Analysis and Analogies (VITARK, Vol. 5)
Author: Nina Nikolaevna Gurina
Publisher: Akademika Pub
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In 1973, the archaeologist Vladimir Å umkin discovered petroglyphs on stones on the floodlands of the river Ponoj in the Eastern Kola Peninsula (northwestern Russia, bordering Finland and Norway). The petroglyphs were examined in 1973-1977 by a team from the Soviet Academy of Sciences, headed by the prominent archaeologist Nina Gurina. At least 121 figures were found on six stones. These consisted mainly of reindeer, but also humans as well as undecipherable figures. The figures on the stones in the lower floodlands and on the first river terrace differ as to style and subject matter. The lower petroglyphs may be dated to the Late Neolithic, while the upper in all probability are from the Early Metal Age. These petroglyphs originally may have been influenced by Karelian petroglyphs, but developed further along their own lines. They differ in style from petroglyphs in Northern Europe, the Urals, and Siberia, but are close to them thematically. Animals are the main interest and there obviously was a close connection between man and reindeer, the most important animal in the region. The underlying theme was the propagation of the reindeer, i.e. securing food. Based on their location in the center of the Saami region and the subject matter, the author believes that these petroglyphs belonged to the ancestors of the Saami. This posthumously published book is Nina Gurinaâ??s final and complete publication of the Ponoj petroglyphs.