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The Triquetras from the Filippovka Kurgans, Southern Urals

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.1.101-109

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Abstract

The triquetra sign is comparatively rare in early nomadic cultures. It occurs mostly in the steppe area east of the southern Urals, specifically on petroglyphs, metal details on horse harness, bronze mirrors, metal plaques, and felted items. This article describes a series of triquetra signs from kurgans 1 and 4 at Filippovka I, representing the culture of the early nomadic elite of the southern Urals. The burials in which they were found have a “royal” status. Finds include gold onlays of wooden vessels in triquetra shapes, 20 gold argali figurines, and a horse-shaped handle of a vessel. The thighs of animals are marked with triquetras. Of particular interest is an iron sword with a gold-inlaid blade, showing scenes with humans and animals. The triquetra ornament occurs thrice in these inlays. Analysis suggests that the scenes are from Iranian mythology, and that the triquetra marks the *Hvarnah (farn). Similar scenes are found on Sasanian silver dishes, featuring Iranian kings who receive *Hvarnah. The fact that triquetra signs in Filippovka I occur only in “royal” kurgans, and that all of them are made of gold or mark the items made of gold indicates their connection with the symbolism, the use of which was the prerogative of the topranking nomadic elite of the southern Urals.

About the Author

V. K. Fedorov
Kuzeev Institute for Ethnological Studies, Ufa Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Deputy Director.

Karla Marksa 6, Ufa, 450077



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For citation:


Fedorov V.K. The Triquetras from the Filippovka Kurgans, Southern Urals. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2020;48(1):101-109. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.1.101-109

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)