A New Group of Tarand Graves in the South- Western Part of Leningrad Oblast


  • Maria A. Yushkova


During recent years, a new group of tarand graves was discovered on the Izhora Heights (south-western Leningrad oblast). The majority of them are dated to the Early Roman Period. In total, 15 sites and find spots have been reported. In 2008–2013, the present author conducted excavations at two burial grounds with tarand graves – Kerstovo 1 and Malli. This study discusses the evidence on the burial rite and funerary structures at these cemeteries. Typical groups of grave goods have been identified from the sites on the Izhora Heights and linked with particular chronological spans from the Early Roman Period to the Merovingian Period. The tarand graves of the Roman Period represent a local variant that finds its closest parallels at sites in north-eastern Estonia. The particular peculiarity of this group of cemeteries arises from the fact that they are geographically isolated and contain numerous weapons and objects imported from the more eastern regions of the Finno-Ugric world. The sites of the Late Roman Period and the Migration Period have yielded only individual finds. The Merovingian Period is best represented by the finds from the cemetery of Malli. The closest parallels for these finds are found among the synchronous antiquities of Estonia.