Insignia of power

Bird imagery on artefacts of hierarchy and ritual in Iron Age Dolenjska (SE Slovenia)

Keywords: Iron Age, birds, prehistoric art, situla art, Dolenjska Hallstatt culture


Bird symbolism in the Dolenjska Hallstatt culture had strong associations with ritual and hierarchy, as demonstrated by bird imagery on insignia of power such as bronze vessels, wagons, and sceptres. The elaboration of such items with birds may have elevated items of prestige to items of ritual potency, highlighting the sacred and worldly power of the elite males with whom these items were associated. Avian depictions on bronze vessels, sceptres, and wagons with important cosmological and ritual associations indicate that birds were deeply entangled in presentations of status, particularly those that blurred the lines between the secular and sacred realms.


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How to Cite
FrieA. C. (2018). Insignia of power. Documenta Praehistorica, 45, 166-179.