This paper deals with prehistoric stone stelae called »vishaps« or »dragon stones«. Vishaps are impressive basalt stelae sculpted with animal reliefs. They originally stood upright in secluded, water-rich, high-altitude meadows in the mountains of East Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan. Since 2012 an Armenian-German-Italian team has been conducting field research in modern Armenia, primarily in the Geghama Mountains and on Mount Aragats, in order to understand who produced these monuments in a seemingly remote and hidden setting, when and why. Though cardinal questions related to vishaps remain open, it is argued in this paper that dragon stones were monuments integrated into prehistoric sacred landscapes bestowing specific significance to mountain peaks and water springs, certainly pre-dating the Late Bronze Age and perhaps going back as early as the Chalcolithic period.

Prehistoric sacred landscapes in the high mountains: the case of the vishap stelae between Taurus and Caucasus

hnila, pavol;Gilibert Alessandra;
2019-01-01

Abstract

This paper deals with prehistoric stone stelae called »vishaps« or »dragon stones«. Vishaps are impressive basalt stelae sculpted with animal reliefs. They originally stood upright in secluded, water-rich, high-altitude meadows in the mountains of East Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan. Since 2012 an Armenian-German-Italian team has been conducting field research in modern Armenia, primarily in the Geghama Mountains and on Mount Aragats, in order to understand who produced these monuments in a seemingly remote and hidden setting, when and why. Though cardinal questions related to vishaps remain open, it is argued in this paper that dragon stones were monuments integrated into prehistoric sacred landscapes bestowing specific significance to mountain peaks and water springs, certainly pre-dating the Late Bronze Age and perhaps going back as early as the Chalcolithic period.
Natur und Kult in Anatolien
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3702233
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