THE HEADDRESS FROM THE BERDYANSK KURGAN


  • L. S. Klochko Museum of historical treasures of Ukraine
Keywords: Berdyansk kurgan, cone-shaped headwear, the connection of the images in cloth decoration, wedding rituals.

Abstract

The Berdyansk kurgan has been studied for a long time, however some problems remain unsolved. One of them is the reconstruction of costume components by decorative elements, found in central burial (N 2). It was raided, however one area remained intact. Below the collapsed ceiling is the «item storage»: there were items of which only jewelry remained — the large amount of golden applique plates (2991 items total). The most peculiar are the artifacts which were probably the adornments for the headwear. In order to recreate their form, the complex and comparative analyses of golden plates’ collections were performed. The probably adorned cone-shaped hats and the veil. The one collection of adornments included appliques which were on the frontal part of the headwear. Below were the triangular plates, the main part was occupied by ornamented appliques: «portraits» full face (female image) and profile (grotesque male image), felidae predator. The adornments of the cone-shaped hat are connected to the other headwear — the veil. It was ornamented on its edges — on the left and on the right — with rectangular plates which contained so-called «brotherhood scene». The connection of the said images on the headwears is the marker of sacramental act — wedding rituals.

The artifacts, which probably were ornaments of headwear, draw most attention. The complex and comparative analysis of golden jewelry was used in order to recreate their form. It is possible that they were attached to different types of attires. One attire consisted of cone-shaped hat and the veil. They are decorated with anthropomorphous images and geometrical ornaments (triangles). Another attire is also the cone-shaped hat, which form is supported by horizontal lines of plates with the images of predators and triangles. Generally speaking, these are the symbols of fertility cult. One of the tasks of the research is the determination of attire’s semantics. The grave contains the burial of a high-rank man, but the reconstructed attires are female. Cone-shaped attires are linked to wedding ceremonies in many peoples. The burial and wedding rituals have similar semantics, since both are about passing from one world to another. Sacred attires could have been the markers of bride’s (or brides’) presence in the male burial.

Apart from the headwears there were also the necklace which resembles the net and the clothes adorned with golden appliques. The «item storage» was surrounded by the golden plates, presumably sewed on the veil, which had the images of the gryphon and felidae hunter — the ornament which divides two worlds — one of life, and the other of death.

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Published
2020-05-21
How to Cite
Klochko, L. S. (2020). THE HEADDRESS FROM THE BERDYANSK KURGAN. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 36(3), 383-394. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/296