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Social Stratification as Reflected in Funeral Rite of the Steppe Ciscaucasia Nomads in the Golden Horde Period: discussion continued

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.2, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 171-178

Keywords : the Golden Horde; the steppe Ciscaucasia; medieval nomads; the Cumans; social status; elite; burial grounds; weapons;

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Problems related to the validity of identifying medieval nomads' elite status criteria, universal for the Steppe area, on the basis of the study of their funerary monuments are discussed in the article. The materials of male nomadic burials from the 11-14th-century Ciscaucasia steppes made it possible to identify a four-level military and socio-stratified structure of the nomadic society at the later stage of its existence, up to the inclusion of the Polovtsians (Cumans) in component of the Golden Horde troops. The social structure in question was subjected to differentiation based upon the set of offensive and defensive weapons. However, the remains of the horse and a number of items traditionally associated with "status" are not always present in the "elite" assemblages and cannot serve as reliable criteria for determining the social status of the buried.

Last modified: 2017-06-02 06:14:55