Eltsov M.V. Pedoarcheological Research of the Zhayyk-1 Kurgan

Maxim V. Eltsov, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Archaeological Soil Science, Institute of Physicachemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya St., 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article reveals the results of pedoarchaeological research of the Zhayyk-kurgan. The research is based on the pedoarchaeological method in the study of historical monuments as a part of natural. The essence of this method is a joint study of modern soils and ancient paleosols of different age archaeological monuments. The obtained data allowed us to clarify the construction features of the archaeological monument’s ground mound, as well as to suggest the time of its building. Natural conditions in this period (probably 5th century BC) were generally similar to modern ones, the area was dominated by steppe landscapes with dark chestnut soils. The сentral part of the kurgan was built of soil blocks, which are cut out upper humus horizons of the soil in their natural composition. The inner mound of the monument is surrounded by a circular moat about 80 cm deep. In the сentral part of the mound, there are traces of burning in the form of burnt and melted blocks, pieces of soil colored brick and dark pink, charred fragments of wood. The internal structure made of blocks is covered with an embankment of yellow-gray loose humus loam, which is a layer of soil lying under the humus horizon in the areas of building blocks preparation, and this material also fills the ring moat. The embankment that overlaps the primary structure, in turn, is covered with a massive gray-brown top-up that forms the appearance of the monument. It is possible to point out three stages of the kurgan construction: the moment of building a block structure with a ring moat; the stage of building the first mound, and then covering the entire structure with the mound of the last burial.
Key words: archaeological soil science, paleosols, early iron age, Sauromatian culture, humus blocks.
Citation. Eltsov M.V., 2020. Pedoarcheological Research of the Zhayyk-1 Kurgan. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 285-293. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.16
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Pedoarcheological Research of the Zhayyk-1 Kurgan by Eltsov M.V is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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