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Nomad’s Burial of the XII Century
The material of the burial sites essentially complements the idea of the scientists about the ancient population that left such monuments.
The most interesting among the burials, excavated in Vyshgorod is the collective burial of male warriors, accidentally found during the repair of communications. By accompanying material, archaeologists managed to determine even the ethnic origin of the buried persons, namely, their belonging to the Turkic nomadic tribes.
"Black Cloaks" (or "Torki") were part of the prince's army of the XII-XIII centuries, which was also certified by written sources.
Four graves of Old Russian times were partially destroyed in 1989 during the laying of a waterway along the street Pershotravneva (now - Mezhygirsky Spas street). The plot was located 130 m south of the modern cemetery. Tombstones were deepened in yellowish loam at 0.35-0.4 m. All dead were buried in an elongated position, head to the west. The burials were located in one row, according to Serov, the author of the excavation, - under a common burial mound.
The two skeletons (burial grounds No. 1 and No. 2), the upper part of which was destroyed by the trench of the waterway, were contained in one grave pit measuring 2.35 × 2.5 m. One of them, which was preserved the best, recorded a significant part of the mailchanging shirt. At the right thigh an iron knife was found, a sword with remains of wings a set of arrowheads and one more knife are situated near the left thigh. To the left of the burial place, there are the front and back limbs of the horse, on which a pair of strokes, two elastic buckles (from the harness of the horse) lay, and a little further east, - a crepe and flint.
There were only fragments of long limbs from the second skeleton. To the left of it there were the horse's remnants with the rods in its teeth and a pair of stems near the limbs. Alongside, a set of arrowheads has been found. In the drain of the water trench, round plaque was found with apertures along the perimeter and in the center, bronze trench handbell, fragments of chain armours and fragments of human skulls.
For 0,2 m north of the large burial pit one more pit was located, 0.63 m wide, most of which was destroyed by a trench.
From the skeleton (burial place No. 3) only the remains of the lower extremities remained. Likewise, the burial place No. 4, located 0.3 m north of the previous one, was also destroyed. Preserved part of a grave pit with a width of 0.5 m, at the bottom of which bones of the lower limbs of man lay. Fragments of Old Russian ceramics were encountered in filling the pit.
According to the totality of the dating things burial in a large cell dates from the end of the XI-XII centuries. O. Serov correctly connected them with the graves of the Pechenegs, who as representatives of the " Black Cloaks Union" were part of the Vyshgorod squad.
In addition to the characteristic funeral rite and inventory, in favor of such a conclusion, curved femur bones, which are typical for nomadic riders, are evidenced.
The researcher considered it impossible to date two other burial grounds because of the lack of inventory.
The parameters of the grave holes and the absence of accompanying things indicate that burials No. 3 and No. 4, unlike the first two, were carried out according to the Christian rites. And the presence a common burial mound under all four graves (in the Middle Dnieper, such cases only a little over a dozen are noted) allows us to assume carefully that all the deceased persons represented an international prince's squad and died during hostilities.
Found in 1989, the burial site is the most informative for studying the military affairs of ancient Vyshgorod. This is one of the few medieval monuments of the Middle Dnieper, from which the findings of the element of a protective armor (oxidized fragments of chain mail) occur. In addition, a complete set of weapons and equipment of a medieval rider is presented here.

Dmytro Bibikov,
Head of the Department of Archeology of the Vyshgorod Historical and Cultural Reserve





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