AUTHOR:  Vladimira G. Petrenko 
Krasnoznamenskii Burial-ground.
Early Scythian Elite Burial-mounds
in the Northern Caucasus
SERIES:  Corpus Tumulorum Scythicorum et Sarmaticorum. Vol. 1
Paleograph Press;

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut;

Institut des recherches sur l'Antiquité et le Moyen-Age «Ausonius» CNRS, Université de Bordeaux III;

Center for Comparative Study on Ancient Civilizations, Russian Academy of Sciences

Under the aegis of:
Union Académique Internationale
YEAR:  Berlin, Bordeaux, Moscow, 2006
LANGUAGE:   English
ISBN:   5-89526-017-9
FORMAT:  22 × 29 cm
PAPER:  Coated paper, 130 gram

Hardcover, cloth spin

306 pages, including:
72 pages with line draw illustrations
72 color photgraphs
55 b/w photographs
WEIGHT:   2 kg / 4.4 lbs
58.00 Euro (+postage) for one volume;
52.00 Euro (+postage) with the subscription to at least three volumes of Steppenvölker Eurasiens or Corpus Tumulorum Scythicorum (with 10% discount for each volume)


In 1973, construction of the Stavropol canal was unexpectedly stopped near the village Krasnoe Znamya, 75 kilometres from Stavropol in southern Russia, by the sudden discovery of ancient ruins. A special archaeological expedition was urgently sent from Moscow and a few days later it revealed a group of Scythian burial mounds called kurgans in Russia. This was one of the most remarkable discoveries for Scythian archaeology in decades.

During the 1973–1974 field seasons, the intensive archaeological excavation headed by Dr. V. Petrenko uncovered a complex of burial mounds with sophisticated architectural structures that have no parallel in southern Russia. The heart of the necropolis was the huge burial mound contaning several burial chambers. It was surrounded by a wide ditch with stone sides and enclosed by a wall, 140 meters in diameter, built out of sandstone slabs. Within the necropolis numerous artifacts were found, enabling the author to reconstruct elements of burial rites with numeriuos horse sacrifices, and to detect the use of food and color symbols in burial ceremonies. Of special interest were the fire rites, traces of which were found all over the complex. Some finds from the necropolis have reliable and well-dated parallels in Near Eastern art, which are used to determine the absolute chronology of the complex.

Despite the protests of scholars, in 1974 the construction of the canal was resumed and the kurgan complex was completely destroyed. Besides several short articles by Dr. V. Petrenko and 4 photographs, no description of the complex has ever been published.

Table of Contents:

From the Editors of the Series.
Chapter 1. Description of the Burials.
Chapter 2. Burial Sites and the Funerary Rite.
Chapter 3. Grave-goods.
Chapter 4. Chronology.
Bibliography and Archive Materials.
List of Abbreviations.
S. K. Dal’ Analysis of Faunal Remains from the Excavations of Burial-Mound 6 near the Krasnoe Znamya Farmstead.
Index of Illustrations for Plates 22–52.
Plates 1–42. Line drawings of excavations plans.
Plates 43–72. Line drawings of finds.
Plates 72–106. Color photographs.
Plates 107–126. B/w photographs.

Sample Screenshots:

Plate 2. Burial-mound 1. 1. Diagram of the lay-out of the structures in the burial-mound; 2. Plan of the stone wall of the ‘Enclosure’ (Junction “A”); 3. Section and profile of the north-west part of the fabric of the ‘Enclosure’. Plate 3. Burial-mound 1. Plan of the central part of the burial-mound.

Plate 8. Burial-mound 1. 1. West face of the dromos wall in the Central Tomb and the adjacent stonework; 2. Central Tomb, north-east sector. Layer of clay between wattle and stonework; 3. Join of first wattle circle and the collapsed fabric of the North Tomb; 4. Profile of the clay cover over the spoil of stones from the North Tomb, view from the North; 5. Outer faces of the spoil from the walls of the North Tomb; 6. Inner faces of walls of the entrance chamber of the North Tomb; 7. Ruined section of the krepis in the north-east sector; 8. Ditto, viewed from the outside. Plate 9. Burial-mound 1. Outer surface of the krepis wall (rolled-out plan, Sheet 1).

Plate 44. Burial-mound 1. Reconstruction of the stone structures and the wattle circles inside the krepis. Plate 45. Burial-mound 1. Reconstruction of the burial structures before these were covered by the earth of the mound.

Plate 70. Catalogue No. 140. Plate 71. Catalogue No. 227.

Plate 76. Burial-mound 1. 1. Profile of the northern part of the baulk, view from the West; 2. Profile of the southern part of the baulk, view from the East; 3. Remaining section of the ‘Enclosure’. Plate 77. General view of the burial structures of Burial-mound 1.

Plate 86. Burial-mound 1, South Tomb. 1. Parts of Bridle No. 3 between slabs of the in-fill; 2. Burial of draught horses Nos. 1 and 2. Plate 87. Burial-mound 1, South Tomb. 1. Fragment of the burial of draught horses 1 and 2 with parts of a bridle on the skull; 2. Skull of Horse 1 with bridle parts.

Sample Downloads:

krasnoznamenskii.pdf [1.3 megabytes]

  • Title pages (p.1–6);
  • Table of Content (p.7);
  • From the Editors of the Series (p. 9–10);
  • Introduction (p. 11–17).

Other volumes of Steppenvölker Eurasiens and Corpus:

Ljudmila K. Galanina Die Kurgane von Kelermes. »Königsgräber« der frühskythischen Zeit. Steppenvölker Eurasiens. Bd. I. Moskau, 1997.

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

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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