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2010 | 58 | 2 | 243-258

Article title

THE CORD EPISTEME - CULTURAL CODE OF THE WOUND CORDS (Snurova epistema - kulturny kod spletenych povrazkov)


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Geographic area of the northern inner west-Carpathian foothills, that is almost identical with the territory of present-day Slovakia, was a part of the south-western border line of cultures of the corded complex at the turn of the older and younger periods of prehistory. In spite of the fact that in this area no distinct settlement structure belonging to any of the cultures of this group has been found up to now, the corded ornament has its phenomenal position here. The study, which is including also a palaeotechnological reconstruction, is investigating the corded ornament and its semantic, cognitive and philosophical aspects by the method of structured research. In addition to information about the creator himself, the ornament can bear also information about his community and contact communities as well. In the local west-Carpathian society, where the ornament was an element of different culture, the symbolic sign (wounded cords) could repeatedly demonstrate the creator's exclusivity within the sociogroup, i. e. affiliation (a foreign but established member) with another - originally 'corded' community. In different category - as an index sign - the ornament could represent also a relation to a specific family line or also information of different kind (measure, exchange, commodity parameters of the object - representative, or associations). The structured approach leads to presentation of two basic ornament forms - the aesthetic (artistic-utility-decorative) form and the informative (communication- purpose) form. Subjective platform of the ornament, however, in the both cases was created by a system of deep abstract thought - the corded civilization episteme. The notion is expressing a distinctive cultural code, general perception of world, a conception, arrangement, order and also spontaneous structure of thinking of prehistoric society. It represented a sum of values and principles of remarkably strong inner energy, which probably unconsciously kept a trend of group thinking. We interpret it as the corded civilization episteme, which in the given area and time represented itself by a special, inside converging and outside delimiting way of leading. In autochthonous communities of the west-Carpathian territory the corded civilization episteme survived for almost thousand years. In spite of the fact that it did not occur as a whole-society domain, but rather as a distant civilization episteme, the most probably it kept leading for the whole period of its existence. This concealed, unconscious and peculiar structure of thought, which was remarkable by its exclusivity, specific perception of world and in the long term symbolized by the corded ornament, survived in a turbulent heterocultural environment of the borderline of north-eastern and southern cultural complexes during the whole period of upper metallicum from the Late Aeneolithic up to the entering Tumulus cultures.








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  • Prof. PhDr. Egon Wiedermann, CSc., Filozoficka fakulta UKF, Katedra muzeologie, Hodzova 1, 949 01 Nitra, Slovak Republic


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