Problems of Dating and Interpretation of the Cuman Assemblage in Chynhul Mohyla

  • Vitalii V. Otroshchenko Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: Desht-i Qipchaq, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latin Empire, Halych Kingdom, the Ros River region, the Ulus of Jochi, Teigak.

Abstract

The paper is a reaction to the work Cuman Chief’s Trophy from Chunhul Barrow: Reuse, Ritual Functions, and Symbolism by O. Halеnko, Yu. Rassamakin, W. Woodfin, and R. Holod in Arkheolohiia 2016, no. 3 and 4. The authors relate the unique assemblage to the events of the first third of the 13th century and the person of Yurii Konchakovych. The proposed hypothesisis clearly disagree with the dating of this assemblage in the first publication to the second half of the 13th century approved by other scholars. The analysis of historiography on this issue and the opinions of the experts in history and archaeology of Desht-i Qipchaq allow considering the assemblage within the events of the period since the middle 13th till the first half of the 14th centuries which corresponds to the early stage in the history of the Ulus of Jochi. Such evaluation of the burial customs of the Chynhul Mohyla is confirmed by the written sources and reliably dated burials of the Kipchaks (the Cumans, the Polovtsi) in the Ros River region and the steppes from the Danube to the Sea of Azov. Just then the Kipchaks still followed the traditional funeral customs, although with evident elements of Christianization which are clearly visible in the analysed assemblage. In the paper, the additional reasons in favour of the hypothesis that Khan Teigak was possibly buried near the Chynhul River are proposed.

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