A monumental grave found within a burial mound near Prydnistryanske, Ukraine’s Vinnytsia region, near the Ukrainian-Moldavian border was reconstructed by Polish archaeologists who discovered it during excavations in 2010. The grave belonged to the elite of the nomadic pastoral communities that lived along the shores of the Dniester river.
The tomb was the most complex one of all found in the 2010 excavation season. The people living in the area 5000 years ago were nomads who used to travel with their herds. They created numerous burial mounds for their elite. The reconstructed tomb was unique due to the care with which it was created. It consisted of a rectangular burial chamber walled with four limestone slabs. Two woven mats were placed on the bottom and top of the chamber – its imprinted trace was clearly visible in the cross-section. The chamber had a roof created with ash-tree wood.
The individual buried in the tomb was a male, 35-50 years old at time of death, possibly almost 1.9 metre tall, which is rather tall for the community. Skeletal analysis revealed that he suffered for rheumatism of upper limbs and degeneration of the spine due to mechanical stress involving heavy physical labour.
The excavations were conducted as a part of a larger science project involving experts from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Institute of Archaeology of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow.
(after Nauka w Polsce, D. Żurkiewicz & Michał Podsiadło)