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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №3

I. V. Rukavishnikova, L. T. Yablonsky (Moscow, Russia)

Reconstruction of the Wooden Vessel from the Filippovka Burial Ground

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Pages: 176-184

The Priural’skaya expedition of the Institute of archaeology, (Russian Academy of Sciences) excavated seven kurgans of the world-famous cemetery at Filippovka settlement (Orenburg area) in 2004-2006. The wooden vessels ornamented with silver and golden details were found among other goods.
One of the most interesting finds is a unique wooden cup founded in the burial 3 of the kurgan number 16 of the cemetery. It has no similarities with other cups and vessels which other kurgans contained. As the cup was made of wood it’s initial shape was lost. But small silver and golden plates which ornamented the cup, enabled us to fully reconstruct the cup. There were more than 30 of those plates we found in situ, some of them were produced in the traditions of the animal style. Other finds discovered in the kurgan – horse equipment, ornaments and weaponry – which date back to the second part of the 5-th – up to 4-th c. B.C., suggested that the cup was also produced at that time.
When the excavations of those 7 kurgans were finished it became clear that wooden vessels covered with silver or golden plates were found both in individual male and female burials as well as in multiple burials. They were usually placed near the skull, on the right of it and were always made of precious metals. On the contrary, the details used to refurbish the vessel were made of bronze only.
People (no matter if it was a male or a female found) buried with vessels of this type belonged to a high social class. This can be proved by the fact that warriors had a wide range of weaponry and female were buried with a set of cult goods.


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