2024, vol. 12, no. 1. Ivanov V.A.

2024, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 140-164

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22378/2313-6197.2024-12-1.140-164

EDN: https://elibrary.ru/NZZRBK


V.A. Ivanov
Akmulla Bashkir State Pedagogical University
Ufa, Russian Federation

Abstract: The purpose of the study: To show that the Golden Horde mausoleums (keshene) of the Southern Cis-Urals – Husein-bek, Tura Khan, Bendebike, Kesene (Ta­merlane’s Tower) – belong not only to different architectural schools, but they also belong to different ethnocultural and geographical spaces.
In this regard, the following tasks were laid out: To show that the Keshene Bendebike and the “Tower of Tamerlane” belong to a large group of so-called. steppe brick mausoleums built in the steppes of the Volga and Southern Urals according to the canons of the Central Asian architectural school. Erected in the second half to the end of the 14th century (or even at the beginning of the 15th century), they were intended to perpetuate the memory of representatives of the elite of the Golden Horde nomads. Unlike the brick ones, the stone mausoleums-keshene of Husein-bek, Tura Khan, Small Keshene were built according to the traditions of Bulgarian architecture in the forest-steppe regions of the Dema River valley, a territory inhabited in the 14th century, by carriers of the Chiyalik culture.
Research materials: The study uses geographical, archaeological, and folklore data on the kashene mausoleums of the Southern Cis-Urals obtained by researchers of the 18th–20th centuries.
Results and scientific novelty: The geography of the distribution of brick mausoleums in the steppes of the Volga and Cis-Ural regions shows that, based on the time of their construction, they could have appeared among the Golden Horde nomads even at a time when paganism was not completely supplanted by Islam (there are numerous nomadic burials with coins of Uzbekistan and later rulers). Thus, mausoleums erected over the graves of the nomadic elite became an organic part of the culture of the nomads of the Golden Horde.
The stone mausoleums of the Cis-Urals had nothing to do with nomadic culture. They were built in the ethnocultural space and on the territory of settlement of semi-nomadic carriers of the Chiyalik culture (Ishtyak-Ugrians). They became centers of Muslim cemete­ries quite late – not earlier than the 17th century – when the “Chiyaliks” were already assimilated by the Turkic ancestors of the Dem Bashkir-Mings/Mings. Therefore, in the historical memory of their descendants, the Bashkirs of the 18th–19th centuries, the stone keshenes of Husein-bek and Tura Khan were overgrown with traditions and legends, the plots and cha­racters of which are not directly related to the ethnocultural history of the Bashkirs.

Keywords: Golden Horde mausoleums, keshene, Trans-Volga region, Urals, Husein-bek, Tura-khan

For citation: Ivanov V.A. Ethnocultural Landscape of Medieval Mausoleums in the Volga-Urals. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2024, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 140–164. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2024-12-1.140-164 (In Russian)


