"Temple complexes" in the religious life of the trypillia community


  • Oleksandr Ivanovich Zavalii Міністерство енергетики та вугільної промисловості




temple, temple building, Trypillia culture, Nebelivka Temple, ritual, religion of Trypillia


In the period 4800-3600 BC. in the eastern part of the Trypillia area arose "giant settlements" or "megasites" / "mega-settlements" (working term of modern archaeologists) with thousands of buildings. In the central parts of these living conglomerates, scientists found special buildings that were recognized as sanctuaries, sacred complexes or temples. In the late period of the Trypillia culture they disappeared. These religious buildings were built with a focus visible processes of celestial bodies and the laws of cyclic rotation of the Earth in space, and included in their internal filling usually cruciform altars, ritual utensils, troughs with graters for the preparation of ritual bread and numerous other ceremonial and religious artifacts. There were also unique finds, such as gold jewelry (an element of prestige) and a perforated clay disk with tockins to it from the space of the Nebelivka Temple. The interior and exterior walls of the Trypillia sacral centers were painted with natural colors with a predominance of red. The wood carving for decoration of elements of a skeleton of a construction was investigated also. The first Temples on the European continent show that even at that time there was a cult of architecture. In general, it is clear that such Trypillia objects of religious worship carried encoded astronomical information in symbolic form. The building itself was oriented with regard to worldsides and designed relative to visible celestial bodies. This indicates that the people of Trypillia had a fairly clear worldview, which allowed them to reach the level of understanding the structure and mechanisms of many natural cyclical processes on Earth. Trypillia cosmology united the celestial and terrestrial spheres, and the Temple was the point of contact of the earth with the visible Universe.

In his work, the author traces the existing analogies in the structure of construction of Trypillia and sacred complexes of the ancient Middle East and biblical ideas about the Tabernacle and the House of the Lord in the ancient Jews, given the fact, that the Trypillia temple building is known from 4,000 years BC. and several thousand years older than the Middle Eastern counterparts. There are also significant parallels in the construction of temples in the context of Indo-European religious heritage.

It is noted that the Temple was not only a metaphysical reflection of the annual cycle with a focus on the points of the equinoxes and solstices, but also had a higher religious function, which consisted in the combination of the terrestrial sphere with the celestial, the connection of man with the mystery of the cosmos.


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