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Burials Dating to the Migration Period in Western Siberia

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Traditional and novel features of 4th–5th century AD burials in the northern forest-steppe and sub-taiga areas of the Tobol valley (Kozlov Mys-2, Revda-5, Ustyug-1, and Ipkul) are described. The burial rite reveals cultural heterogeneity. The kurgans, the northerly orientation of bodies, the use of horsemeat in funeral feast, and the addition of sand and grog to ceramic paste are elements inherited from the earlier Sargatka culture. Features such as secondary cremation, inhumation with horse placed onto the roof of the grave perpendicular to the human body, wrapping the bodies in carpets, skins, and felt mats, and secondary inhumation have no roots in local Early Iron Age traditions. The addition of burnt bones to ceramic paste, new types of vessels such as jugs and mugs, and heavy circular deformation of the head – all these elements were introduced by migrants from Southwestern Central Asia, as evidenced by parallels with the Aral Sea area, the steppe part of the Irtysh Basin, the southern Ural, the Tien-Shan piedmont, apparently indicating immigration of isolated groups of nomads of proto-Bulgarian and Xiongnu origin. The emergence of fl at cemeteries with rows of graves arranged perpendicular to their long axes, the use of boats as coffi ns, the stamp decoration of pottery, and bowls are features introduced by immigrants associated with the Karym culture of the forest parts of the Tobol and Irtysh drainages.

About the Author

N. P. Matveyeva
Tyumen State University
Russian Federation
Semakova 10, Tyumen, 625003


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For citations:

Matveyeva N.P. Burials Dating to the Migration Period in Western Siberia. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(4):122-130.

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