Turkic burial accompanied by horses from the Upper Irtysh River region 

Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al.


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 3 (54)




              page 107118




The second half of the 1st millennium AD is associated with the development and formation of the culture of ancient Turkic peoples, who repeatedly developed several large ethnopolitical associations in the steppe zone of Central Asia. Political and cultural influences of the Turkic state formations were perceived not only by the sedentary population of the states that existed in the territory of East and Central Asia, but also by further north peoples who lived in the steppe and taiga zones. Under the Turkic influence, or with their direct participation, the Kimako-Kipchak proto-state association began taking shape in the Upper Irtysh River region in the 7th century AD. The initial stage of this process, features of the funeral rite, and characteristic elements of the material culture of the population living in the region are almost unknown due to insufficient exploration of the monuments of the developmental stage of this polyethnic formation. The paper describes the materials of the barrow cemetery of Menovnoye XII, located in the territory of the Upper Irtysh River, 2.1 km southeast of the village of Menovnoye, Tavrichesky district, East Kazakhstan Province. Under the barrow mound, there was a fence with outbuildings containing burials of a man, two horses, and two dogs. The central burial was robbed. The sacrificial pit, located north of the main grave, contained the burial of two horses, laid on their stomachs with their legs tucked under their bodies and with their heads oriented to the east. The buried person was accompanied by two dogs: one was laid across the ceiling of the grave, while the other was buried in a separate pit in an additional annex. The grave goods found with the deceased represented by astragali, a bronze ring, and a fragment of an iron arrowhead. The horse harness included stirrups and iron bits. The bridle belts were adorned with bronze items: bells, triplet plaques, bronze onlays, and belt tip ends. Bronze buckles with iron tongues, which were tucked into clips, were used to adjust the tension of the headband straps. The funeral rite features and analysis of the materials collected during the study of the memorial complex make it possible to associate the burials of the 3rd barrow of the Menovnoye XII with the Early Kimak antiquities within the framework of the Turkic era and to date them to the second half of the 7th 8th century AD.

Keywords: the Upper Irtysh region, Middle Ages, Turks, Kimaks, mound, funeral rites, inventory, reconstruction of horse harness.


Funding. The work was carried out according to state order No. 121041600045-8.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 27.05.2020

Article is published: 27.08.2021


Tkachev A.A., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail: sever626@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4072-2724


Tkachev Al.Al., University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo st., 6, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation, E-mail: al.al.tkachev@mail.ru,