The discovery of a hoard in 1912 in the neighbourhood of Poltava near the village of Malaya Pereshchepina was not in itself a rare event, but in its wealth and diversity this hoard far exceeds all others. It is rightfully regarded as one of the richest finds from the period of the nomadic migrations.
Dated to the period between the ancient world and the 7th century AD, the hoard is thought to have belonged to Kuvrat (or Kubrat), Khan of Great Bolgary. The treasure is uncommonly rich, consisting of over 800 pieces, mainly of gold (total weight over 25 kg) and silver (over 50 kg), including 16 gold and 19 silver vessels, a gold rhyton and the remains of another rhyton, the gold facing of a wooden jug, a staff with gold facing, a well-preserved iron sword with an end in the form of a ring and gold facing on the hilt and scabbard, fragments of swords and daggers, gold and silver parts of belts, gold jewellery - a torque, an earring, 7 bracelets and 7 rings with inlays of precious stones (amethysts, sapphires, tiger-eyes, garnets, rock crystal and emeralds), a necklace of gold Byzantine coins, plaques and coins which were for sewing onto clothing, and square gold plaques for the facing of a wooden funeral construction.
The Khazar khanate existed during the early medieval period in the area between the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea, and excavations of burial grounds and settlements have produced many interesting finds. Most important are the items from the Khazar fortress of Sarkel (834-965) and the Slavic town of Belaya Vezha (existed up to 1173), such as weapons (a flail and arrow-heads), farming tools, domestic objects and ornaments (silver plaques for clothing and belts, ornamented articles of bone, pottery, bronze lamps and glass beads). The imported articles are of no less interest, including a bone comb from a Byzantine workshop and a chess piece (a bishop) from India. Other Khazar fortresses produced stone blocks with drawings and signs.
The burial mounds of the Alans and Bolgars, vassals of the Khazars, also produced rich materials - pottery, farming and blacksmith's tools, and mirrors and amulets found in female burials. There are also 12th century domestic objects and stone steles from the Polovtsy.
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