CAES Vol. 5, № 4


Editor’s foreword


Stone adzes and axes found by A. A. Inostrantsev on the southern coast of Lake Ladoga in the context of the stone industry of some other Neolithic sites in the neighborhood of Saint Petersburg

Alexander Akulov

Visiting the location where the New Syas and New Svir canals were being dug A. A. Inostrantsev found many stone axes and adzes. The present text is aimed to summarize information about stone axes and adzes found by Inostrantsev; and also to consider stone axes and adzes from some other Neolithic sites of the neighborhood of Petersburg, such as Ust-Rybezhna, Okhta 1, Tarkhovka, and Hepojarvi. Most of axes and adzes from these sites have been made of shale as well as axes and adzes from the collection of Inostrantsev. Thus, it is possible to state that the adzes and axes collected by Inostrantsev correlate well with axes and adzes of other Neolithic sites of the region.

Keywords: stone adzes; stone axes; Neolithic stone industry; Russian Northwest; Lake Ladoga


A regularity of change of the error that takes place when randomly selected sets of potsherds are compared by the Monte Carlo method

Tresi Nonno

The Monte Carlo method estimates the correlation index of two random sets of potsherds. For estimating the potential error of the method set A (20 potsherds) is compared with set B (15 potsherds). The number of elements of B is gradually decreased by one element and variants of each new B are compared with A. Results are the following: if the ratio of the numbers of elements of two compared sets is 1 – 0.7 then the potential error is 1% or less; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.65 – 0.6 then the potential error is 4 – 5%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.55 – 0.5 then the potential error is 7 – 8%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.45 then the potential error is 14%; if the ratio of numbers of elements is 0.4 and less then the potential error is about 19%.

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

Nonno_Monte Carlo_error

Think pieces:

Hydronymy of Yeniseian origin in the basin of Oka river

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

In the basin of Oka river there are some rivers which names end with –ul/-ur: Chistur, Dandur, Mokshur, Nasmur, Ninur, Pynsur, Shersul. These hydronyms look much alike hydronyms of Yeniseian origin which exist in Siberia (for instance: Agul, Langur and so on). The ending of -ur/-ul looks much alike Yeniseian root “water” that has the following forms in different Yeniseian idioms: ul/ūl/ūr/kul. In Uralic and Indo-European languages there is no such root. Thus, it looks like the territory of the East European plain was inhabited by a western branch of Yeniseian people in the Neolithic period. Also the fact of good preservation of hydronyms of Yeniseian origin in the basin of Oka correlates well with the fact that the traditions of Neolithic pottery (Pit-Comb Ware) were maintained much longer in the basin of Oka than in other territories of East European plain.

Keywords: Yeniseian languages; substrate hydronymy; Neolithic period

Akulov_Efimova_Yeniseian hydronymy


Alexander Akulov, Tresi Nonno

Inaw is an inseparable item of any Ainu ritual. Usually inaw is a little stick with shavings. Usually inaw are made of willow.  Inaw has been rather well described in ethnographic literature; however, its meaning/functions and the etymology of the word inaw still remain to a certain extent unclear. According to our data the word inaw originally is a compound of two morphemes: i “something” and naw “to curl, and thus i-naw” means simply “shaved”, “curled”. Inaw is a universal ‘pure’ item that can hold and transmit ramat. 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.

Keywords: Ainu; Ainu religion; inaw; Ainu folklore; ethnosemiotics


Some preliminary notes on the Neolithic textile of the territories of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad oblast

Nadya Efimova

The question of reconstruction of clothing is one of the most important parts of reconstruction of everyday life of Neolithic people of the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, but we have no evidence of textile manufacturing in these territories. And therefore it is possible to turn to the material of Narva culture that had regular contacts with people who lived in the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast in Neolithic epoch (for instance, in the site of Okhta 1 have been found amber adornments originated from Narva culture). In Narva culture existed textile manufacturing: upon the sites of Šventoji and Sarnate have been tools which can be interpreted as textile tools and a fragment of textile made of linden. Thus, it is possible to state that Neolithic people who lived upon the territories of Petersburg and Leningrad oblast could regularly see textiles and very likely could manufacture it.

Keywords: Neolithic textile; Neolithic period of Northwest of Russia; Narva culture




CAES Vol. 5, № 3


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Comparing ornaments of Volosovo and Lyalovo potteries by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov

The technocomplex of Volosovo is supposed to be a continuation of Lyalovo technocomplex. In this paper degree of similarity of potteries of Volosovo and Lyalovo is estimated by Monte Carlo method. Have been taken two sets of potsherds of Volosovo technocomplex (Chernaya Gora and Volodary) and two sets of potsherds of Lyalovo technocomplex (Biserovo Ozero and Nikola-Perevoz). Index of correlation of Chernaya Gora and Volodary is 0.19, that of Biserovo Ozero and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.46, that of Chernaya Gora and Biserovo Ozero is 0.52, that of Chernaya Gora and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.3, that of Volodary and Biserovo Ozero is 0.24, that of Volodary and Nikola-Perevoz is 0.22.  Considered sites of Volosovo technocomplex are closer to the sites of Lyalovo technocomplex than to each other.

