Anan’ino burial ground

Location: Elabuzhsky district, near to the Anan’ino village

The site is situated on the river Toima. This world-famous archaeological monument of the first millennium BC had given its name to an entire Iron Age culture. The burial ground was discovered by the famous archaeological scholar from Moscow University Professor K.I. Nevostruev with the active assistance of I.V.Shishkin (the father of the artist I.I.Shishkin). Academician Yuryi Gotet believed that in the first millennium BC a major trade centre existed here, the final point of one of the northern branches of the Great Silk Road. From here furs from the north travelled south – to Central Asia and Persia, east – to China and India, and west – to Byzantium, the Arab Caliphates and further on to Europe. On the right bank of the Kama in the area of Elabuga was the centre of tribes of the Anan’ino culture going back to the early Iron Age. These tribes covered a huge territory from Sura to Vetluga in the west to the upper reaches of the Kama and Belaya in the east.

During that period there was a growth in population, the appearance of dwellings above ground, large settlements along rivers and arise in the cultural level. The Anan’ino people engaged in slash and burn agriculture, fishing and beekeeping and their articles of bronze, iron and also ceramics were notable for their high quality, evidence of the beginnings of applied art. The religious beliefs of the tribes were expressed in the cult of the sun and water and the worship of various animals. The clan and tribal society began to disintegrate as military tribal and clan leaders emerged and there were wars of various kinds in which some of the prisoners were enslaved.

The Anan’ino tribes maintained close links with their neighbours, the inhabitants of the Urals, the Upper Volga and the Scythians. During excavations of the burial grounds and settlements articles made by Greeks and Egyptians have been found as well as those of Central Asian and Iranian origin.

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