Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2021 Volume XXVII

doi: 10.17746/2658-6193.2021.27.0588-0593

УДК 904

Exploration of an Early Scythian Burial Mound at the Ust-Isha-5 Necropolis in the Foothills of the Altai

Papin D.V., Savko I.A., Anoykin А.А., Demin M.A.

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This article describes the early Scythian burial mound of Ust-Isha 5 located near the village of Staraya Surtaika in Krasnogorsky District of Altai Krai. The site was discovered in the 1930s by S.M. Sergeev and was examined by B.K. Kadikov in 1961. Ten burial mounds were studied there during the excavations by the expedition from the Biysk Pedagogical Institute in 1997. In the field season of 2021, one of the largest burial mounds of the necropolis, reaching 18 m in diameter, was explored. Six children’s burials in the form of small rectangular pits oriented along west-east were discovered along and beyond the perimeter of the mound. The central burial was disturbed in antiquity; pottery fragment and several fragments of bronze beads were found in the filling of the grave. The burial contained the remains of one person; the lower part of the deceased survived in situ, indicating placement of the corpse in the crouched position on the right side with his head towards the western sector. Burial inventory and features of ritual practice make it possible to attribute the excavated burial mound to the Early Scythian period (9th-7th centuries BC). Considering the data from the excavations of the past years, the Ust-Isha 5 site is the best-studied burial ground of the Initial Early Iron Age in the foothills of the Altai. Its evidence demonstrates the emergence of a new tradition of constructing several graves under a single burial mound and using stone in the funeral rite, while retaining some elements from the preceding Final Bronze Age.


foothills of the Altai, burial mound, Early Scythian period

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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