VLASKIN M.V., SYMONENKO A.V. Ritual Deposit of the Sarmatian Age from the Barrow on the Lower Don Basin

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.10 

Mikhail V. Vlaskin

Director,

State Autonomic Cultural Facility of Rostov Region “The Don Heritage”,

Nizhnebulvarnaya St, 29, 344022 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7951-8915 

Aleksandr V. Symonenko

Dr. habil., Chief Research Fellow,

Early Iron Age Department, Institute of Archaeology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,

Prosp. Heroiv Stalinhrada, 12, 04210 Kyiv, Ukraine

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6878-556X 


Abstract. Introduction. In 2007 the archaeological expedition of the State Autonomic Cultural Facility of Rostov Region “The Don Heritage” excavated burial ground Krasny IV in Aksay district of Rostov Region. In the mound of barrow No. 13 a bronze rod-shaped frontlet plate with a hook, a bronze lunula-shaped harness pendant, six bronze bridle roundels, a bone cheek-piece, and iron fragments of the, most likely, bits have been discovered.

Methods and materials. In the study the standard methods of archaeological analysis are used: comparative-typological, the method of analogies, chronological, and cartographic ones. The materials are the discovered artifacts.

Analysis. According to the conditions of location and composition, the assemblage from barrow No. 13 can be identified as a ritual deposit. Such assemblages are known in special literature as “hoards”, “strange assemblages” or “votive hoards”. They have been found in mounds of barrows or in natural hills without traces of human burials. Usually they consist of cauldrons or situlae (often the rest items are put into them), bridle sets with peculiar frontlet plate with a hook, silver and bronze phalerae, helmets of Western types, weapons (most often spear- and arrowheads), expensive and socially prestigious items (silver and glassware, jewelry). The presence of all these items in the ritual deposit is not necessary. These sites are concentrated in geographically opposite regions: the basins of the Southern Bug, Dniester and Prut and in the east of European Sarmatia – in the AzovDonbass, Don and Kuban basins, the Lower Volga basin and North Caucasus.

Results. Close parallels to the frontlet plate, bronze lunula-shaped pendant, and bridle roundels were found in the South Bug basin (Marievka), the Dniester and Prut interfluve (Brãviceni), Romania (Zimnicea), the North Caucasus (Prochnookopskaya, Geymanovsky, Giaginskaya), the Don and Volga interfluve (Kachalinskaya). All of these sites are identified as ritual deposits of the late 2nd – 1st centuries BC. The assemblage from barrow No. 13 should be dated to the same time. The ritual deposits of Eastern Europe could be divided into two chronologically different groups. The sites of the early group (3rd – early 2nd century BC) have appeared in the North Caucasus and concentrated in the North-Western Pontic region. It is assumed that they belong to the Хsaiai, Saudaratai and Thissamatai mentioned in the Olbian decree in honor of Protogenes. The sites of the late group (the late 2nd – 1st centuries BC) in the Northern Pontic Region, the Don basin, the North Caucasus and adjacent territories belong, most likely, to the Sarmatians.

Key words: ritual deposit, barrow, assemblage, frontlet plate, Sarmatians, Northern Pontic region, Northern Caucasus.

Citation. Vlaskin M.V., Symonenko A.V. Ritual Deposit of the Sarmatian Age from the Barrow on the Lower Don Basin. 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. 151-167. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.10.

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Ritual Deposit of the Sarmatian Age from the Barrow on the Lower Don Basin by Vlaskin M.V., Symonenko A.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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