moldova) and alien tribes of Imenkov culture (Middle Poserye), which many researchers associate with the Slavs.

During the 1st millennium AD e. The Mordva had intensive ties with the Slavs, the Khazars, the Volga Bulgars, the Alans, the neighboring Finno-Ugric peoples. To the beginning of the II millennium BC. e. the links with the Slavs and the Old Russian state that has been drawn into the orbit of Western Mordvin clans are on the forefront. This is evidenced by findings of pendants with signs of the Rurikovich (Kelginsky burial ground), Russian squad weapons, etc. An important role in this process was played by the campaigns of Prince Svyatoslav on Khazaria and the subsequent policy of Russian princes in the Middle Volga region.

Monuments of archeology