Abstract This article publishes interesting burials of ancient nomads dating from the end of the 3 rd , 2 nd or 1 st centuries BC from the Dongulyuk II and Volodarka I tumuli necropoleis in the West of Kazakhstan. Materials from these funerary sites include some quite rare finds: phalerae, belt plates bearing depictions of confronting winged dragons, two-handled infantry swords used by warriors on foot and other objects relating to the life of nomads. The funerary rite – including such elements as burials in pits with ledges or in catacombs, the laying out of horses’ skulls on ledges, the arrangement of the deceased with their heads pointing to the north or south – indicates that the cultural links of the nomads from the southern foothills of the Urals at the end of the 1 st millennium BC were orientated towards Central Asia. If it is borne in mind that many objects among the accompanying grave goods can also be associated with the eastern half of the Eurasian steppes, then it would seem highly likely that the nomads had originally come from northern China, moving west and migrating into eastern Europe including the southern Urals.
Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
Keywords: Western Kazakhstan; Dongulyuk; Volodarka; Southern Urals; Northern China; Nomads; Buckles; Infantry swords; Phalerae; Migration; Central Asia