CHERTOMLYK AND KOZEL: BARROWS, HORSES AND CROSSING


Keywords: Scythian йpoque, Scythian royal barrow, horse burials, Kozel barrow, ancient roads, the Dnieper crossing.

Abstract

According to Dr. Yu. Boltrik’s works the Scythian royal barrows were situated on the high places (watersheds) as well as along the roads. One of the biggest roads marked by Oguz, Solokha, Kozel, Chertomlyk and Alexandropol barrows run in meridional direction and crossed the Dnieper. The Dnieper crossing was a start point in barrow creation: the later is a barrow, the more distant from the Dnieper crossing it is placed. Kozel and Chertomlyk barrows situated across the Dnieper (Kozel on the left coast, Chertomlyk — on the right one), both dated to the second half of the 4th century BC, are similar in planigraphy, quantity of buried horses and some details of their arrangement.

In both barrows the horses were buried in special tombs situated to the West of the central tomb. Each horse tomb consisted of three large rectangular separate pits formed a line situated North-South.

In both cases 11 horses were buried. Their bridles were made of two metals: of silver and gold in Chertomlyk and of bronze and silver — in Kozel. Some had also saddles with golden plates and some had bronze breast (neck) dressings.

We compared the arrangement of horses in the tombs of Kozel and Chertomlyk concerning the Dnieper crossing and observed a kind of bilateral symmetry in it. So we may suppose they had in mind this crossing not only constructing barrows but burying horses too.

River crossing in archaic cultures is a border dangerous to overcome. Because of that some rituals should be performed and some constructions installed at that place. Near the Dnieper crossing a group of Scythian barrows is known. The Dnieper direction in this place is latitudinal and the direction of road — meridional, so the place of crossing looks like a center of sacred space, and the way to it is also sacred.

So we do not except the Dnieper crossing was significant for arranging horses’ tombs in Kozel and Chertomlyk barrows.

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Published
2019-12-25
How to Cite
Perevodchikova, E. V., & Firsov, K. B. (2019). CHERTOMLYK AND KOZEL: BARROWS, HORSES AND CROSSING. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 263-268. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.18