Serikov Yu. B. On the question of identifying rock sacred places in the Middle Urals (.pdf)
The research of sacred places of the Shaytan Lake (Kirovgrad district, Sverdlovsk region), which was a sacred lake in ancient times, allows one to mark a new type of cultic places, situated on rocks. It gives an opportunity to mark specific signs of rock sacred places. The nature of some memorials, defined as sites, settlements and melting places, was reviewed on the basis of the marked signs. The important attribute of rock sacred places is their unusual topography. They are always located on natural rock formations, such as islands, capes, lugs and conglomerations of boulders. Most often, they can be found on lake’s shores, in hard to reach marsh places. Rock cult memorials are rarer found on river banks which may be explained by the later time of their creation, but the question needs further investigation. Another sign of cult memorials in general and of rock sacred places specifically is a particular collection of thematic complexes of findings. Those thematic complexes help identifying cult nature of memorials. The artefacts with sharpened end (arrow heads, knives, and spearheads) are widespread in those complexes, as well as the artefacts connecting with fire making process (scrapers, core-shaped pieces, riven shingle, flakes, stone tiles, and spindle whorls). The composition of artefacts varies in different chronological periods, but the things from the two mentioned complexes can be found on almost all cult memorials. As for the other findings, the question of the relationship between domestic and production complexes and cult ones will be the subject of research for a long period.
Key words: rock sacred places, topography of sacred places, thematic cultic complexes, ratio of production, domestic and cult complexes.