a burial mound on the Taman Peninsula (height 15 m, length of the girdle 340 m). Excavations were carried out in 1864–66, 1868, and 1883–84 by I. E. Zabelin, A. E. Liutsenko, V.G. Tizengauzen, and S. I. Verebriusov. They uncovered male and female remains from the second half of the fourth century B.C. belonging to representatives of aristocratic Sindhi families, who performed priestly functions. There were preserved bodies (three of them in carved wooden sarcophagi encrusted with ivory) and cremated bodies, kept in crypts and stone tombs. One of the crypts was covered with polychromatic murals (the head of Demeter is depicted on its ceiling). In another a priestess of Demeter was buried with rich furnishings and attire embroidered with 2,000 gold-embossed plates. The third contained a warrior with valuable weapons and armor. At the burial sites were also found decorated vases, terra-cotta and bone figures, objects from horses’ harnesses, and many gold jewelry ornaments of Greek manufacture. The findings from Bliznitsa Bol’shaia give extensive material for studying the history and culture of the Bosphoran state’s florescence.
REFERENCESRostovtsev, M. I. Antichnaia dekorativnaia zhivopis’ na iuge Rossii, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Gaidukevich, V. F. Bosporskoe tsarstvo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
N. I. SOKOL’SKII