The issue of variation in use of decorative motifs revisited (a case study of medieval toreutics of the Sayan and Altai mountains and the adjacent areas)

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Variation in use of decorative motifs was analyzed on the basis of a non-local canonic motif of «flamboyant pearl» in the decoration of two-part fastenings, a stylized image of a ‘flying duck' with deep local roots. The origin of iconography and combination of motifs as well as regional preferences were traced down. Such items predominate in the Minusinsk Depression. The variation in the decorative pattern may be used as an evidence of different sources of items imported to the region and establishing chronological differences in the period between the end of the first millennium and the early second millennium. The finds of fastenings with poorly made decoration in the area north of the Sayan and Altai mountains are very rare; they usually date to the 11th - 12th centuries. Maybe, they appeared in this region as a result of migrations of population groups from the Minusinsk Depression. The decoration and its further transformations suggest that these replicas represent vanishing traces of the rise of the Kyrgyz Khaganate in the period between mid 9th century and early 10th century when such items were in fashion.


Medieval period, sayan and altai, decoration, bronze, two-part fastenings, "flamboyant pearl", ornithomorphic image, cultural influence

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IDR: 143168991

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