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Nord-Oriented Burial on the Muslim Burial Ground in Bulgar and the Issue of Interpretation of Iron Cones

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.4, No. 34)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 170-184

Keywords : archaeology; Golden Horde; Bulgar fortified settlement; Mouslem burial ground; burial of nomad; Mongolian traditions; iron cones; Buddhist tsatsa;

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The burial of a nomad woman with the northern orientation on a Moslem burial ground of the second half of the 14th and early 15th centuries was found in Bulgar (burial 4, excavation CXXXIV). The findings from this burial are analyzed in the paper. Four beads of multicolored pasta, a knife, a bronze mirror and eight iron hollow cones were found in the grave. 37 burials with cones are taken into account as belonged to the Golden Horde population. Most of them were buried according to the Mongolian burial tradition with the northern orientation. These objects were found in burials with orientations of the northern direction (65%), as well as western (22%) and eastern ones (13%). Usually, the cones have been revealed within the vessels, flats or near them. The cones are associated with Buddhist religion and are used for making tsatsa. Tsatsa was made in rituals during funeral rites. The vessels might contain sacred ingredients in order to add them into the clay. The flats and fragments of metal vessels were used for aromatic smoking scars or as stands in the manufacture of tsatsa. On the author's opinion, appearance of the iron cones in the Golden Horde burial complexes may be associated with the spread of Buddhism among the Mongols.

Last modified: 2021-01-05 19:40:07