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Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.

THE SCYTHIAN CALENDAR ON A PANTICAPEAN COIN

by Sergei V. Rjabchikov

The picture of one side of a coin dated to the 3rd - 2nd c. B.C. (a private collection) from the ancient town Panticapeum at the Crimea (now here is the town Kerch) - the capital of the Bosporan kingdom - is presented in figure 1. (On the other side one can observe the letters Pan, the standard abridgement of the word Pantikapaion 'the town Panticapeum'.)

coin2.gif
Figure 1.
The round mirror is represented on this coin. The small round in the centre is the sign of the sun and the sun goddess Tabiti, and 12 rays symboloze a year (12 months). So this mirror played the same role as the bronze mirrors of Meotian-Sarmatian period discovered in the Chernyshov barrow, Republic of Adygea, Russia. It was a calendar. Let the downward ray be March (I use my personal decipherment of the Scythian (Sarmatian) calendar). Then the Serpent is associated with the month May, so it is a sign of the Scythian goddess Argimpasa. Near the Serpent a horn is depicted, cf. the component pasa in the name of this goddess associated with Old Indian pacu 'herd; sacrificial animal' and Russian pasti 'to pasture'. The months May and August are united by the arc with the two "triangles". The same construction unites the months June and July. They are signs 80 ma of Linear A/B; the word ma (mei) denotes 'solar; the sun'. It immediately follows that the Scythian sun god Targitaos correlates with the summer months and this first man is the husband of the goddess Argimpasa. Two more "triangles" are joined by a line; this is sign 80 ma of Linear A/B again. It is connected with 6 small rounds which resemble the calendar sign P12 of Phaistos disk. The sign like a scythe is represented near the mark (ray) of August. Interestingly, August was called zhniven' and serpen' in the Russian folk calendar, cf. Russian zhat' 'to reap' and serp 'reaping-hook'.

Thus, my decipherment of the Scythian calendar is correct!


Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.

Published 10 November 1999; revised 18 November 1999.

Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, RUSSIA.


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