BURIAL RITE OF THE OSTRIV GRAVEYARD (BY THE RESULTS OF RESCUE EXCAVATION 2017—2018)


Keywords: Old Rus, Porossia, burial ground, funeral rite, West Baltic tribes, grave goods, migration.

Abstract

In 2017—2018 researchers of Architectural and Archaeological Expedition (Institute of Archaeology of Ukraine) conducted investigations in the Ostriv village Rokytne district Kyiv region. As a result, 53 inhumation burials of the graveyard unique for Southern Rus were investigated. Analysis of the burial equipment allowed us to date the graveyard to the end 10th — 11th c.

Funeral rite detected in the graveyard differs considerably from usual Kyivan Rus burials of this period. Vast majority of burials were oriented to the north with small season deviations. There were individual burials oriented to the south and to the west. Most were buried lying on their back with outstretched limbs in variety of wooden structures (coffins). Remains of a stone structure have been discovered. It can be reconstructed as the remains of an altar. Remains of funeral food were found in burials, among them chicken bones, eggshells, buckets for liquids and powders.

The graveyard is characterized by wide range distinctive accompanying equipment, not typical to synchronous Kyivan Rus graveyards, but close to funeral rite of people living in the southern-east coast of Baltic sea, basically the Western Baltic tribes of Curonians, Prussians, Scalvians.

It should be noted that the funeral tradition recorded on the Ostriv graveyard does not fit directly into the synchronous antiquities of Eastern Europe. It has no direct analogies among the Baltic sites known today either. This looks a bit odd, as the grave goods discovered at Ostriv cemetery have direct analogies in the Western Balts monuments. The absence of cremation burials typical to the Western Balts is still under the question here. This situation can reflect the restrictions of Kyiv princely Christian administra-
tion.

Possibly Ostriv cemetery illustrates Primary chronicle reports on state activity of first Kyiv dukes, particularly Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise, who straightened and pushed further the southern borders of Kyiv Rus.

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Published
2021-06-01
How to Cite
Baranov, V. I., Ivakin, V. G., & Shyroukhov, R. A. (2021). BURIAL RITE OF THE OSTRIV GRAVEYARD (BY THE RESULTS OF RESCUE EXCAVATION 2017—2018). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 38(1), 279-293. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/360