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Stratum plus. 2022. No3

O. S. Frunt (Kyiv, Ukraine)

“Sacred Noise and Secular Silence”: Pole-tops of the Early Scythian Period in a Burial Context

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Pages: 189-214 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.55086/sp223189214


This paper deals with the analysis of the role of pole-tops in Early Scythian burial practices. All archaeological finds from Eastern and Central Europe are systematized. Eight groups of burial complexes have been distinguished based on the analysis of a site type, body positioning and grave goods set composition. The pole-tops were most often discovered in the male burials of the nomadic elite with a meridional orientation. The archaeological context of the pole-tops demonstrates the relationships with horse burials and bridle sets, sacrifices, and the southern part of the burial. A strong relationship between the burial mounds of the Central Ciscaucasia and the Dnieper forest-steppe is noticeable, in which iron pole-tops were discovered. They are supposed to have decorated a wagon or chariot. An analysis of the types of zoomorphic images and the number of artifacts indicates that they are grouped by 2, 4, and 6 paired finds. The pole-tops were decorated with figures of bird and deer most often. The acoustic characteristics of the sound element are determined: sound power level, frequency, sound distance, and general pitch.

Keywords: Eastern and Central Europe, ancient Scythian period, nomads, burials, wagons, sacrifices, horse bridle

Information about author:

Olena Frunt (Kyiv, Ukraine). Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Heroiv Stalingradu Ave., 12, Kyiv, 04210, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]
ORCID: 0000-0003-2067-9084



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