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Title: Simboli religiosi precristiani tra le cretule di età sasanide scoperte a Dvin?
Author(s): COMPARETI, Matteo
Journal: Revue des Études Arméniennes
Volume: 41    Date: 2022   
Pages: 65-86
DOI: 10.2143/REA.41.0.3291879

Abstract :
Armenian archaeologists active at Dvin site excavated several seal impressions whose chronology seems to pertain to the Sasanian period. Some objects of this group present images of rams in profile with their horns in frontal view and embellished with typical Sasanian ribbons. Isolated rams or couples of rams beside a central tree represent the most popular subject in Sasanian sphragistics. This animal could have been a religious symbol in Sasanian art especially when embellished with ribbons or a necklace. By focusing on contemporary parallels in Central Asian and much earlier specimens in Mesopotamian art, this paper argues that the ram could be the symbolic animal of a deity associated with the planet Venus among many ancient peoples. The best candidate in the Caucasus and the Iranian world seems to be Anahita, the Zoroastrian goddess of water and fertility. Christian Armenia possibly still worshiped her as suggested by the archaeological artifacts found in Dvin.

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