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Stratum plus. 2021. No5

G. V. Trebeleva (Moscow, Russian Federation), S. M. Sakania (Sukhum, Abkhazia), V. A. Lobkovskii (Moscow, Russian Federation), A. S. Kizilov (Sochi, Russian Federation)

Stone Art Feline Images of Medieval Abkhazia (based on recent artifacts found during Markul expedition)

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Pages: 147-156

Two items with feline images were found in 2019 in the course of works at the Markul settlement: the first was a bas-relief depicting the paws of a leopard on a slab discovered during excavations at the Dalniy Tower of the Markul settlement, and the second was a drawing of a lion’s figure on a stone which was found in the area of the Jal-Akuaskia temple. The authors offer for scientific discussion these recent discoveries and highlight the two major tendencies in use of the classical image of the lion in the Christian Art of Abkhazia. The first tendency is the replacement of lion with leopard, which is found on a slab from the excavations of the Markul settlement and on the LashkendarTemple in the Tkvarchal region; the second tendency is a continued tradition of depicting the “Fierce Beast” on the bronze axes of the Kobano-Colchis culture. To validate these tendencies, the analysis involves the available images of felines on stone in archaeological finds in Abkhazia and Sochi, Abkhazian toponymy and linguistic data, a review of features of the fauna and climate of the Abkhaz region.

Keywords: Abkhazia, Sochi, the Middle Ages, the Tsebelda period, the image of the “fierce beast”, the image of a lion, leopard, temples, stone slabs

Information about authors:

Galina Trebeleva (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19, Moscow, 117292, Russian Federation.
E-mail: [email protected]
Suram Sakania (Sukhum, Abkhazia). Abkhaz Institute for Humanitarian Research of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia. Aidgylara St., 44, Sukhum, 384900, Abkhazia.
E-mail: [email protected]
Vasilii Lobkovskii (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Geographical Sciences. Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences. Staromonetniy Lane, 29, Moscow, 119017, Russian Federation.
Email: [email protected]
Andrei Kizilov (Sochi, Russian Federation). Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences. Subtropical Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Jan Fabriciuss St., 2/28, Sochi, 354002, Russian Federation.
Email: [email protected]


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