Early Scythian Barrow With Cremation on the Western Podillya

Keywords: barrow, burial, cremation, Scythian time, Western Podillia group, dishes, jewelry

Abstract

In the early Scythian time, the Western Podillia group of monuments was distinguished on the territory of the Middle Dniester. A large cluster of complexes stands out in the middle course of the Zbruch River, the left tributary of the Dniester. Barrow groups, in particular, were excavated near Spasivka and Ivankivtsi villages, Horodok district, Khmelnytskyi Region.

Barrow No. 5, explored in 2010, was completely plowed up and was distinguished on the surface only by the stone outcropping of which its barrow mound was made. The dimensions of this oval mound are 3,67 × 3,50 m. The largest slabs were located along the perimeter, forming an outer ring. From the south-east it was adjoined with a small display of cobblestones measuring 1,77 × 0,84 m, which was the place of a destroyed side burial.

The burial pit, discovered under a layer of stone, was 2,7 m long, 2,37 m wide, 0,6 m deep. In ancient times, it probably had a wooden overlapping. The burial turned out to be robbed, but many things survived. The remains of a burial-cremation carried out on the side were found here. The burnt bones laid in a heap of 0,25 m in diameter. The burial was accompanied by glass beads, bronze earrings, and a handmade ladle. In addition, parts of a pot, a bowl, ladles, and a small cup were found in the layer of barrow stones.

The burial rite of the barrow, in particular the presence of a stone barrow mound, a large central and additional side tombs, a type of grave have analogies in the burial monuments of the Western Podillia group. In these antiquities, the rite of burning the dead is also known, which exists along with the custom of inhumations.

According to the inventory, the mound can be attributed to the Early Scythian time, and is dated by the Kelermes stage (mid-VII — first half of the VI c. BC). Judging by the cremation rite, a local aboriginal forest-steppe inhabitant was buried here. The modest sizes of the mound make it possible to see in him a simple community member of one of the surrounding settlements.

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Published
2021-03-23
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Publication of Archaeological Material