Sunday, 28 January 2018

Scythians: the art of war

Plaque unearthed from the Kul-Oba kurgan in eastern Crimea.
For most of the first millennium BC, the steppe between the Black Sea and China was the domain of Scythians – fierce nomadic warriors who were adept metalworkers, wood-carvers and painters. Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia, a new exhibition at the British Museum, reveals what the finest pieces tell us.

Heavily decorated shoe of a woman interred in a burial mound at Pazyryk. It’s made from red leather embellished with gold and tin, and the sole is ornamented with tiny beads and pyrite crystals stitched into the leather.

Half of a belt buckle; the other half was often but not always a mirror image.

Gold lion-griffin ornament, fourth century BC

Scythian button

Belt Plaque

Gold torque.