Aristocratic Burial-Mound Bliznets-2 on the West Bank of the Dnieper above the Rapids

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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Abstract

This article is devoted to the Bliznets-2 Burial-mound which is one of the largest Scythian funerary monuments of the 5th century BC and which was excavated on the southern edge of the town of Dnepropetrovsk in 2007. Along with the structural features of the burial-mound, the funerary rite and range of artefacts discovered in it are analysed. The role of the monument among the Scythian élite burial-mounds in the North Pontic region is defined and certain aspects of the dynastic history of the Scythians are discussed.

Aristocratic Burial-Mound Bliznets-2 on the West Bank of the Dnieper above the Rapids

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

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1

Kashchenko 188752-53.

4

Romashko 2009339-350; Romashko & Skorÿï 2009a; 2009b 38-45; Skorÿï & Romashko 2009 173-178.

5

See for example Androsov 1985120.

7

Androsov 1985124.

8

Androsov 1985125.

9

Bidzilya 197145; Fialko 1994 123; Boltrik Fialko & Cherednichenko 1994 43.

10

Boltrik Fialko & Cherednichenko 1994148fig. 9 I III.

11

Spitsÿn 190174fig. 7.

12

Ol’khovskiï 1991154.

13

Mozolevskiï 1979160.

15

Boltrik Fialko & Cherednichenko 1994148-149fig. 9.

16

Androsov & Mukhopad 198759; Melyukova 1999 53 79; Kovpanenko & Skorÿï 1988 80 fig. 7 81 fig. 8; Mozolevskiï & Polin 2005 292.

17

Koltukhov & Mÿts 200133.

21

Chochorowski Grigoriev & Skoryj 1996253fig. 9 A-B.

22

Mozolevskiï 1979161.

24

Kovaleva & Mukhopad 1979122fig. 2 8; Bessonova & Skorÿï 1986 160 fig. 2 2; Evdokimov & Fridman 1987 99 fig. 11 5; Kovalev & Polin 1991 42 fig. 6 1-4 10-18 23-3549-53.

25

Ebert 1913fig. 8 10; Sidorenko 1964 191–192 fig. 1; Kovpanenko 1970 157 fig. 4 18; Chernenko 1970 178 fig. 1 1; Shaposhnikova 1970 210 fig. 3; Bessonova & Skorÿï 1986 162 fig. 4 1; Grigoriev 1994 72 fig. 4 16; Grebennikov 2008 84-85 162 fig. 30 1.

26

Polin & Kubÿshev 19974175 fig. 14 7.

27

Mantsevich 194121figs. 6; 7 1-3.

28

Silant’eva 195969fig. 37 10; Petrenko 1967 pl. 32 23-25; Murzin 1984 21 fig. 9 4; Skorÿï 1997 126 fig. 22 11-12; 130 fig. 26 2.

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Neverov 198618.

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Kulatova & Suprunenko 2009244–246fig. 16.

31

Silant’eva 195946fig. 19 3a-3b 71 fig. 38 3; Neverov 1986 18-19 145 pl. 1 3; Vickers 2002 27 pl. 7.

32

Onaïko 1966113pls. XXI 3; XXIII 1; Bitkovskiï & Polin 1987 80-82 fig. 9 2.

33

Il’inskaya 1968148.

34

Il’inskaya 1968149pl. XXVI 8 10.

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Bitkovskiï & Polin 198779-8082 fig. 7 8.

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Silant’eva 195965fig 34 1; 72 fig. 39 4; Melyukova 1975 168 figs. 43 11-12; 50 1-4; Vickers 2002 51 pl. 19.

39

Il’inskaya 1968114.

40

Mogilov 200819-22213 figs. 13-37.

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Mogilov 200837254 fig. 39; 290 fig. 75; 291 fig. 76; 292 fig. 77.

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Il’inskaya 1968118.

43

Il’inskaya 1968pls. XXXI 1; XLIX 1; LIII 1; Bessonova & Skorÿï 1986 164 fig. 6 1.

