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Wed, 04 Sep 2013 02:52:59 EDT by admin, 59116 views
University of Pittsburgh
Cultural Studies paper by Csorba, Mrea (all papers)
A Raptor Head in the Ear (and Tail) of a Stag: Re-assessment of Heraldic Steppe Imagery from Budapest to Beijing – a Century Later
Recovery of Iron Age animal plaques in the early decades of the twentieth century that featured profiled images of the heraldic stag from two peripheral regions of the Eurasian steppe—namely Hungary’s Carpathian Basin and China’s Northern Zone—stirred academic interest before succumbing to Cold War neglect. A review of Hungary’s Scythian-styled Zöldhalompuszta and Tápioszentmárton gold plaques is prompted by publication of newly excavated bronze plaques from China’s northeast that like the Zöldhalompuszta piece combine two key diagnostic motifs of migratory steppe culture. The uncanny symmetry of a raptor’s head tucked in the ear of the Carpathian stag and the tail of the Chinese stags mandates recognition of the kaleidoscopic utility of select steppe imagery from the Danube to the Amur Rivers. This paper reviews cultural biases that, along with the reality of disturbed sites and mixed burials, stymied archeological assessment at both ends of the steppe. With the new data, it offers methodological insight to infuse Hungary’s migratory legacy with relevance for the twenty-first century.
Brief Professional Bio:
Mrea Csorba received all three academic degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been teaching art history at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University as adjunct Assistant Professor since the early 90’s.
Her MA thesis (1987) investigated horse-reliant cultures associated with Scythian steppe culture. The Ph.D. (1997) expanded research of pastoral groups to non-Chinese dynastic populations documented in northern China. Dr. Csorba's current research continues the theme documenting diagnostic artifacts of Scythian culture in the peripheral reaches of the Eurasian steppes. She first presented on the stag plaques of Hungary at an International Conference on China’s Periphery and Beyond held at the University of Pittsburgh, May 2011. Subsequently she presented the Hungarian material with parallel material that had recently been reassessed to northeast China, along with newly excavated artifacts, at the International Symposium hosted by the 1st Emperor’s Institute of Archeology in Xian, China, Aug. 2013.