THE UPPER PART OF THE PTICH RIVER IN THE 10th—11th CENTURIES. (BASED ON RESEARCH MATERIALS OF BURIAL MOUNDS)


Keywords: burial mound, burial ceremony, cremation, inhumation, the Slavs.

Abstract

The Ptich river, a left tributary of the Pripyat, flows through the southern part of Central Belarus. Its banks are mostly swampy. The most suitable land for farming is located in the upper parts of the river, on the territory of Minsk district. The location of 60 burial mounds specifically connected with this region (fig. 1), but unfortunately most of them had not been preserved. Only five sites were investigated by archaeological excavations. Six burial mounds with cremation were explored in the burial ground of Ozerzo which dated back to the the second half of the 10th century (fig. 2—5). Wooden constructions of log walls and boxes were fixed in some mounds, which might be compared with the traditions of the Slavs of the Raikovetskaya and Romny-Borshevo Cultures. The grave goods are presented by artefacts connected with subculture of armed force centers and prestigious women’s jewelry (fig. 6—8). The burial ground of Ozertso could be the part of a large one and now this necropolis was completely destroyed. It can only be assumed that the site was an integral part of the settlement on the Menka river, which was the original location of Minsk. Some prestigious women’s jewelry made of silver was also found in the plowed area nearby (fig. 9). Such places as Gorodishche, Dudovka, Priluki related to the burial grounds of the nearest district of the settlement on the Menka river present cremations of the late 10th century and inhumations of the 11th century (fig. 13, 14). Axes were found in men’s burials, and ornaments typical of the Dregovichy were discovered in women’s ones, pottery was found both ways (fig. 10, 11, 15—18). The studied burial ground of Dovborovo up the Ptich river provides cremations and inhumations and grave goods which dated back to the late 10th — the first half of the 11th century and display typical rural items (fig. 12).

Thus, by the late 10th century, the entire territory of the upper reaches of the Ptitch river was inhabited. The trade and craft settlement was founded on the banks of the Menka river, the right tributary of the Ptitch, which in the early 11th century turned into a well-fortified pre-urban place. Burials in the necropolis of this settlement are distinguished by a variety of ritual elements and prestigious grave goods. A new fortified place of Minsk was built on the Svisloch river in the second half of the 11th century, which later became the center of the Principality. The intensity of life in the region of the upper Ptitch river was gradually decreasing by the 12th century, and numerous rural settlements were connected to the new
center.

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Published
2021-06-01
How to Cite
Voitekhovich, A. V. (2021). THE UPPER PART OF THE PTICH RIVER IN THE 10th—11th CENTURIES. (BASED ON RESEARCH MATERIALS OF BURIAL MOUNDS). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 38(1), 242-258. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/358