44

Mantsevich 1961150.

45

Sinitsÿn 196742.

46

Sidorenko 1964193fig. 4; Mukhopad 1981 93 fig. 1 1; Skorÿï 1997 47 59 fig. 45; Grebennikov 2008 46-47 52 145 fig. 13 4.

47

Mantsevich 19878899 Cat. 74.

48

Galanina 1997233No. 105 pl. 41 105.

49

Kantorovich & Érlikh 2006122188 Cat. 62.

50

Greïvs 1992297-299.

51

Greïvs 1992298; Menar 1993 63.

52

Greivs 1992297-298.

53

Kulatova & Suprunenko 2009244-246fig. 16.

54

Petiskus 2000102; Menar 1993 213.

55

Akimova 2007155.

56

Petiskus 200022-23.

57

Tsvetaeva 1977195-196.

58

Belov 196823-24.

59

Gorelik 198319fig. 7 1-3.

60

Menar 1993191.

61

Greïvs 19924.

62

Menar 199322.

63

Greïvs 199246; Éliade 2002 254.

64

Ossowski 1888pl. III 1.

65

Piotrovsky Galanina & Grach 1986Cat. 135.

66

Bessonova 1983fig. 6 1-2.

67

Ryabova 197862-63.

68

Ryabova 19795048 fig. 1 5; Mozolevskïi 1980 133 fig. 68 11.

70

Babenko 2005Photograph 11; 250 fig. 17 1-4.

71

Artamonov 196668.

72

Mozolevskiï 198771fig. 6 33-36.

73

Bokiï 1977202fig. 2 13 15; Androsov & Mukhopad 1987 65 fig. 5 2; 70; Treister 2008 109.

74

Sokol’skiï 197197fig. 27.

75

Kadeev 1968151fig. 2; Sokol’skiï 1971 212 pl. XXVI 11 12; Lorenz 2008 101 pls. 38 2B; 125 2.

77

Sokol’skiï 19693133 39; Fialko 1987 fig. 5 9 12.

79

Mozolevskiï 1986pl. 1.

80

Mantsevich 19879.

81

Potekhina 2009279-281.

82

On this subject see Alekseev 1994a12; 2003 219.

83

Alekseev 1992126; 1994a 7-9; 1994b 12-17; 1996 102-112; 2003 218-236; Boltrik 2001a; 2001b; Boltrik & Fialko 1994a; 1994b; 1995; 1996; Kuznetsova 2001.

84

Alekseev 1992125; 2003 224.

85

Alekseev 1996102.

86

Alekseev 2003224.

87

Alekseev 1992125.

88

Alekseev 1992125-126.

89

Alekseev 1996100.

90

Blavatskaya 19933640 43.

91

Alekseev 1996112-113; 2003 235.

92

Alekseev 1994a7-9; 1994b 16; 1996 104-110; 2003 228-235.

93

Mantsevich 1987117.

94

Boltrik 2001b29-31.

95

Kuznetsova 2001148-149.

96

Boltrik 2001b29; Alekseev 2003 227.

97

Boltrik 2001b29-30.

98

Aleskeev 2003229-230.

99

Mantsevich 1987118.

100

Tokhtas’ev 1998300-301.

101

Boltrik 2001b30-31.

102

Rusyaeva 2005397.

103

Rusyaeva 2005393.

104

Bessonova 198376.

105

Skrzhinskaya 2009133.

106

Bessonova 19935-6; Rusyaeva 2005 409.

107

Murzin 199842-43.

108

Murzin 199842-43.

109

Brashinskiï 1984178; Murzin 1986 7; 1998 43.

110

Murzin 1986184; 1998 43.

111

Makarevskiï 2000179-180272.

112

Yavornitskiï 1989.

113

Smilenko 197551-57.

114

Rÿbakov 198244.

115

Yavornitskiï 198929; Makarevskiï 2008 179.

