“Lower Don Chastyie Kurgany – 2002”

In 2002 an international expedition proceeded the investigation of the Chastyie Kurgany burial ground. The expedition comprised two groups: a group of Rostov University students (headed by Prof. V.Ye.Maksimenko) and a group of international volunteers (headed by V.V.Klyutchnikov). The international group included professionals and amateurs from Russia, the USA, Great Britain, Taiwan and Sweden. The expedition dug out five mounds: an Early (Middle?) Bronze Age sanctuary, Middle Bronze Age barrow, Scythian time barrow and two Polovtsian (Kipchaks) time barrows.


1. Barrow ¹ 27. (dug up by the international group). Judging by the pottery fragments, the site is preliminarily referred to the Early (Middle?) Bronze Age. The mound contained some remains of a poorly preserved stone sculpture. The space around the statue was encircled with a square ditch having a break in its western section.

2. Barrow ¹ 14. (dug up by the group of students). It is dated back to the Middle Bronze Age. The major burial is located in a catacomb whose entrance well reaches 4 m in depth. The buried male lay croached on his side. His age made about 35-45 years. The funeral ensemble included a bronze knife, several sard beads and two well preserved ceramic vessels. A silicic arrow-head which probably caused the man’s death was found in his spine.
A Late Bronze Age (srubnaya culture) secondary burial was also discovered in the barrow.



3. Barrow ¹ 10 (dug up by the group of students). Dated to the 4th century BC. The barrow height made about 1 m, while its diameter exceeded 30 m. The burial was constructed as a square-shaped pit (5.5 by 5.5 m) bearing traces of a wooden floor. According to the pottery fragments, the barrow is referred to the Scythian time. It was repeatedly robbed in old, as well as in our times. Most probably there once were several people buried here (two skulls found). The pit also contained numerous animal bones – sacrificial food remains.


4. Barrow ¹ 5 (dug up by the international group). Can be referred to the Polovtsian (Kipchaks’) culture and dated to the second half of 13th century. It had a stone shell. This female burial was made in a pit having shoulders. It was robbed. Excavations revealed fragments of iron artifacts and a question-sign shaped silver earring. The age of the buried woman makes 20-25 years.

5. Barrow ¹ 7 (dug up by the international group). Can also be referred to the Polovtsian (Kipchaks) culture and dated to the 13th century. It had a strong stone armor. The burial also appeared to contain a woman’s remains. It was made in a pit having shoulders. The burial was robbed. Excavations revealed numerous iron details of a costume (buttons, clasps, etc.). The buried woman was 40-50 years old.
On the work of this international group in 2003 see>>


Pictures of the “Chastyie Kurgany – 2002” Expedition

Excavations and finds
Walks and excursions
The festival



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