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FIELDWORK OPPORTUNITIES 2002

CHASTIYE KURGANY BURIAL MOUNDS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

We are in search of a group of volunteers who will assist in the excavations of Chastiye Kurgany, an archaeological site composed of about thirty kurgans (burial mounds) located between the Seversky Donets River (a tributary of the Don River) and the Bystraya River. This will be the third year of excavations at Chastiye Kurgany. During the 2000 season, excavations of the first mound revealed a burial of a rare type dated to the 5th-4th centuries B.C. Among the artifacts from this burial were a bronze cauldron, a brazier, various arrowheads, and pottery. Horse harness accoutrements in typical Scythian Animal Style included cast-bronze heads and other images of fantastic animals. However, it is not clear if the people buried at this site were Scythians or Sauromatians.

During the 2001 season, excavations continued under the direction of the Don Complex Archaeological Expedition, consisting of two groups:international students and volunteers, headed by V.Klyutchnikov, editor of "Donskaya Arkheologia" journal, and a Rostov state university students, led by Prof.V.Maksimenko.

Six kurgans: 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 (see Map) were excavated and thus provided informatin resolving more than a questions including the fact that this area had been used as a cemetery well over 1500 years. One mound was dated to the Scythian period (4th century BC), three were Khazars (7-9th centuries), and, two were Polovtsians (11-12th centuries).

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AND VOLUNTEER OPORTUNITIES

Included in the contribution is the educational program that includes assisting in the excavations of the kurgans and lectures on the ancient history of Don region. And most exciting are three days of excursions: to the excavations and museum of the antique city, Tanais located in the Don River delta; to the Rostov-na Donu Historical Museum; and to Starocherkassk--an old capital of Don Cossacks. Visits to areas of natural beauty will further enhance the archaeological experiences.