Chernaia Mogila

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chernaia Mogila


a tenth-century Old Russian kurgan in Chernigov. Chernaia Mogila, which stands 11 m high and has a circumference of 125 m, was excavated by D. Ia. Samokvasov in 1872–73. It contained the cremated remains of two warrriors from the nobility and the slaves who were cremated with them; also in the mound were the remains of sacrificial animals, as well as various vessels, weapons, tools, and ornaments. After the cremation, a preliminary mound, measuring 7 m in height, was erected for the funeral celebration; the coats of mail and helmets were removed from the fire and placed on top of the mound, along with two sacrificial knives, two gold Byzantine coins, a bronze idol, two wisent horns, and a kettle with the bones of a ram. The silver bands on the wisent horns are decorated with stamped plant designs. The larger horn also bears depictions of fantastical animals and of a man and a woman shooting at birds with bows. The mound was completed after the funerary feast, and a stela was installed at the summit.

Chernaia Mogila was the burial site of high-ranking members of the druzhina of a Kievan Rus’ prince; it is similar to the large Gnezdovo burial mounds.


Rybakov, B. A. “Drevnosti Chernigova.” In the collection Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, no. 11. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.