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'Asses were buried with him': Equids as markers of sacred space in the third and second millennia BC in the Eastern Mediterranean

'Asses were buried with him': Equids as markers of sacred space in the third and second millennia BC in the Eastern Mediterranean
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  ARCHAEOLOGICA HEREDITAS Monographs of the Instute of Archaeology of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in WarsawWarsaw 2018 13 Sacred space: contribuons to the archaeology of belief  edited by Louis Daniel Nebelsick, Joanna Wawrzeniuk and Katarzyna Zeman-Wiśniewska  Archaeologica HereditasMonographs of the Instute of Archaeology of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in WarsawEditorial Board:Editor-in-chief: Zbigniew KobylińskiMembers of the Board: Tadeusz Gołgowski, Jacek Lech, Przemysław UrbańczykSecretary of the Board: Magdalena ŻurekEditorial Board’s address:1/2 Wóycickiego St., Building 23, PL 01-938 Warsaw, Polandtel. +48 22 569 68 17, e-mail: archeologia@uksw.edu.plwww.archeologia.uksw.edu.plTechnical eding and proofreading: Zbigniew KobylińskiLayout: Bartłomiej GruszkaCover design: Katja Niklas and Ula Zalejska-SmoleńLinguisc consultaon: Louis Daniel NebelsickCover picture: Early Bronze Age stele from tell Chuera, Syria; photo by Nicola ScheyhingPublicaon recommended for print by Professors Christopher Pare (Mainz) and Bogusław Gediga (Wrocław)© Copyright by Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, Warszawa 2018ISBN 978-83-946496-8-5ISSN 2451-0521Publisher:Instute of Archaeology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw,1/2 Wóycickiego St., Building 23, PL 01-938 Warsaw, Poland   CONTENTS ARCHAEOLOGICA HEREDITAS 13  5 Preface Louis Daniel Nebelsick, Joanna Wawrzeniuk and Katarzyna Zeman-Wiśniewska *   9 Selements of the Brześć Kujawski Group of the Lengyel Culture –  places of sacrum or profanum? Marta Kaczmarek   17 Places of ritual acvity in pre-Bronze Age Cyprus   Chrisne Winkelmann 29 The space above. Sacred sky in Prehistoric Cyprus   Katarzyna Zeman-Wiśniewska   33 Copper artefact deposits in waters and wetlands during the later 5th and 4th millennium BC in the territory of Poland    Louis Daniel Nebelsick and Grzegorz Łyszkowicz 65 “Asses were buried with him”. Equids as markers of sacred space in the third and second millennia BC in the Eastern Mediterranean   Laerke Recht 95 Fossilising the Holy. Aniconic standing stones of the Near East Nicola Scheyhing 113  Jewelry deposions from the end of the 2nd millennium BC from the Romanian Carpathian Basin Antonia Flontaș 135 Early Iron Age hoards between Briany and the Carpathian basin – a preliminary review   Imke Westhausen 149 The largest European area of the sacred    Krzysztof Narloch 153 Sacred space of the Iron Age enclosed sites in the north-eastern Poland    Zbigniew Kobyliński 165 Towards a sacred topography of Early Byzanne Thessaloniki    Roman Szlązak 187 The Central European Watershed as a part of the space of the pagan sacred    Edvard Zajkovski 191 Selected concepts of power and sacral space   Adriana Ciesielska 197 The symbolic role of boats and ships in pagan and Chrisan Medieval Northern Europe   Zbigniew Kobyliński and Kamil Rabiega 219 Sacred environment and sacred communicaon process according to ethnographic eld research in the Nadbuże Region Bożena Józefów-Czerwińska *   229 Notes on the authors  “Asses were buried with him”. Equids as markers of sacred space in the third and second millennia BC in the Eastern Mediterranean Laerke Recht ARCHAEOLOGICA HEREDITAS 13 65–94 Introduction The death of Ur-Nammu and his descent to the nether-world   records that at Ur-Nammu’s burial, “asses were buried with him”. 1  Donkeys and other equids increasingly became a part of human lives in the third millennium BC in the Near East and made their impact in the Aegean be-ginning in the second millennium BC. Equids performed a number of roles, some of which I will examine here. The main focus of this paper, however, is on their symbolic and religious signicance, when they are placed within or designate sacred space in human mortuary contexts. In the process, I discuss some of the ways in which equids influenced and played a part in human life and death. I will be looking at the areas of the Eastern Mediterra-nean that includes the ancient Levant, Syria and Meso-potamia, Cyprus, Mycenaean Greece and Minoan Crete. Species The term “equid” refers to members of the Equidae fam -ily. The discussion here involves Equus caballus (the do-mesc horse), Equus asinus  (the domesc ass or donkey), and Equus hemionus  (a wild donkey, also called onager, wild ass or hemione). 2  Along with these are the highly prized hybrids, usually either donkey X onager or more rarely horse X donkey (mule/hinny).In many cases, we are not able to idenfy the species more specically than to say it is an “equid”. This applies not only to faunal remains, but also to iconography and textual sources. For faunal remains, this is partly because many animal bones have not been examined by experts. Even when they have been, it can somemes be quite dicult to idenfy the species and there is sll not com-plete agreement on the methods that can be used to do so. Idenfying hybrids is especially dicult. 3  The same 1  Kramer 1967: 118, line 71. 2  The hemione/onager is somemes considered part of Equus asinus . Zebras are also part of the Equidae  family, but they are not discus-sed here as they are not relevant. 3  Zarins and Hauser 2014: 17–32. can be said for arsc material, where the ideners that might be used for determining species are oen missing, not clear or muddled. Hybrids are again the most dicult to idenfy because their features lie between those of the others. In cuneiform and Linear B, some species have been idened, but many are sll uncertain. 4   Identification Visual and physical characteriscs that can be used for determining species include:• The mane – whether it is erect, lying down or owing. Usually only horses have a flowing mane, although they do not always have this quality. What can be said is that a owing or hanging mane almost certainly be-longs to a horse; but the opposite is less certain ( i.e. , that an erect mane excludes the horse from iden-caon). The mane connuing over the crown of the head and onto the forehead is characterisc of horses.• The tail – whether it is full or with a tu at the end, and its length. Horses have the fullest tail, but it may be braided and thus appear thinner at the top. Don-keys and onagers have tued tails, while onagers may have longer and more fully tued tails.• How elegant or gracile the animal is. Horses are usu-ally the most gracile, followed by onagers. They may be depicted with more slender bodies and longer legs.• Markings in the fur, for example the dorsal stripe, a dark line along the spine. This is rarely shown; it is especially a characterisc of onagers and donkeys but can also appear on horses. The shoulder stripe is most common for donkeys.• The shape and length of ears and muzzle. Donkeys have the longest ears, and a pronounced upper muz-zle may indicate donkey, onager or hybrid, while a narrow muzzle may indicate horse.Since there is great variaon within each species, these characteriscs are guidelines rather than strict rules. Evi-dence for interacon with humans include the following archaeological and iconographical features: 4  Zarins and Hauser 2014: 149–151.
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