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Bridging the Boreal Forest

Siberian Archaeology and the Emergence of Pottery among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of Northern Eurasia

Kevin Gibbs and Peter Jordan

This article examines Siberia's increasingly important role in the study of the emergence of pottery across northern Eurasia. The world's earliest pottery comes from Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherer sites in East Asia. This material is typically seen as disconnected from later pottery traditions in Europe, which are generally associated with sedentary farmers. However, new evidence suggests that Asian and European pottery traditions may be linked to a Hyperborean stream of hunter-gatherer pottery dispersals that spanned eastern and western Asia, and introduced pottery into the prehistoric societies of northern Europe. As a potential bridge between the eastern and western early pottery traditions, Siberia's prehistory is therefore set to play an increasingly central role in one of world archaeology's most important debates.

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Brian Donahoe, Helen S. Hundley, Peter Jordan, David N. Collins, Aimar Ventsel, Sharyl Corrado, John Sallnow, and Kristina Kuentzel-Witt

Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov, The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003) 280pp. illustrations, £36.50. ISBN 0-80473- 462-3

Martin J. Bollinger, Stalin’s Slave Ships. Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Press, 2003) 217pp. maps, photographs, tables. £28.99; US $49.95. ISBN 0-275-98100-2 (hb)

Hiroki Takakura, ed. Indigenous Ecological Practices and Cultural Traditions in Yakutia: history, ethnography, politics (Northeast Asian Study Series 6. Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University, 2003) 150pp. maps, tables, illustrations. ISBN 4-901449-12-5 (pb).

Josh Newell, The Russian Far East. A Reference Guide for Conservation and Development (McKinleyville, CA: Daniel and Daniel Publishers, 2004) xx, 466pp. illustrations (some colour), maps, chart, tables index. $99.95. ISBN 1-880284- 76-6 (hb); $59.95. ISBN 1-880284-75-8 (pb)

Alexia Bloch, Red Ties and Residential Schools. Indigenous Siberians in a Post- Soviet State (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) 264pp. illustrations. £28.00/$39.95 (hb) ISBN 0-8122-3759-5

A. I. Kostanov, ed. Gubernatory Sakhalina (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Arkhivnyi otdel administratsii Sakhalinskoi oblasti, Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Sakhalinskoi oblasti, 2000). 391pp.

Sue Davis, The Russian Far East: the last frontier? (London: Routledge, 2002) 155pp. £60 (hb) ISBN 0-415-27425-7

Judith Thornton and Charles E. Ziegler, eds, Russia’s Far East: A Region at Risk (Seattle, USA: The National Bureau of Asian Research in association with the University of Washington Press, 2002) 498pp. £25.95 (pb) ISBN 0-295-98235-7

Vadim Petrovich Shakherov, Goroda Vostochnoi Sibiri v XVIII – pervoi polovine XIX vv. Ocherki sotsial ‘no-ekonomicheskoi i kul’turnoi zhizni. (Irkutsk, 2001) 264pp. ISBN 5-93219-034-5