Call for papers

Dear Colleagues!

CAES editors team calls for your papers for CAES Vol. 5, № 2 that is going to be published in early June 2019.


CAES Vol. 5, № 1


Editor’s foreword


Comparison ornaments of the Pit-Comb Ware from some Neolithic sites of the Southern part of Karelian Isthmus by Monte Carlo method  

Alexander Akulov

Monte Carlo method estimates the degree of proximity of ornaments of ceramics by comparing frequencies of imprints: the higher is the correlation degree the closer are corresponding ornamental traditions. The method has been applied to the pottery of the following Neolithic sites of Southern part of Karelian Isthmus: Razliv 1, Razliv 2, Razliv 4, Razliv 5, Razliv 7, Glinyanyi Ruchei, Sosnovaya Gora, Tarkhovka, Toksovo, and Hepojarvi. All these sites belong to the same technocomplex. The average degree of similarity inside this set of sites is 0.37, while the average degree of similarity of Tarkhovka, Razliv 2 and Razliv 4 is 0.58. Also, the degree of similarity between Tarkhovka and Toksovo is 0.49. Tarkhovka, Razliv 2, Razliv 4 and Toksovo seem to be settlements belonged to the same local group/family: Tarkhovka, Razliv 2, Razliv 4 located upon seashore were summer settlements, Toksovo located in a forest area was a winter settlement.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Karelian Isthmus; Neolithic pottery; archaeology; Monte Carlo method


Think pieces

Comparing ornaments of pottery by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov,  Tresi Nonno

If there are two randomly selected sets of randomly broken potsherds it isn’t possible to restore entire ornaments, but it is possible to conclude about the most frequent imprints only. The most frequent imprints are supposed to be the most characteristic imprints of a certain ceramic tradition. And thus, comparing the frequency of different imprints we can conclude about the proximity of ornamental traditions of pottery and then about the proximity of corresponding technocomplexes. To estimate correlation degree of two sets of potsherds we should do the following procedures: 1) to estimate correlation degree of sets of represented imprints, 2) to estimate correlation degree of percentages of common imprints (imprints belonging to each of compared sets), 3) to take a superposition of two degrees of correlation. The closer are certain traditions of ornamentation the higher is the corresponding degree of correlation.

Keywords: ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics; Monte Carlo method

Akulov_Nonno_Monte Carlo

Semiotic stream of communication in the era of prosumer culture    

Hsiao-Cheng (Sandrine) Han

Social media has changed how people connect and communicate with each other. Many people might think visual communication is more concrete and easier to understand because images are expected to resemble the object they represent. However, the process of visual communication may encounter conflicts when the information is abstract. Social media users are becoming prosumers: people who can view, create, and recreate visual imagery to contribute to the content of social media. In the prosumer culture, is there a certain starting point in the semiotic stream of communication? Visual communication in prosumer culture requires more studies to unfold.

Keywords: Semiotic stream of communication; prosumer culture; communicative heptad

Han_Semiotic stream

Contemporary situation of Khanty language   

Marija Launonen

Khanty language faces numerous problems and tasks relating to dialect diversity, a small number of speakers, tensions between dialects, administrative divisions, education possibilities, urbanization and use of language in the contemporary world. A way that can be proposed to overcome these problems is to follow a Saami example in a decentralized approach to dialects, implementing online long-distance learning platforms. Several Khanty dialects are vigorously used among all age groups and have undisrupted intergenerational transmission, and the question in these cases, therefore, is about strengthening the language positions, not about reviving or revitalization. But there are few other dialects, where questions of reviving and revitalization are urgent questions.

Keywrords: Khanty language; language revitalization; Surgut idiom of Khanty language


African dress: performance 

Yuliya Vorotilova

The article is devoted to the diversity of performances with traditional West African cloth. Inspired by Africa, made with a technique derived from Indonesian Batik, designed in the Netherlands, wax prints heritage and design signature is a multicultural melting pot of beauty and industrial craftsmanship. Kente cloth – is a key symbolic as well as practical significance in Ghanian culture. Original kente is a status symbol of wealth and identity as it is a luxurious and expensive fabric. Today kente cloth is worn by many people who regard it as a symbol of African pride and dignity and some people use it to express their feelings through performances.

