«BLUSHER» FOR THE DEAD (the Results of Research of Mineral Artefacts from Zolota Balka Graves)


  • V. A. Nesterovskyi Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
  • O. S. Dzneladze Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • S. A. Gorbanenko Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • O. V. Andrieiev Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Keywords: Zolota Balka, Late Scythians, mineral substance, realgar.

Abstract

The results of the studies of mineral artefacts from the graves of the Late Scythian burial ground of Zolota Balka were introduced into scientific circulation. At this site, 87 graves were excavated; in 10 of them mineral artefacts were identified. The latter one is the object of this study, while their significance and role in the funeral rite is the subject.

Analytical studies revealed that the vast majority of the mineral substances of red-orange colour is realgar (arsenic sulfide). It is a toxic substance with a detrimental effect on the organisms. Its deposits in Ukraine are unknown. There is an opinion in the archaeological literature that realgar was placed in burials because of the colour of this mineral. However, a similar colour is inherent in ochre, which is much easier to find in the surroundings. Taking into account the properties of realgar and given the need to deliver it from afar, we consider that it was used as a preservative for better storage of organic remains in the graves and for less reproduction of pathogenic flora within the family crypts, where later the dead would be buried again.

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Published
2018-09-22
How to Cite
NesterovskyiV. A., DzneladzeO. S., GorbanenkoS. A., & AndrieievO. V. (2018). «BLUSHER» FOR THE DEAD (the Results of Research of Mineral Artefacts from Zolota Balka Graves). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 28(3), 159-167. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2018.03.15