BEREZUTSKIJ V.D. Late Sarmatian Swords and Daggers from the Burials of the Berezovsky Kurgan Burial Ground


Valerij D. Berezutskij

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Russian History, Voronezh State Pedagogical University,

Lenina St, 86, 394043 Voronezh, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. One of the main types of Sarmatian weapons is bladed weapons, represented by daggers and swords. The relatively small number of Late Sarmatian burials in the forest-steppe Podonye determines the importance of publishing new materials – daggers and swords.

Materials. The materials for the analysis were artifacts (iron daggers and swords) discovered during the study of kurgan burial ground 4 near the village of Berezovka in the Vorobyevsky district of the Voronezh region (left bank of the Middle Don). In four of the seven burials examined, bladed weapons were found. The dead were buried under separate mounds in elongated rectangular pits and chambers clogged with continental clay. The heads of the buried were directed to the southern sector (three burials) and to the east-northeast (one burial). Bladed weapons were located according to the tradition of the Scythians and Sarmatians – at the right hand with the tip to the extremities of the legs. Methods. The study used a comparative typological method that allowed us to distinguish the found daggers and swords into a separate type of bladed weapons; the method of analogies, which was used to compare the type with similar finds in the Sarmatian culture; and the chronological method, which made it possible to attribute the discovered blades to the late Sarmatian culture.

Analysis. During the analysis of artifacts, typical signs of bladed weapons characteristic of the late Sarmatian culture were identified; although the time of their appearance belongs to the early and Middle Sarmatian periods, their chronological framework was determined (mid-2nd – 4th centuries AD). A dagger and a sword were found together in two burials.

Results. All burials in which bladed weapons were found belong to men (age range from 25–30 years to 35–40 years). Judging by the available data, the joint occurrence of a dagger and a sword in the burial may indicate in favor of the opinion that there are burials of professional soldiers in the burial ground.

Key words: Middle Don region, forest steppe, Late Sarmatian culture, kurgans, Sarmatians, daggers, swords.

Citation. Berezutskij V.D. Late Sarmatian Swords and Daggers from the Burials of the Berezovsky Kurgan Burial Ground. 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. 47-56. (in Russian). DOI:

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Late Sarmatian Swords and Daggers from the Burials of the Berezovsky Kurgan Burial Ground by Berezutskij V.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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