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Dragons, Griffins and Leucrottas: Supernatural Creatures in the Eastern Baltic

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1. Title Title of document Dragons, Griffins and Leucrottas: Supernatural Creatures in the Eastern Baltic - Animal Iconography in the Archaeological Record
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Tõnno Jonuks; Estonian Literary Museum;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Archaeology
4. Subject Keyword(s) representation of animals; iconography of animals; animal-human relations; images of animals; Neolithic; Medieval; animals in the past
5. Subject Subject classification animal representation; history
6. Description Abstract This article discusses a selection of animal depictions from the Eastern Baltic region. It is suggested that the modern Linnean taxonomy and biological characteristics may not always be the best methodology to identify animal species in art. By focusing on certain elements, it is demonstrated that certain figures depict mythical animals, an interpretation that has so far not been taken seriously. While the dragon or the oversized snake is clearly the ‘indigenous’ mythical animal in the north, the spread of Christianity introduced other mythical creatures, like leucrottas and griffins. Knowledge of these spread not only in Christian countries: in some cases these creatures were also included in the last pagan worldviews in northern Europe. It is suggested here that mythological animals, manifested in the form of staffs, allegorically denoted ideological and moral qualities, and were most likely used as symbols of certain ruling families across the Eastern Baltic.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 08-Nov-2021
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.38888
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Animal Iconography in the Archaeological Record
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) worldwide,
Neolithic to Medieval periods
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd