THE BARROW 524 NEAR VILLAGE ZHABOTIN (New Research of the «Basic» Site of the Scythian Archaic Period in the Ukrainian Right-Bank Forest-Steppe)


Keywords: barrow, Early Scythian period, Zhabotin, Tyasmin river basin.

Abstract

The first excavations on this barrow were carried out in 1913 by the famous archaeologist Alexei Bobrinskoy. The central part of the mound was excavated by the pit.

The base of rather large ground wooden tomb buried in antiquity has been discovered there. The surviving items (weapons, horse equipment, pottery, small gold jewelry) later made it possible to date this mound to the end of the 7th century BC or ca. 7th—6th centuries BC.

Since the late 1980s, there has been a tendency — and, in our opinion, incorrect — of rather sharp aging of the Central tomb, and, accordingly, of whole barrow 524 near the village Zhabotin. It began to date ca. 8th—7th centuries BC, 750—700 BC, not later than the end of the 8th century BC, and finally, ca. mid- 8th century BC.

The Zhabotin 524 barrow began to be interpreted as the basic funeral monument of the Scythian archaic period in the Dnieper Right-Bank Forest-Steppe.

In 2019, the complete study of the barrow was made. By the time of the excavation it had a height of 3.0 m with a diameter of 55 Ч 50 m.

During the study, 12 profiles of the mound were obtained. They provided complete picture of its construction. The mound was constructed from humus in 2 stages. The first mound was directly made over the Central tomb. Its diameter is 24 m, the reconstructed height is up to 4.0 m. The mound was lined with radially wooden blocks. The second mound with a diameter of up to 50 m was fixed below by clay crepe. Reconstructed height up to 7.0 m.

Information on the Central Tomb, according to the number of signs, and first of all — to the sizes, differ from the information published by A. Bobrinskoy.

The actual dimensions of the tomb are not 35 m2, but 22 m2. From the southeast and northwest to the Central Tomb  two ritual wooden platforms adjoined, one of which was badly burned. Next to them is open burial 2, covered by a tree. The male skeleton (14—18 years old) lay in the contracted position, without any goods. In our opinion, this burial should be considered as the sacrifice to the main noble deceased — a heavily armed Scythian equestrian warrior buried in the Central Tomb.

A few items from the Central Tomb were also found — bronze scales of the armour, the fragment of iron sword, but most important is the bronze plate in the form of a bull’s head and the amphora handle. Judging by the composition of clay, it belongs to the vessels of Eastern Greek production. These findings are of fundamental importance: they cannot be dated by the time earlier than the late of the 7th century BC.

This situation made us once again turn to the most significant products, the so-called chronological indicators, discovered in 1913, on the basis of which the number of researchers were dated the Zhabotin 524 mound until the mid- 8th century BC.

These are arrow-heads, horse trappings, appliquйs decorated in animal style. Their analysis shows that these artifacts are not convincing arguments for such an early date for the barrow.

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2020-06-01
How to Cite
Skory, S. A., Zimovets, R. V., & Okatenko , V. N. (2020). THE BARROW 524 NEAR VILLAGE ZHABOTIN (New Research of the «Basic» Site of the Scythian Archaic Period in the Ukrainian Right-Bank Forest-Steppe). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 36(3), 300-326. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/289