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



CAES Vol. 3, № 2



A phylogenetic interpretation of the canonical formula of myths by Levi-Strauss

Marc Thuillard, Jean-Loïc Le Quellec


Lévi-Strauss’ canonical formula and Mosko’s narrative formula have a simple interpretation within the theoretical framework of phylogenetics. The canonical formula represents a complex but by far not unique way of combining 2 and 3-states characters in a phylogenetic tree description of myths. The canonical formula describes an instance of myth’s evolution that can be described exactly by a perfect phylogenetic tree. Mosko’s formula describes a completely different scheme of evolution. Mosko’s formula is typically the result of a fast evolution of mythemes resulting possibly in all combinations of binary characters. The evolution of myths corresponds quite often to intermediary situations. This observation may explain why the canonical formula has been identified only in a limited number of instances.

Keywords:  Lévi-Strauss; canonical formula; narrative formula; myths; phylogeny


Think pieces

A Minoan deity from London Medicine Papyrus

Alexander Akulov


In London Medicine Papyrus, in incantation against samuna ubuqi illness there are two names of Minoan deities. One of them is determined as Maja that evidently is correlated with Maia of ancient Greek mythology. Maia of ancient Greek mythology is the oldest of seven Pleiades. Pleiades were connected with seafaring since the season of navigation in Mediterranean region began with their heliacal rising. Minoan Maia could be protector of sailors; use of name Maja in an incantation against a disease is completely logical since seafaring was very important of Minoan people, and so a deity that was protector of sailors evidently was considered as a mighty one and could also be an effective protector against other troubles. The fact that name Maja is written with determinative “god”, but not “goddess” in the incantation while in Greek mythology Maia is goddess, hints that initially Maja could be androgynous/bigender deity.

Keywords: London Medicine Papyrus; Minoan deity; Minoan language; Minoan; Kaftiw


Actual problems of Ainu language revitalization

Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno


It was supposed that social networks and virtual worlds could be good platforms for Ainu language revitalization. Also it was supposed that the conception of native tongue should be thrown as well as conception of ‘native’ gender. Anybody who can produce spontaneous utterances in a language should be considered as its speaker. However, it has appeared that it’s not easy to create a platform for revitalization. Second Life has appeared to be nothing else, but just a huge mall where any activity except stereotyped isn’t welcomed. Facebook has appeared to be a ‘ghetto’ of so called UN ‘hippies’ who mostly want to see indigenous cultures as enigmatic exotics only. Funds also provide little support for real activists of revitalization.

Keywords: Ainu language; language revitalization; virtualization


Some critical thoughts on the concept of tradition

Yelena Kolesnikova


Anthropologists as well as plain people often use the concepts of tradition/traditional values/traditional culture. They both suppose that tradition is something contraposed modernity/contemporaneity. Really any culture is based on certain traditions. Traditions are actually regularly performed practices so any culture is based on certain traditions since any culture always supposes certain set of regularly performed practices. Also we should keep in mind that tradition also supposes invention of new issues. Also we should keep in mind that the activity of anthropologists, i.e.: the fact that they pay much attention to traditional societies and contrapose so called traditional societies to modernity provide help to the forces of obscurantism.

Keywords: tradition; anthropology; history


Yayoi culture as a fake (preliminary notes)

Tresi Nonno


Among historians are spread the following stereotypes: roots of Japanese culture were formed in the period of Yayoi, and Jōmon culture didn’t influence on forming Japanese culture. However, Yayoi pottery and architecture are just continuations of Late Jōmon pottery and architecture. Perception of continental issues (for instance: dōtaku) in the period of Yayoi was very irregular, and introduced items became object of cargo cults. In the period of Kofun on the contrary we can see regular spreading of ‘Korean’ techniques. Regular spreading of certain techniques should necessarily correlate with regular presence of corresponding ethnic group. Thus, it is possible to say that there was no serious presence of ‘Korean’ ethnic element upon Japanese archipelago until the beginning of Kofun period. Yayoi period actually should not be considered as a separated culture, but just as a continuation of Late Jōmon.

