THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

Christian relics of the epoch of the Golden Horde formation at the "Mayachny bugor" burial ground

2017. 3, pp. 11-19

Vasilev D.V. - Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor, Astrakhan State University, 20a Tatischeva Str., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation, hvdv@mail.ru

Evidence of the presence of Christians in the Golden Horde is extremely rare. Most often these are finds of wearable crosses. The article analyzes the fact of finding a Christian burial with a silver cross, as well as a copper cross and an encolpion on the «Mayachny bugor» burial ground in the Astrakhan region. Encolpion - a double-winged hollow cross with the image of Our Lady and saints in medallions on the beams of the cross - refers to the first quarter of the 13th century. A small copper cross with balls at the ends of beams dates back to the late 12th - early 13th centuries. The burial of a teenager with a silver cross on his back is also dated by the inventory in the first half - the middle of the 13th century. Types of crosses from the "Mayachny bugor" burial ground were widespread in the territory of Ancient Rus - in the Kiev land, as well as in the Old Ryazan, in Novgorod, in Tula, in the Raikovets settlement, on Beloozero. The author assumes that crosses and burial can belong to representatives of the higher strata of the society of Ancient Russia, because the custom of burial with crosses was spread only among the secular and spiritual elite of society. Burials of the Russian nobility in the Volga delta in the early Golden Horde period could appear only next to the first capital of the Golden Horde. The author localizes this city on the Krasny Yar settlement.

Key words: , , , , , , , , , , , , Golden Horde, Ancient Rus, Christianity, wearable cross, enclopion, burial, funeral rite, burial ground, Mayachny bugor, Krasny Yar settlement, the capital of the Golden Horde, the Middle Ages

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