Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Because of the hot, dry summers and the harsh winters, play in Russia varies considerably with the seasons. The weather has also been responsible for preserving some of the earliest surviving soft toys from ancient times in Siberia, where they were uncovered by archaeologists working on the Pazyryk burial sites in the Altai mountains of southwest Siberia, dating from about 400 b.c.E. These toys were animals made from skins, and it seems probable that children have been using them for playing for at least the last 1,500 years, if not longer. With the bear having such a central role in Russian folk and fairy stories, teddy bears remain common, as have dolls and toy soldiers. There is also evidence of carved wooden and bone ornaments that could have been used in games, and two models of animals dating back to the 2nd century ce. were found by Soviet archaeologists in ...