Keywords: Volosovo technocomplex; Lyalovo technocomplex; Neolithic pottery

Akulov_Lyalovo and Volosovo

Yeniseian languages and Ainu-Minoan stock

Alexander Akulov

Ainu-Minoan stock consists of the following languages/families: Ainu, Great Andamanese, Sino-Tibetan, Northwest Caucasian, Hattic, and Minoan. In order to resolve the question: whether the Yeniseian family belongs to Ainu-Minoan stock in this paper Verbal Grammar Correlation Index (VGCI) is applied to Ket and Hattic. VGCI can completely answer the question: whether certain languages are related. VGCI is a conjunction of two indexes: grammatical meanings sets correlation index and index of correlation of positional distributions of common meanings. If a value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then languages are related; if a value of VGCI is about 0.3 or less then languages are not related. VGCI of Ket and Hattic is 0.38, so they belong to the same stock. Due to the transitivity of relatedness Yeniseian family belongs to the Ainu-Minoan stock. Yeniseian family seems to be closer to the Western branch of Ainu-Minoan stock.

Keywords: Ainu-Minoan stock; Yeniseian family; Hattic language; Ket language; Verbal Grammar Correlation Index; comparative linguistics


Sizes and parameters of the late Neolithic logboat found by A.A. Inostrantsev in the southern coast of Lake Ladoga (preliminary notes)

Alexander Akulov,  Nadya Efimova

A fragment of a late Neolithic logboat was found by A. A. Inostrantsev during the constructing of the New Syas canal that took place in 1878 – 1880. The fragment is supposed to be a stern part. The boat was made of oak. The total length of the logboat was no less than 350 cm. For the manufacturing of such a boat is required a trunk with a diameter of at least 75 cm (without bark) and the distance from the bottom of the tree to the crown should be at least 4 m. There were two bulkheads which were carved from the same tree as the boat and were not inserted later, so they were an integral part of the boat. The middle section was intended for the rower; bow and stern sections could be used for some cargoes. The boat was intended for navigation in quiet water.

Keywords: logboat; Neolithic boat; experimental archaeology


An attempt to estimate the change of correlation index that happens in comparing ornamental traditions by the Monte Carlo method

Tresi Nonno

Monte Carlo method allows us to estimate the correlation index of two sets of randomly broken potsherds. A problem of the method is that conclusions about the degree of proximity can strongly depend on amounts of potsherds/elements in the compared sets. In order to clarify this point and to check whether a correction coefficient can be inserted into the formula of Monte Carlo some experiments of comparison of model sets have been made. Have been compared two sets modeling real sets of potsherds: one set (A) had 5 elements and another set (B) 7 elements, then the number of elements of A gradually decreased by one element upon each step and were made comparison of different variants of new A with B. Now the received results don’t represent any regularity, it isn’t possible to speak about correction coefficients and experiments should be continued.

Keywords: mathematical semiotics; ornaments of pottery; semiotics

Nonno_Monte Carlo_change_estimation

The procedure of comparison of entire vessels ornamentations

In this paper is described a procedure of comparing of ornamentations of entire vessels. Ornaments are the same systems as grammars of languages: any ornament is <A; Ω> pair, where A is a set of ornamental elements and Ω is a set of positional distributions elements of A, thus, comparing of ornaments is the same procedure as comparing of languages. The scheme of comparison is the following: 1) should be compared sets of elements forming ornaments: should be estimated the proximity index of two sets of ornamental elements; 2) should be estimated the proximity index of positional distributions of common elements (elements of a certain ornament can be localized in top, middle and/or bottom of a vessel); 3) the proximity index of two ornaments is a superposition of proximity index of sets of ornamental elements and the proximity index of positional distributions of common elements.

Keywords: ornaments of pottery; mathematical semiotics; semiotics


CAES Vol. 5, № 2


Think pieces:

Comparing ornaments of the Pit-Comb Ware from the site of Okhta 1 and the sites of Hepojarvi and Toksovo by Monte Carlo method

Alexander Akulov

The sites of Hepojarvi, Toksovo and Okhta 1 are connected by the Okhta river, so they could belong to the same local group. In order to estimate the degree of proximity of these sites Monte Carlo method of comparing ornamental traditions of pottery was applied to the corresponding sets of potsherds. The degree of proximity of Okhta 1 and Hepojarvi is 0.47; that of Okhta 1 and Toksovo is 0.49. The degree of proximity of Hepojarvi and Toksovo is 0.43, that of Razliv 4 and Razliv 6 is 0.49. Hepojarvi and Toksovo, Razliv 4 and Razliv 5 are sites evidently belonged to the same local group. Ornamental traditions of pottery of Okhta 1 and those of Hepojarvi and Toksovo demonstrate noteworthy resemblance, thus it is possible to conclude that these sites belonged to the same local group.

