Barrows in the steppe

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All professional archeologists have narrow specialization. Someone is engaged in the top paleolith, someone - early iron, and someone - an era of late bronze. The candidate of historical sciences, professor of chair of a world history of NSU of V. Sukhomlinskogo Yury Spiridonovich GREBENNIKOV - скифолог. Thousand-year history of a Scythian civilization in Northern Black Sea Coast - the sphere of its scientific interests. Recently in Ilium publishing house there was a monograph of the scientist "Cimmerians and Scythians of Steppe Pobuzhya (the IX-III centuries BC)". Book honest and interesting. She tells about history of Scythian tribes in basins of the rivers the Southern Bug and Ingulets - areas which closely adjoined antique Olviya's territory.

Pektoral on a breast of the communist

- … Scythian ойкумена it is sufficient it is extensive. Barrows of these tribes meet in Siberia, in the Urals, in Forward Asia and even in China. However it doesn't mean that all of them were ethnically uniform organism. There is a certain similarity in a funeral ceremony, economic activity and mythology, but it were the different people. The history of Scythians is well mythologized by antique authors. Today each school student knows about "scorched earth" tactics, about a victory of Scythians over the Persian tsar Darius. In school textbooks there are images of Scythian soldiers …

We talk to Yury Grebennikov in archaeological laboratory of institute of history and the right of NSU of Sukhomlinsky. On racks - ceramics, zernoterka, products from bronze and human skulls - finds from "A wild garden". On a wall the general plan of the ancient settlement hangs: citadel, suburb, ditch and bases of residential buildings. Yury Spiridonovich the first began large-scale excavation of the capital of the Cimmerian region. Today works his pupil - Kirill GORBENKO directs. We try to communicate in a dialogue mode, but students and graduate students don't allow to talk normally. Approach to sign any sheets, climb with questions.

- … Our Scythian periphery was studied long enough. Barrows were dug by all who feel like it. The count Uvarov, Veselovsky, Max Ebert, landowners in the manors tried to get Scythian gold … During occupation the German archeologists worked at Nikolayevshchina also.However all this excavation was unsystematic and casual. They a little that added in a historical picture of our edge.

- Excavation of Scythian barrows had a big public response only because treasures - the well-known Scythian gold were found. In due time Shliman became the cult archeologist not from - that dug out the Gissarlyksky hill and found Troy but because found a treasure of the tsar Priam …

- Shliman didn't investigate Troy, he ruined it the trenches and, thank God, ruined not up to the end. The technique of excavation at that time didn't exist. As for Scythian gold … Probably, you also are right. Treasures always drew attention. But gold in barrows it isn't simple precious metals. It, first of all, art products: the well-known Scythian animal style - a special genre of the fine arts.

The Greek masters did for the Scythian nobility to order the weapon, jewelry and ceramics. They tried to be arranged under esthetic requirements of the client. However Greeks were other people therefore boundary, unique style as a result turned out. Human figures and animals corresponded to Scythian mythology, and world outlooks of antique handicraftsmen were shown in a composite system of a picture.

- It as?

- Greeks, contrary to Scythians, had the weakened patrimonial communications, known individualism of the personality and a cult of heroes. Antique policies are too individual city communities which corresponded to other Greek city-states through the general cultural accessory, language and trade. The Scythian world was uniform, indivisible and possessed strong patrimonial communications. Therefore griffins on Greek the goritakh (a Scythian quiver for arrows - a bus) and bulls on brothels (the stylized cups - a bus) look lonely as in a magic circle, but the general composition of the image very dynamic, it creates event illusion.

- It is correct. However the precious metal for mass perception everything is prevailed over the art value of a product. If пектораль it was made of iron, round it there would be no such agiotage …

- Probably. Ordinary consciousness - piece dark. I very well remember how in 1971 - m Borya Mozolevsky brought to Kiev the finds from the Thick Grave. Pektoral, gold facings горита, some brothels, suspension brackets, earrings, gold slips, something from ceramics. We prepared a table in laboratory, spread out subjects on a table and began to photograph.Suddenly any noise in a corridor, shouts … The lot of men in the civilian rushes into the room: "Facing a wall! Feet moved apart! Hands raised! ". Our jaws disappeared. Didn't manage to be frightened, however. Entered the Rustle and Shcherbitsky. Hands developed and ordered to lower us. Greeted, apologized for protection and began to consider finds. The rustle very much refined asked Mozolevsky questions, that answered. Then all left in the corridor, one Shcherbitsky suddenly stiffened in the doorway, then ran up to a table, grabbed пектораль and put to itself on a breast over a suit: "Well, how I in it look? ".

Borya was given then an award, the apartment, still any hardly anything from the state. Generally, gold is a more brand, than scientific value. I remember, same year we found a heap of unique subjects: the remained leather body cloths, fragments of clothes of Scythians, wooden гориты, there is a lot of rare ceramics, that is that is really valuable, but it in anybody didn't cause an agiotage. Everything was silently introduced into scientific circulation through articles and reports at conferences which are interesting to only narrow experts.

