The Sign System of Trypillia Ceramic Spindle Whorls

Keywords: Cucuteni-Trypillia culture, spindle whorls, decor, sign system

Abstract

Ceramic spindle whorls are a specific but little-studied category of artifacts of Cucuteni-Trypillia culture complex. Traditionally, spindle whorls are studied in a functional context. No wonder that a number of ideological concepts are associated with the spindle whorls. Thus, the signs depicted on Trypillia spindle whorls, which have long attracted the attention of the scholars, are of great interest. However, there are still no research works in which they are arranged and systematized. Our study is an attempt to fill this gap.

The tradition of putting symbolic signs on the spindle whorls in the agricultural civilizations of Old Europe in the Balkans goes back to Neolithic times (end of the 6th-beginning of the 5th millennium BCE). Comparison of the Danube script with the Late Trypillia signs on the spindle whorls shows too few coincidences. This is not surprising since the cultures of the Danube Civilization and the Late Trypillia have over 1500 years between them, but signs similar to the Danube script are observed on the Early Trypillia artifacts.

Comparison of the signs on the Neo-Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age spindle whorls of South-East of Europe shows the distinctive character of the Late Trypillia sign system of pictographic images. The sign system of Late Trypillia spindle whorls is quite specific and, together with other data, clearly shows the new identity of Cucuteni-Trypillia cultural complex final stage in the Early Bronze Age. It has almost no direct analogy in the sign systems of Cucuteni-Trypillia depicted ornamentation.

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Published
07.04.2020
How to Cite
BurdoN. (2020). The Sign System of Trypillia Ceramic Spindle Whorls. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (1(29), 239-253. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2020.1(29).391
Section
Bronze Age