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Horses from the Arzhan-1 Mound: Results of Archaeological Research and Morphometric Analysis of the Preserved Osteological Collection

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.3, No. 33)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 219-232

Keywords : archaeology; Tuva; Arzhan-1; the Arzhan-Mayemir time; barrow; excavations; horse bones; morphometric analysis;

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The widely known mound Arzhan-1 dates from the end of the 10th – beginning of the 8th centuries BC and is a key archaeological site for the study of the early nomads in Eurasia. Its excavations in Tuva in the early 1970s provided researchers with unique and numerous materials, the study of which continues to this day. In this regard, collection of discovered remains of approximately 160–180 ancient horses was the most poorly studied. Unfortunately, for various reasons only a small part of the collection remained, and now it is stored at the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). The authors analyze the results of a morphological study of these horse bones. Judging by them, the sexually mature stallions were used in order to implement funeral rituals. The horses from the burials of the Arzhan-1 mound had a height at the withers not exceeding 144 cm, and by the degree of massiveness of the metacarpal bones they fall into groups of half-legged and thin-legged. Morphometric analysis of the preserved osteological material showed that these animals differed from horses from the mounds of the Pazyryk culture of Altai in terms of bone size and constitutional features. Despite the insignificant volume of the remaining collection, there are prospects of its paleogenetic research.

Last modified: 2020-10-04 00:20:28