The article deals with a new archaeological site with rock drawings named Shitouren and discovered by authors in Northeast China in December, 2015. The site is located in the territory of the Little Khingan Mountains. The central image of Shitouren is an anthropomorphous phallic being, the sacral image of phallicism. Phallic images in rock art and related mythological ideas and ritual actions were one of the methods of religious and magic providing of childbearing. They accented the importance of male reproductive power, pointed to its source – a phallic being, spirit, or progenitor. The authors believe that a roundish spot and an oval, close to the phallic figure, represent female signs symbolizing vulva. The phallic image and female signs are visual expression of the fundamental to archaic consciousness idea of childbearing, reproduction, continuity, and unity of generations originating from one common ancestor. Shitouren petroglyphs relate to the group of taiga petroglyphs of Eurasia in the Bronze and Early Iron Age. Reliable ethnocultural attribution of the petroglyphs of Shitouren is still not possible to be done.

Key words: petroglyphs, rock paintings, China, phallic images, phallic cult, reproductive magic, ancestral mythology

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2017.2.12-22

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About the author


Andrey P. Zabiyako – Dr. Sci. (Philosophy), Full Professor, Head of the Department of Religious Studies,

Head of Archaeological research laboratory, Amur State University,

  of. 107, build 7, 21 Ignatievskoe Shosse, Blagoveschensk, Amur region, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wang Zianlin – lecturer at Confucius Institute (Blagoveschensk State Pedagogical University),

post-graduate student at the Department of Religious Studies (Amur State University), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.