Ancient Rus Cemetery at the Kopyrev Kinets

Keywords: Kievan Rus, ancient Kyiv, Kopyrev kinets, cemetery, burials.


The article is devoted to archaeological research of the ancient Rus cemetery at the Kopyrev kinets in Kyiv, which functioned from the second half of X to the first half of XIII centuries. In recent years, during its research, at Kudriavska, 24-A and Artema, 12 streets, among numerous archaeological objects, a significant number of burials of different chronological periods were discovered. The largest number of burials was discovered in 1989 and 2016—2018 at Kudriavska st., 24-A. It was also established that this cemetery functioned during several chronological periods. From the second half of X c. there was a burial ground with inhumations, sometimes with accompanying equipment, which disappears with the appearance at this place in the XI — beginning of XII c. of industrial and residential facilities, and in XII — the first half of XIII c. here again appears a burial ground with burials according to the Christian rite. Perhaps the burial of the second chronological period is associated with the functioning of the XII—XIII c. church, which was nearby. It is likely that the restoration of graves at the cemetery after the decline of the housing and crafts district is associated with the expansion of the churchyard.

During the excavation of the cemetery from 1989 to 2018, 134 burials were investigated, 11 of which had accompanying inventory. The grave pits had a rectangular shape, almost all were elongated along the west-east axis (most with a slight deviation to the south), and the deceased in them laid with the heads to the west. The general position of the skeletons, the position of the skull and hands were typical for the traditional postures of the dead buried at the orthodox cemetery. Also, during the research, a small number of empty burial pits were found, which may have been dug in advance and not used for their intended purpose. As for those found at Artema st., 12, three burials, judging by the distance between them, perhaps had burial mounds.

After analyzing the location of the grave pits and their contents, it was determined that the cemetery had from six to eight rows of burials, and its total area was approximately 2.88 ha.


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