An elite burial of the Early Turkic period from the Upper Irtysh Region 

Tkachev A.A., Tkachev Al.Al.




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In the second half of the 1st millennium AD, Early Turkic tribes started penetrating the territory of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Siberia. Under their influence on the territory of the Upper Irtysh, the process of development of a Kimek-Kipchak state formation began. The initial stage of this process, reflected in the funeral rite and characteristic elements of the material culture, is barely known. In this paper, materials of the kurgan 1 of the barrow cemetery of Menovnoye XII, located in the territory of the Upper Irtysh 2.1 km to the southeast of the village of Menovnoye, Tavrichesky district, East Kazakhstan Region, are analysed. Under the mound of the kurgan was a fence with an annex containing a burial of a person, a dog, and two pairs of horses. The central male burial has been robbed. In the sacrificial pit, located south of the grave, there were remains of two horses: one had been laid on the stomach with its legs bent under the body and head to the east; the other, overlaying the first one, had been placed on a banket, laid on the right side with its legs bent under and head to the east. The man was accompanied by a child lying on the back with the head to the north, placed in a stone box attached to the eastern wall of the fence. The burial of the dog was in a pit placed in the aisle of the western wall of the fence. In the pit of the annex, there were remains of two horses: the complete carcass and the hinder part of the carcass. The grave goods were represented by a leather rendering and parts of a horse harness (iron stirrups and a bone belly buckle). The belts of the horse ammunition were adorned with silver and bronze decorations: badge-triplets, onlays, and buckle tips. To adjust the strain of the check-straps, a bronze buckle with an iron prong was used. Two horses showed traces of saddle bags containing iron adzes. The features of the funeral rituals and analysis of the material remains allow attributing the burials of the kurgan 1 of the Menovnoye XII burial ground to the Early Kimek period of the Turkic epoch within the 7th8th centuries AD.

Keywords: Upper Irtysh Region, Middle Ages, Turks, Kimaks, mound, funeral rites, clothing inventory.


Funding. The article has been written within the State Project No. -17-117050400147-2.


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

Accepted: 30.05.2021

Article is published: 15.09.2022


Tkachev A.A., Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygin st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation, E-mail:,


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