IMAGES OF AN EARED BIRD OR WHOSE EARS A GRIFFIN HAS?


  • T. M. Kuznetsova Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: art, long-eared griffin, Scythian time, eagle owl, long-eared owl.

Abstract

The article is devoted to the definition of the pre-image for the images of fantastic creatures, which are called in research, eared griffins. The reason for this was the finding in the horse grave number 1 of the barrow number 6 at the town of Dnieprorudny the figurine of a predatory ornithomorphic with ears decorated a bronze molded noseband. Such nosebands are present both in the steppe and in the forest-steppe Scythian monuments of the 4th century BC.

Researchers have determined that in searching for the origins of the image of the griffin, natural prototypes should be taken into account, finding similarities with the eagles and the vultures of the Old World. It is assumed that the presence of an ear in ornithomorphic images, which is absent in birds, reflects the result of comprehension of reality, and not its fixation. However, in nature there are birds, in the plumage of which there are long feather «ears». These birds are owls, among which eagle-owl and long-eared owls deserve special attention. The attitude of a human being to owls has always been special because of the mysterious nightlife, silent flight and eerie voice. Therefore, it is possible that the ear in the iconography of an ornithomorphic griffin as a result of fixing a real creature and further understanding its image in time and space.

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Published
2019-06-25
How to Cite
Kuznetsova, T. M. (2019). IMAGES OF AN EARED BIRD OR WHOSE EARS A GRIFFIN HAS?. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 31(2), 461-469. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.02.37