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Book: Animal Iconography in the Archaeological Record

Chapter: The “Flying gallop” iconography and its representations in the burial rites of the Eurasian Bronze Age

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38883


In this paper, we consider the origin of the “flying gallop” concept in Inner Eurasia during the Bronze Age. We demonstrate that already at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, the concept was well known to the peoples of the Eurasian steppes. The case studies of the Novoil’inovskiy 2 cemetery and the Yeshkiol’mes sanctuary allow us to say that “flying gallop” was represented in the ritual contexts and in rock art to symbolically tell the myth of the post-mortem travel of the soul to the Otherworld. In the first case, the carcasses of two sacrificed horses were arranged to resemble freely running animals, while the petroglyphs of the Yeshkiol’mes sanctuary supports that the “flying gallop” concept was utilized in the ritual installation.

Chapter Contributors

  • Igor Chechuchkov ( - ichechuchkov)
  • Emma Usmanova ( - eusmanova)
  • Olga Gumirova ( - ogumirova)