The Bolgar Ulus of the Golden Horde: Historical Geography Cover Image

Булгарский улус Золотой Орды: историческая география
The Bolgar Ulus of the Golden Horde: Historical Geography

Author(s): Konstantin Aleksandrovich Rudenko
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Geography, Regional studies, Historical Geography, Political history, Middle Ages, 13th to 14th Centuries
Published by: Издательский дом Stratum, Университет «Высшая антропологическая школа»
Keywords: Middle Volga Region; Volga Bulgaria; Golden Horde sites; historical geography; administrative division;hillforts;
Summary/Abstract: The development dynamics of archaeological monuments (hillforts, unfortified settlements and necropolises) of the Golden Horde period in the Volga Bulgaria territory is analyzed. The history of historical geography studies of the Golden-Horde Bolgar Ulus is examined. The archaeological research of the area revealed not less than 330 settlements, both fortified and unfortified. These data made it possible to determine the territory of the Bolgar Ulus, the topography of individual sites, and the historical context of their emergence and development. Particular attention is given to the necropolises of the nomads who had inhabited the Bolgar Ulus. The necropolises and the permanent settlements founded by this population helped to define the territory of their residence. A hypothesis of administrative division of the Bolgar Ulus territory in the period from the Mongol conquest and prior to the early 15th century is considered. It is argued that there had been a few administrative areas centered on major cities — Bolgar, Juketau, and Kazan. Besides, there had been a special territory inhabited by the nomadic population.