SEDENTARY BURIALS ON THE SOUTHERN RUS’ TERRITORY


Keywords: Ancient Rus’, funeral rite, sedentary position, ethnosocial affiliation.

Abstract

The article is devoted to the burials of the X—XI centuries, where the deceased were found in a sitting position. Despite the fact that this custom itself is undoubtedly of Norman origin, the issue of ethnic and social attribution of most complexes from the territory of Southern Rus’ has not received appropriate attention among the researchers. Information was collected on 17 Southern Rus’ burials, which, according to some researchers, were carried out in a sitting position. However, it is not always possible to establish the posture of the deceased with complete confidence. The basic variants of mutual arrangement of bone remains are allocated and on their basis the most widespread ways of giving to a body a sitting position are reconstructed.

Both by the social composition of the buried and chronologically, the burial complexes can be divided into two separate groups. The first group includes rich burials in chamber tombs. All of them are dated by the X century and are located in the necropolises of Kyiv and Shestovytsia, two points of the highest concentration of the Scandinavian ethnic component in Southern Rus’. A wide range of objects of Scandinavian origin was found in the toms, there are burials with weapons, slaves and horses killed. Undoubtedly, the dead belonged to the military-trade elite. In combination with chamber tombs, a sitting posture can be an indicator of the Scandinavian origin of the dead.

Sedentary burials of the second group are located in the peripheral areas of the Southern Rus’ and belong to the Christian era (approximately — the end of the X—XI centuries). Burials are carried out at the level of the day surface, are marked by rather «poor» inventory and, as a rule, do not have burial structures. They can be associated with the ordinary Slavic population and its efforts to recreate certain prestigious features of the funeral rites of the previous period. Probably, the sedentary position symbolized a dominant status in society, and in the funeral rite carried only a social, not a religious stress.

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Published
2021-06-01
How to Cite
Bibikov, D. V. (2021). SEDENTARY BURIALS ON THE SOUTHERN RUS’ TERRITORY. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 38(1), 229-241. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/357