Balabanova M.A., Klepikov V.M., Pererva E.V. Funeral Rite and Morphology of a Buried Man from Kurgan of Tau Cemetery (Western Kazakhstan)

 
Mariya A. Balabanova, Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Department of Russian and World History, Archeology, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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Valeriy M. Klepikov, Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Russian and World History, Archeology, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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Evgeniy V. Pererva, Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Russian and World History, Archeology, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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Abstract. Introduction. The paper presents results of the funeral rite and material culture study of the Sauromat time Tau cemetery located on the territory of Western Kazakhstan, and also provides anthropological analysis of the skull discovered there. Methods and materials. An interdisciplinary approach was applied in the course of the study with inclusion of typological, analog and cross-dating methods regarding the funeral rite and material culture examination, methods for studying craniometrical and cranioscopic signs, as well as methods of skull pathology evaluation. The source of the study material as well as the male skull discovery site is burial 1 of kurgan 1 of Tau cemetery. Discussion and results. The funeral rite and clothing inventory data confirms that the burial belongs to Sauromat archaeological culture and, within the chronological framework, could be dated back late 6th – early 5th centuries BC. Furthermore, the funeral rite and weaponry features, including a quiver set with a short sword, attribute this burial to this epoch. Historical and archaeological source analysis suggests that there must have been a cult of the Hand in the Sauromat-Sarmatian society; consequently, the separate interment of the right hand in the examined burial reveals its military trophy origin. The male skull possesses Caucasian features with a weakened horizontal facial profile. The morphological features of the skull from the Tau cemetery have analogies in the synchronous population of Western Kazakhstan, Southern Urals and Lower Volga regions. The skull pathology analysis showed the presence of periodontitis, intravital trauma to the frontal bone, as well as some acute sinusitis signs.
Key words: Sauromat culture, gender, age, funeral rite, craniology, pathology, hand symbolism, grave goods.
Citation. Balabanova M.A., Klepikov V.M., Pererva E.V., 2021. Pogrebal’nyy obryad i morfologiya pogrebennogo iz kurgana mogil’nika Tau (Zapadnyy Kazahstan) [Funeral Rite and Morphology of a Buried Man from Kurgan of Tau Cemetery (Western Kazakhstan)]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 24-42. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2021.2.2
 
Funeral Rite and Morphology of a Buried Man from Kurgan of Tau Cemetery (Western Kazakhstan) by Balabanova M.A., Klepikov V.M., Pererva E.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
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