Article name A Unique Form of Ritualism of the Early Medieval Population of Sambia
Authors Kulakov V.I. Doctor of History,
Bibliographic description Kulakov V. I. A Unique Form of Ritualism of the Early Medieval Population of Sambia // Humanitarian Vector. 2022. Vol. 17, No. 3. PP. 100–108. DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2022-17-3-100-108.
Section Archeology: the origins of culture
UDK 902/904
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2022-17-3-100-108
Article type Original article
Annotation Three decades ago, the author of these paper excavated a number of burials at the Dollkeim/Kovrovo-1 soil burial ground (Zelenogradsky district, Kaliningrad region). At the beginning of the summer of 1981, under an agreement with the Kaliningradmelioratsia Association, the Baltic Expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the USSR Academy of Sciences carried out excavations at the burial ground, part of which fell under the laying of reclamation pipes. After the completion of the excavation work, the author of these lines described a variant of the rituals of the Prussians of the early Middle Ages, unknown until then. It was presented as an inhumation on a wooden platform, named option “a” and was interpreted as a possible transition from cremation to inhumation burial. This variant “a” was presented only at five complexes of the Dollkeim/Kovrovo-1 burial ground. Since then, new data have been received on the funeral rituals of the population of Sambia in the post-Viking era, which allows us to return to the problem of the special form of burials at the Dollkeim/Kovrovo-1 burial ground. All the burials found on eastern outskirts of the Kovrovo settlement were created practically according to a single standard. The deceased tribesman was placed by his relatives on a platform made of wood and resting on stakes. Funerary food was laid on the platform in circular vessels, the fragments of which were subsequently subjected to secondary firing. After the installation of the platform was completed, it was burned. Concerning the situation with burial K2, after the combustion had been completed, its remains were raked to the side and the place of burning could be used repeatedly. As analogies from Western Lithuania show, excavations in 1981 at the Dollkeim/Kovrovo-1 burial ground unearthed a form of burial ritual that was Curonian in origin and survived in Sambia until the pre-Orden time. Further study of this rare form of ritualism will show the connections between the Western Baltic tribes on the threshold of order aggression.
Key words Sambia Peninsula, Viking Age, Prussians, Curonians, burial rite
Article information
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