Characteristics of the Eneolithic funeral rite in the Tobol River region (the burial ground in the settlement of Ustyug-3)   

Matveeva N.P., Suchilina N.Y. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


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The article is concerned with the Eneolithic burials of the Tobol River region from excavations in the Ustyug-1 kurgan cemetery in the Zavodoukovsky district of the Tyumen Oblast. Apart from the settlement layer left by populations of the Shapkul and Andreevskoe Cultures, five ground burials of different periods were found in the settlement of Ustyug-3, with the Eneolithic grave goods attributed to the same cultures and dated to the end of the 4th middle of the 3rd mil. BC. Analogies to the funeral rite can be traced in the territory of the Tobol-Iset basin, in the Urals, and in Kazakhstan. The original position of the deceased was preserved in the paired burial: one individual was placed in sitting position at the head of another, who laid stretched on the back. The authors consider in this case the tradition of joint death. Findings from the burial pits include plates, retouched arrowheads on flakes, drop-shaped shale pendants, small stone iron. The obtained evidence suggests that the grave complex was created by the population of the Shapkul Culture, but the location was further used for the routine life and rituals by groups of other cultural traditions, who, apparently, were coming to this area alternately during the Eneolithic. Features of pottery ornamentation, flake industry, and rituals of the sites in the region are different from those in the Middle and Southern Urals, the steppe areas of the Tobol River basin. As such, we envisage further research prospects in revealing the cultural identity of various regions of the Trans-Urals.

Key words: Eneolith, funeral custom, Tobol basin, shaft straighteners, Shapcul Culture, Andreevsk Culture.


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Accepted: 07.09.2020

Article is published: 27.11.2020


Matveeva N.P.

University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation



Suchilina N.Y.

University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation

E-mail: (Suchilina N.Y.)