Lions and Other Animal Representations Found in Funerary Contexts in Archaic Macedonia

Animal Iconography in the Archaeological Record - New Approaches, New Dimensions

Nathalie del Socorro [+-]
Museum of Nogent-sur-Seine in France
Nathalie Del Socorro, archaeologist, curatorial assistant for the Museum of Nogent-sur-Seine in France, affiliated with the University of Nanterre. Her main field of interest is the archaeology of the Macedonian region, particularly in the area of funerary practices.

Description

This article aims to present and discuss some of the animal representations found on grave goods dated from the sixth and fifth centuries BC in the region of ancient Macedonia. The burials excavated in this region contained numerous grave goods, but gold sheets are one of the few types of objects that were locally produced, specifically for funerary purposes. Different figures were engraved or embossed onto these prior to attachment on different items of clothing, shoes and armour (notably helmets, gloves and pectorals), equipping the deceased for their final voyage. The omnipresence of lion figures is particularly important as it is characteristic of the region. Lions were often depicted in symmetrical motifs, of which they occupied a central position, forming sometimes a heraldic composition. The variations in style observed could indicate the presence of different craftsmen in the region. Many aspects pertaining to the function and symbolism of these sheets are still to be explored, especially the way in which they could emphasise the social status of the deceased.

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Citation

del Socorro, Nathalie. Lions and Other Animal Representations Found in Funerary Contexts in Archaic Macedonia. Animal Iconography in the Archaeological Record - New Approaches, New Dimensions. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Feb 2021. ISBN 9781781799260. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38878. Date accessed: 12 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38878. Feb 2021

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