Stone images - anthropomorphic stone sculptures in height from 1 to 4 m, depicting warriors, sometimes women. Were placed on the mounds of ancient peoples, such as the Scythians, Cumans and others. Found in large quantities in the steppe zone of Russia, southern Siberia, in eastern Ukraine, Germany, Central Asia and Mongolia. Associated with the cult of the ancestors.


Stone sculptures on the hills have been a characteristic feature of the southern steppe long time. They call these silent idols "idiots", "Balbals", "Mama", "beacon", but most of all - "stone broads." Where and how they get there? Which people belong? For whom are installed, and what symbolize?

According to legend, sometimes in the steppes beyond the Dnieper lived velikdony - giant creatures under the heavy tread of which even the rocky slopes of the mountains groaned. Their life was held in thick as tar, dark, because the light in the sky was not shining. When suddenly sun appears velikdony alarmed and climbed to the top of the steppe mounds began to spit on a ball of fire over their heads. But the gods cursed for it velikdonov and turned into stone idols, remained standing on the mound.

Scythian sculpture is usually dated to 6.3 century BC. e. The range of their distribution is quite significant - from Romania to Prikavkazye. Substantially all of the images of the Scythians passed bearded men. In compositionally and artistically they met primitive.

The styles of the Scythian statues are surprisingly diverse. Among them are archaic steles, statues and more sophisticated, almost circular patterns sculpture. Despite the variety of styles, united by one thing: they all depict warriors with weapons: swords, daggers and bows. And not just the soldiers themselves, but, given the stylish character statues, the progenitor of all the soldiers of the Scythians, "Scythian Adam" - Targitai.

Zaporozhye. The rise of stone images of the ducts of the Dnieper. Rowing canal, plavnevaya part. Fall 2008.

On stella-like Scythian statues as usual shows three or four items: horn, gorit, dagger or sword. Horn is placed in the right hand on the chest, gorit - on the left side, a dagger or a sword - in his left hand at waist level. These attributes are found among the Turkic stone statues found in Siberia. They keep the cup in his right hand, and the left holds dagger. The absence of a beard on the contrary, the image of a mustache also highlights similarities of the Scythian statues with Turkic.

For example, the Polovtsian statues portray both women and men with men in the sitting and standing position. Mandatory attribute of each statue is a bowl with a sacred drink in hand, pressed against his stomach. The statues carefully depicted with all the details - hairstyle, clothes, jewelry and weapons. The sacred character of the Polovtsian women has no doubt. They stood in groups of two or three, or more on the mounds and hills, which were temples.

каменные бабы

Stone images from the collection of the Historical Museum of Dnepropetrovsk

 каменные бабыCollection of ancient stone statues, or "stone images" as they were called by the people, of course, is one of the most striking and original collections of Dnipropetrovsk Historical Museum. This is one of the largest collections of ancient stone sculpture in Ukraine - 80 statues! Affects not only the number of statues, but their chronological and cultural diversity.

 The collection includes anthropomorphic stele Eneolithic (III millennium BC), and, as a simple and unique, which is unique in any European museum - Natalyevsk Kernosovskoe and statues. The original statue Scythian VI - IV centuries. BC

But dominated in the collection, of course, medieval Polovtsian statues - 67! It is their appearance, unique features, especially, remain in the memory of visitors to the museum, it is they all stone statues of South Ukrainian steppes owes its name - "women", (from the Turkic "Wawa" - parent, grandfather).

Керносовское изваяние, или Керносовский идолThe most unique monument of stone sculpture in the collection of the museum is a statue Kernosovskoe or Kernosovsky Idol - anthropomorphic stele of the Late Stone Age (mid-III millennium BC). It is unique in every respect, and the antiquity of its origin, and the perfection of manufacturing techniques, and amazing grace in shape, and harmony of proportions, and, finally, the extraordinary richness of the images on the surface. Kernosovsky idol did not even deserve a separate article, but the whole book, which has yet to write the future researchers.

If you try to talk about it briefly, then, apparently, it is - captured in stone image protoarian deity - the creator of the world, the author of life and well being. Marked the face deity, austere and ascetic, showing raised their hands with the attributes of sovereignty. On the faces of the stele, in some figures and entire composition shows, in all probability, scenes from mythology, dedicated since the creation and development of the world. In the form of an Kernosovsky idol traced zoomorphic features: the tail on the back, frequent image of a bull on the surface of the statue itself

In the pantheon of gods of old Aryan features bull image, violent, strong, often endowed Indra - the fearsome warrior, the guardian and multiplier herds, the god of thunder.

