Figures deer, a fragment from the mound in the village Kelermesskaya (Ukraine), VII-VI centuries BC. e., gold. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia)

Scythian horseman, a fragment of blankets, decorated finish felt, Pazyryk, V-IV century BC. e., the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia)

Gold items of great beauty, often depicting animals show natural power of the Scythians. But the history of this nation of pastoralists, hunters and warriors in many ways remains a mystery.

Under the title “Scythians” modern scholars unite the tribes of different origin, which since 1000 BC. e. for tens of centuries, occupied part of Eastern Europe, the territory of modern Russia and Ukraine.

Wild Life and customs of the Scythians Scythian tribes known to us by the description of the Greek physician Hippocrates (about 460 – about 377 years. BC. E.). Hippocrates described in detail their diet based on fish, beans and onions. He stressed in particular the importance of sheep, which gave the Scythians as meat and milk, from which they made ​​cheese. These nomads, pastoralists, busters, distinguished by a powerful physical strength and militancy, immortalized himself in gold products – portraying not only fighting, but also everyday life.

Peasants and conquerors

The crest of the mound Solokha V-IV century BC. e., gold of 12.3 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia) This elegant and expensive items, decorated with scenes of the Furious Battle manifested not only warlike Scythians, but also their desire for luxury.

Among the Scythians are three nationalities. Royal Scythians, who lived north of the Black Sea and controlled the rest; ploughmen Scythians, who lived in the villages that produced wheat and harvested wood, and then sold on the entire territory up to the Mediterranean; and nomadic Scythians, who were engaged in nomadic cattle breeding. Retaining only a very small number of Scythian monuments. Most of the extant evidence of this culture found by archaeologists in the tombs. Through these subjects, we know that these people lived in farming, herding and military campaigns.

Scythian Gold

The Scythians were extremely warlike, and it is believed that the construction of the Great Wall of China in the II century BC. e. it was intended to keep their forays to the East. Gold ornaments and household items, which merged decorative forms of Asian and Greek origin, full of images of brutal military skirmishes and suggest that the Scythians made their raids on neighboring countries to seize prey.

Treasures mounds

Mounds Scythians – a bulk mound of earth under which arranged the burial room, covered with stone and clay blocks. The deceased left here reclining on a certain similarity chariots furnished vases with food, drink and loved them during life household items, demonstrating his wealth – gold and bronze cups, ornaments, armor, weapons, as well as fabrics, are well preserved in the permafrost. Sometimes the owner next to the body put the sacrifice of his favorite horse, as a sign of the highest honor to the deceased soldier. This resembles the image of a proud rider on the horse-cloth felt, found in Pazyryk mound.

Two styles: geometric and realistic

Scythian art is characterized by two main areas: the geometrical and realistic, with a planar image. The first – primitive, but cleaner. This ornaments intricately interwoven geometric shapes, including gold figurines placed curled deer, lambs and panthers. Perhaps the deer were Scythians symbols sunlight. Many took the Scythians by the Greeks. For example, the underlying figures of lions on a gold crest of the mound Solokha located on the same line, reminiscent of friezes of Greek temples. It is known that the Scythians included in their pantheon of some Greek gods.