The leaders of the nomads wished maximum comfort in the afterlife. Therefore, with them in the graves put wives, slaves, horses, weapons and a lot of gold. In Ukrainian soil found nothing more expensive than Scythian jewelry.


In the 8th century BC, Iranian-speaking tribes came from Asia to the coast of the Azov and Black Seas, and soon began to settle closer to Dnipro. They were not like the current steppe nomads - had blond hair and gray eyes. They called themselves co-workers, that is, archers. The Greeks, who in the 7th century BC created the first policies in the Black Sea, called them Sythians.


All the peoples who were unlucky enough to become neighbors of the Scythians, noted their militancy and cruelty. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that in order to obtain his piece of prey after the raid, the rider had to present the head of the killed enemy. From the removed scalps made cloaks and towels, from the torn skin of hands - quiver covers.


Fighting spirit and bloodthirsty were imprinted in Scythian gold products. They depicted wild animals, warriors, elements of a harsh life. Dynamic and primitive style was nicknamed "animal."


The heyday of Scythian culture came in the 4th century BC, when most of the jewels found by archaeologists were created. After that, the Scythian kingdom lasted 800 years. In the 3rd century AD on the lands of the Black Sea migrated tribes ready and pushed the Scythians. A century later there was an invasion of the Huns. The Scythians mingled with other nations and lost their identity, but left many traces of their culture in Ukraine. WAS has selected the most valuable - in direct terms.

「この方法で頭から皮膚が引き裂かれる:頭は耳の近くの切開部の周りに作られ、髪をつかんで皮膚から頭を振り出す。その後、皮膚は雄牛の肋骨で肉からきれいにされ、彼の手で洗われます。スキタイの戦士は、彼の手のためのタオルとして革を使用し、彼の馬を手綱に結び、誇らしげに誇示します。」 ヘロドトゥス「歴史」(紀元前5世紀)

"The skin is ripped off from the head in this way: the head is made around the incision near the ears, then grab the hair and shake the head out of the skin. Then the skin is cleaned from the meat with a bull's rib and washed with his hands. The Scythian warrior uses leather as a towel for his hands, ties his horse to the bridle and proudly flaunts it," -Herodotus, "History" (5th century AD)

アテネの顔」ペンダント クル・オバ古墳(クリミア)



Greek colonies actively traded with neighbors. The Scythians sold leather goods and harnesses, and in return received fabrics, wine and gold. Over time, the Greek masters learned to make animal-style decorations on the order of the rich Scythians. A perfect example of such cooperation was accidentally found in the Crimean mound Kul-Oba.


In 1830, the government of the Russian Empire resettled families of retired officers from Sevastopol to Kerch. The stone for the construction of new housing was taken nearby, from the hill Kul-Oba. The works were led by Pavel Dubrux, caretaker of the Kerch Salt Lakes and amateur archaeologist. Soon he realized that Kul-Oba was created not by nature, but by man.


Inside rested the Scythian king. On the head - a golden tiara, wrists - in gold bracelets, on the neck - a gold disc of 461 grams weight. The Scythians believed that the afterlife continued earthly life. Therefore, all valuables, including wives and slaves, were put in the grave by an important dead man.


The king's alleged wife rested near him, too, all in gold. The most interesting items are two paired temporal pendants of Greek origin with a portrait of the goddess Athena on them. The face resembles the famous statue of Athena Parfenos by Fidia (5th century BC), but the decoration itself was clearly made to the taste of Scythian.
Stored in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg

アテナの顔のイメージを持つペンダント。写真は「ギリシャの黄金-古典時代の宝石芸術 紀元前4世紀」 J.ウィリアムズ、D.オグデンより

Temporal pendant with the image of Athena's head. Illustration from the book "Greek Gold. Jewelry Art of the Classical Age V - 4th century BC I. Jewelry," J. Williams, D. Ogden.


After the opening of the tomb in Kul-Oba there at night entered the local Greek Dmitry Bavro with two accomplices. They found a lot of gold plaques, and under the floor plates - a rich cache. The neck hryvnia with golden lion heads at the ends of the robbers cut the axe into three parts.


Later, Bavro came to the head of the excavation Pavel Dobryuks, whom he personally knew. Dmitry told about the crime and surrendered his share of the loot: part of the hryvnia with a lion's head on the end and a in the form of a deer, once adorned the shield of a warrior. For the return of the treasure Bavro received 1200 rubles from Nicholas I. Tsar announced a reward for the return of other jewels from Kul-Oba, but no one applied for it. It is kept in the Hermitage,St. Petersburg.