116

Slovanevskaya 199612-15; Binkevich & Kameko 2000 100-101; Titov 2000 28.

117

Yavornitskiï 198928; Binkevich & Kameko 2008 14.

118

Brashinskiï 1984178.

119

Kashchenko 188752-53.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    General plan of the “Bliznets-2” Burial-mound and profiles of the baulks. A. South intermediate baulk; A2. North profile; B. South intermediate baulk; B1. South profile; B2. North profile; C. Central baulk; D. North intermediate baulk; E. North intermediate baulk; F. North intermediate baulk; G. Line of communications; K. Water pipes; L. Gas pipe; M. Railway line.
  • View in gallery
    Profiles of the baulks in the “Bliznets-2” Burial-mound. F1. South profile; E1. South profile; E2. North profile; D1. South profile; D2. North profile; C1. South profile; C2. North profile.
  • View in gallery
    Central part of the surface under the Burial-mound with the main funerary structure and the accompanying cultic-ritual complexes. A. Entrance pit of burial No. 1; B. Food-pit or cellar; C. Human bones (foundation burial); D. Horse burials (Nos. 1-3).
  • View in gallery
    Plan and section of the main funerary structure.
  • View in gallery
    Horse graves. Plans and sections. 1. Burial No. 1; 2. Burial No. 2; 3. Burial No. 3.
  • View in gallery
    Plan and section of the food-pit or cellar. B. Cords made from plant fibres; C. Bronze cauldron.
  • View in gallery
    Articles made of iron. 1-17. Armour plates; 18. Part of a quiver (?); 19. Tassel-holder; 20. Blade from a double-bladed sword; 21. Knife with a bone handle.
  • View in gallery
    Articles made of bronze and gold. 1-15. Armour plates; 16, 17. Sword belt made up of plates; 18. Paired rings; 19. Tassel-holder; 20. Bead; 21. Pendant; 22. Finger-ring; 23-26. Arrow-heads; 27. Bowl from a scoop or kyathos. (1-21, 23-27. Bronze; 20-22. Gold).
  • View in gallery
    Encrusted plates of bone bearing a depiction of chariots hurtling towards each other.
  • View in gallery
    Encrusted plates of bone bearing depictions of a cheetah.
  • View in gallery
    Engraved and encrusted plates of bone and their fragments. 1, 2. Plates with a plant pattern; 3, 4. Plates with a geometric pattern; 5, 11. Plates with a plant pattern and depictions of birds; 6. Plate with a depiction of Eros; 7-10, 12. Fragments of plates with depictions of gods and heroes.
  • View in gallery
    Encrusted and engraved plates of bone and their fragments. 1-14. Inlays; 15, 16. Small palmettes; 17. Ionic capital; 19. Plate with the depiction of a man in a free pose; 18, 20-22. Plates with depictions of Zeus (?), Ares (?), maenads and Hermes; 23-28. Fragments of plates bearing depictions of gods and heroes, a lion, a horse and a cart.
  • View in gallery
    Articles made of bone. 1-25. Encrusted inlays and strips; 26-27. Parts of articles bearing an engraved meander pattern and its reconstruction; 28. Turned article in the shape of a chess pawn (the handle of a pyxis).
  • View in gallery
    Articles made of bone. 1, 2, 11, 12. Encrusted strips; 3. Carved quiver fastener; 4, 5. Rings from the bases of pyxides; 6-10. Rings of various diameters.
  • View in gallery
    1-5. Remains of a bear’s paw (claws); 6-10. Details of bridles from the horse burials. 6, 9, 10. Burial No. 1; 7. Burial No. 2; 8. Burial No. 3.
  • View in gallery
    Bronze cauldron. 1. View from the side; 2-3. Cauldron parts.
  • View in gallery
    Bone plate with depictions of Eros.
  • View in gallery
    Bone plate with depictions of Hermes.
  • View in gallery
    Bone plate with depictions of Zeus (?).
  • View in gallery
    Bone plate with depictions of seated cheetah.

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