Henri-Paul Francfort, Images du combat contre le sanglier en Asie centrale (3ème au 1er millénaire av. J.-C.)
Hache d’arme de Bactriane en argent doré, vers 2000, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
« Images du combat contre le sanglier en Asie centrale (3ème au
1er millénaire av. J.-C.) » deals with the question of the
images of wild boar combat and hunt in Central Asia. The third to first
millennium artefacts and rock art images are examined in the steppe
zone as well as in the oasis area: Pre-Scythian and Scythian cultures,
Bronze Age civilization of Bactria-Margiana to the Achaemenid period.
It is observed that the boar possessed a high status of fighting
animal, whether against felines (lion, tiger, leopard), humans (nobles,
kings), or heroes. Sometimes seen as a god (Avesta), sometimes as a
dragon (Vedas), its nature is ambivalent. The hypothesis of the
possible Indo-Iranian origin of the myths is examined and rejected in
favour of a more ancient and deeper cultural layer.