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Donskaya Arkheologia Journal

Vol. 2,2000

With Summaries


Table of Contents

Editorial note 4

Tribes and Peoples 6

V.Ya.Kiyashko. Eneolithic Period. At the Cradle of History 6
Articles, Publications, Notes 12

I.V.Gudimenko, S.M.Ilyashenko . Inscriptions on the Late Antique amphorae of the Rogozhkino ?? Settlement 12

A.A.Glukhov. Clay Censers from the Middle Sarmatian Burials of the area between the Don and Volga Rivers 29

A.A.Kudryavtsev, Ye.A.Kudryavtsev, Yu.A.Prokopenko. Set of the Late Scythian Horse Harness Articles from Burial Ground No.2 of the Tartar Site (the city of Stavropol) 40

V.A.Larenok . 150 Moneyboxes and a Ceremonial «Dinner Set» from a Household Pit 48

F.Kh.Gutnov. Duel of the Cimmerian «Kings» 60

Yu.Ya.Myagkova. Tanais Osteologic Material Analysis 64

From the History of Don-land Archaeology 71

A.L.Boyko. From the History of Field Research Methods in Pre-Revolutionary Russia 71

Archaeological Masterpieces 86

S.I.Bezuglov. Towards the Composition Reconstruction of the Bosphorus Gold Hoarding of the Don Land 86

Critical Essays and Bibliography 98

Current News 107

Abbreviations 109

Contents 111


Eneolithic Period. At the Cradle of History.
   The Eneolithic Age on the Don lands was a time of crucial changes, an epoch of Indo-Europeans’ settling. The agricultural economic crisis lead to the gradual decay of the late Neolithic cultures, the Rakushechnoyarskaya culture being one of them. The new, developing processes of nomadic stock raising and metal spread attracted new inhabitants to the steppe lands, arriving from the southern areas in particular. The newcomers brought with them different skills, customs, ideology, which manifested itself in pottery, flint industry, funeral ceremony changes. This was the time of the early burial mounds. An original complex of the Konstantinovsk settlement witnesses the syncretic character of the site that was a result of contacts between the tribes inhabiting the Kuban lands (of the Maikop circle culture) and those steppe inhabitants who were close to the Middle Stogovskaya culture of Ukraine.

Inscriptions on the Late Antique Amphorae of the Rogozhkino XIII Settlement
   This publication introduces one of the most representative collections of dipinti on those late antique light clay amphorae found in settlement Rogozhkino XIII. The inscriptions of the kind can only be met on the type ? and F amphorae across the whole territory of the north Black Sea coast. The similarity of the marks allows the authors of this work to unite them under a single category: inscriptions of the «a/» type. A feature of the above inscriptions is the standard placement of information in accordance with three positions. The first position contains an «a/» digraph, while the second and the third ones contain Greek names probably belonging to the persons engaged in manufacture or transportation of the amphorae contents in the second half of the IV century A.D.
Clay Censers from the Middle Sarmatian Burials of the Area between the Don and Volga Rivers
   Clay censers are frequently found in Sarmatian graves. Double censers (one inserted into another) became popular in the I century A.D. The double censers were employed by the Sarmatians till the first half of the II century A.D. Since the beginning of that century wide spread were small cubical ritual vessels, which was due to the new traditions introduced by the tribes of the late Sarmatian culture. The cartography results have shown that double censers were prevalent among the Sarmatians at the lower Don reaches and the Aksai, but are practically absent in those Sarmatian burial grounds which are located at the Volga right bank, southward of Volgograd. This may mean definite originality (either ethnic or chronological) of the sites of the discussed region, which has also been noted in the newest anthropologists’ research works.

