The Opushka burial ground is located in the central part of the Crimean foothills, 20 km southeast of Simferopol. Since 2003, the head of the Opushkin archaeological expedition is Igor Khrapunov, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Department of the History of the Ancient World and the Middle Ages of the Crimean Federal University.
Experts are sure that these fine jewelry items could have belonged only to high-ranking persons. They were found in the burial place of the ancestors of the medieval Alans who lived on the territory of the Crimea in the 3rd century AD. Due to the fact that jewelry was found not only next to the remains of women, but also children, archaeologists came to the conclusion that the high social status of the Alanian tribes was inherited.
“Most of the found samples are well preserved and are of value to the museum collection. The earrings are entirely gold, while the silver bracelets have individual details covered with foil. Jewelry refers to the late Roman polychrome or, as it is also called, the carnelian style. Its distinctive feature is inlaid with large carnelians and relief ornament. This style was widespread from the Danube to the Caucasus and dates back to the second half of the 3rd - the first half of the 4th century AD", - Igor Khrapunov explained.
Also, archaeologists have found new specimens of swords of Alan warriors with cutouts at the heel of the blade, dating back to the 4th century. Unlike most of the weapons, which were usually placed at the belts of the buried, these swords are always located on the heads and shoulders of the buried warriors. Such specimens are found in different regions of Europe, but most of them come from the Crimea and the North Caucasus.
“The uniqueness of the Opushka burial ground lies in the fact that it became the burial place of five ancient cultures at once: Late Scythian, Middle Sarmatian, Late Sarmatian, Germanic and Alanian. By means of an excavation, we connected sections of the burial ground with burials of different cultures. Now we have examined 1/7 of the burial ground and, we hope that further excavations will help determine the reasons for such attention to this place by carriers of five different cultures at once", - added Igor Khrapunov.
This scientific work is carried out within the framework of a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research: "Research of the Opushka burial ground: results and prospects". The grant, calculated for a year, is being implemented from November 2020. The scientific journal "Brief Communications of the Institute of Archeology" , included in the abstract base Scopus, accepted a publication on the interim results of the study.