Polovets’ Graven Images, XII – XIII cc.

Many of them were brought fr om the city outskirts and neighboring areas, wh ere they have been discovered by archeologists at the top of mounds or near them. One of Europeans travelling along these areas in early XIII c. wrote, that local people “… pile up a big hill above the deceased and put a statue, facing to the East and holding a chalice in front of its navel.” 

Today the experts, researching the Polovets cultic sculpture, consider that the statues served as a temporary receptacle of soul of the deceased. Initially such statues (stone or wooden) were installed at the top of mounds until the solemnization of the last (farewell) wake, after which the soul of deceased partied forever to the after world. In order to liberate the soul from a temporary receptacle, stone statues should be demolished or broken (archeologists, who often find broken pieces of statues, back the idea of such a ritual) and statues made of wood – burned. 

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