Keywords: kente cloth; wax cloth; identity; performance


CAES Vol. 4, № 4


Editor’s foreword


Comparing Çatalhöyük with the palace of Knossos by matrix-vector method

Alexander Akulov

Çatalhöyük and the palace of Knossos look much alike: they both seem to be samples of the same architectural tradition. Matrix-vector method represents the plan of any building as a 3D vector and allows estimating degree of resemblance of any buildings: the higher is the degree of resemblance the more alike are plans of corresponding buildings. The degree of resemblance of Çatalhöyük and the palace of Knossos of the Protopalatial stage is 0.88; that of the palace of Knossos and the house of Myrtos is 0.57; that of the palace of Knossos and Villa Alpha is 0.73; that of the palace of Knossos and the palace of Pylos is 0.81. Thus, the palace of Knossos is closer to Çatalhöyük than to the palace of Pylos and to samples of earlier Minoan architecture.

Keywords: Knossos; Anatolian – Minoan connection; Çatalhöyük; Minoan architecture; topology


Think pieces

An attempt to reconstruct the technology of making of the Pit-Comb Ware

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

The Pit-Comb Ware was produced without a wheel. The potter builds up the vessel from the top to the bottom putting one coil of clay upon another. The technique of coiling allows the potter to control the thickness of the walls. When the vessel is generally formed then so-called paddle and anvil technique should be performed. The technique is a very important part of the process since it helps to remove voids and to make the vessel be more firm. Vessels which haven’t been undergone the paddle and anvil stage can easily break during firing. Next step is smoothing the surface of the vessel with shell and with fingers. And the last step is ornamentation.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; coiling; experimental archaeology


An experiment of the firing of some samples of the Pit-Comb Ware in a bonfire

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

The process of Pit-Comb Ware is badly described in the corresponding literature. In order to understand the temperature and the regime of Pit-Comb Ware firing an experiment was performed. Five reconstructed samples of Pit-Comb Ware were fired in a bonfire set in a steel can for about 11 hours. The temperature varied from 800 Cº to 1500 Cº. Two of five vessels broke. The temperature during the process of firing should be more stable, serious oscillation of temperature helps appearing cracks and doesn’t help normal firing. It looks like Neolithic people fired their pottery with the temperature of about 900 – 1000 Cº. Also a more dry and stable weather should be chosen for the process of firing.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; experimental archaeology; Neolithic pottery technology


Images of androgynous beings of Jōmon epoch

Tresi Nonno

Jōmon dogū are anthropomorphic and zoomorphic clay figurines which are found in Japan in layers of Jōmon period (13000 – 300 BCE). Their meanings and functions are unknown; generally, they can’t be sources for learning something about Jōmon life. However, if, for instance, a dogū depicts wild boar it is logical to conclude that wild boars were important for Jōmon people. There are some anthropomorphic dogū which have breasts and a vertical line running upward from genital area to breast. This line looks like an erected penis. It is possible to state that dogū with breasts and penises are depictions of androgynous beings. It isn’t possible to say whether these figurines depict deities, but it seems that androgynous beings were an important part of Jōmon people worldview.

Keywords: Jōmon; dogū; Ainu; androgynous beings; people of converted gender; LGBT


African textiles seen by different eyes

Yuliya Vorotilova

When the Western world first saw African art in 1900-s it was viewed as strange and exotic. Items of African art, the booty of colonial wars, influenced Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani and changed the course of 20th– century art. Textiles – whether hand-woven, factory – printed, resist-dyed, stamped or embroidered – are arguably the most obvious visible signifier of culture throughout the African continent, or for that matter wherever in the world people of African descent have settled. It is ultimately Africans as consumer – critics who will keep African arts at high aesthetic standards, even if the aesthetic ideology may be constantly evolving.

