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Grave goods

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Grave goods
Grave goods

A list of stuff found in the various graves. Eventually I hope to have good statistics on numbers of stuff, location, etc., but for now it's just a nice listing.

Clothing & jewelry

silk dresses

hat & outer coat (child's grave)

gold torque

colorful glass & stone beads (both large & small) and small gold beads

bracelets (the rich women had gold & turquoise ones from Kazakstan)

bronze spiral earrings covered with gold foil

"Religious significance"

arrowhead in leather pouch on leather thong necklace

an engraved boars' tooth pendant to hang on the belt

fossilized seashells, often with pastes in them: charcoal, chalk, brick-red, mustard yellow, blood-red cinnabar -- which are also the common colors of tattoos and clothing for the Sarmatians

carved bone spoons

small chunks of ochre, cinnabar, and chalk

carved stone altars or hearths (the Saka used bronze ornamentation around the edges, with small cast-bronze animal scenes, as well as bronze cauldrons)

Lots of aromatic burnable herbs, some psychoactive

sheep shoulderblades & anklebones for divining and/or gaming

ritual cup (or kubok)

"fake" spindle whorls made from chalk, which would not survive actual use -- symbolic?

"Everyday" stuff

mirrors, in almost every woman's grave: brass ones from the Han Dynasty, or bronze ones incised with rosettes & geometric motifs, or plain bronze circles

Spindle whorls or loom weights

lots of pottery -- incense cups, jugs holding animal offerings, mugs, etc.; usually the black glaze, but some really lovely Greek amphorae

gold-stamped perfume bottles from Greek craftsmen of the Bosporus

short "eating knife": no hilt, one edge, very short, usually iron

whetstone / flint

amulets in the Animal Style (usually snow leopard)

gold belt ornaments

Large carved wooden bowl (about 13" x 9"), from the 3rd to 4th century, currently located in the State Hermitage Museum. What were the partial holes for -- to anchor decorations maybe? To hang it?

Carved wooden scoop or spoon (about a foot long), from the 3rd to 4th century, currently located in the State Hermitage Museum. I can't tell how the handle is attached -- is that a tiny wooden peg visible on the inside?

Woman's death mask (slightly more than 9" long), made of gypsum with admixture and ochre; moulded and painted, from the 3rd to 4th century, currently located in the State Hermitage Museum. Very cool patterns -- what's their significance?


bronze horse bits

plaques (or phalerae) for (clan-distinctive?) bridles

textile appliqued saddle blankets & decorated girths

Weapons & armor

lots of double- and tri-lobed arrowheads: bronze, iron

long iron spearhead

long iron dagger or short sword (akinakes)


bits of recurved bows & gorytus