AUTHOR:   Ljudmila K. Galanina

Людмила К. Галанина
Die Kurgane von Kelermes. »Königsgräber« der frühskythischen Zeit

Келермесские курганы. Царские погребения раннескифской эпохи
SERIES:  Steppenvölker Eurasiens. Bd. I
Paleograph Press;

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut;

Center for Comparative Study on Ancient Civilizations, Russian Academy of Sciences
YEAR:  Moskau, 1997
LANGUAGE:   Bilingual Edition (in German and in Russian)
ISBN:   5-89526-001-2
FORMAT:  22 × 29 cm
PAPER:  Text part — Offset paper, 120 gramm;
Plates — Coated paper, 135 gram
COVER:   Hardcover, cloth

316 pages, including:
44 plates with line draw illustrations, 10 colour and 65 b/w photographs
WEIGHT:   2 kg / 4.4 lbs
40.00 Euro (+postage) for one volume
35.00 Euro (+postage) with the subscription to at least three volumes of Steppenvolker Eurasiens or Corpus Tumulorum Scythicorum (with 10% discount for each volume)


This book is a detailed study of the famous Scythian royal necropolis of Kelermes, finds from which constitute a significant part of the collection of Scythian gold of the State Hermitage in St.-Petersburg. The Kelermes barrows are also famous for their tumuli, which contain mass horse burials, and for the specific types of grave construction, which are considered typical of early Scythian times.

The Kelermes barrows were discovered in 1903 by the amateur archaeologist D. Schulz. The circumstances of his excavations long remained unclear — the majority of his finds were not connected to the excavated complexes, some of the artifacts were left in place, while others were melted into gold bars. Although later excavations were continued by Professor N. Veselovsky, his studies could not compensate for the lack of important data on the course of the first excavations.

A special Kelermes expedition was formed in 1980 for the systematic study of the Kelermes barrow group and the additional study of the barrows excavated at the beginning of the century. During the next 10 years, the Kelermes barrow group revealed itself in a new light as a multicomponential complex including main and secondary tumuli, various burial types, and as containing an underground necropolis.

Although some of the most famous Kelermes finds (such as the silver mirror and golden panther) are often published in various publications (usually in the art catalogues of exhibitions), this book is the first scientific publication of those 6 tumuli complexes discovered at the beginning of the century. A detailed analysis of all preserved archival documentation helps to reconstruct the course of the original excavations conducted by D. Schulz and later by Professor N. Veselovsky. Of special importance are the data on burial ceremonies and the construction of tumuli, obtained during additional excavations of 1983– 1990, as well as the publication of new finds.

In separate chapters the author undertakes the analysis of artifacts to determine their origin and chronology. Special attention is paid to the dating and ethnic attribution of tumuli complexes. The author also discusses the social structure of the local society and the mutual relations among the local population, incoming ethnic groups and the surrounding world.

The illustrated catalogue includes more than 426 finds with detailed descriptions, a discussion of production techniques and a detailed bibliography.

Table of Contents:

I. Die Ausgrabungen der Kelermes-Nekropole. Die Enstehungsseschichte der Samlung.
II. Die Beschreibung der Denkmäler.
III. Die Grabkonstruktionen und die Bestattungssitten.
IV. Die Sachkultur. Analyse des Inventars.
V. Die Chronologie der Kurgangruppe.
VI. Kulturhistorische Betrachtungen.
Katalog (in Russisch).
Verzeichnis der Textabbildingen.

Tafeln 1–44.

Sample Screenshots:

Plate 1.

Plates 8–9.

Plates 32–33.

Plates 38–39.


Other volumes of Steppenvölker Eurasiens and Corpus:

Askold I. Ivantchik Kimmerier und Skythen. Kulturhistorische und chronologische Probleme der Archäologie der osteuropäischen Steppen und Kaukasiens in vor- und frühskythischer Zeit. Steppenvölker Eurasiens. Bd. II. Berlin, Moskau, 2001.

Vladimira G. Petrenko Krasnoznamenskii Burial-ground. Early Scythian Elite Burial-mounds in the Northern Caucasus. Corpus tumulorum scythicorum et sarmaticorum. Vol. 1. Berlin, Bordeaux, Moscow, 2006.

Vladimir R. Erlikh, Ljudmila  K. Galanina, Alexandre M. Leskov, Elena V. Perevodchikova Ulskii Tumuli. Cultic and Burial Complex of the Scythian Period in the Northern Caucasus. Corpus Tumulorum Scythicorum et Sarmaticorum. Vol. 2. Berlin, Bordeaux, Moscow, 2015.

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