KURGAN ON BRIIENN HILL NEAR ARTSYZ CITY


Keywords: Budzhak, Artsiz, kurhan (mound), Bronze Age, cromlech, Scythians, warrior, weapons, burial of horses, horse breastplate, golden cone, cannabis.

Abstract

The article publishes materials of a mound excavated in 1972 in the steppes of Budzhak near Artsyz. The topography and cartography of this archaeological site are first considered. The 6 m high embankment was filled in five steps. It contains 23 burials, 21 of which date from the Bronze Age and two from the Scythian period. The original embankment was built over the burial of the Usatov culture. For the second time, the mound was poured over the bearers of the pit culture. This burial is surrounded by a cromlech and is central to eight burials of pit culture. The cromlech is made of the plates put on an edge, has diameter of 13 m. The sizes of plates from 1.2 m to 0.8 m. Around the cromlech the ditch 2.0 m wide and 1.0 m deep is dug. The third embankment was completed at implementation of inlet pits burials. The fourth mound, which consisted mainly of yellow forest and is connected with the graves of the Babyn Cultural Circle, brought the size of the mound to a height of 5 m and a diameter of 28 m were considered interconnected. But these burials are divorced both in time and in the space of the mound. The burial of the warrior was on a slope, and 12—13 m from him, a horse grave was found on top. Prior to the excavations, the mound was used to extract humus, and probably the tomb, which was accompanied by horses, was destroyed at the same time.

Artifacts from this mound are partially published. The most popular of these is the golden cone of Scythian times. However, the authors propose a full publication of the findings and a new interpretation of the purpose of these mysterious artifacts. In particular, there is reason to believe that gold cones were used for smoking narcotic plants.

An interesting element of the reins from the tomb of horses is a pair of silver muzzles with an engraved composition. The upper part of the snout has a sharp protrusion in the form of the head of a bird of prey, its eyes and beak are traced. The schematism of the decor of the muzzle is probably the result of a certain syncretism generated by the pressure of the Scythian semantic tradition on the Thracian performers. It is probable that the sheet from Artsiz is a prototype of the so-called bird-beaking nostrils.

Analysis of the artifacts of the two Scythian complexes indicates a certain chronological distance between them. The burial of the soldier belongs to the time of the First Zavadska Grave (450—430 BC), and the grave of horses is close to the second tomb of Solokha (400—380 BC). That is, the chronological interval between the complexes is the life of one or two generations.

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Published
2021-09-30
How to Cite
Alekseeva, I. L., Boltryk, Y. V., & Sapozhnykov, I. V. (2021). KURGAN ON BRIIENN HILL NEAR ARTSYZ CITY. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 39(2), 287-305. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/390