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Stratum plus. 1999. № 5

V. G. Kotov (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia)

About an Archaeological Illustration to the Bashkirian Epos “Aldar and Zuhra”

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Pages: 431-444

In 1992, in Ulianovsk region of the Russian Federation, archaeologist R. S. Bagautdinov found fragments of bone plates with illustrations on them in the burial of the Shilov mound of the second half of VII c. A. D. The carvings are of the same style and made by the same craftsman. They represent various scenes: a hunting of a bear, a battle of warriors and a fight between two winged dragons. The author of the article links this set of scenes to the plot of the medieval Bashkirian epos “Aldar and Zuhra”. The  epos emerged in VI — early VII century A. D. among the ancient Bulgarians-Hungarians, and was finalised in the pre-Mongolian Age by the ancient Bashkirians. Fantastic images from epos “Aldar and Zuhra” can be found on the belt decorations from the Big-Tigan burial. Preservation of certain historic realities in the oral-poetical traditions during a long period of time allows to reconsider the use of epic texts as a historical source.



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