Gorodetsk Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gorodetsk Culture


(culture of fortified sites of “bast fiber ceramics”), an archaeological culture prevalent from the seventh century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. in the middle and lower reaches of the Oka River, in the river basin of the Moksha and Tsna rivers, and in the Middle Volga Region. It was named after the Gorodetsk site, excavated by V. A. Gorodtsov in 1898 near the city of Spassk-Riazanskii.

The Gorodetsk culture formed on the basis of local Bronze Age cultures; the tribes of the Abashevo culture and the Timber-Frame culture played a role in its development. It is represented by small fortified tribal settlements, less frequently by unfortified settlements, by sacrificial altars, and, in a later stage, by burial mounds (primarily with interred corpses). Subterranean, semisubterranean, and aboveground dwellings were discovered at the settlements. The ceramics, with bast fiber impressions, is smooth and crudely made; later it is glazed. The population engaged in hunting, stock raising, and farming; it maintained ties with the Scythians, tribes of the D’iakovo culture, and with the Kama Region. The tribes of the Gorodetsk culture were the ancestors of the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Middle Volga Region.


Smirnov, A. P., and N. N. Trubnikova. “Gorodetskaiakul’tura.” In Arkheologiia SSSR; Svod Arkheologicheskikh istochnikov, fasc. Dl-14. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.