A conclusion about the structure of the winter settlements of Paja Ul Deˀŋ after experiments on making stone axes in the winter period
Manufacturing of stone axes/adzes was a matter of vital importance for Paja Ul Deˀŋ. In winter boulders are covered with a thin layer of ice, and therefore, before grinding an ax/adz on a boulder it is necessary to remove ice from it. The best way is to pour hot water on the boulder or build a fire on it. However, if the manufacturing of stone axes is required regularly, it is much more convenient to make a boulder always be without ice. If a boulder is placed inside a dwelling where the positive temperature is constantly maintained, then it is not covered with ice. It is logical to suppose that in order to be able to produce axes/adzes at any time Paja Ul Deˀŋ could bring medium-sized boulders to winter dwellings, or winter dwellings could be specially constructed so that natural boulders convenient for making axes would be inside dwellings.
Keywords: Neolithic stone industry; Neolithic dwellings; experimental archaeology
Sumerian and the Ainu-Minoan stock
Since the very deciphering of the Sumerian language many pretty naïve attempts to attribute it to different language families have been made. It seems highly possible that Sumerian is rather close to Northeast Caucasian languages which belong to the Ainu-Minoan stock. To resolve this question in the current paper Sumerian is compared with Tabasaran by the Verb Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI). If a value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then the compared languages are related. VGCI of Tabasaran and Sumerian is 0.4, it means that Tabasaran and Sumerian belong to the same family, and due to the transitivity of relatedness, Sumerian is a part of the Ainu-Minoan stock.
Keywords: Sumerian; Tabasaran; Northeast Caucasian; VGCI; comparative linguistics
Medeina/Medeinė as a relic of Neolithic beliefs
Yelena Kolesnikova, Mindaugas Peleckis
Medeina originally was a deity of forests in Lithuanian mythology, later in the 13th – 14th centuries she became also a deity of war. The fact that a deity of forests became one of the central deities in the mythology of medieval society is rather unique. Also a fact pointing to the archaism of Medeina is her connection with the bear cult. The character of Medeina seems to be a relic of beliefs of a substrate ethnic group. The name of Medeina/Medeinė is derived from Lithuanian words medis “tree” or medė “forest”; which have no reliable Indo-European etymology. The root mede “tree” / “forest” can originate from a language of the Neolithic people of the East European plain, these people spoke a language related to Yeniseian, Caucasian, and Hattic. The root mede “tree” / “forest” correlates with Proto-Northwest Caucasian form *maźV “pine-tree”. The name Medeina/Medeinė originally could sound like Mæde/Mædə.
Keywords: Medeina; Lithuanian mythology; bear cult
The meaning of Sumerian culture for the reconstruction of cultural patterns existing in societies speaking languages belonging to the Ainu-Minoan stock
Sumerian language belongs to the Ainu-Minoan stock. The relatedness of languages supposes a certain similarity of the corresponding cultures. Sumerian culture is especially valuable for understanding conceptions existing in cultures of the Ainu-Minoan stock because throughout its history it developed by its internal logic, without experiencing serious external influences, and also had a well-elaborated tradition of recording different aspects of its own life. The closer a certain Ainu-Minoan culture (in geographical, historical, and social aspects) is to Sumerian culture, the more it is possible to project onto it items of Sumerian culture. Cultures remote from Sumerian culture both in time and geographically have usually only the most basic features in common with it. However, if the question is a reconstruction of patterns/mechanisms of a certain culture of the Ainu-Minoan stock, then Sumerian culture can be used more as a certain ideal example rather than as a source of direct analogies/projections.
Keywords: Sumerian culture; Ainu-Minoan stock;cultural patterns
The semantics of the Ainu bear ritual iomante: bear as a kind of inaw
Tresi Nonno, Alexander Akulov
Bear was one of the most important beings for Ainu. Bears were not only named kamuy, but were considered as true kamuy by the Ainu. And bear ritual iomante was one of the most significant rituals in the system of Ainu rituals. In the system of Ainu religion inaw is a universal sacrifice, i.e.: a bridge between the world of people and the world of kamuy, a bridge through which ramat can flow from the world of kamuy to the world of people. And the iomante ritual serves to establish a connection/bridge with the world of kamuy, and grace from the world of kamuy flows over the bridge into the world of people: people become more successful in hunting. And thus, bear in the iomante ritual can be considered as a kind of inaw.
Keywords: Ainu beliefs; bear; bear ritual; bear feast; Ainu