STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF THE CHAMBER GRAVES OF THE VIKING AGE IN THE MIDDLE DNIEPER REGION


Keywords: Old Rus, chamber graves, structural elements, Scandinavia, Vikings.

Abstract

The basic structural elements of the chamber tombs of the 10th — beginning of 11th century from the territory of the Middle Dnieper are considered in the paper. The special features make possible to reconstruct their connection with the funeral traditions of other regions of Northern and Eastern Europe. Literary sources confidently point that the burial chamber semantically symbolized the home in which the deceased «settled». Like the synchronous residential buildings, the burial chambers had either a log cabin or frame pillar structure. The first of them were more widespread in the territory of Rus, the second one — in Scandinavia. The upper cover was obligatory that mimicked the roof of the house and provided free, empty space inside the chamber. In some cases, the board floor remnants were occurred, sometimes the boards lied on the transverse logs. In addition, the internal partition of the chambers sometimes can be traced, usually related to the accompanying burial of horse. Above the chamber the mound was built, the size of which depended on the social status of the deceased. In Kiev the chamber rite gradually acquired some specific features, such as the felling of the walls of tombs «in the roundabout» and the cover of tombs by overhead logs. These features make the Kiev and Pskov necropolises related and allow suggests that there were cases of purposeful resettlement of the part of Kyiv elite in northwestern Rus near the third quarter of the tenth century. In return, Shestovitsa demonstrates the closest connection to the Scandinavian Peninsula and Birka in particular. This relationship was revealed itself by the presence of soil steps for the concomitant horse burials and a high percentage of frame pillars in the chambers. The appearance within the tombs of additional element — the movable coffin — illustrates the spread of Christian ideology.

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Published
2020-06-30
How to Cite
BibikovD. V. (2020). STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF THE CHAMBER GRAVES OF THE VIKING AGE IN THE MIDDLE DNIEPER REGION. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 35(2), 294-299. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2020.02.21