On a distinctive feature of the Andronovo (Fedorovka) funerary rites in the Baraba forest-steppe

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Abstract

This article summarizes the fi ndings relating to a spatially localized group of graves at the Andronovo (Fedorovka) cemetery Tartas-1 in the Baraba forest-steppe. Several rows of graves combine with ash pits suggestive of ritual activity. In the infi ll of graves, there were ash lenses with mammal and fi sh bones, and potsherds with traces showing the signs of applied heat. Ash had been taken from nearby ash pits with similar infi ll and artifacts. Faunal remains from graves and ash pits (limb bones of cattle, sheep/goat, and horse) indicate sacrifi cial offerings. In the ash layer of grave No. 282, there was an incomplete human burial, also believed to be a sacrifi ce. Features such as the orientation of the graves, their alignment, the position of human remains, and the grave goods in that area are similar to the Andronovo (Fedorovka) burial practice and do not differ from those in other parts of the cemetery. No complete parallels to this rite have been revealed. Some similarities, such as the use of ash, and the presence of animal bones, sacrifi cial pits, etc. at other sites are listed. A reconstruction of the funerary sequence and possible interpretations are considered. It is concluded that those graves were left by a group of Andronovo migrants who maintained close ties with the native population. Unusual features of the burial rite, therefore, can refl ect an attempt to consolidate the immigrant groups on the basis of traditional ritual practices, where the major role was played by fi re and its symbols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalArchaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Andronovo (Fedorovka) culture
  • Ash layer
  • Baraba forest-steppe
  • Burial and funerary practice
  • Sacrifice

OECD FOS+WOS

  • 6.01.BI ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 5.04.BF ANTHROPOLOGY
  • 5.09.EN CULTURAL STUDIES

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