Медведев_рисAlexandr P. Medvedev
Voronezh State University, Voronezh, Russia (APM1950@yandex.ru)

Keywords: Khoper Region, Yelan River, barrow, stratigraphy, Early Bronze Age, Yamnaya culture, Catacomb culture, funeral rites, grave goods.

In 2014 the archaeological expedition of Voronezh State University and “Drevnosti” LLC conducted joint excavations of the barrow group Yolka 5 in the Novokhopersk District of the Voronezh Region. Barrow 4 was distinguished by its extraordinary underground structures. There was a complex planigraphic structure revealed under the mound, including a ring-shaped trench of about 16 m in diameter around a primary mound above the main burial, as well as two semicircle trenches adjoining the central trench from the north and south. The central trench had two disruptions (in the west and in the east) up to 50 cm wide in the form of oval bulges. The area limited with the trench contained two Yamnaya burials of adolescents (c. 2500 BC); the main burial (No. 3) was situated right in the middle of the barrow. A secondary burial (No. 1) was also quite unusual. It was a catacomb enclosed with the northern semicircular trench and plugged with large stones and a massive flag stone.