Keywords: Yayoi; Late Jōmon; Japanese history; interpretation of archaeological data


CAES Vol 2, № 4


Editor’s foreword


An examination of the calibration of linguistic distance. Part II Covariates 

Simon Brown


The assessment of linguistic relatedness is often based on the analysis of word lists to estimate the distance between languages.  To relate the distance to a divergence time requires established calibration data and a model representing the underlying processes of language change.  However, the available calibration data may be based on different sorts of evidence, come from different geographical regions and represent different language families, for example.  Covariates such as these can impact significantly on the estimated divergence time.  This reinforces concerns about the selection of calibration data, especially when just a small number of values are chosen.

Key words:  dating evidence; geographical region; linguistic distance; model dependence


Commented translation of the Cannibal Hymn

Anna Dvornichenko


Pyramid Texts include significant information about early Egyptian religion, rituals and society; however, meaning of the majority of spells is not completely clear for researchers. Cannibal Hymn is one of the most famous and complicated spell which is contained in Pyramid and Coffin Texts, so different egyptologists have devoted articles to this interesting spell. In this paper my commented, interlinear translation and transliteration of Cannibal Hymn are represented, and I propose my interpretation of content of this utterance based on Egyptian mythological concepts and ancient Egyptian historical realities. Also are offered explanations of certain unclear words which are debatable among egyptologists.

Key words: Cannibal Hymn; Pyramid Texts; Egyptian religious; literature; myths


Think pieces:

The idiom of Phaistos disc seems to be a relative of Hattic language

Alexander Akulov


Language of the disc has reduplication of root (blocks A3, A15) and well elaborated prefixation; it means that Minoan can probably be relative of Anatolian languages, or Hattic, or Sumerian (languages which also have well elaborated prefixation). Having attached readings of some known signs I discovered that certain syllables inside Minoan verbs are distributed in very alike positions as certain grammatical markers inside Hattic verb. For example: all verbs of the disc have se in terminal right positions that correlates with Hattic particle which is placed in the same position; there are many verbs with –qe- suffix that correlates with Hattic –e- suffix (supposedly a marker of tense/aspect); blocks A3, A15 have syllable te placed in the same position as Hattic orientation/location marker –te-; block A22 has sylable te in terminal left

Key words: Phaistos disc; Minoan language; Hattic language


History of Japanese culture interpreted in the light of culturalism

Tresi Nonno


Cultures of cosmocentric paradigm demonstrate high interest in nature, high tolerance toward different manifestations of human body.  Cultures of sociocentric paradigm demonstrate low interest in nature, low tolerance toward manifestations of human body, high interest in morality. Cultures of the same paradigm communicate rather easily; communication of cultures belonging to different paradigms usually leads to appearing of cargo cults. Communication of cultures belonging to the same paradigm also can lead to appearing of cargo cults: Confucianism in Japan was cargo cult since it didn’t become social lift. Japanese culture is cosmocentric since its base (Jōmon) was cosmocentric. Spreading of rice culture inspired weakening of cosmocentric trend. Kokugaku movement and Meiji Restoration were first steps to the restoration of initial cosmocentric values; however they didn’t deconstruct patterns of cargo Confucianism. True restoration of cosmocentric paradigm began after WWI since values of contemporary Western civilization are much alike those of Jōmon.

Key words: culturalism; cosmocentrism; sociocentrism; history of Japan


On Ainu etymology of names Izanagi and Izanami

Tresi Nonno


Names Izanagi and Izanami are recorded by completely meaningless combinations of kanji; existing interpretations of these names are folk etymologies, i.e.: it means that Izanagi and Izanami seem not to be words of Japanese origin. Izanagi and Izanami belong to the little amount of kami who form spouse pairs: there is about 6% of such kami in first scroll of Nihon Shoki, such type of kami is rather widely represented in Ainu folklore. Ending gi in Izanagi correlates with ending kur used in male names of Ainu kamuy/heroes ending mi in Izanami correlates with ending mat used in female names of Ainu kamuy/heroes. Component izana seems to have originated from ancient Ainu form: *’iso-ne that means “to be bearful”, “to be lucky in hunting”, “to be rich”; and thus, initial forms of Izanagi was *’Iso-ne-kwr “Bearful man”and initial form of Izanami was *’Iso-ne-mat “Bearful woman”.

 Key words: Izanagi; Izanami; Shinto; Ainu issues in Shinto; etymology of kami names