KLEPIKOV V.M. The Partial Destruction of the Sarmatians Burials of the Esaulovsky Aksai (Is It a Robbery or a Ritual Desecration?)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.4.3

Valeriy M. Klepikov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History and International Relations, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2891-7366


Abstract. Introduction. The article is devoted to the problem of the partial robbery of the high-status Middle Sarmatians burials analyzed in the Esaulovsky Aksai River floodplain. The analysis of the burial complexes near the village named Kovalevka revealed an interesting feature. There was partial destruction of the buried Sarmatians bones, but, at the same time, the parts of the bones and accompanying burial equipment remained undisturbed. Typically, these burials had some status artifacts like bronze cast and forged cauldrons, weapons and horse harness items, and ceramics from the Central Caucasus, Kuban, and Lower Don Valley.

Methods and materials. The objects of research were not only burials from Kovalevka but also synchronic burial complexes from Zhutovo, Aksai, Peregruznoe, and Oktyabrsky. The research involves using both traditional general scientific methods, including chronological and spatial analysis, and special archaeological research methods, including formal typological, cartographic, and analogy methods, which describe the scientific facts and reconstruct ethnocultural processes.

Analysis. These burials are characterized not only by dead-drops under an individual mound but also by a special inventory, where, except for the swords and arrows, there were also spearheads, two-part bits with rodshaped psalms, and horse bones. At the same time, the synchronic Early Sarmatian complexes found in the burial mounds were left intact. Such partial robbery of the high-status Middle Sarmatians burials is also fixed when expanding the area of the neighboring burial grounds of the Esaulovsky Aksai River basin. This observation suggests that a group of well-armed nomads with slightly different traditions characteristic of the Middle Sarmatian culture appeared on the studied territory occupied by the Early Sarmatian population at the turn of the era. Migrants who founded their cemeteries in the floodplain of the Esaulovsky Aksai River aroused the anger of the local Sarmatian groups, which led to the burials desecration of the aliens.

Results. We can assume that at the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD, in the Don-Volga interfluve, there was a struggle for control over an important transit zone, as indirectly evidenced by a significant number of prestigious imported items discovered in the burials of the investigated territory. Key words: Early Sarmatians, Middle Sarmatians, burial, robbery of burials, Don-Volga interfluve.

Citation. Klepikov V.M. The Partial Destruction of the Sarmatians Burials of the Esaulovsky Aksai (Is It a Robbery or a Ritual Desecration?). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 38-46. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.4.3.

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The Partial Destruction of the Sarmatians Burials of the Esaulovsky Aksai (Is It a Robbery or a Ritual Desecration?) by Klepikov V.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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