Ancient scythians

Scythian culture of the vast world of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, in the first millennium BC lived in the Kuban, Altai in southern Siberia, the Northern Black Sea coast stretched from the Danube to the Great Wall of China. In the south and southwest ancient scythians came into contact with the ancient, in the west with the culture of the Celts, and in the east with the cultures of Central Asia and China.

In the south and southwest ancient scythians came into contact with the ancient, in the west with the culture of the Celts, and in the east with the cultures of Central Asia and China

Nomadic Scythians lived in tents. Huge herds of horses and herds of cattle were their main wealth, horsemeat and mare's milk - the main food. Brank fun defined their life. In the constant struggle for livestock and pasture blood plentifully flowed. Scythians worshiped the god of war, whose symbol was the sword. At the head of individual tribes were leaders. When the leader died, they killed his wives, squires, wineries and battle horses and buried them with him.

The cultural influence of the Scythians included their closest neighbors - the Meotian tribes belonging to the Ibero-Caucasian language family. In the first millennium BC they lived in the territory of Kuban and East Azov.

The remnants of the vast Scythian and Meotian heritage today are numerous barrows scattered throughout the North Caucasus. Their excavations gave archaeologists a wealth of material.

In the depths of the Maikop burial mound, archaeologists have discovered the richest burial of the end of the 3rd millennium BC. This burial contained many works of art, including cornelian and turquoise beads, originating from Western Asia. Over the ashes of the deceased a canopy was erected, adorned with embroidered plaques in the form of lions and gobies, whose panel was kept on silver columns with cast-gold bull-shaped figures.

One of the most famous masterpieces found on this land is a small (35,1 x22,5 cm) golden figure of a deer from a barrow near the village of Kostroma (6th century BC). This relief plate once adorned a round iron shield, found in the chief's grave. The image of the deer was associated by the Scythians with the idea of the sun, the light. The whole figure of a deer is subject to a special, intense rhythm. There is nothing accidental, superfluous. The beast seemed to freeze, cautiously listening to the slightest rustle, but there was such an impulse in it, such a striving forward that it seemed as if it had been lifted from the ground and it flies like an arrow, cutting through the air. Everything in this figure is conditional and at the same time extremely realistic.

Another famous find is the golden panther from the mound near the stanitsa of Kelermesskaya. Like its "contemporary", a deer from the Kostroma kurgan, this panther served as a shield ornament. The figure of the beast is stylized, and the convention reaches the point that the tail and paws, in turn, are decorated with figures of coagulated predators.

Very interesting finds were made near the Adygei aul Ulyap, where a complex of Meotian mounds and shrines of the 4th century BC was explored. The most significant finds from this sanctuary were two sculptural tops, which, once, probably crowned shtandartov poles or bunches. One of them depicts a lying boar with a snout stretched forward. The figure is made of two massive stamped silver plates connected with silver studs with gold hats.

The second pommel depicts a deer - the already known Scythian symbol of the sun. The head of a deer, planted on a slender long neck, is crowned with massive branchy horns. This sculpture, created without any conventionality and stylization, is distinguished by a rare expressiveness and represents one of the best examples of Scythian and Meotian art.

On the ritual site, located on the top of one of the Ulyapa kurgans, a whole complex of finds was discovered: three ancient bronze vessels, a silver bowl, golden hryvnia and a plaque, two richly decorated rhytons - gold and silver. The gold rhyton, the base of which adorns the sculptural image of the head of the panther, judging by a number of details, was brought from Iran or Asia Minor. The second rhyton, silver, is crowned by the winged horse Pegasus. Its wings, mane, headband belts and a number of other details were generously gilded, his eyes were once encrusted with amber. The middle part of the vessel is surrounded by a gilded frieze, on which an unknown artist depicted scenes from the ancient Greek myth about the struggle of gods and giants in a relief technique.

Scythians left a noticeable and distinctive mark in the history of world culture. But not one of the nations leaves the historical scene without a trace. The cultural heritage of the Scythians passed to their successors and eventually became the property of all mankind.