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Document Details :

Title: The Hellenistic Chorasmian ketos of Akchakhan-Kala
Author(s): MINARDI, Michele
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 51    Date: 2016   
Pages: 165-200
DOI: 10.2143/IA.51.0.3117833

Abstract :
This paper deals with a fragmentary unbaked-clay modelled sculpture unearthed at the site of Akchakhan-kala by the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition to Ancient Chorasmia (KAE) during the 2007 field season. The modelled sculpture represents a ketos, the marine creature of ancient Greek mythology. The style and iconography of the Chorasmian ketos perfectly fit the artistic canon developed for the representation of this figure in the Hellenic west since the 6th century BC and further during the late Classical and Hellenistic periods. Chronologically, being dated between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, the Akchakhan-kala specimen is one of the earliest preserved Hellenistic marine monsters of Central Asia. The two fragments relative to this ketos have already been considered by the author in a recently published book of 2015. The aim of the present article is to ponder the specimen more in detail against the background of Ancient Chorasmian archaeology with further analysis of its artistic, religious and historical implications.

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