Keywords: Pit-Comb Ware; Hepojarvi; Toksovo; Okhta 1; Neolithic pottery ornamentation

Akulov_Hepojarvi and Okhta

Some results of the reconstruction of the technology of firing of Neolithic pottery of Northwest Russia

Alexander Akulov, Nadya Efimova

Conditions of successful firing of pottery in a bonfire are the following: 1) dry and warm weather; 2) a dry place for a bonfire: sand is better than humified soil, forest area is better than seashore or bank of river/lake; 3) a sufficient amount of properly prepared firewood (small firewood is better than large); 4) the place of firewood and the vessels should be warmed up no less than one hour; 5) when the vessels are put upon the coals they should be covered by brushwood as soon as possible; 6) after the vessels are covered by brushwood the fire should be let to burn naturally, but not to be fanned; 7) the vessels should be constantly covered by brushwood/firewood; 8) after three hours of active firing it is possible to stop supporting the fire and take pottery out of the ashes when it cools; 9) the absence of any distractions.

Keywords: Neolithic pottery firing; Neolithic pottery; experimental archaeology


Headscarf as a marker of femininity in modern Russian culture (some preliminary notes)

Yelena Kolesnikova

In Modern Russian culture a woman wearing a skirt or dress is usually perceived as more feminine than a woman in pants. Women who wear skirts/dresses and headscarves are perceived as super feminine women. The headscarf was the traditional headdress of married women in the Russian village, where the position of the woman was rather powerless and submissive. In Russian Orthodox Church headscarf remains mandatory for women; headscarf is the sign of woman obedience to her husband and to god. After about 70 years of communist rule and forced eradication of many archaic issues of society, the headscarf is mostly an element of fashion and/or convenient item of clothing rather than a marker of social status. However, headscarf still is a kind of marker of super-femininity, super-obedience to the male world.

Keywords:  femininity; headscarf; gender stereotypes; fashion; anthropology of clothing


Ainu copula and verbs of existence

Tresi Nonno

Copula verb links the subject of a sentence with a predicate that is expressed by a noun. Copula usually is in the same time verb of existence. In Ainu the situation is rather unique since Ainu has a special verb – ne that expresses only copular meanings and can’t be used to express the meanings of existence or presence. The same situation is in Chinese, and it seems that such grammatical feature is rather characteristic for whole Ainu-Minoan stock (to which Ainu and Sino-Tibetan languages belong). Also it is possible to suppose that singular form of verb “to exist”, “to be in a place” used with animate nouns – an, verb “to dwell in a place” – un, and copula – ne can be derivatives of the same ancient form; however, now even approximate view of this form can’t be reconstructed anyhow, and it is a matter of further researches.

Keywords: copula; verbs of existence; Ainu language; Ainu language history; Ainu-Minoan stock


Whether there were kings in Minoan Crete?

Tresi Nonno

Evans suggested that the Minoan state was ruled by kings. However, there are no recordings about Minoan kings and Minoan frescoes demonstrate no figures which could be interpreted as kings unlike, for instance, Akkadian or ancient Egyptian art. Samples of Minoan languages represented in London Medical papyrus can be decoded by Hattic language, that is related with Northwest Caucasian languages, which are related to Sino-Tibetan family, that is related to Ainu. Thus, we can speak about Ainu-Minoan stock. Anarchist tendencies are rather well developed in cultures of different ethnicities speaking languages of the Ainu-Minoan stock; the most notable examples are Kaska, Natukhai, Taoist movements in China, and Ainu. Thus, it is possible to suppose that in Minoan culture anarchist tendencies also were rather well developed, and there probably were no kings in Minoan culture. However, until there are no explicit facts (sources) we can only make assumptions.

Keywords: Minoan society; Ainu-Minoan stock; Anarchism



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) is the method that determines whether languages are related. VGCI is the logical conjunction of two indexes: the index of correlation of sets of grammatical meanings and index of correlation of positional distributions of common meanings. If the value of VGCI is about 0.4 or more then languages are related; if the value of VGCI is about 0.3 or less then languages aren’t related. Now it’s not possible to reconstruct Minoan/Keftiw verb, but it’s possible to conclude that Minoan verb is very close to that of Hattic since Hattic verb can be used as the key for Minoan verbs found in ancient Egyptian papyruses.  Also, 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 the 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