New Excavations of the Early Nomadic Burial Ground at Filippovka (Southern Ural Region, Russia)
From 2004 to 2007, nine burial mounds were excavated at the Filippovka burial ground, located in the Orenburg region of Russia. The most significant burial is a huge royal kurgan (Kurgan 4) that was largely undisturbed. Excavation of this kurgan yielded burial goods of precious metals, examples of sophisticated Animal Style art, and important new information on burial ritual. A depiction of an Achaemenid king on an object found in Kurgan 15 suggests a burial date in the second half of the fifth century B.C.E.; other finds, however, suggest a fourth-century B.C.E. date. In either case, the burial belongs to the Early Sarmatian culture of the southern Ural region and provides significant information on the cultural origin of the southern Ural early nomadic population. The goal of this report is to introduce the finds to western scholars who may not have access to the Russian-language publications of this and other materials from Sarmatia.