This article discusses the prehistoric stelae known as "dragon stones", vishaps, in the contexts of the history of cult space in ancient Armenia. Since 2012, a joint project of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, the Freie Universität Berlin and Ca’ Foscari University Venice investigates “dragon stones” in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Dragon stones are megalithic basalt stelae decorated with animal imagery. Between one and five meters high, these stelae are solitary monuments sometimes shaped in the form of a fish, or decorated as if the prepared hide of a horned animal had been draped on them; rarely, additional animals such as birds or snakes are added to the composition. Such stelae represent the most ancient examples of monumental art in the Caucasus. The present article reflects upon the problems concerning the importance of dragon stones and their archaeological contexts in the frames of diachronic developments of sanctuaries in ancient Armenia.

Since 2012, a joint project of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, the Freie Universität Berlin and Ca’ Foscari University Venice investigates “dragon stones” in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Dragon stones are megalithic basalt stelae decorated with animal imagery. Between one and five meters high, these stelae are solitary monuments sometimes shaped in the form of a fish, sometimes decorated as if the prepared hide of a horned animal had been draped on them; rarely, additional animals such as birds or snakes are added to the composition. Such stelae represent the most ancient examples of the monumental art in the Caucasus. The present article reflects upon the problems concerning the importance of dragon stones and their archaeology.

The place of “Dragon Stone” sanctuaries in context of cultic areas of Ancient Armenia

Alessandra Gilibert;Pavol Hnila
2020

Abstract

This article discusses the prehistoric stelae known as "dragon stones", vishaps, in the contexts of the history of cult space in ancient Armenia. Since 2012, a joint project of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, the Freie Universität Berlin and Ca’ Foscari University Venice investigates “dragon stones” in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Dragon stones are megalithic basalt stelae decorated with animal imagery. Between one and five meters high, these stelae are solitary monuments sometimes shaped in the form of a fish, or decorated as if the prepared hide of a horned animal had been draped on them; rarely, additional animals such as birds or snakes are added to the composition. Such stelae represent the most ancient examples of monumental art in the Caucasus. The present article reflects upon the problems concerning the importance of dragon stones and their archaeological contexts in the frames of diachronic developments of sanctuaries in ancient Armenia.
Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3726050
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