VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII ¹ 2 (45) (2019)
Seitovo 4: a new burial ground of the Tara Tatars’ ancestors of the 17th–18th centuries in the Middle Irtysh area
Tikhomirov K.N.(Omsk, Russian Federation)
Due to the work of archaeologists and ethnographers, the funeral ceremony of the population having inhabited the middle and lower stretch of the Tara river (southern taiga zone of Western Siberia) at the end of the 17th–18th centuries has been quite extensively studied. However, little has been known thus far about its early period (late 16th — early 17th century) and the ethno-cultural identity of the people who buried the dead there. The discovery of coins during excavations conducted at Seitovo 4 — a burial ground located on a right bank of the Irtysh river on the southern outskirts of the eponymous village in Tarsky district, Omsk region — allowed the burial dates to be established. The above-mentioned coins of the Russian Tsardom (Moscow ‘denga’ minted in 1538–1561) belonged to the time of monetary reform under the rule of Ivan the Terrible. The data analysis revealed some specific features of the burial ceremony: grouping the graves in one complex; moving the body to one of the grave walls (usually northern); displacing the bones of the deceased on one side towards the spine; special actions when filling the grave pit; firing the burial pit and the area around it, etc. In addition, rare and unique things were found, including a forked arrowhead made from a copper plate with shaft remains; an article made from a copper plate in the form of a flat arrowhead with a single barb and a hole in the middle; a rectangular double-edged firesteel. At the same time, the features typical of burial grounds of the 17th–18th centuries widespread in the region were present: one burial under a mound in pits recessed into the ground; construction of ditches around the pit; traditional inventory (arrowheads, iron knives, axes, earrings, signet rings etc.); positioning the deceased on their back, with head to the north-north-west, etc. This shows that the complex belonged to their circle, constituting the earliest part of the funeral rite of the Tara Tatars' ancestors during the specified period. The analysis of written sources (first half of the 17th — first half of the 18th century) reveals that only Tatars, mostly the Ayali group, lived there at that time. Thus, assuming that the buried belonged to the specified group, conclusions can be drawn about the individual features of the burial rite.
Key words: Western Siberia, Middle Irtysh area, the ancestors of the Tara Tatars, Seitovo IV burial ground, special features in the burials, 16–18th centuries.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Article is published: 28.06.2019
Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch RAS, K. Marx av., 15, Omsk, 644024, Russian Federation