  1. Antonov I.V. Ethnic history of the Volga-Ural region in the 13th – early 15th centuries. (historical and archaeological research). Ufa: RA “Informreklama”, 2006. 236 p. (In Russian)
  2. Antonov I.V. Bashkirs in the Middle Ages (essays on ethnic and political history). Ufa: IP Galiullin D.A., 2012. 308 p. (In Russian)
  3. Antonov I.V. Akkulaevsky burial and its place in the ethnic history of the Southern Urals. Archaeological heritage of the Urals: from the first discoveries to fundamental scientific knowledge (XX Ural Archaeological Meeting): materials of the All-Russian (with international participation) scientific conference. Izhevsk: Institute of Computer Research, 2016, pp. 277–280. (In Russian)
  4. Akhatov A.T., Bakhshiev I.I., Tuzbekov A.I., Kamaleev E.V. Village Podymalovo-1 in the Urals: a new monument of the Golden Horde era in Bashkiria (preliminary results). Istoriya nauki i tekhniki = History of science and technology. 2018, no. 4, pp. 28–32. (In Russian)
  5. Bashkir genealogies. Authors of preface, explanations to the translation, trans. in Russian language, afterword and index R.M. Bulgakov, M.Kh. Nadergulov; Scientific supervisor R.G.Kuzeev. Ufa: Kitap, 2002. Iss. 1. 480 p. (In Russian)
  6. Bashkir folk art. Volume 2. Traditions and legends. Compilation, introductory study and commentaries F.A.Nadrshina. Ufa: Bashkir Book Publishing House, 1987. 576 p. (In Russian)
  7. Botalov S.G., Garustovich G.N., Yaminov A.F. New materials on the mausoleums of Trans-Urals and Central Kazakhstan. Heritage of Centuries. Protection and study of archaeological monuments in Bashkortostan. Vol. 1. Collection of articles. Ed. M.F.Oby­dennov. Ufa, 1995, pp. 148–165. (In Russian)
  8. Vasiliev D.V. Women’s burial in the raw mausoleum of the Golden Horde. Antiquities of the Volga-Don steppes. Volgograd, 1998, pp. 101–112. (In Russian)
  9. Vasiliev D.V. Islamization and funeral rites in the Golden Horde (archaeological and statistical research). Astrakhan: Astrakhan University Publ., 2009. 179 p. (In Russian)
  10. Velyaminov-Zernov V.V. Monument with an Arab-Tatar inscription in Bashkiria. Proceedings of the Eastern Branch of the Imperial Archaeological Society. Ed. V.R. Rosen. Part 4. St. Petersburg: Type-I Imp. AN, 1859, pp. 257–284. (In Russian)
  11. Garustovich G.N. Once again about the dating of Muslim brick mausoleums of the steppe strip of the Volga-Ural region. Golden Horde civilization. Iss. 5, 2012, pp. 126–136. (In Russian)
  12. Garustovich G.N. On the issue of the chronology of brick mausoleums in the steppe zone of the Southern Urals and Western Kazakhstan. Vestnik VEGU, 2013, no. 1(63), pp. 108–113. (In Russian)
  13. Garustovich G.N. “Theory of mausoleums” or regional features of the cult memorial architecture of the Ural-Volga region of the Golden Horde era (historical and ethnographic aspects of the problem). Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2014, no. 2(4), pp. 95–119. (In Russian)
  14. Garustovich G.N., Ivanov V.A. Materials on the archeology of medieval nomads of the Southern Urals (9th–15th centuries AD): monograph. Ufa: BSPU Publishing House, 2014. 328 p. (In Russian)
  15. Garustovich G.N. Chiyalik archaeological culture of the Middle Ages in the Southern Urals. Ufimskiy arkheologicheskiy vestnik = Ufa Archaeological Bulletin, 2015, vol. 15, pp. 181–198. (In Russian)
  16. Garustovich G.N. Syntashtamak mounds. Bashkir Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. “Scientific publishing house Bashkir Encyclopedia.” Ufa, 2010, pp. 185–186. (In Russian)
  17. Garustovich G.N. Muslim mausoleums of the Golden Horde period. History of the Tatars of the Western Urals. Vol. I. Nomads of the Great Steppe in the Urals. Tatar medieval states. Kazan: Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2016, pp. 177–184. (In Russian)
  18. Garustovich G.N., Nechvaloda A.I. Medieval stone mausoleums of Bashkortostan (history, archeology, bioanthropology). Ufa: Kitap, 2020. 400 p. (In Russian)
  19. Demkin V.A., Demkina T.S. Archaeological soil science: a new direction in the study of ancient and medieval history of nature and society. Archeology of the Volga-Ural region in the era of the early Iron Age and the Middle Ages. Volgograd, 1999, pp. 343–366. (In Russian)
  20. Efimova A.M. Burial ground on Babii Hill of the Bolgar settlement. Materialy i issledovaniya po arkheologii SSSR = Materials and research on the archeology of the USSR, no. 80. Proceedings of the Kuibyshkv archaeological expedition. Vol. III. Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, 1960, pp. 169–194. (In Russian)
