Khrapunov I.N. A Crypt with Third-Century Coins in the Cemetery of Opushki

Igor N. Khrapunov, Doctor of Science (History), Professor, Department of Ancient and Medieval History, Taurida Academy, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Akademika Vernadskogo Avenue, 4, 295007 Simferopol, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The cemetery of Opushki is located about 15 km east of Simferopol, in the Crimean foothills. In the process of excavations, carried out since 2003, a variety of funerary constructions belonging to different archaeological cultures have been discovered. The crypt researched in the current article contained four burials, which were especially interesting because of the find of six coins inside of them. The excavation above the burial chamber of this vault discovered a childs burial accompanied with varied grave goods, similarly to those made in the crypt. The burials discussed in the present study were made in the second half of the third century AD. The second half of the 3rd century AD was the period represented in Crimea by the smallest number of complexes in comparison with the previous and the following periods. Varied grave goods from the crypt and the childs grave greatly expand our notion of the material culture of those people who inhabited the Crimean foothills in that half of the century, which is difficult to be discovered by archaeological methods. Furthermore, the crypt No. 133 belongs to a big group of grave constructions which were widely spread in Crimea in the Late Roman period. Their distinctive feature is a short dromos. Initially, the latter crypts appeared in the first half of the 3rd century AD. However, several of them as well belong to the second half of the 3rd century AD. In the fourth century AD, the majority of burials were made in such crypts close to the Crimean foothills. Many researchers interpret specific construction of these crypts as an evidence of the penetration into Crimea of the forefathers of mediaeval North Caucasian Alans. The material culture of the population of the Crimean foothills in the Late Roman period could be interpreted as eclectic, developed under the influence from various factors. Its sources were ancient and the Sarmatian cultures. Besides, the research showed that there were found some local hand-made vessels, analogies of which were never found outside of the peninsula. Some of the artefacts had penetrated to Crimea area from the areas populated by Germanic tribes.
Key words: Crimea, Roman period, cemeteries, funeral rites, grave goods, Sarmatians, Alans, Germans, intercultural connections.
Citation. Khrapunov I.N., 2020. Sklep s monetami III v. n.e. iz mogil’nika Opushki [A Crypt with Third-Century Coins in the Cemetery of Opushki]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 247-278. DOI:
A Crypt with Third-Century Coins in the Cemetery of Opushki by Khrapunov I.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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