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 Курганные памятники Южного Зауралья Страница - 20 5-05-2014, 22:02 |

Judging by the obtained data, a wide range of heavenly bodies had been paid attention to by the Sintashta population. The observation of these objects was limited by myth and ritual. The construction of burial complexes could had been timed to important astronomic events. Kurgan 25 of the Bolshekaragansky cemetery was probably laid on the day of summer solstice in the year of «high» moon. The knowledge of main astronomically-significant azimuths was important for the organization of the inner space of the kurgans and allowed a «right way» of inserting the kurgan into the Cosmos. Summer solstice was the most significant event for the people of Sintashta. On the opposite, there are no indications of the points of sunrise and sunset on the day of winter solstice. The moon azimuths are as much important for the organization of the kurgan as the sun ones. The moon often presents the events of the solar cycle.

The obtained date, just as the results of archaeoastronomic research of the fortified settlements of the Arkaim type, indicate a rather significant role of astronomy in the culture of the «Country of Towns» of the Middle Bronze Age.

The kurgans of the Alakul culture. The Alakul culture relates to the Late Bronze Age and can be dated (within the traditional chronological scale) to the 16-14 centuries BC. The Alakul kurgans succeed to the traditions of the Middle Bronze Age with some general simplification and standardization of the burial rite.

Eight kurgans excavated between the years 1993 and 2000 were researched by methods of archaeoastronomy. The field archaeoastronomic research was performed on the greater part of the sites. The computer modeling of astronomic events was done for the age of the year 1500 BC.

Kurgan 1 ofthe Chekatai cemetery (geographic latitude =53°15') 6ave the most interesting information. A ritual ground with the remains of wood and clay was found in the south-western part of the kurgan during the excavation of the site. The ground surrounded by the ditch. Initially, the structure had been most likely used as a sanctuary. Many details of architecture of the Chekatai «sanctuary» remain unclear. However, on the one hand it resembles the ritual structures of the cemeteries of the Middle Bronze Age on the river Sintashta and on the other hand it produces associations with the sanctuaries on Indo-Iranian population of Hindu-Kush — Kafirs and Dards. The basic rite had seemingly consisted of ritual round of the «sanctuary» and contemplation of sacred objects that it contained through the holes in the wall. Then the participants of the rite approached the «post-idol» which was located to the east from the «sanctuary». It seems that the design of the «sanctuary» reflects the azimuth of sunrise on the day of summer solstice for the age of the year 1500 BC (48° 57'). The rising sun (for the participants of the rite the sun had risen over the central part of the kurgan) could illuminate the sacred objects in the «sanctuary» through the slots in the wall.

The results of the research of the cemetery Chekatai allow to assume that in the Late Bronze Age the population of South Trans-Urals had also practiced observations of the heavenly bodies and had certain astronomic knowledge. This is also indicated by the astro-calendar symbolism of ceramic vessels from Alakul kurgans. Such knowledge is materialized in the construction of the kurgans more rarely than in the Middle Bronze Age. It can probably be explained by the peculiarities of the style of Alakul burial rite and the culture in general.


The kurgans «with moustaches». The South Urals is the second (after the Central Kazakhstan) region with the highest concentration of the so-called kurgans «with moustaches». The publication of mass materials on the kurgans «with moustaches» with their cartography and typology was first done for Central Kazakhstan. They were related to the Tasmolinskaya culture of the Early Iron Age and dated to the VII-III centuries BC. Currently, the dating and cultural belonging of these sites is under revision. In the opinion of I. E.Lyubchansky, the kurgans «with moustaches» should be dated to the V-VIII centuries AD — they were left behind by groups of Iranian - and Turkic-speaking origin of the post-Hun times.

In their report the authors develop the general directions of archaeoastronomical research of the kurgans «with moustaches» and introduce some new directions of the research. For the first time the report presents the materials on the archaeoastronomy of the kurgans «with moustaches» of the South Urals, which differ from the Kazakhstan ones by a series of peculiarities. A more or less complete study of nine kurgans (in the field with theodolite) had been performed over the period from 1993 to 2000.

It was noted long ago, that the «moustaches» of such kurgans are oriented to the east. A more detailed study of the kurgans with the eastern orientation of «moustaches» allowed to divide them into two groups. The first one is represented by the kurgans where the axis of symmetry of «moustaches» (the main axis of the structure) almost completely coincides with the direction to the east. The kurgans of the second group have this axis deviated to the south.

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