Europe: Barrows, Ziggurats / The Black Grave

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PHOTO: SeekSerg 5129'14.71" 3117'38.47"

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The Black Grave is the largest burial mound (kurgan) in Chernihiv, Ukraine. Comparable to the barrows of Gnyozdovo near Smolensk, the Black Grave has a height of 11 meters and a circumference of 125 meters. During excavations undertaken in 1872-73, Dmitry Samokvasov uncovered two cremated bodies of Norse warriors (probably father and son), surrounded by slaves, sacrificial animals, arms, armour, and decorations. Samokvasov dated the burial to the late 10th century, when Vladimir I was the ruler of Kievan Rus. It is likely that the buried warriors were two princes (knyazes) of Chernigov, although no local potentate is attested in the Slavonic chronicles before Vladimir's son, Mstislav of Chernigov. After the bodies were cremated, they were put upon a 7-meter-high mound, where a funeral feast took place.


 

11.04.2018

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