  21. Zilivinskaya E.D. Architecture of the Golden Horde. Part 1. Religious architecture. Kazan: Fatherland, 2014. 228 p. (In Russian)
  22. Ivanov V.A. Perception of Islam by the nomads of the Golden Horde. Golden Horde Heritage: Materials of the VII International Golden Horde Forum “The civilizational significance of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgaria and the Golden Horde: integration processes in the medieval history of Russia”, Kazan, December 14–16, 2022. Kazan: Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2023, iss. 5, pp. 63–67. (In Russian)
  23. Ivanov V.A. Ishtyaki according to archeological data. Ishtyaki: the Ural-Siberian borderlands. Kazan: Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2019, pp. 84–91. (In Russian)
  24. Ivanov V.A., Zlygostev V.A. Bashkir yurt of the Golden Horde (1236–1437). Ufa: Kitap, 2021. 272 p. (In Russian)
  25. Ivanov I.V., Vasiliev I.B. Man, nature and soils of the Ryn-sands of the Volga-Ural region in the Holocene. Moscow: Intelligence, 1995. 264 p. (In Russian)
  26. Ignatovich G. About ancient monuments in the Ufa district. Collection of statistical, historical and archaeological information on the former Orenburg and current Ufa provinces, collected and developed during 1866 and 67. Ed. N.A. Gurvich. Ufa: In the printing house of the Ufa provincial government, 1868, pp. 29–30. (In Russian)
  27. Ignatiev R.G. Monuments of prehistoric antiquities of the Ufa province. Memorial book of the Ufa province with a statistical map of the province. Ed. N.A. Gurvich. Part 1. Ufa: Type-I of the Provincial Government, 1873. (In Russian)
  28. Ignatiev R.G. Monuments of prehistoric antiquities of the Ufa province, such as: ancient buildings, fortifications, Nogai ramparts, mounds, ancient finds, etc. Reference book of the Ufa province. Ufa, 1883, pp. 328–355. (In Russian)
  29. Ignatiev R.G. Ancient buildings in the Trinity district of the Orenburg province. Collected works (Ufa and Orenburg period). Executive editor V.A. Labuzov; compiled by M.I. Rodnov. Vol. II: 1866–1868. Ufa [Electronic resource], 2011. 290 p. Available at: http://mrodnov.ru/fr/5/public/Ruf.%20T-II.pdf (In Russian)
  30. Izmailov I.L. Balymer mounds: problems of ethnocultural interpretation. Golden Horde Heritage. Materials of the International Scientific Conference “Political and socio-economic history of the Golden Horde (XIII–XV centuries)”. March 17, 2009. Collection of articles. Edited and compiled by I.M. Mirgaleev. Vol. 1. Kazan: Fen Publ., 2009, pp. 276–281. (In Russian)
  31. Izmailov I.L. Bulgar ulus: Bulgar and other emirates. History of the Tatars from ancient times in seven volumes. Vol. III. Ulus Jochi (Golden Horde). XIII – mid-XV centuries. Kazan: Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2009, pp. 448–470. (In Russian)
  32. Kazakov E.P. Monuments of the Bulgar era in the eastern regions of Tataria. Moscow: Nauka, 1978. 129 p. (In Russian)
  33. Kazakov E.P. Volga Bulgars, Ugrians and Finns: problems of interaction. Kazan: Marjani Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2007. 208 p. (In Russian)
  34. Kazakov E.P. Monuments of the Iksko-Belsky interfluve. Archeology of the Volga-Ural region. In 7 volumes. Vol. 6. Middle Ages (second third of the 13th and first half of the 15th centuries). The era of the Golden Horde (Ulus Jochi); A.Kh. Khalikov Institute of Archeology of the Tatarsnan Academy of Sciences; under general ed. A.G. Sitdikov; resp. ed. V.S. Baranov. Kazan: Nauka, 2022, pp. 359–367. (In Russian)
  35. Kazakov E.P., Chizhevsky A.A., Lyganov A.V. Mellyatamak VI settlement of the Chiyalik culture. Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya=The Volga River Region Archaeology, 2016, no. 2 (16), pp. 219–242. (In Russian)
  36. Castanet J.A. Antiquities of the Kyrgyz steppe and Orenburg region. Proceedings of the Orenburg Scientific Archival Commission. Vol. XXII. Orenburg, 1910. 332 p. (In Russian)
  37. Kuzeev R.G. Collection of scientific works: in 7 volumes. Vol. 4. Ufa: Kitap, 2016. 528 p. (In Russian)
  38. Kurmanov R.G. Study of succession of plant communities of the Ufa II settlement by the method of spore-pollen analysis. Vestnik arkheologii, antropologii i etnografii = Bulletin of Archeology, Anthropology and Ethnography, 2015, no. 4 (31), pp. 175–184. (In Russian)
