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The Bol’shaya Bliznitsa kurgan is located on the Taman’ peninsula. It’s one of the most famous and wall-known burial mound at the Cimmerian Bosporus. The painted tomb was found in 1864. This tomb was robbed, but there are reasons to suppose that it was built in the early 3rd century BC. It belongs to the popular in the Bosporus type of the tombs with corbelled (stepped) vault. However, the construction of the dromos and the burial chamber is unordinary for the Bosporus in some details. It seems that the vault of the dromos was built with special rectangular hollows. Its walls were adorned with a stripe of the fl oral ornament. The burial chamber had the stepped vault with details of lantern roofi ng. Such constructions were very characteristic for the Thracian world of this time. The painting of the chamber was unique. It was a head of the goddess on the keystone of the roof. M.I. Rostovtsev supposed that it “is not quite Greek”. In the form and sacral ideas of painting, it’s similar with some Thracian funeral monuments (the Tomb of Kazanlak, the Tomb of Ostrusha).


Greek culture, Cimmerian Bosporus, burial mounds, painted tombs

Yuriy A. Vinogradov

Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of the Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

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