MAIASP. 2020. No. 12
N.I. Suvorova (Azov, Russia), E.B.
Shirochenko (Azov, Russia)
UNIQUE FIND FROM PANIARDIS
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the year 2014, a
unique discovery was made during the exploration of the ancient Paniardis necropolis in the territory of Azov:
a terracotta figurine depicting a young man at a herm was found in the female
burial. Terracottas of similar subject were made in
2nd BCE — 1st CE in the territory of Bosporus.
Local coroplast artisans were inspired by works of
high artistry made by Tanagra
masters in 4th — 3rd BCE who, in their turn, were
imitating statues by famous sculptors of the Classical period. During the
attribution of the finding, the authors were referring to themes on antique
painted vases, as well as epic and philosophical works. The terracotta’s
theme can be traced back to the Dionysus — Orphic mythical symbols. This
discovery shows that the upper class of the local society, who revered
chthonic Dionysus, was highly Hellenized. The terracotta’s placement at the
foot of the burial may reflect certain religious beliefs of the local
population and the terracotta itself may have served as a psychopomp.
Key words: Paniardis,
necropolis, a terracotta figurine, the first half of 1st c. CE, Bosporus, coroplasts, a side
bearer motif, ephebus, a palaestrite,
Dionysian-Orphic circle of belief.
Received July 11, 2020
Accepted for publication July
Suvorova Nadezhda Igorevna (Azov, Russia). Azov History,
Archaeology and Palaeontology Museum-Reserve