The article is devoted to the consideration of the semantic relations between Indo-European words for designation of the cup and the head, skull, which hypothetically could form a cultural sign complex, that drawns to universality. The results of the study allow to make some conclusions. 1. Semantic pattern ‘bowl, cup’ → ‘skull, head’ reveals signs of universality, being inherent in lexico-semantic systems of many languages. This is due to typological common processes into vocabulary of analyzed languages. Everywhere this semantic development proceeds at about the same scheme, including allusions, ideophonia and reliance on cultural background. 2. Semantic shift ‘skull’ → ‘bowl, cup’ really is not attested in known us data. Available for study examples in fact show a play on words, used by the authors of texts, or ritually determined rethinking of semantic relations in the opposite direction. 3. Linguistic data is different from conclusions of archeologists, whose investigations confirm wide usage of bowls made of human skulls. Therefore further researches in the field of etymology can give researchers linguistic evidences of skulls usage as bowls in antiquity.

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