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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 4

A. V. Vorotinskii (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

On Cherniakhov Cups with Crosses Found in Lepesovka

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Pages: 273-277

The settlement of Lepesovka was discovered on the river Goryni in Belgorod raion of Khmelinitskaya Oblast’ in the Republic of Ukraine. Excavations were conducted in 1957-1962 by M.A. Tihakova. Lepesovka is one of the largest excavated settlements of Cherniakhov culture. It yielded vessels with the internal surfaces decorated with Malta cross or a cross with branched ends in shape of trees or palm branch. The vessels are of grey colour, made of well-tempered clay with mica. The baking is even and of a high quality. The decoration is glossed. Some vessels have similar bottoms: they have an incision in the centre on the external surface, the clay was taken out by a cutter. A group of red-lacquered pottery from Tanais is marked by similar bottoms. Origin of these vessels is connected with the centre of pottery manufacture in the north of Asia Minor. Origin of decoration on the studied vessels can be associated with the Christian influences. Presence of slaves and emigrants from Asia Minor on the territory of Cherniakhov culture is known from historical records, some of the emigrants were Christians. Among these newcomers, there were craftsmen, probably potters too. The images similar to the ones discovered in Lepesovka, however, are typical of the cosmological representations of the Germans as well, which made up a considerable part of Cherniakhov population. There was probably, as well, a combination and superimposition of pagan and Christian religious ideologies.

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