Historical Centre


The cemetery at Suuk-Su in the Crimea

Cold comb An important part of the section comprises objects from the early Middle Ages (sixth and seventh centuries). Among the many hoards belonging to that period the most noteworthy is the Pereshchepina Treasure, accidentally found in 1912 by some shepherd-boys near the village of Malaya Pereshchepina in the Poltava area. This rich find of artefacts of various provenance has been for years the object of intensive study. Together with artefacts of local origin, it includes a set of church plate and coins of Byzantium, and vessels from Iran and Central Asia. The earliest piece is a dish with a picture of the Persian king Shapur II (A.D. 310-363), while the latest is a Byzantine coin minted prior to A.D. 668.

While considering the sixth and seventh centuries, we should mention a set of finds from the fortress of Eski-Kermen and the cemetery at Suuk-Su in the Crimea. By the end of the sixth century the Crimea had become a part of the Khazar Khanate whose culture is reflected in the collections of finds yielded by excavations in the fortified town of Sarkel on the Don, and a large variety of household articles, artefacts and craftsman's tools, weapons and ornaments from settlements and cemeteries of the Saltovo-Mayatsky culture, so called from the names of the Saltovo burial ground and the hill-fort of Mayatsky in the Kharkov and Voronezh regions, respectively. The culture and way of life of such nomad peoples as the Pe-chenegs, Torki and Polovtsy during the period between the ninth and thirteenth centuries may best be judged by the rich collection of goods discovered in the numerous barrows of the South Territory steppes. Outstanding among these goods are sets of weapons including single-edged swords, spears, fragments of bows and quivers with arrows, and sometimes accompanied by protective armour - leather helmets with a framework of iron, iron face guards and mail shirts. The physical features and outward appearance of the Polovtsy can most readily be learned from the so-called stone babas, monuments to members of the tribal nobility, which reproduce with great exactitude the details and ornaments of their ceremonial costumes.

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