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A. V. Komar (Kiev, Ukraine)

Birch Bark Decoration of Scabbard of an Early Medieval Sword from Yablunya

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Pages: 409-422

The paper examines materials of the early medieval nomadic burial from Yablunya (grave 11, barrow 11) in the Berezan river basin (North-West Black Sea region). The grave was discovered in 1974 by the Ingul expedition led by O. G. Shaposhnikova and published later by R. S. Orlov with contradictory chronological, cultural and ethnic attribution.
The fact that some fragments of scabbard and hilt made of organic materials have been preserved makes it an exceptional case. Thus, it is possible to reconstruct the outlook of weapons of ordinary nomads, to study the technology of birch bark lining, stylistic details of ornament and its links with the decoration of synchronous weapons from internments of nomadic nobility. Peculiarities of this funerary rite, as a whole, and analogies to the grave goods allow us to reconsider its attribution as an early Pecheneg site of the last quarter of the 9th century and qualify grave 11 of barrow 11 near Yablunya as Sivashovka type grave dated by the 2nd half of the 7th — early 8th centuries.

Keywords: Northern Black Sea region, Early Middle Ages, nomads, Sivashovka type grave, sword, scabbard, birch bark, decoration

Information about author:Oleksii Komar (Kiev, Ukraine). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Geroev Stalingrada Ave., 12, Kiev, 04210, Ukraine; Museum of History of the Desiatynna Church. Volodymyrska St., 6, Kiev, 01001, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]

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