Edged Weapon Images On The Medieval Pottery From Taurida
Keywords:edged weapons, Middle Ages, Northern Black Sea region, pottery, visual sources
The research of the edged weapons requires an involvement of different types of sources. The visual ones are among the most informative. Images depicting medieval edged weapon could be found on different objects, in particular, on pottery. Most of such engravings are schematic; that is why an informative value of such sources is rather modest. Nevertheless, engrawings on pottery depicting edged weapons may attract scholar’s attention. Images on medieval pottery from Taurida (Crimea peninsula) are especially interesting in this context. In the article the author analyses 17 artifacts decorated with images of edged weapons that were found in Crimea. In each case an image of weapon was part of a larger composition depicting a warrior. Scholars tend to interpret such figures as saint warriors or epic heroes. Local life contexts as well as the general historical situation in Europe during the 12-13th centuries shaped favorable conditions for increasing popularity of the military themes in fine arts. The swords, sabres and items that cannot be reliably interpreted are depicted on the artifacts that are dealt with. The author reveals a spesific type of weaponry which have no analogies among the medieval archaeological materials by now. The upper date of exploitation of most of the atrifacts can be clearly identified as far as the artifacts were found in the cultural layer which corresponds with destruction of Chersonesus in the 13th century. The artists used to engrave weapons schematiclly, however sometimes the one can be sure what kind of weapon an artist tried to depict. Comparison of the images on pottery with the archaeological findings allows us to jydge on specific military traditions of both the Bizantine Empire and the Northern Black Sea region during the 11-12 centuries. The findings of the 13th century weapons in the Crimean peninsula are rather scarce, so the visual sources are very important for studing of the local edged weapon. Such sources are interesting in the broad context of studying of the medieval culture of Mediterranean and Black Sea regions as well.