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Die Grabreliefs aus dem Bosporanischen Reich

Authors:  Kreuz P.-A.

Year: 2012
ISBN: 978-90-429-2433-8
Pages: XXX-1077 p.
Price: 105 EURO

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The book discusses the grave stelai and grave reliefs from the Bosporan kingdom. Occupying the eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the northern shore of the Black Sea, this ancient Greek state was situated in an important contact zone of the ancient Greek world. The permanent interaction of Greeks and local peoples (the Scythians, others and later the Sarmatians) in this region resulted in a dynamic local culture. Subjected to long-term acculturation processes, this culture reflected elements of Greek and native traditions. In this respect, the grave stelai erected in Bosporan necropoleis and their numerous relief depictions dating from the 5th century BC to the 3rd century AD are a unique source: they provide us not only with pictorial evidence for local identities, but are, ultimately, also of great value for our understanding of the development and transformation of this local culture in general.
The book deals with problems of typology, stylistic developments and the (re-)evaluation of the chronology of the reliefs. A major part focuses on analysis of imagery of relief stelai (mainly from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD) and the development and originality of the iconography compared with monuments from Greece, Asia Minor and the neighbouring Greek cities of the northern Pontic region (e.g. Chersonesos). Increasingly dominant local iconographic solutions, such as the famous depictions of horsemen or soldiers, are discussed and are interpreted in the context of role-models and value-systems. Particular attention is also paid to questions concerning the validity of ethnic interpretations and the reflexions and deliberate use of contemporary local material culture in iconography. In addition, an attempt is made to embed the monuments in the context of the local funerary culture, i.e. the contemporary Bosporan necropoleis with their manifold forms of sepulchral self-representation. Consideration of epigraphic and literary evidence seeks to shed further light on the cultural and social dimensions of these developments and phenomena.
A comprehensive catalogue of over 1200 published grave monuments, including detailed descriptions, bibliographical references and information about find-spots etc. (based on analysis of literature and study in relevant archives and museums) completes the publication.

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