Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fallen warrior and galloping horse from Chertomlyk

Skudra/Skuda/Saka/Scythians or North Iranian nomads of the ancient Eurasian steppes are, as you the visitors to my blog know, some of my favorite subjects.

I want to share with you the page of prof. Mikhail Treister, where you can read or download this fine scholar articles on the ancient nomads and their world.
Mikhail Treister's page
 I did copy a figure of a wounded rider and a galloping mount from the golden scabbard found in the famous Chertomlyk kurgan, dated to the middle of the  IV century B.C., as it represents the Scytho-Greek art. The kurgan's contents are  famous, especially the silver, egg-shaped,  amphora with the scenes of Scythians gentling the horses - one day I will turn to these as well.
Russian book on the very kurgan Чертомлык (Скифский царский курган IV в. до н.э.). (Chertomlyk, the Scythian Royal Barrow/Kurgan IV century B.C.)
Some artefacts from Chertomlyk - numbered 89-120 especially interesting the the whetstone with a golden handle, most likely suspended from the 'arming' belt (where the sword or swords and combination quiver-bow case known as gorytos were also hung).
Scholar Esther Jacobson writes (p. 246):'' there is  a general understanding that the narrative [...] may refer to the Trojan War, in which participated a variety of non-Greek peoples, or to a battle between the Greeks and the Persians, or even between Greeks and Amazons. It is also possible that the narrative is intended to represent a generic battle, between Greeks and non-Greeks'' (E. Jacobson, The Art of the Scythians, New York 1995)

This dramatic figure, situated of the very end of the scabbard, consists of a wounded warrior falling of the galloping horse still grabbing at the reins, and  it clearly shows some tack: the bridle, reins, bit, breastplate and saddle.
I did not copy the crested helmet below the horse's head. The horse's mane is  shorn, with several strains of longer hair near the pommel of his saddle in a typical Eurasian fashion, while his tail is not tied nor braided in more of the steppe fashion, perhaps reflecting the Greek artist's concept.
Article by prof. A.N. Shcheglov about this barrow and its treasures.
 Review of a book -''The Gold and Power - Scythian weaponry and Greek Myths.''
I should bring more of these ancient images in the future.

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