‘The Father of History” Herodotus described the location of the royal Scythian necropolis in Book 4.71: “The kings of Scythia are buried in the land of the Gerroi at the site where the Borysthenes [Dnieper] becomes navigable. Whenever one of their kings dies, they dig a large square pit in the ground there to receive the corpse, which has been prepared as follows… When the corpse has made its rounds to all of them, it comes to the Gerroi, who dwell at the farthest boundary of the peoples under Scythian rule, in whose territory the royal graves are located… They bring the corpse into the pit mentioned earlier, place it on a bed of rushes, and on both sides of it set up spears over which planks of wood have been extended and covered over with rushes to form a roof. Then they strangle one of the king’s concubines and also his cupbearer, his cook, his groom, his principal servant, his courier, and his horses, and they bury them all in the remaining open space of the grave, along with the prized possessions dedicated by others and golden libation bowls (they use neither silver nor bronze). After they have done all this, everyone enthusiastically joins in building up a huge mound, which they strive together to make as large as possible.” It is the presence of a cook, groom, servant, and principal servant in the same grave with a woman and her child at the Tovsta Mogyla Kurgan that allows us to postulate that the woman was a Scythian queen and not just a noblewoman as is commonly believed. “Royal Scythia, Greece, Kyiv Rus” book has more information on the subject.
Check out my new hardcover book