Sets of signs denoting the year on a Paleolithic artifact from the Baikal region and a towel from Podillya

UDC 130.2

Yevhen Prychepii
Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
ORCID 0000-0002-5363-1004


Keywords: sets of signs оn archeological artifacts and ornaments, “sacred” sets.

Abstract. The offered concept states that primitive people operated “sacred” sets. The author considers them to be sets of signs on archaeological artifacts and folk ornaments conveying the cycles of heavenly bodies and the physiological cycles of a woman reduced by certain numbers. These are stable sets having become entrenched in mythology and acquired the status of “sacred”. Based on this concept, the sets of signs have been studied on the Paleolithic artifact from the Baikal region. Two groups of signs have been distinguished: circles (there are 364 of them) forming sets, and signs (there are 7 of them) delimiting the sets. The author presents the idea that the artifact superposes the days of a year (364) and woman’s pregnancy (280) sets. For this purpose, ancient people depicted the “sacred” set of 88 located in the center of the spiral in a color different from the rest of the spiral. Thus, according to the author, they indicated the subtraction of the “sacred” set of 88 from the set of the year. Since the difference between them (364-88 = 276) is four days less than the set of 280, the deficiency was made up by four delimitation signs indicating the action of addition. The research considers two options for superposing the yearly and pregnancy sets. To compare, the author analyzes the sets of signs on the ornament of a towel from Podillya. This analysis shows that these sets are sacred and add up to a year (364). The author assumes that the “sacred” sets on the artifacts of ancient people and on ornaments could appear as summands for obtaining great sets (365/364, 280, 224, etc.). This approach opens up a new perspective in the study of sets on artifacts and ornaments.

Author Biography.

Yevhen Prychepii, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.


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Vol 20 No 2 (2021).