MAIASP. 2020. No. 12

N.I. Suvorova (Azov, Russia), E.B. Shirochenko (Azov, Russia)


DOI: 10.24411/2713-2021-2020-00009 

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Pages: 403427

In 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 terracottas 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 terracottas 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 28, 2020

About the authors:

Suvorova Nadezhda Igorevna (Azov, Russia). Azov History, Archaeology and Palaeontology Museum-Reserve

E-mail: e-mail:

Shirochenko Eduard Borisovich (Azov, Russia). Azov History, Archaeology and Palaeontology Museum-Reserve