Species composition of fish from archeological site Ust’-Haita (Belaya River – tributary of Angara River)


Baikal has passed through different climatic epochs in its evolution. This is reflected in the structure of its ichthyofauna, which includes species of different faunistic complexes. Of significant interest is the comparison of ichthyofaunas in the northern rivers and especially between the Angara River and Lake Baikal, which have been connected for a long time. Studies of fish bone remains from the archeological sites with Mesolithic layers (6–8 Ky) at the upper parts of the Angara River (the Belaya River, Verholenskaya Mountain) has been carried out in most detail by Tzepkin (1976), based on large specimens of: Acipeser baeri, Hucho taimen, Esox lucius, Lota lota, and also Perca fluviatilis and Cyprinidae. At lower parts of the river (Pashino Settlement) Aciperser ruthenus and Stenodus leucichthys nelma were also studied. Coregonus lavaretus are observed in the upper reaches of the river, but Tzepkin’s review (1995) does not include them, or Thymallus arcticus, among the ancient commercial ichthyofauna of the Angara River. In 1996, N.A. Savel’ev and E.S. Igumnova found a great deal of archeological material (Savel’ev et al., 2001) at Ust’-Haita site (high flood-lands on the right bank of the Haita River, a tributary of the Belaya River) near Mishelevka Settlement. Scales of one fish species predominated in fish remains in layers 5a and 6; in layers 7 and 8 skeleton fragments were chiefly of large fish heads. The material included fragments of Cyprinidae skeletons and perch, Perca fluviatilis only rarely. In total, ten fish species and a Cyprinidae group were identified, among which Thymallus arcticus, Coregonus lavaretus, Esox lucius, Lota lota and Hucho taimen predominated. Good preservation of the material allowed the authors to define fish age and their catching terms. Quantitative ratios of scales to skeletons (more than 95%) at the archeological sites on the Belaya River, as well as in all archeological sites on territory of the former USSR, were demonstrated for the first time.

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-006-0303-0

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Cite this paper

@article{Mamontov2006SpeciesCO, title={Species composition of fish from archeological site Ust’-Haita (Belaya River – tributary of Angara River)}, author={А. М. Mamontov and Nikolai A. Savel’ev and Elizaveta Igumnova}, journal={Hydrobiologia}, year={2006}, volume={568}, pages={273-276} }