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Stratum plus. 2022. No3

Yu. D. Razuvaev (Voronezh, Russian Federation)

Everyday Things in the Cult Practices of the Middle Don Settled Population of the Scythian Era

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Pages: 305-318 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.55086/sp223305318

The article systematizes information about utilitarian objects found on settlements in such an archaeological context, which indicates the transformation of their semiotic status. They come from buildings and pits related to cult and ritual activities, collective burials on the territory of the hillforts, which were special funerary and sacrificial complexes, as well as from burial grounds, which were cemeteries of the settled population of the Don forest-steppe. The author considers war and hunting accessories (arrows, spears, harpoons), household and everyday life utensils (tools, ceramic wares), which acquired a semiotic function in these objects. Their semantics is unclear. But it can be assumed that the sharp tips of weapons and tools placed on the remains of people or in ritual pits served as apotropai or mediators, linking the sacred and profane spheres of life. Ceramic vessels, whole or broken, formed an important part of sacrificial offerings. Often they were found in ritual bonfires. The upper part of the jar in one of the children’s graves, apparently, also acted as a kind of mediator between the earthly world and the otherworld.

Keywords: Middle Don, Scythian era, settlements, cult buildings, semantics of things

Information about author:

Yury Razuvaev (Voronezh, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Voronezh State Pedagogical University. Lenin St., 86, Voronezh, 394043, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]
ORCID: 0000-0003-4865-3206


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