PROBLEM OF FUNERAL RITES OF THE POPULATION OF SCYTHIAN AGE IN THE SEYM RIVER BASIN


Keywords: Seym river region, Scythian time, funeral rites, stray finds of human bones.

Abstract

The author analyzed the problem of burial sites of the population of Scythian Age in the Seym region. Currently there are several locations associated with the local population. These are the burial sites from the Moiseevo and Maritsa hillforts and the necropolis near Dolinske village. The burials from the Moiseevo hillfort probably date back to the medieval times and the necropolis at the Maritsa settlement belonged to the Yukhniv culture. According to the available data, burial in the territory of this site was carried out after the hillfort ceased to function as a settlement — ca. 4th century BC. Necropolis near the Dolynske village is well known in the literature as an example of ground burials of the forest-steppe population of Scythian Age. However, detailed analysis of the circumstances of discovery of burials and the grave goods suggests that the burials were actually covered by the mounds but they did not survive due to the removal of soil. The grave goods is reminiscent of the nearby Sula necropolises. The lack of common burial sites in the region prompts the search for other burial rites. Traditionally cremations with the further dispersal of ashes are the common types of burial that do not leave visible burial sites but despite the complexity of their detection there are still no finds that would indicate this rite. The fragments of human bones at Shyryaevo, Kuzina Gora and Moiseyevo hillforts are the only hints that could indicate this. A round amulet which was made of human skull bone was discovered at the latter. Stray finds of human remains occurred at the sites of the entire forest-steppe territory in Scythian Age and many sites of Central Europe but the irregularity of such finds at the Seym region demonstrate that they could not be a mandatory consequence of a certain burial rite. The wide variety of analogies offers the options for the reconstruction of special burial practices that could lead to the deposition of human bones. By analogy with other cultures, the cannibalism, temporary burial at the site, and the deliberate storage of bones that may have been obtained from the burials can be assumed.

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Published
2019-12-25
How to Cite
Bilynskyi, O. O. (2019). PROBLEM OF FUNERAL RITES OF THE POPULATION OF SCYTHIAN AGE IN THE SEYM RIVER BASIN. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 255-262. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.17