(Plate D)

 This plate is generally interpreted as a bull-slaying scene. Three bulls are placed in a horizontal line, facing the same direction. They have massive, ham-like rumps and short but thick necks which resemble those of a bull on the Sark phalerae. Focusing on their shape and hatching patterns of the bodies, Powell traces their origin back to Anatolian and earlier Urartian tradition. On the lower right side of each bull, a man is standing in the posture of attacking the bull with a sword. Under the feet of each bull, by the side of each man, a dog is depicted as running toward the left while a cat-like creature is running in the same direction over the back of the bull. These cats as well as the dogs have the same hanging feet. As shown in other plates, the spaces between each figure are filled with tear-drop shaped leaves.

The three fold composition of this plate is often related with the Celtic triad in which the actions of heroes and the slaying of monsters are set in groups of three. Here, the figures are not completely identical; the middle man wears a jacket and the other two do not. However, the basic concept of the composition seems to have a strong connection with the Celtic tradition. Since all the bulls and human figures are represented in a highly stylized, static, monumental posture, Ellis Davidson concludes that the scene depicts a ritual killing with "no attempt at realism."

Go to the Main Page, Plate (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (base)