Keywords: African cloth; kente cloth; Art


CAES Vol. 4, № 3


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Traces of Yeniseian people upon the East  European plain 

Alexander Akulov

In North and central part of the East European plain there are many hydronyms which are usually supposed to be of Finno-Ugric origin, but actually can’t be sufficiently explained through any of existing Finno-Ugric language. These hydronyms can be subdivided into three groups: 1) hydronyms with: [sa]/[ʃa]/[ʒa]/[ta]/[da]/[ra]/[na] ending, 2) with [ga] ending, 3) with [ma]/[va] ending. These hydronyms can be explained through Yeniseain languages, for instance, in Ket language: /sesj/ – “river” /qoksj/ – “stream”, “creek” /ulj/ – “water”. In an ancient Yeniseian language the root for “river” could probably have variants [ses] and [tet] and then it is possible to suppose the following transformations: [ses]/*[sas] à [sa] à [ʃa] à [ʒa], [tet]/*[tat] à [ta] à  [da]/[ra] à [na]. Hydronyms with [ga] ending correlate with Ket root [qoksj]; and hydronyms with [ma]/[va] ending correlate with Ket root [ulj] “water”.

Keywords: Yeniseian languages; substrate hydronymy; Pit-Comb ware technocomplex


Where can Kaskaean settlements be found? Some preliminary notes on the topography of  Kaskaean land

Alexander Akulov

Hittite sources about Kaska had no aims to describe Kaskaean land per se, but only described those Kaskaean terrains which were close to Hittite land, while most of Kaskaean lands were unknown for Hittites. Toponymy is the key for Kaskaean topography. Many Kaskaean toponyms were initially related to rivers, so it is perspective to look at names of rivers of Black Sea region.  Kaska people were a branch of Hattians and a ‘bridge’ between Hattians and people speaking Northwest Caucasian languages. The most perspective location in Kaskaean region is Özlüce/Gelevara river. Word Gelevara contains component –vara that correlates with Hattic root ur(a/i) “well”, “spring” and with Common West Caucasian ʕarə “stream”, “torrent”. In Kaskaean region there are no other modern names of rivers containing -ura/-vara component: it seems that in the basin of Gelevara the density of Kaskaean population was relatively high and Kaskaean settlements potentially can be found there.

Keywords: Kaska; topography of Kaska; Kaskaean toponymy; Gelevara river; Bronze Age Anatolia


On the possibility of representation of any  culture as an algebraic  structure

Tresi Nonno

When someone says that certain culture can’t be subjected to math methods of description, it means that the person imagines the culture as something that is outside the process of history. Such ideas don’t help the progress of ethnosemiotics, but only provide help to different obscurantist movements. The fact that different cultures are guided by different logics should not abash us at all since any cultures can be represented as an ordered pair of the following view: <A; Ω> where A is a set of concepts and Ω is a set of distributions determined upon A. Different <A; Ω> pairs can be compared and degrees of likeness can be estimated. There can be certain difficulties with degrees of correlation of different A sets, in such cases particular elements of different A sets should be represented as <A; Ω> pairs and then compared the same way as semiotic systems.

Keywords: cultural anthropology; ethnosemiotics; cultural anthropology theory; ethnosemiotics theory; math methods in cultural anthropology and ethnosemiotics


A general overview of the chronology of  the Pit-Comb Ware technocomplex in the basin of Lake Onega  

Tatyana Vasilyeva,   Alexander Akulov

The chronology of the Pit-Comb Ware can be subdivided into two stages: early stage (end of 5th – end of 4th millennia BPE) and late stage (end of 4th millennium – the beginning of 3rd millennium BPE). And the early stage consists of two phases. The first phase is represented by thin-walled vessels of semi-ovate shape with a rounded or rounded-conical bottom; the clay of these vessels has a moderate admixture of sand/grus; ornaments are mainly formed by horizontal patterns of pits. In the second phase vessels retain forms of the previous phase; appears an undetermined organic admixture; ornaments are mainly made by prints of rope. Late stage differs seriously from the preceding one: pottery of the late stage is represented by large thick-walled pots made of rough, badly mixed clay with an abundant admixture of grus/sand. Forms of vessels are more diverse, there are sharpened bottoms and more variable ornamentation.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Pit-Comb Ware periodization; Neolithic pottery of Karelia


Magic in African art

Yuliya Vorotilova

The article is devoted to magic in African traditional symbols. According to the Makilam, in all the various interpretations of the magic proposed by sciences that study the Other, there arises the problem of how to transcribe the thinking of a culture of oral tradition which does not use writing. People who are close to Nature do not reflect on their lives and work using formal logic. Any attempts to reduce the magic spirit to its mythic thought or to logic mean that it is a strictly mental entity. We need to find another sort of logic of the psychic dimension, which is hardly possible to be defined in terms of our binary, technical and mathematical modes of thinking.

