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The Archaeology of Greece and RomeStudies in Honour of Anthony Snodgrass$
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John Bintliff and N. Keith Rutter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417099

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417099.001.0001

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Life on Earth and Death from Heaven: The Golden Pectoral of the Scythian King from the Tolstaya Mogila (Ukraine)

Life on Earth and Death from Heaven: The Golden Pectoral of the Scythian King from the Tolstaya Mogila (Ukraine)

Chapter:
(p.317) 13 Life on Earth and Death from Heaven: The Golden Pectoral of the Scythian King from the Tolstaya Mogila (Ukraine)
Source:
The Archaeology of Greece and Rome
Author(s):

Ernst Künzl

, John Bintliff, Keith Rutter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417099.003.0013

In the grave mound (kurgan) in the Ukraine known as Tolstaya Mogila there was found in 1971 a piece of gold jewellery that has entered the archaeological record as the pectoral of an unknown Scythian king (see Fig. 13.7 below). The collar or pectoral is made up of four torques, enclosing three decorative zones: the overall shape is that of an apotropaic lunula. The decoration is composed in relief, on a background of sheet gold in the middle zone, and as relief-like tableaux of free-standing figures in the upper and lower zones. The three thematically distinct friezes portray, respectively, the life of successful and happy Scythians and their livestock; the blossoming flora of Scythia; and the looming danger of death for all animal and plant life. This menace is embodied by six griffins, bearing down from above on the noble horses of the Scythians. Further motifs in this zone are animal combats with lions, panthers, a stag and boar, as well as hounds hunting hares.

Keywords:   Locusts, Athenians, Scythia

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