Scythian statues are surprisingly diverse in style. There is also an archaic stele and better statues, models almost round sculpture. Despite the variety of styles, united by one thing: they all depict warriors with weapons: swords, daggers and bows. And not just the soldiers themselves, but, given the stylish character statues, the progenitor of all the soldiers of the Scythians, "Scythian Adam" - Targitai.

But "set the tone", as mentioned above, the medieval Turkic Kipchak statues. All but one of sculptures dated XII - first half of the XIII century., The time of greatest prosperity of Polovtsian monumental art.

The large number of statues was Polovtsian explained very simply - in the Middle Ages, in the XI-XIV centuries Dnieper Nadporozhya steppes are home to the Kipchak (or Kipchak) nomadic tribes who came to Eastern Europe because of the Volga from Asia. In the area of rapids along the banks of the Dnieper, was the largest association Polovtsy - Pridneprovsky horde. Here, in the tall grasses Dasht-i-Kipchak - Polovtsian land (so called their new homeland Cumans-Kipchaks), were smoking smokes nomads, stood round as back turtles, stone hill tribal graves, burial mounds, which are installed on top of the stone statues of ancestors .

Among the Turkic tribes exist and now have the names of stone sculptures - women, boobs (from Iranian "Pahlavan" - warrior, athlete), balbals ("ball-ball" - a stone with an inscription).

D.I.Yavornitsky in "stone images" published in the "Historical Journal" in 1890, reported that in the Ukraine for a long time, up to the XVIII century, the name was common stone statues such as "Mama," "Marino Rocks". He recounts the legend of the origin of the stone sculptures, "once lived in the land of giants heroes. They were angry at the sun, began to spit on him. Angered by the sun and turned into stone giants. "

Indeed, many of the Polovtsian statues represent male warriors in helmets, armor, weapons: swords, bows, quivers. The same expressive female statues - in hats, ornate costumes, mirrors and purses at the waist. In the hands of the Polovtsian become a vessel, apparently intended for ritual libations.

Very expressive faces of statues - all men with mustaches is harsh, gloomy face, captured by some of the same dazzling smile. Women's faces are also not remain indifferent: the expression of timidity, humility, and then the faces of proud glory.

Polovtsian statues, like all preceding them stone sculpture "Kurgan people", are devoted to fathers, grandparents, the Giver of life, prosperity, fertility. Despite the apparent portrait features, statues represent not specific people, and legendary personalities with traits of gods and heroes, and, perhaps, in some cases, directly, the gods and heroes.

Installed statues on mounds or near them, that is a sacred place, what is the generic cemeteries, where the ashes of ancestors, and to do the cycle of life and death.

Stone images were not in a vacuum, they were an integral part of the memorial, burial shrines whose architecture from the Late Stone Age (the time of their appearance on the mound) to the Middle Ages are simple and expressive.

It was a system of stone fences with rectangular shapes (squares, trapezoids, etc.), often surrounded by ditches, with sacrificial pits and pavements inside. Here sacrifices, ritual libations and incense - the scent of sacred herbs mingled with the fragrance of sacrificial food and climbed up into the sky, the gods and the ancestors of the trunks of trees in the sacred stone statues (the latter equivalent space of trees). The idea of a link between the worlds of men and gods can clearly be seen in the semantics of stone statues of all time.

Not only the history of the origin and destination of stone statues in the museum's collection deserves attention, but the biography, the story of the origin of the entire collection as a whole. Her age as the age of Dnipropetrovsk Historical Museum - 150 years!

Stone images began to come to the museum from the middle of XIX century. Even then, in the early years of the museum, the collection was large enough. At least Ekaterynoslavsky Museum dared to make a generous gift to the Odessa Archaeological Museum - 13 Polovtsian statues.

Growth in collection of stone sculptures at D.I.Yavornitskiy experiencing, the former director of the Ekaterinoslavsk museum in the first half of the XX century (1902 - 1933 gg.). A photograph, which D.I.Yavornitsky chronicled in his office, surrounded by stone sculptures.

Growth of the collection, updating it with new statues continues at the present time. In recent years the museum has received more than 10 new sculptures of different times and peoples, but encountered serious difficulties with storing collections stopped its growth. Severe environmental conditions in the city were equally disastrous both for the people and for the works of their hands: the statue began to quickly deteriorate dramatically. There was an urgent need for their restoration (such began in the 80s, but was suspended for lack of funds), and in the construction of storage stone sculptures special pavilion - Lapidarium. Unfortunately, at present, none of these problems, the museum is not able to solve the known reasons. Now we can only say: The biggest collection of stone Ukraine women under threat of death, she needs emergency aid - said Leo Churilov, a senior fellow of Dnipropetrovsk Historical Museum, back in 1999

There are other legends that explain the appearance of the stone quarries in the southern plains. The most common version of the - that they are a kind of steppe beacons.

