A Bouterolle from the Village of Patardzeuli (Kakheti, East Georgia)

Maisuradze V. G., Pirtshalava M. S.

The Museum of Sighnaghi has in its collection a bronze bouterolle of dagger sheath. Objects of this type are known in the Caucasus and, in a modified form, outside it. When the context allows a chronological attribution, they are usually dated to the second half of the 7th and to the 6th century BC. The topography of the finds shows that such objects were used in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia. The head of a bird of prey with a big clear-cut eye and a massive hooked beak (such as on the object described here) is one of the most popular motifs of Schythian animal style. However, bronze bouterolles of the type in question are not to be found in Scythian culture, the only exception being a similar object from the Repyakhovata Mogila, described as a Scythian variant of Caucasian bouterolles. The authors believe that decorating a sheath with a bird head had been rooted in the local tradition. The bouterolles of the series to which the one from Patardzeuli belongs are distinguished for their peculiar style and must be regarded as a Caucasian phenomenon, different from Scythian artifacts of the same period.

Keywords: bronze bouterolle, dagger sheath