The objects were found in tombs in the Crimea explores “the interaction and diversity of cultures on the Crimean peninsula in the period from the seventh century BC to the seventh century AD”.
The Scythians were a people of skilled craftsmen, skilled and brave conquerors pastoralists. They built their civilization in VII century BC in what is now Ukraine and southern Russia. Like other nomadic tribes, they buried their dead in bulk mounds. But the Scythians literally filled the grave with gold. The precious metal was considered a symbol of eternal life. Burial clothes of ordinary people were decorated with medallions. In the tombs of the nobles and the Scythians put massive gold jewelry.
The collections consists of over 500 archeological finds, including artifacts from Scythian gold, a ceremonial helmet, precious stones, swords, armor, house ware of the ancient Greeks and Scythians, taken from five Ukrainian museums, including one in Kiev and four in Crimea.
The most valuable items are dating back to the late Scythian and Alanian periods: a Scythian tabernacle roof top in the form of a griffin, a Scythian bronze boiler and horse ornaments, vessels in the form of sheep from the Neusatz necropolis.
A spiraling torque from the 2nd century, an object in the exhibition at Amsterdam's Allard Pierson Museum. The pieces in the exhibition were borrowed from Crimea before the Ukrainian territory was seized and annexed to Russia. (Peter Dejong / Associated Press)
|A spiraling torque from the 2nd century, an object in the exhibition at Amsterdam's Allard Pierson Museum.|
One of the most famous pieces of Scythian gold is beautifully-detailed, 4th century B.C. pectoral (necklace) with three rows of incredible evocative and detailed images.
|Scythian Gold Tsar Pectoral|
Gold Pectoral dates to the second half of the 4th century BC. The central lower tier shows three horses, each being torn apart by two griffins.
Details include winged griffins tackling a horse, warriors making a sheepskin garment, a young shepherd milking an ewe, a mare nursing its foal, lions ripping apart pigs, deer, sheep, dogs and grasshoppers.
|A golden helmet with the silhouettes of soldiers engraved.|
Scythians were very fond of gaudy, gold jewelry, covered with images of animals. Some headdresses and pendants made a huge racket when their wearers walked. Pieces found at the tomb in Tuva include a 3.3-pound gold pectoral (necklace); a couple of elaborately carved neck pieces, a headpiece ornament; headdress plums; a gold diadem; gold bracelets; mysterious top-hat-like gold objects; a thimble-size gold pendant with a Greek depiction of a Scythian goddess.
The Scythians loved gold. Scythian gold artifacts---that included finely-wrought, lifelike animals and human figures with exquisite details and wonderful filigree work.
Scythians, the steppe nomads that roamed the lands between Mongolia and Ukraine, were great warriors but also skilled craftsmen and connoisseurs of golden vessels, as revealed by a wealth of finds in a burial mound they left behind.