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About horse rider pendants from the early Medieval period in the Prut-Dniester area

Journal: Tyragetia (Vol.IV, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 225-233

Keywords : Prut-Dniester area; early Middle Ages; horse rider pendants; typology;

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A special interest among the pieces from the early medieval period with particular significance is presented by the so-called bronze pendants depicting horses and horse riders executed more or less schematically, found during archaeological excavations and surveys or found accidentally. Their area of circulation includes regions stretching from the Volga and Northern Caucasus to the east and the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe to the west. Most of them were discovered in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. In the space between Prut and Dniester several such objects are known, belonging to different typological models. These were discovered at Hansca (Ialoveni), Pohorniceni-Petruha (Orhei), Briceni, Cantemir, Bolgrad (reg. Odesa) and in two unknown localities from the Republic of Moldova. The amulets hold a particular place among the pendants classified by us as type I or Hansca type. In the area which is being investigated four objects representing horses and horse riders are known without close analogies. They show generally a rider in profile heading towards the left. The saddled horse is small, with a long neck, graciously arched. The riders flexed legs makes us assume that he is supporting them on stirrups. The rider wears long boots, bent upward. The riders' boots are connected with the front and rear legs of the equid. The distinctive element of this object category is that the individual holds the horse crest (holds the reins?) with his right arm, while the left arm adheres flexed to the chest. The discovery of certain closed archaeological complexes (Hansca) allows dating the Hansca type amulets to the 10th-11th centuries. As hypothesis, we can assume that these objects penetrated to the Prut-Dniester space together with the groups of Iranian Allans from the Northern Caucasus. The presence of Allans to the north of Danube mouth is confirmed by written documentary sources also. The second type is represented by amulets in which the rider is heading towards the left and holds a long curved sword with both hands. These pieces seem to be earlier and can be dated to the 9th – first half of the 10th century

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Last modified: 2017-03-19 17:54:52