Keywords: African symbols; magic, art, the adinkra, the knot symbol


CAES Vol. 4, № 2


Editor’s foreword


New gods for a new world: observations on an epigraphic interplay between Greeks and Romans (part 3)

Jenny Wallensten

In this paper, I examine the appearance of a certain type of close association between mortals and gods that developed during the late Hellenistic and Imperial era. The phenomenon can be traced in the epigraphic and to some extent numismatic sources, and features members of royal or Imperial houses honoured literally as New Gods, i.e., Nero New (Neos) Apollo, Sabina New (Nea) Hera or Caracalla Neos Helios, etc. Why and when was an old god chosen for the creation and celebration of a new one? I show that these titles are not purely honorific and secondly that these combinations mortal-gods are not random. Rather, they are part of the constant, albeit not always direct, dialogue between ruler and subjects, between Roman emperors and Greek local communities. This particular conversation used traditional religion and civic display as its medium and was expressed through the common language of mythology.

Keywords: Dedications; Ancient Greek Religion;  Greek Epigraphy; Cult Epithets; Neos Theos

Wallensten_New gods for a new world_3

Think pieces:

Transformational distance: a tool of estimating degree of resemblance of architectural forms

Alexander Akulov

Plan of any building can be converted into another by a certain set of elementary transformations. Elementary transformations are the following: creating a wall; deleting a wall; creating a hole/passage; deleting/closing a hole/passage. Transformational distance is number of elementary transformations which should be done for transforming one structure into another: it is supposed that one elementary transformation is one step. Transformational distance is a sample of semimetrics. It is possible to say that transformational distance has been inspired by Levenshtein distance that is the minimum number of substitutions, deletions or insertions needed for words changing. The closer are certain buildings the lower is value of the corresponding transformational distance.

Keywords: architecture; metrics; transformational distance; space syntax; formalization of semiotics


Reconsider virtual world visual culture

Hsiao-Cheng (Sandrine) Han

Most of my previous research participants were Westerners, and those research findings showed that Third Culture residents must learn to be more accepting and tolerant. However, the few non-Westerners I interviewed did not agree with this statement. Therefore, I wonder, what if the majority of the research participants were not Westerner, would the research result be similar? I wonder, in virtual worlds, who is benefited from the cultural creations? Who are the creators? What messages are they delivering? And who are the audiences? What they might think about the culture that is appropriated? Maybe cultural exchanges and mutual respect are the solutions to cultural appropriation in virtual worlds?

Keywords: virtual world; visual culture; Third Culture; Barthes; culture appropriation


Some thoughts on the history of Ainu nominalizing suffix -i/-hi in its connection with indefinite object/patient marker i-

Tresi Nonno

In Ainu language there is nominalizing suffix: -i/-hi and there is indefinite patient prefix: i-. It is possible to say that the prefix has meanings of “something”, somebody” and the suffix has meanings of “item”, “issue”. V and VC syllables of modern Ainu were ʔV and ʔVC syllables correspondingly in Late Jōmon – Yayoi. And thus, it is possible to say that both morphemes had completely the same material implementation: *ʔi. And, thus, it is possible to conclude that modern suffix -i/-hi and modern prefix i- are derivations of the same morpheme, i.e.: *ʔi that seems to have been a fully significant word meaning “item”, “issue” “something” in Late Jōmon Ainu and could be placed left hand and right hand from the nuclear position. Prepositive *ʔi later became prefix and postpositive *ʔi later became suffix.

Keywords: Ainu language; Ainu language history; nominalization; indefinite patient


The code of Africa: adinkra

Yuliya Vorotilova

The article is devoted to the African symbols of adinkra and their meaning for understanding the culture and way of life of Ashanti people, who live in the southern part of Ghana. They are a “translation of thoughts and ideas, expressing and symbolizing the values and beliefs of the people among whom they occur”. The most important problem for researchers is that linguists do not regard adinkra as true writing. The author suggests that adinkra may be the ancient mathematics of Ashanti. The multi-faceted nature of the concept of adinkra and the sphere of its application in modern society is especially noted.

