Fedorov V.K. Small Molded Vessels for Incense from Burials of Southern Subural Nomads in the 4th – 2nd Centuries BC

 
Vitaliy K. Fedorov, Candidate of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher of the Scientific and Auxiliary Department of Accounting and Storage of Scientific Funds, Institute R.G. Kuzeev for Ethnological Studies – Subdivision of the Ufa Federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Karla Marksa St, 6, 450077 Ufa, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article is devoted to one of the categories of ceramic ware of the early nomads of the Southern Suburals. These are the small vessels with a slightly swollen body and high neck ornamented with vertical or oblique flutes or having no ornament. Finds of charred plant remains inside them, including Datura, indicate that such vessels were used for incense including aromatic smoke, obviously, with narcotic effect. A thick layer of carbon is found on the inner surface of the vessels. The burning of plants in vessels was carried out by placing “heating elements” into them – hot stones, fragments of ceramics and so-called “hammers”, often made of talc. Many of them show signs of having been on fire. Small vessels for incense appear in the Southern Urals in the 4th century B.C. and spread widely in the 3rd – 2nd century B.C. The tradition of burning plants, including narcotic ones (hemp), in special molded vessels – incense burners – was earlier revealed in the Middle Dniester region (Glinoye burial). The closest analogies of ornamentation and shape of the Southern Ural vessels for incense are found in the materials of the Prikuban and the Lower Don. We can assume that it was from these regions that the tradition of burning plants in vessels came to the Southern Urals, as well as the form and ornamentation of such small vessels. From the Southern Urals this tradition penetrated to the south, to Central Asia (Chirikrabat culture) and the north-east (“Ai-type” of the Sargat cultural community). It can be assumed that these vessels were used in purification rituals during the funeral rite.
Key words: Early Sarmatian Time, Southern Suburals, small ritual vessels, Incense Cups, talc “hammers”, burning plants for incense, Datura, purification ritual.
Citation. Fedorov V.K., 2022. Lepnye sosudiki dlya voskureniy iz pogrebeniy kochevnikov Yuzhnogo Priural’ya IV–II vv. do n.e. [Small Molded Vessels for Incense from Burials of Southern Subural Nomads in the 4th – 2nd Centuries BC]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 119-134. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2022.1.6
 
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