Fedorov V.K. Burial Mound 7 of Sara Burial Ground (D.I. Zakharov’s Excavations, 1928): Historiographic Research

Vitaliy K. Fedorov, Candidate of Sciences (History), Deputy Director for Museum Activities, R.G. Kuzeev Institute for Ethnological Studies – Subdivision of the Ufa Federal Research Centre, RAS, Karla Marksa St., 6, 450077 Ufa, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article is devoted to historiographic research of the excavation materials from mound 7 of Sara burial ground. The excavations took place in the Eastern Orenburg area in 1928. The materials of these excavations entered scientific circulation in 1960 and contained serious errors, which greatly distorted the discoveries made there. B.F. Zhelezchikov, archaeologist from Volgograd, was the first to pay attention to this fact in 1997 but he just mentioned it briefly. We have conducted our own archival research and this article presents its results. The paper fully publishes the text of D.I. Zakharov’s report, his plan of Sara burial ground, the plan and cross-section view of mound 7 excavated by him. The paper characterizes the photos of the finds attached to Zakharov’s report as well. While comparing Zakharov’s data with the information which entered scientific circulation in the middle of the previous century under the name of “mound 7 of the burial ground near the village of Sara” we identified “extra” artifacts included into the report accidentally. For example, an iron dagger, most arrowheads, all items of horse harness, a whetstone, a stone tile and some decorations were excluded from the finds supposedly made in this mound. The letter from director of Orenburg Museum I.A. Zaretskiy confirmed the earlier suggestions that these objects were found during grave robberies and accidentally included into the collection of finds from mound 7 of Sara burial ground. The paper publishes an excerpt from this letter. We restored the true picture of the excavations of 1928 and observed the burial rite of the burial in mound 7 – cremation at the side of the burial.
Key words: archaeological excavations of the beginning of the 20th century, archival research, restoration of the true picture of excavations, early nomads, burial rite, cremation, grave goods.
Citation. Fedorov V.K., 2019. Burial Mound 7 of Sara Burial Ground (D.I. Zakharov’s Excavations, 1928): Historiographic Research. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 149-164. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2019.1.12
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Burial Mound 7 of Sara Burial Ground (D.I. Zakharov’s Excavations, 1928): Historiographic Research by Fedorov V.K. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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