Gold in Scythian burials is more likely an exception, than the rule. Nomads - the poor people. In agrarian civilizations and in Asian satrapies gold accumulated in the center the state taxes and taxes. For archeologists of Central Asia to find during a season 2-3 kilograms of gold - business usual. In our trade regions liquid metal acted more as a currency, instead of as dead treasure. Gold was virtual. At that time already there were non-cash payments. Therefore gold treasures in products and coins cause in Ukraine a resonance …

Barrows empty and full

How many all was Scythians? According to experts, three million people lived in Europe 24 centuries ago. Antique historians Strabon and Thucydides tell a legend of the well-known campaign of Scythians to Forward Asia. The army went to short raid and … came back in 30 years. When soldiers returned home with rich production, found out that their daughters and the wife entered new marriages with slaves and started giving birth to children. Bloody war began. Scythians hardly beat off the women. Antique historians sounded statistics of the killed in this conflict - 100 000 (!) people.

In Yury Grebennikov's monograph the characteristic 300 kurgannykh of burials is given. If to take this value for an average for all Scythian region in Europe, the number of these tribes made about 500 000.The big people, are a lot of breeding unions. Herodotus designates their borders on the olviysky periphery and gives them names: Scythians - киллипиды, Scythians - are chopped off, imperial Scythians …

- The standard of living at nomads was always lower, than at agrarian tribes. - Yury Spiridonovich stopped speaking by phone. - Gold in barrows of tsars is a more exception, than the rule. Scythians buried not all the tribespeople. To carry out a funeral ceremony, it was necessary to put the mass of collective efforts and to spend a heap of means. Scythians buried about one of hundred people.

- And the others?

- The others kept within steppes, on a surface. They were eaten by birds and animals. In order that you normally buried, it was necessary to possess the social status. If you, let us assume, a sotnik in army, an embankment of your barrow are no more than a meter if you enter into military elite of a tribe - thousands people will build your tomb. To dig spades podboyny holes, to carry baskets the earth, then to do крепиду - to lay over a barrow the processed stones. There are Scythian barrows height both 18, and 20 meters. In the Nikolaev area the well-known Long Grave reaches in height of 16 meters and is extended on an axis on 82 meters.

- At you in the monograph are described 300 podkurgannykh of burials. From all found rich burials only 4 were not robbed. Why such sad statistics? Gold was plundered by ancient robbers?

- Not always. On Scythian mythology of a shower of the died soldier leaves a body through one and a half moon. These are about 40 days … as in Christianity. The soul of the person during this time "absorbs" images of the weapon, horse equipment, ware, jewelry and bronze coppers - all that tribespeople put in the funeral camera. With this freight she travels to an everlasting peace. Things which remained with the dead man after 40 days, aren't necessary to him. The grave was broken off by relatives, and all funeral stock was used in economy before the following burial. The weapon, bronze coppers, armor-clad caftans, jewelry and precious cups had big consumer cost. On a settlement there could be only one bronze copper which all sort used.

Certainly, relatives, getting funeral stock, could enter sideways the next camera and profit things of foreign dead man. Extortionate courses bypassing a stone mortgage meet everywhere …

- Well.How then to regard finds from imperial burials of the Melitopol barrow, the Thick Grave and other barrows?

- Life is unpredictable. Happened a swagger - major situations. Sudden attacks, wars, clan conflicts. There were natural cataclysms, for example, a drought. It was necessary to rescue cattle and it is urgent откочевывать in other place. Here had no time for barrows.

- Tell, please, you are engaged 45 years in the most complex challenge of field researches, you study a funeral ceremony. In barrows, along with Scythian burials, many inlet burials of later cultures meet: Sarmatians, геты, Gotha, Huns, печенеги, half-sheep, Tatars … You will be tired to list. All had funeral ceremonies. In what you see the most fundamental difference of Scythian culture from cultures of other nomad tribes?

- Scythians in general to anybody aren't similar. From height of today's time it is possible to tell that experience of positive cooperation of the aggressive steppe with an antique civilization was the main historical outcome of their existence. The nomadic world is, first of all, destroyers. Scythians managed to join antique economy and culture of Europe harmoniously. They delivered raw materials to continental Greece: slaves, bread, iron, cattle. From Greeks received the weapon, the ware, all set of craft products for nomadic life.

Scythians in late times in large quantities эллинизировались - adopted a way of life and culture of Greeks. The nomadic and settled world fruitfully coexisted, enriching each other. Without the small conflicts, of course, didn't do, but they didn't influence the general course of events. Scythians didn't destroy Europe, as vandals, Huns and other barbarous tribes. After them it wasn't necessary Renaissance to restore the lost values. The existence they, on the contrary, promoted the adoption of those antique achievements which and today all Europe uses.

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