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Stratum plus. 2022. No3

Ju. G. Kokorina (Moscow, Russian Federation)

On the Semantics of the Decorations of the Ilyichevo Quiver (On the Question of the Ancient Zoomorphic Classifications)

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Pages: 89-99 |  DOI: https://doi.org/10.55086/sp2238999

This paper aims at the reconstruction of the Scythians’ ideas of the classification of animals which embodied the structure of the mythological Universe. The research is based on the analysis of the decoration of the Ilyichevo quiver as a unique artefact featuring the scene of torturing by predators of three biological genera: a bird, an animal, and a reptile. The study of the sources supplying information on the ancient Iranians’ zoological classifications and the analysis of a zoological, anatomical, subject, and material codes for reconstruction allow the author to reveal the background of the Scythian classification of the mythological animal world. The latter comprised: the habitat corresponding to the specific zone of the mythological Universe; the way of movement; and the characteristic of nutrition. This paper offers a reconstruction of the semiotic status of the quiver/gorytos against the background of the analysis of the Scythian art and written sources. The conclusion is that the Scythians got notions of funerary feast as the embodiment of the cosmic body divided into three parts; the paper clarifies the already existing ideas about the semantics of the zoomorphic images in the Scythian art.

Keywords: Scythian arts, semantics, Scythian weapons, mythological thinking, classification of animals, zoomorphic code, anatomic code, subject code, gold, artefact’s semiotic status

Information about author:

Julia Kokorina (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences, Doctor of Philological Sciences. Moscow Polytechnic University. Bolshaya Semyonovskaya St., 38, Moscow, 107023, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]
ORCID: 0000-0002-2496-3958


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