VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII ¹ 1 (40) (2018)
Some aspects of sacral space markering in the Ural territory
Serikov Yu.B. (Nizhniy Tagil, Russian Federation)
The article analyses different aspects of organization of space as its sacred points — sacred places. Ancient sanctuaries were situated exactly in those marked points: caves, grottos, awnings, mountain peaks, rocks, hills, bald mountains, stone capes, etc. There could be one or several sacral centers in each sacred space depending on its dimensions. A cave was the earliest object of sacred place. There were two basic types of cave sanctuaries in the Paleolithic era: caves with painting and caves where demonstration complexes in form of animal skulls formed the central part of the cult complex. Veneration of mountains, rocks, hills, bald mountains, tall capes originated in the Stone Age among the population of the Urals and Siberia as well. Interments and hoards were often used as markers of the sacral space border. Sometimes special elements of the landscape — rocks — were marked with images. Separate water objects — lakes and bogs — were also included into the sacral practice of the local population. This is proved by such findings as ancient hoards, bronze and bone weapons, whole vessels and also large number of human bones and bodies at the bottom of lakes and peat lands. A sacral space of sanctuaries or settlements was sometimes sanctified with ocher or scattering of calcified human bones. The research of ancient sanctuaries shows that we may expect the most unordinary, unexpected and informative findings exactly at the border of a sacral space.
Key words: the Urals, sacral space, caves, mountains, cult markers, symbolic border.
Russian State Professional Pedagogical University (Nizhniy Tagil Branch), Krasnogvardeyskaya st., 57. Nizhniy Tagil, 622031, Russian Federation