Kuznetsova T.M. To the Question of the So Called Sauromatic Mirror from the Oguz Kurgan

 
Tatiana M. Kuznetsova, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dm. Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article continues the discussion about the object, which was discovered in the Oguz kurgan and is referred to as the sauromatian “mirror” in the literature. A round disk (with a flat side handle) shows a corrugation on its two sides. The purpose of such a thing that does not have a reflective surface is difficult to determine. However, it cannot be called a “mirror” because of the corrugation, so the function of the object has not yet been determined. This item was located under the back of a woman buried in the northern niche of the kurgan. Having identified an object from the Oguz barrow as a mirror, its researchers established the role of mirrors in the funeral rite of the Black Sea Scythia. They put forward the postulate that the mirrors among the accompanying equipment, laid under the back or left forearm of the deceased, fixate funerary complexes of dependent women of Scythia in the 5th-4th centuries BC. However, there is no pattern detected in the placement of mirrors alongside with buried ones in the North Pontic region. This does not allow us to present a real picture of the role of mirrors in the funeral rite of the Scythians or their neighbors and to clarify the social status of those buried by the location of these objects. The same picture is revealed when analyzing the placement of mirrors in the graves of sauromates. Studies of the funeral rite show that nomads were united only by desire of the mirrors’ owners to protect their mirror surface from damage that could distort the image of the owner. Therefore, it seems not advisable to equate objects with corrugation on both sides of their disks with mirrors, without taking the differences into account.
Key words: mirrors, corrugation, Oguz kurgan, rite, Scythians, Sauromats, Sarmatians.
Citation. Kuznetsova T.M., 2020. To the Question of the So Called Sauromatic Mirror from the Oguz Kurgan. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 46-63. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.3
 
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To the Question of the So Called Sauromatic Mirror from the Oguz Kurgan by Kuznetsova T.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 



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