Shirokov V. N. Images of unrreal creatures in Ural caves as evidence of the Ice age mythology (.pdf)
The article is devoted to the interpretation of the Ural Palaeolithic cave art. Ural caves with Palaeolithic images are similar in many parameters to the painted caves of Pre-Atlantic Europe and are integrated into the cultural space of the late Gravette and Epi-Gravette cultures. The interpretations of Western art are applicable to the Ural monuments, because of the similarity of different examples of the Ice Age cave art from the Atlantic to the Urals. The main difficulty in the definition of Paleolithic wall art as mythology, according to Groenen, is the absent of direct or indirect written sources for the earliest periods of human history. All information transmitted in various oral traditions of those cultures disappeared with them. Even if we assume that some “scene” art of the upper Paleolithic indicates a narrative, they do not contain authentic narratives and evidence of their sacredness, because it always presents a minimum number of figures. Therefore,it is necessary to look for other images that might help in research. The vast body of images of the upper Paleolithic of Western Europe has shape diverging from natural patterns. It is a composite of anthropomorphic beings, animals, and unreal(irreal, fantastic) animals. Their analysis reveals some iconographic themes. Since those iconographic subjects are at great distances and in remote geographical regions – from the Urals to the Atlantic Europe, they can not be random, and it says about their mythological content with high degree of probability.
Key words: Paleolithic cave art, unreal images, mythology.