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O.V. Obelchenko.
Culture of Ancient Sogdiana:
Archaeological Finds Dating to the 7th Century BC – 7th Century AD.


The monograph «Culture of Ancient Sogdiana: Archaeological Finds Dating to the 7th Century BC – 7th Century AD» by O.V. Obelchenko overviews finds from the excavations in the territory of Sogdiana, a most ancient cultural region spreading across the Zeravshan river valley from Panjikent to Bukhara including the Bukhara oasis.

Archaeological studies in the eastern part of the Bukhara region helped locate a host of barrows that had been previously unknown. Finds from the tombs provided a wealth of materials on the history of the Sogdiana culture between the 7th century BC and the 7th century AD.

The finds from the barrows included swords, arrow heads, various fibulas, pottery, objects of art, body care implements and household utensils. The book examines grave constructions and the burial rite. The author draws on the ancient and medieval written sources and the materials relating to ethnographic studies on the peoples of Central Asia and other peoples of the East. The book consists of eight chapters. The first chapter, «Tombs of the Bukhara Region», describes the excavations of the Kalkansai, Khazarin, Shakhrivairon and Kyzyl Tepe tombs and finds from the barrows. The second chapter, «Interment Classification and Dating», presents an interment classification by type of graves, and the respective finds.

The third chapter, «Grave Construction», describes the kinds of mounds and graves attributed to certain periods of the Sogdiana culture.

The fourth chapter, «Burial Rite», discusses the types of interment, the position of skeletons, grave goods and their arrangement, food for life beyond the grave and its significance. Dating and the role of coins found in the graves are considered. The fire cult manifestations and problems relating to graves in. recesses and catacombs are examined.

The fifth chapter, «Arms», looks at swords, daggers, and arrow heads, and examines beliefs connected with bow and arrow. Fibulas and girdles as well as the semantics of images they carry are investigated.

The sixth chapter, «Pottery», deals with the classification and dating of pottery from graves and the evolution of some of its kinds.

The seventh chapter, «Ornaments, Household Utensils and Body Care Implements», describes and defines the role of decorations and body care goods in. interment and that of household utensils in economic activity.

The eighth chapter, «History of some Societal Features», looks at the role of women in ancient society and discusses the fall of the Greek-Bactrian kingdom under attack of the nomads who invaded Sogdiana in the latter half of the second century BC.

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