MASTYKOVA A.V. On the Finds of Metal Crosses at the Medieval Burial Ground of Gorzuvity (The Southern Coast of Crimea)


Anna V. Mastykova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Dm. Ulyanova St., 19, 117292 Moscow, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract. Introduction. In 2018, the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences conducted excavations of a burial ground (Artek, Gurzuf, Yalta district). The first researcher of this monument was A.L. Jacobson, and he discovered ten inventory-free graves. In 2018, more than twenty graves both with funeral inventory and non-inventory ones were discovered at the burial ground.

Analysis and Results. Among the archaeological material, metal crosses from grave 7A deserve special attention. One is a bronze breast cross with a circular decor, the second one is an iron cross with a curved, elongated lower branch. The wire earrings, small metal bells-buttons, small glass beads found in the grave are known at many archaeological sites in a wide time range. Fragments of tiles from the burial belong to technological groups 1, 2, 4 that can be dated from the 8th to the 12th (13th?) centuries. The search for analogies and the comparative analysis make it impossible to unambiguously determine the time of the bronze cross. It can be dated only in a wide chronological range – the 6th – 11th centuries, not excluding the 12th century, the iron cross most likely dates to the 9th – 10th centuries. In the aggregate of items, burial 7A can be tentatively dated broadly from the 8th century to the 11th century. Perhaps, using natural science methods that are currently being conducted, we will be able to clarify the date of burial 7A. The particular interest of the considered subjects of the Christian cult lies precisely in their ordinary and standard nature; they demonstrate the uniformization of the Byzantine material culture in the very wide territory from Egypt to Crimea. The burial ground of Gorzuvity demonstrates the byzantinization of the local barbarian population both in the material culture and in the burial rite. The finds of crosses in burial 7A fit well into the Byzantine context and are another clear confirmation of the evolution and chronology of the spread of Christianity in Crimea.

Key words: Byzantium, Southern Coast of Crimea, burial ground, objects of Christian cult, breast crosses, procession crosses.

Citation. Mastykova A.V. On the Finds of Metal Crosses at the Medieval Burial Ground of Gorzuvity (The Southern Coast of Crimea). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 64-80. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

On the Finds of Metal Crosses at the Medieval Burial Ground of Gorzuvity (The Southern Coast of Crimea) by Mastykova A.V is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (5_Mastykova.pmd.pdf) 5_Mastykova.pmd.pdf