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Stratum plus. 2017. No3

D. A. Topal (Kishinev, Moldova)

Griffin Daggers of Eurasia as Eastern Parallels of a Pontic Tradition

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Pages: 113-130

In 550—500 BC, an original series of akinakai with realistic ornithomorphic pommel appears on the territory of European Scythia and this group is not related to the Early Scythian production centers. Apparently, the appearance of these ornithomorphic and zoomorphic pommels fits into the framework of the common Eurasian tradition. During this short period of time the daggers with the pommels in the form of opposed heads of birds of prey appear on the entire territory of the Scythian world. We can highlight several areas where these daggers were most popular: the Volga-Ural region, Zhetysu, Western Siberia and Northern China. Most likely, the role of the original area (where the image canons and morphology of the griffin dagger were formed) could be assigned to Central Asia consisting of Altai, Tuva and Minusinsk Hollow. The abundance and diversity of species of griffin daggers could confirm this idea. There are very original items among them which are very specific only for Altai-Sayan region: daggers with griffin pommels and hilts decorated with sitting predators.

Keywords: Eurasia, Scythian period, sword, akinakes, griffin dagger, antennae pommel

Information about author:

Denis Topal
(Kishinev, Moldova). High Anthropological School University. N. Iorga St., 5, Kishinev, MD-2009, Moldova
E-mail: [email protected]

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