Set of the Late Scythian Horse Harness Articles from Burial Ground N 2 of the Tatar Site (the City of Stavropol)   In the 1990s the archaeological expedition of Stavropol State University and Stavropol Museum of Local Lore undertook excavations on the territory of the Tartar ancient settlement site at the southern end of Stavropol. Beyond the site boundaries, in 50 – 70 m to the east, the expedition found a burial ground consisting of stone covered barrows and a crypt with a dromos in its centre. As the burial chamber and the stone cover were cleared, a number of artifacts were discovered. Most notable were the following horse harness details: an iron bar bit, iron snaffles, bronze front and pectoral (sidecheek?) plates, and an iron bridle ring. Judging by these finds, one may suppose that the bridle set once belonging to those horses whose fragments were buried on the barrow circle (dated to the IV – turn of the III-II centuries B.C.), consisted of a crown piece, a front, a noseband and a chinstrap. Besides, there was also a saddle harness.
150 Moneyboxes and a Ceremonial “Dinner Set” from a Household Pit
   A gas line trench was dug in 1984 in the town of Azov, Tolstoy Street, leading to house No. 2. The trench destroyed the north-eastern part of a household pit. The pit was oval in plan and slightly expanding to the bottom. Its upper part was filled with clay loam and contained no finds. The lower 0.5 m of the filling consisted of greenish organic remains and ash. It was in the lower part where all the finds were concentrated.
    Three copper coins originate from the pit. Two of them could not be read due to poor condition. The third coin was identified by N.M.Fomichyov as a Janibeg pulo of 1352 – 1353. Thus the complex is dated from the middle of the XIV century.
    Our attention was attracted to a peculiar set of artifacts comprising a large number of money-boxes and tableware of various shapes.
    The ceremonial tableware was represented by glaze jars, dishes, cups, a grey water bottle with a stamped ornament, Kashina cups, glass beakers and a vase. Most of these had been imported.
There were 150 money-boxes in the pit, one third of their number covered with one or several graffiti. Presumably, each money-box could contain about one hundred coins, thus the total amount of money in the 150 boxes should have made a sum roughly equal to 15,000 dirhems. What could be bought for this amount? We can point at one event rather important for the Turco-Mongolian peoples: effecting a marriage deal which was not a “do-at-once” action, but consisted of several stages, which required great inputs from the direction of its participants. The ethnographic sources permit to restore the approximate menu of the festive board and the number of the nuptial feast participants.
Duel of the Cimmerian “Kings”
   This article is an interpretation of the story of the Cimmerian «kings’» «suicide» included in Herodotus’ Scythian logos. Having considered the available explanations of the above fragment of History, the author offers his own vision of the possible events occurrence. In his opinion, Herodotus’ story reflects the ritual judicial combat between the «young» aristocracy and the Cimmerian «kings». The «young» aristocracy prevailed and headed their tribesmen in the campaign to Front Asia. Therefore, although the Cimmerians «had buried their kings by the Tyras river», they were regarded at the Near East as the people who have «a king».
Tanais Osteologic Material Analysis
   The article is dedicated to the analysis of the bone spoils (39,521 fragments) found in the layers of the Hellenistic, Roman, Classical periods, and one layer of the V – VI centuries A.D. of the city of Tanais. 13 species of wild mammals and 8 species of domestic animals are noted. Noted also is the change in the breed composition of the domestic bull in the Classical period and the domestic sheep in the Roman period. Shown is the analysis age-sex structure of the herd. Stated are significant changes in the proportion of agricultural animals species within various periods of Tanais existence, the most noticeable of those changes having occurred in the V – VI centuries A.D. Meanwhile, beef was the major meat foodstuff during all the time of Tanais existence; horseflesh and mutton were eaten much rarer.

From the History of Field Research Methods in Pre-Revolutionary Russia
   The article is dedicated to the stages of formation of field archaeology in the South of Russia within the period between the early XIX and the early XX centuries. The author shows the evolution of methods of field archaeological research within the above period of time. A definite synchronism of field research development in Russia and Western Europe is noted.

Towards the Composition Reconstruction of the Bosphorus Gold Hoarding of the Don Land
   This article is a publication of the results of the author’s work aimed at the revision of the archive bibliographical data concerning the treasures and separate antique gold coins found at different times at the lower Don reaches. The coverage of rare archival documents enabled to specify quite a number of circumstances associated with the Don-land treasures. Considered have been those previously unpublished materials which are kept in the Don-land museums and several private collections of Rostov and Taganrog. Restored are the ratings of a number of gold coins found in the 1970s and 1990s. The undertaken research permits to revise the system of currency circulation between Tanais and a group of lower Don fortified settlements once located in the vicinity to Tanais. 

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