Early Medieval Kyrgyz burial from the Upper Irtysh region 

Tkachev A.A.  (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2021, 4 (55)




              page 7487




In Central Asia in the second half of the 1st millennium A.D., there were development and rapid change of large polyethnic state formations of allied congeneric groups of the Turkic people, Uigurs, Kyrgyz, Kimaks, and Kipchaks. The material goods of most of the tribal unions are unidentified and cannot be associated with the names of specific ethnic groups known from the written sources. Continuance and cultural affinity of the successive nomadic communities are based upon identity of the subsistence systems in similar natural and climatic conditions. The Kyrgyz (Khakass) Khaganate, which emerged in the Upper Yenisei region, was one of the Early Medieval states. In the second half of the 9th century, the authority of the Kyrgyz khagans spread onto the vast territories of Central Asia. The main culture-forming attribute of the Kyrgyz ethnos is cremation burials. The study of the cremation burials found beyond the ancestral homeland of the Kyrgyz allows tracing the intertribal contacts and directions of military campaigns of the Kyrgyz during the period of their greatpowerness. In this paper, materials of the burial mound of Menovnoe VIII, situated in the territory of the Upper Irtysh 2.1 km south-east from the village of Menovnoe, Tavrichesky district, East-Kazakhstan Region, are analysed. Under the mound of the kurgan, there was a fence with an outbuilding. The central grave contained a cremation burial, and the outbuilding an adolescent burial and a sacrificial pit with a horse carcass split into halves. The grave goods are represented by a bronze waistbelt clasp and a fragment of an iron object. Alongside the horse, there was a quiver with three arrowheads and a rasp-file, as well as part of a bridle (a snaffle bit fixed to a wooden cheekpiece and a bronze buckle tip). The specifics of the burial rite and analysis of the material obtained during the study of the funeral complex allows attribution of the Menovnoe-VIII kurgan 8 graves to representatives of the Kyrgyz-Khakass antiquities, who were in contact with the rulers of the Kimak Khaganate during the second half of the 8th 10th century.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh region, Middle Ages, the Kyrgyz people, barrow, burial rite, goods inventory.


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

Accepted: 16.09.2020

Article is published: 23.12.2021


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