The Catacomb No. 74 of the Verkhnii Saltiv Main Burial Ground

Keywords: Saltiv culture, catacomb, the Alans, the Slavs, the Hungarians, jewelry, elements of a belt set

Abstract

The materials of the catacomb burial, investigated in 1988 by the expedition of Kharkiv Historical Museum under the leadership of V. H. Borodulin, located on the main site of the early medieval burial ground near Verkhnii Saltiv village (Verkhnii Saltiv Burial Ground-I, hereinafter — VSBG-I), are introduced into the scientific circulation. The catacomb had a long (6.3 m) and deep (5.05 m) dromos, in the western part of which the path of the re-entry into the burial chamber was fixated. The burial chamber, transverse to the dromos, contained the remains of three people (a man, a woman, and a teenage girl) who had traces of deliberate destruction committed in ancient times (Fig. 1: 1). Despite this, a rich burial inventory was found in the burial, which included: weapons (sabre, two chisel-axes); household items (two adz-hoes, a jug); personal jewelry (earrings, beads, bracelets, rings); toiletry (mirrors, toilet boxes); details of clothing; elements of a belt set; amulets. According to the elements of the belt set, this burial complex is dated by the second — third quarters of the 9th century. The main feature of this catacomb is the presence of a silver earring in it (Fig. 1: 13), which finds broad analogies in the Slavic-Avar antiquities of the Danube region. On the monuments of the Dnieper Left-Bank forest-steppe, similar earrings were found in the monuments of the Volyntsev culture of the second half of the 8th — early 9th centuries. A silver plaque-frame with an anthropomorphic image (Fig. 1: 12) is not typical for classical Saltiv antiquities, and it is stylistically close to the plaques from the Hungarian burial (burial No. 2) near Subotsi village (Ukraine, Kirovohrad Oblast). The presence of these items in the catacomb No. 74 testifies to the close contacts of the Alans of the Saltiv culture of the Siverskyi Donets basin in the second — third quarters of the 9th century simultaneously with representatives of the conquered Slavic tribes and with the ancient Hungarians, who were allies of the Khazar Khaganate.

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Published
2021-09-23
Section
Publication of Archaeological Material