Limberis N.Yu., Marchenko I.I. Horse Bridle Assemblage from the Maeotian Burial on the Right Bank of the Kuban River

 
Natalya Yu. Limberis, Senior Researcher, Scientific Research Institute of Archaeology, Kuban State University, Stavropolskaya St, 149, 350040 Krasnodar, Russian Federation
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Ivan I. Marchenko, Candidate of Sciences (History), Professor, Department of World History and International Relations, Kuban State University, Stavropolskaya St, 149, 350040 Krasnodar, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The paper presents an overview of a unique Maeotian horse bridle assemblage from the cemetery of Starokorsunskaya settlement No. 2 located on the right bank of the Kuban river. The horse was buried lying with its abdomen in a ventral position, its legs folded up underneath its abdomen, its face turned east-north-east. The eastern part of the burial construction was damaged and collapsed into the storage reservoir. It is possible that the person‘s burial who was accompanied by the horse, also disintegrated. Two iron socketed arrowheads dating back to the 6th – 3rd centuries BC were found between the horse ribs. In the horse’s teeth there were two-piece iron bits with rigid check-devices; more than six sets of iron single-gnawed bits lay next to the horse. Two-piece iron bits were equipped with rigid check-devices in the form of short crosses, the ends of which were forged into blades with sharp small teeth (variant B). The check-devices of this variant were recorded in the Maeotian culture of the second quarter – middle 4th century BC, and possibly existed throughout the first half of the next century. However, the latest assemblages with such check-devices from the sites on the right bank of the Kuban river dating back precisely to the beginning – the first quarter of the 3rd century BC according to the amphorae containers. A group of single-gnawed bits consisted of six sets with cheek-pieces of different types. The bits themselves (except for one set) are pseudo-twisted, with a movable ring at one end and a cheek-piece at the other. Cheek-pieces with an 8-shaped widening in the middle are of two different types. Three pairs of bits are equipped with a pseudo-twisted rod-shaped cheek-pieces, the other three blade cheek-pieces with conical and moon-shaped pendants. Cheeks of these types do not yet have close analogies either in the Maeotian or in the Scythian culture, and the singlegnawed bits were never found anywhere before. According to cross-shaped rigid check-devices on two-piece bits, the chronology of the burial is limited to the second quarter of the 4th – beginning of the 3rd century BC. The set of single-gnawed bits was most likely intended for training young horses on the lane. The presence of six sets of such bits in the burial probably indicates that a horse-breaker was buried there.
Key words: Kuban region, Maeotians, burial ground, horse, bit, cheek-pieces, arrowheads.
Citation. Limberis N.Yu., Marchenko I.I., 2022. Kompleks konskoy uzdy iz meotskogo pogrebeniya na pravoberezh’e Kubani [Horse Bridle Assemblage from the Maeotian Burial on the Right Bank of the Kuban River]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 267-275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2022.1.14
 
Horse Bridle Assemblage from the Maeotian Burial on the Right Bank of the Kuban River by Limberis N.Yu., Marchenko I.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
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