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Cypraea Moneta (Cowry) Shells in Archaeological Sites of Eastern Europe: Spread, Classification, Use (8th Сentury BC – 7th Century AD)

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.4, No. 42)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 194-205

Keywords : archaeology; Cypraea moneta shells; money; amulets; necklaces; burial grounds; settlements; hillforts; Eastern Europe;

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The paper publishes information about finds of Cypraea moneta (cowry) shells in archaeological sites of Eastern Europe of the VIII century BC – 7th century AD. There are 4 time periods during which cowry shells were distributed in Eastern European territories: 1. 8th – 6th centuries BC; 2. 5th – 1st centuries BC; 3. 11st– 5th centuries AD; 4. 6th – 7th centuries AD. Later the territorial (from Dniester region to the Kama region) and quantitative diversity of archaeological sites on which Cypraea moneta shells were found increased. They were of great value in the life of ancient Eurasian tribes. The proof of this is the variability of their use by local tribes. Cowry shells had both sacred and utilitarian uses. In the first case, they were used as amulets against the evil eye and maleficium. In everyday life cowries used as jewelry. They were sewn on women's dresses and headdresses, on the burial curtains, and were used as pendants for necklaces, bracelets and knives.

Last modified: 2023-01-25 22:12:00