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New researches on the burial ground to Ashchis

vestnik of archeology, anthropology and ethnography. 2010. No. 1 (12)


I.A. Kukushkin

Results of new researches of the kurganny burial ground to Ashchis located in east part of the Central Kazakhstan are introduced for scientific use. Materials of a monument allow to include it in an area of kolesnichny cultures of Steppe Eurasia and to carry to nurtaysky antiquities.

To Ashchis, barrow, stratigraphy, burial, tip, ceramics.

The burial ground to Ashchis is in the Central Kazakhstan in 80 km to the east of Karaganda. As an object of researches the barrow 31 which a long time swung open and was difficult distinguishable in a relief of the surrounding area was chosen.

Barrow had earth strongly zadernovanny embankment with a diameter of 15.5 m, 0.3 m high. When opening it were revealed the roundish fragmentary remained fencing from the small plates established on an edge and the ring ditch opened from West side (fig. 1, 1). Plates and a ditch, probably, owing to long plowing earlier visually were not fixed. A considerable part of plates are absent or are broken off at the basis. Separately lying plates are noted also beyond limits and in a fencing. The remained plates give the grounds for reconstruction of an initial form and the sizes of a construction. Diameter of a fencing was 12 m. The maximum width of a ring ditch — 4 m, depth — up to 0.6 m from a modern surface. Filling of a ditch consisted of the sandy loam of black color well noticeable at cleaning. Internal diameter of a ditch — 15.5 m, external — 21.5 m

i konechen SPEAR


Fig. 1. Burial ground to Ashchis, barrow 3. Plan and coal mine (1). Arrangement of skeletons of horses and bronze tip of a spear (2)


Earlier on this funeral field excavation of two barrows which gave materials of the ranneandronov-sky period and carried to a boundary 111-11 millennium BC was carried out [Cuckoo, 2007a, b].

Barrow stratigraphy: the 10 cm cespitose layer, dark brown sandy loam with power up to 30 cm which was spread by the clay platform up to 25 cm thick built from light gray clay. Dense sandy loam of brown color (fig. 1) is taken for the conditional continent.

The extortionate recop in the form of zatek of brown sandy loam with clay inclusions is recorded in the central part of a kurganny embankment.

In a northwest part of a barrow at a depth of 30 cm two well remained skeletons of the horses laid sideways on the clay platform by hooves to each other were revealed. Back extremities of horses "are bound" and come the friend for the friend. Frames are focused in the southwest direction. Skulls are completely destroyed, only teeth and small fragments of bones (fig. 1, 2) remained.

Between the estimated heads of buried horses at a depth of 30 cm the large bronze tip of a spear focused by an edge on the southwest as well as horses is recorded. The tip of a spear is cast in a bilateral form. The Listovidny feather is strengthened by a rounded rhombic core in section. Total length of a tip is 270 mm, the maximum width of a feather — 50 mm. Feather length — 160 mm, sleeves — 110 mm. The sleeve tselnolity with two opposite fixing openings of rounded shape with a diameter of 4 mm. The external maximum dimension of the sleeve is 34 mm, internal 29 mm. The cavity of the sleeve has the cone-shaped form, a ledge (emphasis) narrowed to a shock part. Wall thickness of the sleeve is 5 mm (fig. 2, 1).

about 2 cm


Fig. 2. Burial ground to Ashchis, barrow 3. A bronze vtulchaty tip of a spear with a rounded rhombic core of a feather (1). Funeral camera. Plan and coal mines (2). Stock:

3 — a bronze two-edged knife dagger; 4 — a bronze lamellar bracket; 5 — a bronze bead

In a southeast part of a barrow at a depth of 30 cm the single skeleton of a horse placed on the clay platform is noted. The horse was laid on the left side and focused by the head on the southwest, bones of a skull are completely destroyed, only teeth remained.

In the central part of a barrow at a depth of 50 cm contours of the large sepulchral hole which had the subrectangular shape in the plan, the sizes of 320x275 cm 125 cm in depth from continent level are revealed. The funeral camera is focused in the area of YUZ-SV. Filling consisted of light brown sandy loam. On walls the clay plastering up to 15 cm thick remained. In a northeast half of the camera at a depth of 50 cm large stones and fragments of plates are met. Closer to a northeast wall at a depth of 120 cm several teeth, not numerous fragments of bones of a human skeleton and two mutton astragal are noted. Bronze knife, a bracket and a bead (fig. 2, 3-5) are found in the central part of the sepulchral camera at a depth of 125 cm.

