Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2021 Volume XXVII

doi: 10.17746/2658-6193.2021.27.0503-0510

УДК 902/904

Stone Figurines of Two-Headed Fish from Sergushkin Island (Northern Angara Region)

Leontiev S.N., German P. V.

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Abstract

Ancient stone figurines of “Janus-like” fish have been mentioned in the literature since the 19th century. They occur along the Angara, Upper Lena, and Middle Yenisei Rivers, and in the Cis-Baikal region. Most of these objects were found occasionally or in nonstratified archaeological layers at the sites and settlements of different periods. This does not make it possible to suggest a definitive cultural and chronological identification of this category of ancient artifacts. Nowadays, most scholars attribute these objects of applied arts to the Serovo culture of the Final Neolithic. Six similar objects have been found in different years during archaeological research at two sites - Sergushkin 1 and Vzvoz - on Sergushkin Island (Northern Angara region). So far this is the largest collection of two-headed ichthyomorphic figurines discovered in the same area. The figurines have different stages of completion, which makes it possible to identify the phases of their manufacturing. According to their archaeological context in the cultural layers, these artifacts belonged to the Serovo culture. Functional purpose of double-headed stone fish is still uncertain. Some scholars suggested that they were cultic objects; others argued that the figurines had only a utilitarian function, since they represented the fish of specific type (freshwater whitefish) and were used as a lure in fishing. In our opinion, the context of these ancient objects and their obvious fantastic nature prove that the figurines of the Janus-like fish had a cultic function or combined cultic and utilitarian functions.

Keywords

Northern Angara region, Sergushkin Isand, site, prehistoric art, stone sculpture, Janus-like fish

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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