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OFFERINGS OF HUNNIC-TYPE ARTIFACTS IN STONE ENCLOSURES AT ALTYNKAZGAN, THE EASTERN CASPIAN REGION

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.068-078

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Abstract

In 2014–2015, nine enclosures built of stone slabs were excavated at Altynkazgan on the Mangyshlak Peninsula, Republic of Kazakhstan. Inside them, remains of offering ceremonies were found: vessels dug into the ground, altars made of limestone blocks, and pits for offerings. In one of these, we found a richly decorated bridle, in another, a belt set of inlaid golden plaques, and in the third, remains of a saddle (silver plates and other items). The entire assemblage has numerous parallels among the 5th and 6th century fi nds from the northern Black Sea area, North Caucasus, and the Volga basin. Ritual burial of a “golden” belt, a bridle, and a ceremonial saddle indicate an advanced cult that included offerings of prestigious belongings of a horseman. These rituals were introduced by Iranian-speaking nomads who had migrated to the eastern Caspian region during the Hunnic raids to Iran in the 5th century. At that time, owing to the regressive phase of the Caspian Sea, the semi-desert northern Caspian coast was connected with Mangyshlak by a land bridge. Our hypotheses are supported by both historical records and modern geomorphological studies of the Caspian Sea.

About the Authors

A. E. Astafyev
Mangistau State Historical and Cultural Reserve
Kazakhstan
3-y mikrorayon 66, Aktau, 130001


E. S. Bogdanov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation
Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090


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For citation:


Astafyev A.E., Bogdanov E.S. OFFERINGS OF HUNNIC-TYPE ARTIFACTS IN STONE ENCLOSURES AT ALTYNKAZGAN, THE EASTERN CASPIAN REGION. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2018;46(2):68-78. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2018.46.2.068-078

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