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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 4

V. E. Eremenko (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

New Perspectives in Study of Planigraphy and Topochronology of Early Iron Age Cemeteries (on Materials of Zarubintsy Cemeteries Chaplin and Velemichi I)

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Pages: 36-52

The author proposes a new technique in planigraphic and topo-chronological analysis on the Early Iron Age cemeteries. He aggregates interments into groups based on the method of shortest distances. Sex, distribution of types of goods and chronological phase of the interments are also accounted for. The analysis of combination of these factors leads to a new dynamics in development of cemeteries. The dynamics is given several levels of interpretation: 1. “Big” cemeteries of Zarubintsy culture: these are kin cemeteries divided into family plots (interments aggregated into groups). There are always dominant groups among them, existing during the whole period of cemetery existence. The author supposes that they are plots of the most powerful and richest families. 2. The results of topographic analysis of the local versions of Zarubintsy-Poienesti society allow to presume that Poles’e and Middle Dnieper versions of Zarubintsy interments (ZI) correspond to two tribes of 5-6 thousand persons each, either of them being able to equip up to 1,000 soldiers. The author could not distinguish tribal groups from the Upper Dnieper and Poienesti-Lukashevka sites. Apparently, one can talk only about a big group of kins in this case. 3. Based on the above results, the author supposes that Klondik’s and Cimbri campaigns must have involved all population of developing Lateneised cultures. Participation of representatives of different cultures made it possible existence of steady Zarubintsy-Jastorf connections during middle La Téne. 4. There were kin connections between ZI bearers and their preceding (Milogrady) and succeeding cultures, which is evidenced by findings of Wielbark and Milogrady cultures on Zarubintsy cemeteries. Notably, they are never superimposed by other interments and are part of dominant groups. Obviously, the bearers of Zarubintsy-Poienesti society participated in political, ethnic and cultural processes in Europe. Some of them would later return home, contribute new elements in culture and form the so-called “post-Zarubintsy” groups of sites. Others would join other tribes and kins, preserving, however their own “kin memory” and appearing, sometimes, on the studied territory many years later as bearers of other cultures.

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