Spearhead of the Crimean tatar sultan tokhtamysh from the collection of the state historical museum

Leonid A. Bobrov, Sergey Y. Kainov, Victoria V. Veselitskaya, Alexey V. Salnikov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The article deals with the spearhead (or 6313) from the collection of the State Historical Museum (Moscow). According to the Russian historian of the early XXth century, V. A. Gorodtsov, it was purchased "...in the Crimea, at the marketplace." The total length of the spearhead is 25.8 cm (including the length of the blade - 14.3 cm). The socket diameter is 3.4 cm. The weight is 226 gr. The socket of the spearhead is decorated with floral ornaments and the inscription: "Tokhtamysh Kerey Sultan the son of Mengli Kerey Khan". On the basis of typological analysis it was found that the sample is part of a small group of spearheads used by warriors in Eastern Europe of the XV-XVIII centuries. The study of the structure and inlay confirmed the hypothesis of I.V. Zaitsev that the spearhead belonged to Sultan Tokhtamysh (?-1742) - the son of Mengli Giray II (1678-1739), who twice occupied the Khan's throne (1724 - October 1730, September 1737-December 1739). The most accurate stylistic analogues of the ornament (made simultaneously with the inscription) are found on the Ottoman bladed weapons of the second half of the XVIIth - the first half of the XVIIIth centuries. For some time Tokhtamysh Kerey held the position of Nureddin, which formally was the third most important in the hierarchy of the Crimean khanate (after the Khan and kalga - heir to the throne). Taking into account that on the spearhead the Sultan is mentioned as the son of Khan Mengli Giray, the time of application of the inscription on the socket can be localized in 1724 - early February 1742 (the year of the accession of Mengli Giray II to the throne and the death of Tokhtamysh, respectively). It is most likely that this happened in 1724-1730, or in 1737-1739, that is, in those periods when the father of Tokhtamysh occupied the Khan's throne. The features of the image suggest that it could be inlaid by masters of the Crimean khanate or adjacent territories on the Ottoman model. In this case, the spearhead itself could be made a few years previously the specified dates. In favor of this it is evidenced by the fact that the inlay was applied to the surface of the sleeve after the latter was covered with oxides. The numerous through holes on the socket may have served not only for fixing it on a wooden shaft, but also for fixing the convex side metal strips ("pozhiliny") and (or) horsetail. Depending on the length of the shaft, the weapon could be used as a long or short peak. The use of it as a dart-Jarid, is possible, but unlikely. The spearhead (or 6313) is the first known example of a long-shaft stabbing weapon, which can be correlated with a complex of weapons of the aristocracy of the Crimean khanate of the mid 20s - early 40s of the XVIIIth century.

Translated title of the contributionНаконечник копья крымскотатарского султана Тохтамыша из собрания Государственного исторического музея
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-558
Number of pages17
JournalBylye Gody
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Crimean khanate
  • weapons of Crimean Tatars
  • Tatar spear
  • Tokhtamysh Kerey


  • 6.01.MM HISTORY

State classification of scientific and technological information


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