The knife lay on one side, an edge on the southwest. Metal is strongly oxidized owing to what very fragile and easily destroyed. The knife belongs to srubno-andronovsky type: two-edged, a scape rectangular, extending to the outlined cross hairs, with interception, along a blade there passes the rib. Total length is 13.5 cm, the maximum width is 2.8 cm, in section lentiform (fig. 2, 3).

The bracket — is strongly oxidized and partially damaged by corrosion. It is made of the relaxed flattened wire bent under two corners from each party. The top fixing end is rounded off, lower is broken off. Length is 3.2 cm, width is 1.2 cm, thickness is 0.2 cm. In section rectangular. Estimated parameters of the subject which is densely captured by a bracket: height is 3 cm, thickness is 1.2 cm (fig. 2, 4).

The bead — is made of a roundish chopped wire in section. External diameter is 7 mm, internal 0.4 mm (fig. 2, 5).

Congestions of fragments of ceramics — four ostroreberny vessels, three of which are reconstructed completely (fig. 3), are found in east corner of a sepulchral hole at a depth of 50-120 cm.


Fig. 3. Burial ground to Ashchis, barrow 3. Ceramics

Two of these vessels, enough large sizes, were followed two small that, most likely, demonstrates pair burial. On observations, ceramic set of big and small vessels intended separately for each of the dead placed in double burials. Probably, in this case pair burial was made in the mass funeral cell what there corresponds also the number of the found vessels to.

Presumably such sequence of a construction of a barrow is reconstructed. The platform was originally leveled, the top soil layer, probably, with partial removal of a continental layer is removed. Then the soil hole is dug out. For strengthening of walls of the funeral camera and prevention of fall of soil they were covered with clay solution. Existence of stones and fragments of plates can testify to the device in the soil camera of the stone tomb blocked by plates. Also existence in the ancient time of the lozhnos-vodchaty overlapping built from clay blocks and issued in the form of a small crypt is not excluded. The construction of the powerful clay platform on which circle the concentric fencing from the plates established on an edge was arranged became the following stage. Further on both sides from the funeral camera laid sacrificial horses and a spear on the prepared platform. At the final stage the ring ditch from which earth went for construction actually of a barrow embankment was dug out, having preserved all substantiated rituals entering the nomenclature of a funeral ceremony.

Chronology and cultural accessory

Ceramics. The ceramic collection of a barrow 3 burial grounds is presented to Ashchis by fragments of four vessels. All ware is characterized by pottery forms, an ostrorebernost upon transition of a plechik to a trunk. Necks are slightly unbent outside and well expressed at all vessels. On the place of an excess of a neck at three vessels the roller is noted narrow nalepny. In two cases the undercutting of a nimbus under the internal bevel forming an easy internal edge is recorded. On one of vessels with fillets instead of the roller the ring pallet is recorded.

In ornamental motives in two cases equilateral triangles are recorded and also the chain of rhombuses and a double-row horizontal zigzag on a neck of vessels are noted. By Plechiko of pots it is decorated opposite ranks of triangles, a step pyramid and equilateral triangles. On a trunk equilateral and obtusangular triangles are noted, in one case the ornament in the form of the scallops made of three triangles is recorded. At two vessels a benthonic part is decorated with equilateral triangles. Ranks of flutes on a neck, a trunk and at a bottom of vessels are noted. Corbels of vertical and triangular vdavleniye are recorded. Technicians of a procherchivaniye and a vdavleniye were widely applied to drawing the drawing.

In general the ceramics of the burial ground to Ashchis having such characteristic features as an edge on a plechik, alignment under an internal bevel of the top part of a neck, narrow nalepny the roller on the place of an excess of a neck, a pallet — is close to sintashtinsky and Petrovsky antiquities. At the same time there is a distinctive feature — the ornament executed in more "andronovsky" geometrical style with accurately expressed geometrizm and emphasized zonality in placement of the drawing on a vessel surface. In the territory of the Central Kazakhstan the closest analogies to a ceramic complex are noted in the burial ground Satan [Evdokimov, Varfolomeyev, 2002] where ware of ostroreberny forms with a bevel in the top part of a neck was recorded. Separate lines of similarity to ware of burial grounds Ayappergen and Nurtay is traced [A.A. Tkachyov, 2002].

Sacrificial animals. In a barrow three skeletons of horses of quite good safety, except for a head part are authentically recorded. The single frame was laid on the left side along long southeast edge of the funeral camera, and two pair frames — along northwest edge. The uniqueness consists in the fixed interlacing of back extremities and the large vtulchaty tip of a spear found between the estimated heads. Perhaps, in this case the tip marks an edge of a dyshl of a kolesnichny team which is symbolized, certainly, by buried horses. Faithful images of a two-horse team are noted in some rock paintings [Medoyev, 1979, tab. 29].

