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Document Details :

Title: Marker of Death
Subtitle: A Note on the Swastika in Attic Geometric Art
Author(s): HURWIT, Jeffrey M.
Journal: BABESCH
Volume: 88    Date: 2013   
Pages: 1-12
DOI: 10.2143/BAB.88.0.2987072

Abstract :
The swastika is a venerable motif found in the arts of diverse peoples, cultures, and periods, with a symbolism that is, overall, benign. In the vase-painting of Geometric Greece, however, it is usually regarded as mere ‘filling ornament’ with no symbolic value. There have been two exceptions: one theory is that it is a solar sign, another that it is an ‘ideogram of motion’. There is, in all likelihood, no single, overarching symbolism for the motif in Geometric art. Still, on a series of Geometric vases (such as the Hirschfeld Krater, Athens NM 990), patterns emerge that suggest another explanation: the swastika can be a marker of violence and death.

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