VITA ANTIQUA ISSN: 2522-9419 (Online), ISSN: 2519-4542 (Print)
VITA ANTIQUA 9, 2017, HUMAN & LANDSCAPE: Prehistoric Archaeology of Eastern Europe, 254-265
Evidences of Deer Cult of Northern Eurasia Prehistoric Hunters in the Landscape Context
¹ Institute of Archaeology, National Acadtmy of Science of Ukraine, Kyiv
In Final Palaeolithic – Neolithic of Northern Eurasia archaeological evidences of Deer cult and description was connected with outstanding places of landscape — caves, cliffs, rocks, and water — islands, waterfalls etc. In Final Paleolithic witnesses of Deer cult most often found in caves. There are assemblages of dropped antlers in caves of Scotland, Northern Ural and images of deers in monumental and mobile art in caves of Franco-Cantabrian area. In the Postpaleolithic time, in the so-called “levantian” and “schematic” art of the Eastern part of Iberian Peninsula and Portugal, pictures of deers found on the vertical cave surface, in the shallow caves or open areas. In Mezolithic of Northern Eurasia, vision of deer/elk becomes dominant in mythical and ritual complex. On the vertical and horizontal surfaces reflected ceremonies of creation, totemic and cosmological mythical scenes. In Neolithic time in circumpolar area on the outstanding places of landscape, connected with deer hunting and natural cycles of ones, appear large assamblages of animal remains, indicating the rituals of deer/elk immolation. Sacrificial places, located under rock images, have a big importance Comparision of archaeological materials with ethnographical data allow to suggest that signs of Deer cult in Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic of Eurasia was connected with places of higher semantic significance.
Key words: Deer Cult, Northern Eurasia, prehistoric hunters, Final Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic