A Warrior’s Face Frozen in Time, Gold, Hemp, Tents and Cheese Tell the Scythian Tale
One of the most interesting of the gold plaques depicts a dead man with a female deity, a man holding two horses’ reins, and a quiver hanging on a tree. The British Museum suggests that “The scene may refer to a symbolic marriage between the deceased and the ‘Great Mother’ – a giver of life who is also associated with underworld powers. Their sacred union was essential to the death and renewal of all living things.”
Scythians with horses under a tree. Gold belt plaque. Siberia, 4th–3rd century BC. ( The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2017 /V. Terebenin )
Apart from artifacts on loan from the Hermitage museum, there are pieces on display from the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Ashmolean and the Royal Collection in the UK.
Top Image: A gold plaque depicting a Scythian rider with a spear in his right hand. One of the artifacts currently on display. Source: V Terebenin/© The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg