The middle ages in Southern Siberia: distinctive features of archaeological studies

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Visibility of ancient sites is a unique feature of southern Siberia. Built from stone, these sites have become an integral part of the local landscape. Remains dating to the Middle Ages need to be identified at such sites. The way the sites dating to earlier cultures were perceived during the medieval times can be understood from rupestrian drawings, cemeteries and temple centers in Khakassia. Drawings and, subsequently, blazonry and medieval prayer inscriptions complement petroglyphs dating to the earlier periods (Fig. 1 and 2) rather than disrupt the picture these petroglyphs create. It means that mountainous cults were maintained until the medieval period. Mounds of the 6th -8th centuries represent a continuation of the cemeteries of the 2nd century BC - 5th century AD; people were aware of the ties of blood with their ancestors. In the 8th century a Manichean church was built in the valley where 14 sculptures and around 15 menhirs remained intact until the 20th century (Fig. 3). Services in the church were conducted among pagan idols, the nearest monoliths were located at a distance of 100-150 m (Fig. 4). Reaching the Yenisei, Manichaeism incorporated local runic writings into its religious practice along with a basic set of traditional world view closely connected with worshipping the sites of ancient times. Mutual penetration of non-local and local beliefs generated a new religious belief, i.e. northern, Siberian-Turkic Manichaeism.


Middle ages in south siberia, relationship between the subsequent cultures and the preceding cultures, siberian-turkic manichaeism

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