«They passed us seven lighthouses - carved stone image number more than twenty, that stood on mounds or graves ...» - a line of travel diary Ambassador Erich Lyasoty Austrian Emperor, who in 1594 passed the Dnieper.

On the stone sculptures on the steppe barrows as distinctive road tellers, milestones mentioned and other travelers of the past. Perhaps, indeed of old people specially installed stone sculptures in the most noticeable and remarkable steppe areas to make it easier to navigate in the wilderness infinite space? Statues like monotony steppe plane mapped and marked parking areas and settlements ...

It is possible that the giant stone statues were a kind of steppe beacons, which later been laid by the road. In connection with this remarkable stelae, Cimmerian obelisks. They are almost absent sculptural ornamental details. Actually, it's just poles, which can be called memorable, verst. One of these obelisks Cimmerian (in Ukraine they found only about a dozen) is found near the village of Upper Khortytsya (Zaporozhye). At the top of the stele depicts beads with large diamond-shaped and oval beads. Perhaps beads symbolize steppe stretching and beads represent conspicuous and memorable tract, or, say, the number of days it takes to go from one place to another ... Whether depicting ancient people?

Людей ли изображали древние?

That is to say, "terrestrial" version of the origin stone sculptures. But along with these, there are also a legend that the giant stone idols worshiped by the steppe peoples to whom trembled even powerful chiefs and shamans are deified statues space aliens.

From generation to generation among the nomads passed tales of strange creatures, descended from the sky in a large enclosed boat. And supposedly ancient sculptors left us images of space aliens in stone. Indeed some sculptures amazingly resemble astronaut, packed into the suit - a massive direct trunk big head - helmet without neck.

Archaeologists have recovered a group of specific big-bessheih sculptures. One of them (perhaps the most characteristic) was found on a small barrows in the Dnieper, near the village of Djorziska Zaporozhye region Zaporozhye region. /span>

Pharaoh Akhenaten. Long face with a snake expression skull - egg, occipital part strongly retracted. Capacity of the skull - one and a half times more than ordinary people. Fingers - like a spider's legs. Feet like fins. Huge fat ass. And the woman's breast.

Curiously, on the flat face of the head is not labeled ears, nose, mouth, eyes - features that are normally hard to see the glass helmet. Drooping and merged with the body of the two hands are highlighted slightly rounded lines. The impression that the arms themselves are not shown, and the part (sleeve) of a strange costume. The sculpture belongs to the Sarmatian time. There is a "space" of the statue and the earlier period. For example, researchers identify a separate group of stelae, statues of the Copper Age of so-called non-standard form. They clearly highlighted the big head, not shown shoulders. The impression is that the surface of the body is a kind of protective shell. Not surprisingly, the steppe seen in these sculptures of heavenly gods, once visited Earth.

Such are they were.

The most mysterious oldest stone statues relating to 4 - 3 thousand BC Feet they hardly ever carved. Instead, the bottom of the foot prints are clearly visible (sometimes tucked in his belt.) But the meaning of the image of the ancient sculptors Chalcolithic (Copper Age), we can only guess.

As to why the steppe mounds found so many stone statues that look like carved stone phallus.

On the first map of the Russian Empire - "The Book of Big Drawing" - the marking of roads in the southern steppes of ancient stone idols are marked as "stone the girls." In the guise of stone sculpture was really something feminine, so the first travelers, itinerant merchants, Cossacks, and then scientists began to call them "broads."

Most preserved stone sculptures Polovtsy (some medieval authors call them addicts or Kipchaks). "Coma poured a big hill over the dead and erect a statue of him, facing the east, and holding in his hand in front of your navel cup", - said the Dutch monk Bilgelm Rubruk, who was in the Ukrainian steppes in 1250 on the way to Mongolia.

The Old Gods.

They found the largest number of sculptures in Polovtsian - more than two hundred. This is completely decorated, standing or sitting sculptures of sandstone, limestone, granite, or chalk. Almost all - expensive clothes, jewelry, weapons, household items. Most of the statues hands folded under the big pendulous belly.

It seems to leave no doubt that it is the women and relief bulging chest and spit, and some other details. But since the same female "elements" are marked on the male statues, researchers tend to believe that most of the Polovtsian "women" still belongs to the "peasant" family-tribe. They were established in honor of the leader of the nobility of the great warriors. Incidentally Turkic dialects the word "baba" means father.

However, and especially not a subordinate role of women in the life of wild nomads also undeniable. Knowingly proud warlike tribe of Amazons also hails from the southern steppes.

Stone images - symbols of the Wild Field. Secrets of the Old City. (16 10 11) "Stone woman".

From newskif.su