RAZUVAEV Yu.D. Cult Buildings on the Middle-Don Settlements of the Scythian Era

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.8 

Yuriy D. Razuvaev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History of Russia, Voronezh State Pedagogical University,

Lenina St, 86, 394043 Voronezh, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. As a result of many years of excavations on settlements of the Skiphian era in the basin of the Middle Don the area of about 50 thousand square meters has been opened. However, buildings of the cult purpose are still not known.

Methods and materials. The search for such structures is difficult due to the absence of pronounced sacral markers. However, according to publications and archival sources, structures unusual in configuration, stratigraphy and a set of accompanying materials have been selected. It was possible to identify four buildings of the 4th – 3rd centuries BC, characterized by unusual shape and layout, concentration of bonfires, ceramic and osteological materials, presence of anthropological residues.

Analysis. Two buildings were located on a hillfort in the city of Semiluki, which is known for mass burials of its inhabitants. One area of about 9 square meters contained the burial of a woman and two children. In its three-part filling three hearths and sacrificial offerings, including dog bones, a female skull, fragments of ceramics, were preserved. Another 33 square meter building contained skulls and other remains of at least 13 people mixed with animal bones. Of the two buildings on the 1st hillfort near the village of Voloshino, one area of about 100 square meters had three hearths, another seven were located around. There were found a large amount of debris of stony vessels and antique amphorae in the filling and in the layer next to this structure. Another building with an area of about 18 square meters had a hearth and a bonfire. Its filling was saturated with fragments of ceramics and animal bones.

Results. The buildings in question are not similar to dwellings or household structures. They are distinguished by the unique configuration of pits and internal space, uneven and dug by pits bottom. The bonfires present in the premises were not remnants of heating devices. They, like the accompanying finds, were related to the cult activities of the local population.

Key words: Middle Don, Scythian era, settlements, cult buildings, ritual bonfires, human remains, sacrificial offerings.

Citation. Razuvaev Yu.D. Cult Buildings on the Middle-Don Settlements of the Scythian Era. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 123-135. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.8.

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Cult Buildings on the Middle-Don Settlements of the Scythian Era by Razuvaev Yu.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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