On Interpretation of Twist Motifs on the Objects of the Archaeological Complex of Bactria and Margiana

Antonova Elena V.

The author analyzes the semantics of various twist motifs framing the images on amulet seals of the archaeological complex of Bactria and Margiana (the greater part of the objects in question are round in form). This motif is considered to be a symbol of sacral border keeping out the evil and retaining the good. The analyzed material of this complex and some analogies in other traditions make it possible to maintain that for its creators the motif was connected with real things bearing a mythological meaning, such as ropes and threads, but also with snakes, water and the ideas of reviving nature, abundance, life and power. As it is usually the case with signs used within a traditional culture, the semantics of twist must be referred to the image of the world relevant for its creators. It is highly probable that ropes, stripes etc. were used in ecstatic rituals reflected in the evidence of other types (the use of plants causing ecstatic states and the character of the images on the seals).