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Stratum plus. 2001-2002. №5

V. S. Aksenov (Khar’kov, Ukraine)

Complexes with Horse Nachelnicks (pendants worn on the forehead with a tube for a plume) from the Verkhnesaltov Catacomb Burial Ground

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Pages: 270-281

During the period from 1984 to 1992 the archaeological expedition of the Kharkov Historical Museum discovered three separate horse burial places (№1, 3, 4) on the Verkhnesaltov (from the name of the village – Verkhniy Saltov) 1st (main) catacomb burial ground. They contained decorative plates of straps of horse harness in the set with the pendant worn on the forehead with a tube for a plume. One more set of horse harness decoration was extracted from the hiding-place in the floor of Catacomb №25 of  Verkhnesaltov Burial Ground №3. The design of the big and small pendants worn on the forehead decorating the straps of the horse harness allowed us to date the burial of Horse ą1  and the set from the hiding-place of Catacomb №25 by  the end of the VIII c.- the beginning of the IX c., the burial of Horse №3 – by the beginning-middle of the IX c. The set of the decoration from the burial of Horse №4 is much later and is believed to date from the middle of the IX c.
The composition and the material of the decoration of the harness straps allow us to affirm that they were made by crafts-men to order of certain persons and reflect their property status. The creation of the whole decoration set for the harness straps was not done on one occasion only. The complex of the decoration of the harness straps was being created during a relatively long period of time, the evidence of which is the presence of the things in one complex decorated with the ornamental motifs characteristic of different periods of the initial stage of learning to apply the lotus-like ornament (the ornament with the use of the lotus motif) by Saltov masters (from the name of the Saltov Culture).


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