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The article deals with a group of impressions from seals (bullae) found during the excavation of the central building in the border fortress of the Parthian epoch, Gebeklydepe, located on the northwestern outskirts of the Merv oasis (the ancient Margiana). Bullae were found between pro-dabs of fl oors of the bypass corridors serving as warehouses where the goods and freights were opened, arriving to fortress from the capital of the satrapy, Alexandria/ Antiochia of Margiana. The special attention is drawn by a representative group of bullae with subjects of “ideological” orientation which essence consisted in glorifi cation (and deifi cation) of the king and the royal power. The most indicative artifacts are the bullae with the image of the king-rider in front of the fi re altar with the eagle behind the back holding a belt/diadem in his beak; the king sitting on a throne with Nike entrusting him with a diadem; the battle of the king-rider with an infantryman. However the most indicative example of glorifi cation (and deifi cation) of the king power is a small group (of four specimens) of bullae depicting the scene of investiture of the king in front of the (fi re?) altar by the goddess Tyhe. The inscriptions behind the backs of characters confi rm the high status of an offi cial who was the owner of this seal.


Parthia, Margiana, Göbekly-depe, bullae, king’s cult

Vasif A. Gaibov

Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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