A significant amount of the horses used at commission of a funeral ceremony is characteristic of kolesnichy cultures, however the arrangement of frames along long sides of the funeral camera is more symptomatic for the Petrovsky kurganny burials investigated in Northern Kazakhstan.

Ware stock. The massive cast bronze vtulchaty tip of a spear with a rounded rhombic core is met in the Central Kazakhstan for the first time. Similar tips belong to typological category KD-36 [Chernykh, Kuzminykh, 1989, page 80-81, fig. 47]. Close analogies are noted in the 4th barrow of the burial ground Bekteniz in Northern Kazakhstan [Zdanovich, 1983, page 56] and in a barrow 2 burial grounds the Curve Lake where at sample of funeral camera 2 the similar copy of a tip of a spear was recorded [Vinogradov, 2003, page 69, fig. 26, 1]. Both monuments are referred by researchers to Petrovsky culture which main area geographically covers steppe and forest-steppe zones of Northern Kazakhstan and South Ural.

The two-edged knife dagger with the outlined cross hairs and interception corresponds on the main characteristics to similar products of this period. At the same time also features, such as the subrectangular dulled scape and considerably the feather edge extending to the pricking part are noted. As the closest parallels it is possible to point to the knife found in the Petrovsky burial ground Kulevchi of VI in the Southern Trans-Ural region [Zdanovich, 1983, page 58, fig. 3-17].

The wide bronze lamellar bracket as a subject of fixing has distribution almost throughout the territory, the sintashtinsky culture occupied by monuments, and is some kind of ethnocultural sign. Brackets could be used for fixing of wooden products or repair of clay vessels [Gening, etc., 1992, page 117, fig. 46, 9; page 139, fig. 61, 1; Vinogradov, 2003, page 234, fig. 96; V.V. Tkachyov, 2007, page 186, fig. 55, VII).

Thus, on the basis of the materials received at excavation of a barrow 3, the monument can be carried to an early phase of the nurtaysky culture which is marked out with A.A. Tkachyov [2002] and to date a boundary of III-II or the beginning of the II millennium BC

In general the elite barrows of soldiers-kolesnichikh investigated on the burial ground to Ashchis testify to a ranzhirovannost of society of this period and also to the active ethnocultural, social and economic and migration processes proceeding in the territory of the Central Kazakhstan and adjacent regions.


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V.F. Gening, G.B. Zdanovich, Gening V.V. Sintasht: Archeological sites of Aryan tribes Uralo-Kazakhstansky steppes. Chelyabinsk, 1992. Part 1. 408 pages

D.G. Zdanovich, etc. Arkaim: A necropolis (on barrow materials 25 Bolshekaragansky burial grounds). Chelyabinsk, 2002. Prince 1. 216 pages

G.B. Zdanovich. Main characteristics of Petrovsky complexes of Uralo-Kazakhstansky steppes: (To a question of allocation of Petrovsky culture)//the Bronze age of a steppe strip of Uralo-Irtyshsky Entre Rios. Chelyabinsk, 1983. Page 48-68.

Cuckoo I.A. Archaeological researches of the burial ground to Ashchis. Barrow 1//Historical and cultural heritage of Saryarki. Karaganda, 2007. Page 40-64.

Cuckoo I.A. Issledovaniye of the burial ground to Ashchis. Barrow 2//Materials mezhdunar. nauch. konf. "Ka-dyrbayevsky readings-2007". Aktobe, 2007. Page 86-91.

A.G. Medoyev. Engravings on rocks. Alma-Ata, 1979. Part 1. 125 pages

A.A. Tkachyov. The central Kazakhstan during a bronze era. Tyumen, 2002. Part 1. 289 pages

V.V. Tkachyov. Steppes of the southern Cisural area and the Western Kazakhstan at a turn of eras of average and late bronze. Aktobe, 2007. 384 pages

E.N. Chernykh, S.V. Kuzminykh. Ancient metallurgy of Northern Eurasia. M, 1989. 320 pages

Karaganda state university;

Subject to introduction into scientific circulation being results of new investigations regarding Atchisu burial mound place located in the eastern part of Central Kazakhstan. The site&s materials enable to include it into the area of occurrence of chariot cultures in Steppe Eurasia attributing it to the Nurtaj antiquities.

Atchisu, mound, stratigraphy, burial place, arrow-head, pottery.

Michael Keller
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