Kindred Hierarchy of the Mokhes (on Materials of the Tungus-Manchus Necropolis)
(55th Meeting, 2012)
Kindred hierarchy of the Mediaeval Tungus-Manchus (the Mokhe, Pohai, Jurchens) is an unstudied problem. Scholars are working it out since the end of the 60s of the 20th c., trying to interpret it through the Tungus-Manhus necropolis. But the results were not a success. The situation has changed when T. A. Pan published materials about Shibo cemetery. Shibo are the Manchus who were not totally under Chinese cultural influence and preserved their own traditions. They are a closing link of the genetic line – the Wuji – Mokhes – Jurchens – Manchus. According to the publication of T. A. Pan, the grave of the progenitor was located as the first one in a Shibo necropolis. That is why, as a rule, it was the only one in the row. Lower there was the second row, that of the graves of sons and their wives. Somewhat lower was the row of graves of sons’ children, and so on. When the cemetery was closed, the progenitor’s grave was transferred to the new cemetery. Unmarried daughters were buried individually. Thus, there was traced out distinct hierarchy of tribe cemetery of the Manchus – Shibowhere there was determined the place for each relative. During excavations of a unique Mediaeval Mokhe necropolis Monastyrka-3 in the north-east of Primorye (Russia) we fixed an analogous structure. The progenitor’s grave was “burial 27”. It was the only grave in the row, certainly, men’s one. The deceased was in the wooden box made of a big slab. The box was made without using nails. Its corners were fastened together with chinks. Chinks were carefully filled up with clay. The dad man was lying on his back, his head oriented to the west. There was a molded vessel of Mokhe type close to his head. Bronze rectangular badges of Turk type were near his girdle and arrow tips made of iron with rhombic cross-section were, probably, put in the quiver. A crushed wheel-made vessel out of grey clay was on the top of the box near his head. The burial was executed according to the cremation ritual on the place, which was in the box. Peat was used as fuel for it created high temperature and was burning for a long time without access of oxygen. The grave looked like a mound having none constructions above it. To the south-east from this grave there was the next row of burials, consisting of five graves with analogous characteristics but having poorer inventory. Then follows the other row of burials following one more. Within the exposed territory of the necropolis nowadays one can trace three tribe plots with burials of Mokhe culture. Analogous structures of necropolis are seen in the other archaeological cultures, related to Mokhe one, such as Amur Jurchens and Pohai. Thus, the hierarchy structure of tribe cemeteries of Mediaeval Mokhes, preserved by Manchus, was determined.