Work Of Art Analysis – Maikop Kurgan

The Maikop Kurgan is unearthed by Nikolay Veselovsky by 1897 in close proximity to Adygeja, Maikop, Southern Russia, Kuban, which is the eponym for the early bronze age of Maikop culture that occurred in Northern Caucaus. At 4th millennium BC, the kurgan was confirmed to measure about 10 metres high and a boundary of approximate 200 metres. Generally, this reveal two burial including the middle one contained with grave goods such as silver and golden bull figurines. Otherwise, this assignment is aimed at providing clear and precise analysis concerning Maikop Kurgan (Chernykh, 2008).

In particular, the kurgan is the Slavic terminology for tumulus, a form of barrow or burial mound, heaped over a burial chamber, commonly of wood. This noun is harnessed from Turkish and it refers to ‘mound’. Actually, these mounds of stones and earth rose over graves or grave. Since this concept was originally used in Soviet archaeology, the word is currently employed for tumuli within the context of Central Asian and Eastern European archaeology (Kohl, 2009). The initial kurgans existed within the 4th millennium BC and it was linked with the Indo-Europeans. The kurgans were established within the Bronze, Eneolithic, Antiquity, Middle Ages and Iron, with old conventions that are still exercised within Central Asia and Southern Siberia. Indeed, kurgan cultures are segregated archeologically into various sub-cultures including Pit Grave, Timber Grave, Hunnish, Scythian, Kuman-Kipchak and Sarmatian (Betancourt, 2000).

Basically, kurgan barrows were traits of Bronze Age society, from the Atlay Mountains towards Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Caucasus. To be specific, kurgans were applied within Russian and Ukrainian Steppes where they later spread to central, northern and Eastern Europe within the 3rd millennium BC. Its hypothesis theorizes that the Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) were holders of the Kurgan culture for the Caucasus and Black Sea for the Urals (Chernykh, 2008). This proposition was introduced by Marija Gimbutas within 1956, joining kurgan archaeology with linguistics to determine the origins of the PIE speaking individuals. She hesitantly named the traditions ‘kurgan’ after their distinguishing burial mounds and drew its diffusion into Europe. Actually, this hypothesis is confirmed to have a significant implication on the Indo-European research. In connection to this, the scholars who follows Gimbutas always depicts ‘kurgan culture’ as displaying an early Indo-European civilization which emerged within steppes and south-eastern Europe in  between 3rd and 5th millennium BC. In kurgan traditions, various burial cultures were within kurgans, ether personal ones or clan kurgans (Ivanova, 2007).

Exemplary, the monuments of these cultures coincide with Scythian-Saka-Siberian monuments which are endowed with common features and general genetic roots. Pazyryk are also linked with these spectacular burial mounds, as well as ancient individuals who lived within Altai Mountains stretching out within Siberian Russia based on Ukok Plateau, near the borders of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China. Precisely, the archaeological site of the Ukok plateau connected with the Pazyryk tradition is embraced in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site. The culture of kurgan burials stroked not only the individuals who buried their dead in ponder of kurgan structures, though the neighbouring individuals in absence of this tradition. Immense Thracian chieftains and kings were buried in the intricate mound tombs existing in modern Bulgaria (Kohl, 2009).

For example, Philip II of Macedon, the father to the Alexander the Great, was amongst individuals who were buried in an outstanding kurgan in current Greece; similarly, the ancient king of Phrygia was also buried within kurgan close to ancient capital of Gordon. In the view of architecture, burial mounds are considered as the complex structures in the internal chambers. In the interment chamber of the kurgan’s heart, elite people were buried with sacrificial offerings and grave goods, sometimes including chariots and horses. The features of the earlier Neolithic phase in both 3rd and 4th millenniums BC, and Bronze Age of 1st millennium BC are confirmed to show continuity of the archaic forming techniques driven by the general ritual-mythological suggestions (Betancourt, 2000).

Additionally, the kurgan culture’s inhumation practices were normally Indo-European, characteristically in a pit, on other times as stone-lined, covered with tumulus or kurgan. These stone cairns are considered to replace kurgans within the afterwards interments. Apparently, the Maykop kurgan was extremely contained with silver and gold artefacts that were unusual during that time. For example in early 20th century, scholars established the subsistence of local Maykop animal style within the witnessed artefacts.  Conversely, this style was seen as the prototype for animals’ styles of presently archaeological cultures. To be specific, the Maykop style is more than thousand years elder than the Sarmatian, Celtic and Scythian animals styles (Kohl, 2009).

While summing up, it is clear that Maikop Kurgan is unearthed by Nikolay Veselovsky by 1897 in close proximity to Adygeja, Maikop, Southern Russia, Kuban, which is the eponym for the early bronze age of Maikop culture that occurred in Northern Caucaus. In conclusion, this assignment has provided clear and precise analysis concerning Maikop Kurgan through reviewing usage in the culture as well as various traditional practices in specified regions (Edens, 2005).

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