search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Possible Bronze Age Rituals Identified

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Indo Euopean Ritual BonesKRASNOSAMARSKOE, RUSSIA—Science News reports that researchers believe they have discovered evidence for Indo-European initiation rituals that took place between 1900 and 1700 B.C. on the Russian steppe. Hartwick College archaeologists David Anthony and Dorcas Brown led excavations at the Bronze Age Krasnosamarskoe site and discovered more than 2,000 dog bones and several wolf bones. Analysis of the animals' teeth showed that they were all likely killed during winter. Several ancient Indo-European cultures were known to practice wintertime coming-of-age rituals that linked young warriors with dogs or wolves. In some of these cultures, teenagers could join a warband only after killing a canid and either eating it or wearing its skin. Anthony and Brown believe the finds at Krasnosamarskoe show this practice is at least 4,000 years old. To read in-depth about the discovery, go to “Wolf Rites of Winter.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement