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Stratum plus. 2015. No 3

V. B. Pankovskiy (Kiev, Ukraine)

The Cheek Bits of Slobozia

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Pages: 265-296

Among different artifact types within the assemblage from grave no. 3 of barrow III of Slobozia cemetery, the horse bridle sets, with eight cheek bits included, seem to be especially remarkable. The research was aimed to reveal techniques and modes by which these examples of antler industry were produced and used in the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. By means of use-wear and experimental analysis the structural properties of the raw materials as well as technological and functional attributes of five available cheek bits were studied. These items, made from elk antler beam and palm’s margins, have hardly been used for their intended purpose or, in any case, their use could not last long. The non-uniform finishing and the fact that some of them were destroyed by rodents could be associated with the short use-life of some objects. Yet being involved in the ritual, buried cheek bits had been first subjected to the passage rite, i. e. that of damaging of horse headbands, and then were scorched by funeral pyre in the burial yurt. The selection of raw material, the treatment of blanks, and a specifically equipped antler processing suggest that innovations in the harness-making craft took place, which gave rise to the phenomenon of cheek bits of the Chernogorovka type.

Keywords: Dniester Region, Slobozia, Early Iron Age, Chernogorovka Culture, antler industry, cheek bits, use-wear analysis.

Information about author:

Valentin Pankovskiy
(Kiev, Ukraine). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Geroev Stalingrada Ave., 12, Kiev, 04210, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]

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