  39. Kufterin V.V., Nasretdinov R.R. Anthropological examination of remains from the burials of the necropolis at the Tura Khan mausoleum. Ufimskiy arkheologicheskiy vestnik = Ufa Archaeological Bulletin, 2023, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 84–108. (In Russian)
  40. Marina Gorbunova. Legends of the Tower of Tamerlane. [Electronic resource]. Available at: https://vk.com/wall562344176_1726 (In Russian)
  41. Morgunova N.L., Kraeva L.A., Matyushko I.V. Kurgan burial ground Mustaevo V. Archaeological monuments of the Orenburg region. Vol. VII. Orenburg: State Pedagogical University. Orenburg: OGPU Publishing House, 2004, pp. 5–49. (In Russian)
  42. Settlements of Bashkortostan. Part I. Ufa province, 1877. Ufa: Kitap, 2002. 432 p. (In Russian)
  43. Ovsyannikov V.V. On the question of the time of creation of the fortifications of the Okhlebininsky and Shipovsky settlements. From antiquity to modern times (problems of history and archeology), vol. VIII. Rep. ed. N.A. Mazhitov. Ufa: RIO BashGU, 2005, pp. 56–62. (In Russian)
  44. Ovsyannikov V.V., Yusupov R.M. Golden Horde burial near the Udryakbash village. Ufimskiy arkheologicheskiy vestnik = Ufa Archaeological Bulletin. 2004, Iss. 5, pp. 283–284. (In Russian)
  45. Pavlovsky P. Husein-bek Mosque (in the Orenburg province). Moskvityanin = Muscovite. 1843, part II, no. 3, pp. 234–246. (In Russian)
  46. Pallas P.S. Travel to different places of the Russian state at the behest of the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences. Part two. Book two. 1770 St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences., 1786. 476 p. (In Russian)
  47. Pigarev E.M. Coins in the burials of the Golden Horde. Steppes of Eurasia in the Middle Ages: collection of scientific articles. Ch. ed. Evglevsky A.V.; Institute of Archeo­logy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Donetsk state univ. Vol. 1. Donetsk: DonSU, 2000, pp. 283–301. (In Russian)
  48. Rudenko K.A. Balymer burial mound of the Golden Horde era: dating issues. Golden Horde Heritage. Materials of the International Scientific Conference “Political and socio-economic history of the Golden Horde (13th–15th centuries)”. March 17, 2009. Collection of articles. Ed.-in-chief I.M. Mirgaleev. Vol. 1. Kazan: Publishing house. “Fen” of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, 2009, pp. 282–294.
  49. Rudenko K.A. Nomads in the Bulgar Ulus of the Golden Horde (according to archaeological data). Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya=The Volga River Region Archaeology, 2017, no. 2(4), pp. 189–211. (In Russian)
  50. Rudenko K.A. Bulgar Ulus of the Golden Horde in the second half of the 13th – early 15th centuries: historical and archaeological essay. Pax Mongolica and Eurasian upheavals of the 13th–14th centuries. Stratum plus, 2016, no. 6, pp. 107–149. (In Russian)
  51. Ruslanov E.V. Gornovsky archaeological complex of the Golden Horde period in the Cis-Urals: to the 60th anniversary of scientific study. Arkheologiya Evraziyskikh stepey =Archeology of the Eurasian steppes, 2022, no. 6, pp. 253–267. (In Russian)
  52. Ruslanov E.V. Village Yabalakly-I: new materials on the Chiyalik culture of the Southern Urals. Vestnik Novosibirskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta = Bulletin of the Novosibirsk State University. Series: History, philology. 2023, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 118–130. (In Russian)
  53. Rychkov N.P. Day notes of captain Nikolai Rychkov’s journey to the Kyrgyz-Kaisat steppes in 1771. St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1772. 104 p. (In Russian)
  54. Rychkov P.I. Topography of the Orenburg province. Ufa: Kitap, 1999. 312 p. (In Russian)
  55. Tuzbekov A.I. Kashin ceramics from the settlement of Podymalovo I (based on the results of excavations in 2019). Teoriya i praktika arkheologicheskikh issledovaniy = Theory and practice of archaeological research. 2021, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 157–165. (In Russian)
  56. Fakhrutdinov R.G. Essays on the history of Volga Bulgaria. Moscow: Nauka, 1984. 214 p. (In Russian)
  57. Yakimov A.S., Demkin V.A., Alekseev A.O. Natural conditions of the steppes of the Lower Volga region in the Middle Ages (13th–14th centuries AD). Moscow: NIA Priroda, Infosphere Foundation, 2007. 228 p. (In Russian)


Vladimir A. Ivanov – Dr. Sci. (History), Professor of the Department of Russian and World History, Akmulla Bashkir State Pedagogical University (3A, October Revolution Str., Ufa 450008, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0002-7243-2588. E-mail: ivanov-sanych@inbox.ru