Historical and cultural problems of northern countries and regions ¹ 3 (51), 2020
Historical and cultural problems
of northern countries and regions
Sagaris from Pogeg River, palace of afshins of the Ustrushana and the Saint Mercurius
Abstract. Our report was inspired by three objects of art, which very differ by provenance. The first of them, bronze battle-axe (sagaris) was found close to Pogeg River near Syktyvkar and most possible related to Ananyino culture. The second one is 8th century wall paintings of the Minor Throne Hall of Kala-i-Kahkaha afshins’ palace in Ustrushana (Northern Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and third object, Coptic icon with image of Saint Mercurius was painted by Yuhanna Al-Armani in 18th century (Cairo, Egypt). But all of them decorated with gryphon's head-shaped pommels. Configuration of viewed battle-axe is comparable to the Sagaris, Weapon of Scythian origin according to writers of Antiquity. The remaining fragments of mural in Kala-i-Kahkaha afshins’ palace show various ornamented details The most interesting of them are represented by an image of Deity or epic hero that occupied the center of west wall. Numerous representations of similar images in various materials and techniques enable to identify his richly decorated weaponry as variation of sarmatian long sword with typical suspension system. Hilts of the sword and the dagger of Deity on our mural are decorated with gryphon's head-shaped pommels. Such gilding of the pommels also appeared to nomad’s ancient tradition and in time this form of decoration of weapon became used as an attribute of royal or divine power. Pommels of this type are represented on Coptic icon with image of Saint Mercurius (Abu Seifein), who was a Scythian origin. On our opinion explored battle-axe was ceremonial or ritual weapon that attributed his owner to high elite.
Keywords: Ananyino culture, battle-axe, Ustrushana, sarmatian long sword, gryphon's head-shaped pommels, Coptic icon, Saint Mercurius.
1Semenov Vladimir Anatol'evich. PhD, Professor of Prehistoric Art, Professor of the Department of Foreign Art of the St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I.E. Repin, Academy of Art. Universitetscaia emb., 17, 199034, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.
2Semenov Nikita Viktorovich. Stuff member of Orient Department of the State Hermitage museum. Dvortsovaia emb., 34, 190000, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.
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"Historical and cultural problems of northern countries and regions"