Melgunov Kurgan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mel’gunov Kurgan


(also Litoi Kurgan), a barrow of the early sixth century B.C. near the city of Kirovograd, Ukrainian SSR. The barrow was excavated in 1763 by General A. P. Mel’-gunov. The arrangement of the mound and the grave has never been clarified. It is certain only that there were traces of cremations in the foundation of the barrow and the various articles were found at a depth of about 1.8 m in a tomb that was lined with stone slabs.

The most interesting find was a Scythian-type iron sword in a gold scabbard decorated with representations of mythical creatures in a mixed Urartic-Scythian style. Other items in the burial mound included Scythian arrowheads, golden diadems, a ribbon with small figures of monkeys and ibises, small eagle-shaped plaques, and silver legs from a throne of Urartic workmanship. Apparently, the barrow belonged to a wealthy warrior-chieftain, possibly a participant in the Scythian campaigns in Southwest Asia. The Mel’gunov Kurgan is one of the oldest remains of the Scythian culture in the region north of the Black Sea.


Pridik, E. M. Mel’gunovskii klad 1763 g. St. Petersburg, 1911. (Materialy po arkheologii Rossii, no. 31.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.