Отново за Руско-варяжските култови брадвички на Долен Дунав – Corrigenda et addenda (по повод нови находки от Дръстър/Силистра)

Once again on the Russian-Varangian Cult Axes from the Lower Danube – Addenda et Corrigenda (Based on New Finds from Drustar–Silistra)

  • Georgi Atanasov Regional History Museum – Silistra, 24 G. S. Rakovski Str., 7500 Silistra
Keywords: Early Middle Ages, Kievan Russ, Varangian cult axes

Abstract

A small bronze axe with a wide circular hole for a small wooden shaft (Figs. 2, 3) was found in front of the
eastern defensive wall (Fig. 1) during archaeological excavations in Drustar (the present-day town of Silistra)
in 2015. Three similar artifacts were found on the Lower Danube – in Drustar (Figs. 5, 6), in Preslav (Figs. 7,
8) and in Păcuiul lui Soare, the island fortress near Drustar (Fig. 4). More than 60 axes dated back to the 11th
– 12th century, similar in size and decoration, were found in Kievan Rus and the neighboring territories (Bilyar
in Volga Bulgaria and Sarkel) (Figs. 9, 10). The only explanation for the shaft-hole axes in Drustar, Preslav
and Păcuiul lui Soare is that they were brought here during the military campaigns of Prince Svyatoslav on the
Lower Danube in 969-971. This suggests an earlier terminus post quem, probably in the mid10th century. Two
more miniature silver axes (Figs. 18, 19) and a bronze axe (fig. 20, 21) have been found in Drustur, probably
worn as pendants. At this stage of research they can be hypothetically related with the Russian–Varangian cults
dated back to the 10th century. It is also possible that the artefacts reflect a syncretism between the cult of the
Scandinavian deity Thor (whose attribute is the hammer-axe) and the Slavic deity Perun.

Published
2018-03-26
How to Cite
Atanasov, G. (2018). Отново за Руско-варяжските култови брадвички на Долен Дунав – Corrigenda et addenda (по повод нови находки от Дръстър/Силистра). Contributions to the Bulgarian Archeology / Приноси към българската археология, 8, 221-234. Retrieved from http://series.naim.bg/index.php/CBA/article/view/31