Серегин Н.Н.   Matrenin S.S.  

Horse in the ritual practice of the Altai population at Xiungnu-Syanbi-Rouran and Turkic periods

Reporter: Серегин Н.Н.

The article provides the study of the role and importance of horses in the ritual practice of Altai nomads in the Xiungnu-Syanbi-Rouran time and the early Middle Ages. The authors present the results of analysis of a significant amount of materials, which allowed to demonstrate the specifics of this tradition throughout the II century BC – XI century AD. For the Xiungnu-Syanbi-Rouran time, the number of burials with a horse was only 18% of the total number of excavated objects. It has been established that a feature of Altai complexes of that period is the coexistence of several options for placing a horse in the grave. The variability of this tradition is due to ethnosocial differences among the population of the Bulan-Koby culture. On the contrary, burial with a horse was the standard and unified indicator of ritual practice of the early medieval Turks in Altai. It was established that this tradition was an important marker of the age and gender differentiation of nomads. A special form of ritual practice of the Altai Turks was the burial of horses during the construction of memorial enclosures. It is concluded that the practice of burying a person with a horse did not represent a continuous tradition in Altai during the I millennium BC – I millennium AD.

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