Keywords: Ghana; Ashanti; adinkra; symbols; code; cloth; clothing; traditions



CAES Vol. 4, № 1


Editor’s foreword


Ainu-Minoan stock

Alexander Akulov

Verbal Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI) can completely answer the question: whether languages are related. VGCI is logical conjunction of two indexes: grammatical meanings sets correlation index and index of correlation of positional distributions of common meanings. If value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then languages are related; if value of VGCI is about 0.3 or less then languages are not related. Right now it’s not possible to reconstruct Minoan/Keftiw verb completely, but it’s possible to conclude that Minoan verb is very close to that of Hattic since structures of Hattic verbs can be used as direct key for Minoan verbs found in ancient Egyptian papyruses.  On the other hand: VGCI of Hattic and Kabardinian is 0.41, VGCI of Kabardinian and Qiang is 0.38, and VGCI of Ainu and Qiang is 0.41. Thus due to transitivity of relatedness Ainu and Minoan are relatives (belong to the same stock).

Keywords: comparative linguistics; VGCI; Ainu; Minoan; Sino-Caucasian stock


On distance in linguistics

Anton Kiseliov

A metric is an important measure of the objects similarity. In linguistics these objects are mainly words, sentences and languages. Word is known to be the multilevel concept consisting of phonemes, syllables, morphemes and so on. Thus the distance between two words can be calculated in rather different ways. Many distances united by the term edit distances show the ways one can transform a word into another one. The graph distance demonstrating semantic connections between words and functional connections between languages is also discussed. The pseudo-metric differing from the standard metric is shown to be applied to some linguistic problems.

Keywords: metric, distance, transposition, inversion, semantic, vocabulary, graph, pseudo-metric


New gods for a New World: observations on an epigraphic interplay between Greeks and Romans (Part 2)

Jenny Wallensten

In this paper is considered a certain type of close association between mortals and gods that developed during the late Hellenistic and Imperial era. The phenomenon can be traced in the epigraphic and in some numismatic sources, and features members of royal or Imperial houses honoured literally as New Gods, i.e.: Nero New (Neos) Apollo, Sabina New (Nea) Hera or Caracalla Neos Helios, etc. Why and when was an old god chosen for the creation and celebration of a new one? These titles are not just honorific and these combinations of mortal-gods are not random. They are a part of the constant, albeit not always direct, dialogue between rulers and subjects, between Roman emperors and Greek local communities. This particular conversation used traditional religion and civic display as its medium and was expressed through the language of mythology.

Keywords: Dedications; Ancient Greek Religion; Greek Epigraphy; Cult Epithets, Neos Theos


Think pieces:

A brief exploration of the role of storytelling in doing and writing anthropology

Alexandra Dantzer

In this short essay my aim is to try to disclose the role of storytelling and narratives in anthropological discipline. By drawing on Tim Ingold`s understanding of the processes of getting to know phenomena existing in the world around us I shortly discuss the idea of fieldwork as a cognitive journey defined by reflexivity. When doing a fieldwork an anthropologist inevitably joins the narratives/stories narrated by informants with his/her own personal tales, i.e.: it means that ethnographic work presents conjunction between at least two narratives at a time. Lastly, fieldwork itself is a narrative animating the story of anthropology as a discipline.

Keywords: fieldwork, storytelling, narrative, anthropology, reflexivity


Why Facebook censors art?

Tresi Nonno

Recently we have learned that Facebook has censored a photo of a famous prehistoric female figurine (Venus of Willendorf) as a pornographic image. This is an egregious case, but it is in the line of Facebook censorship of different manifestations of human body and sexuality. Behind all these cases there is an agenda, i.e.: there are Islamic notions about human body and human sexuality. Also this tendency correlates well with the facts of banning/deleting large groups of atheists/agnostics by reports of radical Muslims. Facebook is a ‘ghetto’ of SJW which is a derivative of Marxism, which in its turn is a ‘secular’ derivative of Abrahamic tradition, so the fact that Facebook follows Abrahamic attitude toward human body and sexuality is completely logical. All people of civilization should struggle against the forces of obscurantism. Nudity and sexuality aren’t sin; a tradition that inspires hatred and obscurantism is.

Keywords: art; human sexuality; social network;  culturalism; multiculturalism