A deer figure, Kul-Oba Mound, 4th century BC Source: Hermitage/hermitagemuseum.org





Soloha is a mound of the Scythian king or a rich nobleman. An expedition of orientalist and archaeologist Nikolai Veselovsky in 1912 found it on the left bank of Dnipro near Kamenka-Dneprovsk. Veselovsky was well versed in ancient mounds and was considered the best specialist on the peoples of the Iron Age in the Russian Empire.In the mound of Soloha expedition found two graves. The woman's tomb was looted, but the man's burial for some reason remained untouched. It also contained the skeletons of a squire, a servant, a horseman and five horses. The warrior was in armor, next to him put a bronze helmet and a gold crest.The crest depicts the battle of the three Scythians. The far right has just lost his horse and is now fighting on foot. There's not much chance. Against him - a rider in expensive plate armor and a Greek helmet. To help the rider rushes an ordinary warrior with a short sword and a shield. It is kept in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

A crest depicting a battle scene. Scythian culture. End 5 - Beginning of the 4th century BC Source: Hermitage / hermitagemuseum.org



In 1954, a resident of Melitopol fell into a dungeon while digging a well. Archaeologists found two graves inside. In the grave of a noble scythian with a slave preserved the remains of a burial chariot and about 4000 gold jewelry. In the grave of the warrior found two skeletons of a horse, a battle belt, gold plates and a gold beat burning with scenes from the life of Achilles.

The life of the hero of the Iliad is illustrated in detail. Most likely, the decoration was made by Greek masters. The main story is read from left to right, as in comics or Christian lives. It begins with the little Achilles learns to shoot from the bow, and ends with a scene in which the mother takes the ashes of the murdered Achilles home. There was also a burning place for the animal style: in the top row are a dog, a hare, a lioness, a panther and a deer. The original is kept in the Museum of Historical Jewels of Ukraine, a copy - in the regional museum.

A similar Scythian is burning from the Chertomlyk mound. Source: Hermitage / hermitagemuseum.org



In 1970, scientists of the Institute of Archaeology of the USSR hastily explored mounds on the lands on which irrigation canals were planned. A large Scythian mound of Gaimanov's grave stood near the village of Balki In the Vasilyevsky district, surrounded by five dozen smaller ones. Archaeologists have checked 22 - looted. Four graves in the central one were opened, the same thing. When the group was leaving the mound, the expedition member Boris Mozolevskiy found a cache with a large number of valuable items.

最も有名な発見は、金メッキの銀のボウルでした。それは6人のスキタイ人を描いています。そのうちの2人は話し、彼らは彼らの手に鞭とメイスを持ち儀式の服を着ています 。背中には、年上の男性が若者に何かを渡します。これは、例えば、部族間の条約の締結など、重要な出来事の叙事詩を見ています。1つのハンドルの下には、高齢の戦士がひざまずいています。別のスキタイ人は、ブルドゥクから希釈されていないワインを飲みます。遊牧民は、水でワインを希釈していたギリシャ人にこれを教えました。ウクライナの歴史的な宝石の博物館に保管されています。

The most famous find was a silver bowl with gilding. It depicts six Scythians. Two of them talk, they are in ceremonial clothes, with a whip and mace in their hands - the chiefs. On the back, an older man passes something to the young. This sees a plot from the epic or the fixation of an important event, for example, the conclusion of a treaty between tribes. Under one handle is an elderly warrior kneeling. Scyth under another drinks undiluted wine from a burduk. Nomads taught this to the Greeks, who usually diluted the wine with water.
It is kept in the Museum of Historical Jewels of Ukraine.

"Whenever they want to drink stronger wine, they say, "Eat in Scythian!" " Herodotus wrote.



Mech-Akinak.Thick Grave Mound, Dnipropetrovsk region


Externally, the Scythian mounds resemble hills of natural origin. To identify artificial embankments, Soviet archaeologist Alexei Terenozhkin invented a method of manual drilling. If clay is found in the well, there may be a Scythian tomb in the hill. In 1964, two wells were drilled in a mound near Nicopol. Both were empty. After that, the thick grave was considered an ordinary hill.


The next year, after the discovery of the bowl in The Hayman's Grave, in 1971, Boris Mosolevsky climbed the Tolstoy. He did two more wells, but got the same result. Mosolevsky did not give up and drilled the third, and a month later led the excavation of the mound.


Skeletons of servants and horses, weapons, utensils, more than 600 ornaments and a short iron akinak sword with a golden relief handle were found in the burial of the Scythian leader. Such swords allow to trace the connection of the Scythians with the Front Asia, where the weapons came to the Northern Black Sea. The legs are luxuriously decorated in a menagerie style.







The sword from the Scythian mound "Fat Grave", 4th century BC Golden sword sheaths adorn images of winged lions, deer, horses and eagles. Source: Museum of Historic Jewels of Ukraine / Arnold Pierson Museum


Not far from Akinak, Mosolevsky found a gold pectoral weighing 1,140 grams known to every schoolboy. The decoration was made by contemporaries of Alexander the Great. Most likely, made in Greece to order Scythian nobility. The composition consists of three levels. The bottom is scenes involving animals. The middle is floral motifs. On the top - figures of Scythians and pets.


After studying Tolstoy's grave, Mosolevsky was finally able to stop working as a fireman. He received a three-room apartment, a salary of 200 rubles and a chance to defend his thesis. In 1980 he became the head of the sector of Scythian archaeology of the Institute of Archaeology of NANU.
Sword and pectoral are kept in the Museum of Historical Jewels of Ukraine.