Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies 2017, 5(2), 42-58
Archaeoastronomical analysis of sarmatian funeral complexes with ditches of Zhuravka burial ground
Larisa N. Vodolazhskaya1*, Mikhail Yu. Nevsky2
1Southern Federal University (SFU), str. Zorge, 5, Rostov-on-Don, 344090, Russian Federation; E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
2Southern Federal University (SFU), str. Zorge, 5, Rostov-on-Don, 344090, Russian Federation; E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed
This article describes the results of archaeoastronomical analysis of funerary complexes with pinnacle ditches from the burial ground of Zhuravka of the Tatsinsky district - a monument to the finale of the late Sarmatian era of the Right Bank Podonya. In it were found the funerary complexes, both with rectangular and round moats, dating from the III-IV centuries AD. To verify the assumption that the planning of the Sarmatian kurgan ditches and the Meotian funerary horns has similar astronomical patterns, their comparative archaeoastronomical analysis was carried out. As a result, indeed, a number of similar features were revealed. So, in case of a funeral complex with a square ditch of a barrow 16 it is observed, similar to kobyakovsky complexes, visibility of the river in east direction and abnormal visibility range in the direction precisely on the East. In case of a ditch of irregular shape from a complex of a barrow 3, approximate orientation of a ditch along an axis the East-West is noted (rising/sunset in day of an equinox). The crossing point in a northern part of a ditch corresponding to the direction for the sunset in day of a summer solstice settles down to similarly northern crossing point in a rectangular rovik of burial 21 on a kobyakovsky necropolis, also connected with a summer solstice (sunrise this day). Also in both cases the arrangement of fragments of ceramics at the edges of the crossing point located from South side is observed. In the directions close to rising and sunset in day of a winter solstice, and also near a crossing point of a square ditch of a barrow 16, as well as in case of rovik with crossing points in kobyakovsky funeral complexes, stones were found. By comparison of an arrangement of crossing points to topography of vicinities of a burial ground of Zhuravk and a kobyakovsky necropolis, it was revealed that they settle down in in the moats / ditches from the next river (the river Don and a stream of a beam of Zhuravk, respectively). Most likely, such arrangement of crossing points was connected with idea of a travel of soul of the dead down the river in a next world that is confirmed by the detection facts in some burials of a kobyakovsky necropolis of wooden coffins packs in the form of boats. In article it is offered to consider in the moats / the ditches of funeral complexes limiting space around burials as the structures symbolizing the water barrier border similar to the river separating "dead" space of burial from the world around of live. At the same time fragments of ceramic vessels in in the moats / a ditch strengthened its symbolics as water course. Thus, the found similarity in a planigrafiya of square and rectangular ditches / in the moats with crossing points of meotsky and Sarmatian burials testifies to continuity of their traditions, including, in the field of archaeoastronomical ideas of features of the annual movement of the Sun and an arrangement of "the world of the dead" concerning parts of the world.
Keywords: archaeoastronomy, funeral complexes, ditches, crossing points, coffins - wooden packs, boats, Sarmatians, Maeotians
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