The images you'll see as you scroll down to the current text are all part of the story telling in my novel, Realms of Gold:Ritual to Romance.

Bianca Caldwell, pen name, Bianca Fiore, is a writer for an art magazine. In each of her monthly stories she describes an object used in ancient ritual.

The Crimea: Gold From the Black Sea

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. 

Gold Armband

Gold Broche

Gold Ring

A grave circlet excavated from the Scythian burial ground outside Bakhchysarai, now on display in Amsterdam.
A grave circlet excavated from the Scythian burial ground outside Bakhchysarai

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.

Gold Diadems From The Royal Tombs of King Philip II at Vergina

A fresco painting of a hunt tops the facade of a tomb believed to belong to the ancient Greek King Philip II of Macedon
Three Macedonian tombs were discovered: the intact tomb of Philip II (II) with a hunting scene fresco painting. Intact is also the so-called Tomb of the Prince (III), which may belong to Alexander IV, grandson of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great and another ruined and plundered Macedonian tomb (IV) of the third BC century  known as the “Tomb of Persephone”, with the incomparable fresco of the abduction of Persephone by Hades and a ruined building named "Heroon", probably used for the worship of the dead royal members buried next door.

Some of the major finds were the two golden urns, containing the bones of Philip II and one of his wives, two oak and one myrtle golden wreaths worn by the royal dead. Also the rare gold-and-purple embroidered cloth, which wrapped the bones of the royal wife, along with her golden diadem of a unique art, two ivory symposium beds, weapons and armor of Philip II, valuable symposium utensils of the royal family and the silver urn of "Prince."

Golden funerary crown of Philip II of Macedon (382-336BC) father of Alexander the Great. Found in his tomb at Vergina
Golden myrtle wreath of Queen Meda found in the tomb of Philip II of Macedon
Another magnificent piece , a crown found in the Macedonian Tomb of Vergina, exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

A diadem from 4th century BC discovered in one of the Macedonian royal tombs in Vergina

Gilt silver diadem from the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, Vergina, c. 340–300 BCE.