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“PARS PRO TOTO”: AMULET IN THE FORM OF THE DEER’S FOOT IN SCYTHIAN-SIBERIAN ART

O. Mitko, S. Skobelev
Thursday 8 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

With the beginning of the early Iron Age, the history of the peoples of the steppe belt of Eurasia marks a new stage. Among the Scythian tribes, the art of the “Scythian-Siberian bestial style” acquired special significance. In Western literature he is known, “the animal style”. Scythian animal style is characterized by a certain set of real and mythological species of animals and birds, canonical poses and compositions. The most famous is “the struggle of predatory and herbivorous animals”, “flying deer”, “curled predators”, “deer standing on pointes”. One of the distinguishing features of the “Scythian-Siberian animal style” is also “zoomorphic transformations”, a combination of images and an image instead of the animal’s body of its separate part (“pars pro toto” -lat.).
This article is devoted to the description of one of the types of mobile art of the Scythian animal style. It’s about an amulet in the form of a deer’s leg carved from a horn.
It was discovered in the burial of the Scythians in the territory of Tuva. The amulet is made in the form of a deer’s leg with an elongated hoof. In the upper part there is a hole. The entire surface of the suspension is covered in small strokes and well polished. The hoof has an incision that divides it into two parts. The decoration is distinguished by a fine carving and is made by a craftsman with a good artistic taste.
Currently, there are three similar finds of amulets in the form of a deer’s leg. Like many ancient peoples, the Scythians had ideas about the division of the body of God into separate parts. Each of these parts could become the object of separate worship.

Keywords: Tuva, Scythian-Siberian bestial style, pendant, foot of a deer


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