Treister M.Yu. Polyhedron Seals of the Transcaucasian Origin Dated 2nd – 1st CC BC from the Burials of the Nomads of Asian Sarmatia of the 1st – First Half of the 2nd Century AD

 
Mikhail Yu. Treister, Doctor of Sciences (History), Researcher, German Archaeological Institute, Podbielskiallee 69–71, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Abstract. The article features the gem of rather rare forms, namely so-called prisms, polyhedra, scaraboids and bifacial gems which were found in the burials of the Asian Sarmatia nomads. The author describes an attempt to attribute seals in the form of polyhedra from Sarmatian burials dated back to the 1st – first half of the 2nd century AD within the Lower and Upper Don and the Lower Volga regions. Polyhedra belong to the forms of gems, which became widespread in the Classical era, both among Greek and so-called Greek-Persian gems. In the 2nd – 1st centuries BC the seals in the form of polyhedra were widely distributed across the Caucasus and, especially, in Transcaucasia region. According to the finds, they are represented by numerous items made of carved stone, as well as of dark blue glass, milky white and greenish color. Moreover, there are also known rectangular forms of prints of such seals on the bulls, in particular which were excavated from the palace at Dedoplis Gora in Caucasian Iberia, dated to the 1st century BC – 1st century AD. The analysis of the shapes, materials and subjects of the images on the seals from the Sarmatian burials considered in the current article suggests that they were made in Transcaucasian workshops of the 2nd – 1st centuries BC. The probable Transcaucasian origin of the seals and their dating to the late Hellenistic period are an indirect confirmation of the hypothesis previously expressed by the author about the early cylindrical, conical seals and scaraboids of the mid-2nd – mid-1st millennium BC found in Sarmatian burials of the 1st century BC – 2nd century AD, originating from the sanctuaries of Transcaucasia.
Key words: burials of the Middle Sarmatian period, Lower and Upper Don region, Lower Volga region, gems of rare forms, polyhedra, glyptics, Caucasus, Transcaucasia.
Citation. Treister M.Yu., 2020. Pechati-mnogogranniki zakavkazskogo proiskhozhdeniya II–I vv. do n.e. iz pogrebeniy kochevnikov Aziatskoy Sarmatii I – pervoy poloviny II v. n.e. [Polyhedron Seals of the Transcaucasian Origin Dated 2nd – 1st CC BC from the Burials of the Nomads of Asian Sarmatia of the 1st – First Half of the 2nd Century AD]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 200-217. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.2.11
 
Polyhedron Seals of the Transcaucasian Origin Dated 2nd – 1st CC BC from the Burials of the Nomads of Asian Sarmatia of the 1st – First Half of the 2nd Century AD by Treister M.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
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