Early Alakul antiquities of Tanabai burial ground (based on the materials of the mound 4)

Kukushkin I.A., Dmitriev E.A. (Karaganda, Kazakhstan)


                  page 28–40


The article introduces into scientific circulation the results of the researches of Tanabai burial ground obtained by the expedition of Saryarka Archaeological Institute at Buketov Karaganda State University. The mound 4, with a diameter of 14 m, height up to 0,4 m, was chosen as the object of the work in 2014. Five altars related to post-mortuary rituals were revealed during the removal of the embankment. An oval fence was found at the under-mound site, with a size of 13×9 m, consisting of vertically installed granite slabs. 13 burial chambers, located in two groups, were found in the inner space, at the level of the mainland. The bulks of the graves were made in stone boxes, less frequently in graves. The orientation of the graves is diverse: north-east — south-west, north-west — south-east, and north — south. The undisturbed tombs 4, 11, 13, 14 are most informative. It is determined that the deceased were laid in a crocheted position, mainly on the left side, head to the western sector. A burial of a warrior or a hunter was found in the tomb 13, at the feet of which a set of bone and metal arrowheads, probably placed in a quiver, was discovered. Metal bracelets with spiral ends, paste and metal beads, pendants of animal fangs are observable in female burials. The resulting ceramic complex and inventory according to formal typological characteristics refers to the early stage of the Alakul culture. The absence of an empty zone along the neck of the vessels is a long-known specific Central-Kazakhstan feature, which may be explained by a further transformation of the Petrov culture of the region into the Alakul culture, preserving the ornament along the neck. In the matter of dating the investigated burials, in view of the almost complete absence of radiocarbon dates, it can be stated that they are chronologically somewhat later than the early materials of the Central Kazakhstan Bronze Age (Petrov culture), according to recent natural science studies. Most likely, our materials can be dated back to the end of the first quarter of the 2nd millennium BC.


Key words: Central Kazakhstan, the Bronze Age, the Alakul culture, burial ground.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2018-41-2-028-040        




I.A. Kukushkin

E.A. Buketov Karaganda State University, Universitetskaya st., 28, Karaganda, 100028, Kazakhstan


E.A. Dmitriev

E.A. Buketov Karaganda State University, Universitetskaya st., 28, Karaganda, 100028, Kazakhstan