LES SCEAUX DE L'OXUS: DIVERSITÉ DE FORMES ET VARIABILITÉ DE FONCTIONS HENRI-PAUL FRANCFORT (CNRS, PARIS) ABSTRACT Glyptics of the civilazition of the Oxus was an obvious anomaly because all macrotypes of seals characteristics (square, round, cylinder, compartmented) of the cultures of the Indus, the Arabic Gulf, Mesopotamia and Turkmenistan coexisted there. The author supposes that the Oxus seals were symbolic marks of status of an individual (together with luxurious metal axes), but not real administrative attributes. The diversity of forms of the Oxus seals was the result of the polyethnic character of the population which created civilization of the Oxus rather than the consequence of the cultural influence of its neighbours. According to the author, amazing scenes of tauromachy and some other motifs of the Oxus seals do not presuppose migration of ethnic groups from the Aegean and Syro-Hittite West. It is the result of exception from the vast corpus of artistic imagery of the epoch by the Oxus dwellers for the illustration of their native myths. The creators of the Oxus civilization usually added some local traits to the things they had adopted from their neighbours. Les cachets et "amulettes" de la Civilisation de 1' Oxus ont, a
Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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