SCYTHIAN VESSELS AND SWORDS

THE SCYTHIAN SECTIONS:

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VESSELS

 

In Scythian burials, gold drinking cups and rhytons were often placed next to the head of the deceased. Shaped as drinking horns, gold rhytons were widely used for feasts and libations by the elites of ancient empires, most commonly in Persia. Containers with wine, olive oil and other valuable substances were often placed in Scythian burials. Alabastrons were containers for perfumes and unguents. Originating in Egypt, they were originally carved from alabaster, hence the name. Alabastrons were commonly worn on a string hung around the owner’s neck. Moreover, Pyxides were used as containers of medicines and cosmetics. Made of various materials these round boxes could be found in Greek, Scythian, Sarmatian and other burials of the northern Black sea steppe zone.

The amphora featuring an octopus is similar to those manufactured on the island of Crete. The octopus is one of the most ancient Minoan motifs appearing on Minoan vases from the palace at Knossos as early as 1500 BC.

SWORDS

 

Believed to be invented by Scythians, akinaka are short double-edged swords worn on the right and used as thrusting weapons. Scythian akinaka were important ceremonial objects, supplemented by ornate sheaths. The hilts and sheaths were frequently made of gold and decorated in the nomadic Animal Style. Short swords of the Scythian type were common in the Mediterranean region and Near East, especially the Persian Empire. Akinaka can also be spelled as acinaces.

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IMAGE CITATION:

1. Sword with Gold Grip, 600-500 B.C.

Gold, iron: hammering, repousse

2. Cover to Sword Sheath, 450-400 B.C.

Gold: Stamping, hammering, repousse, filigree

3. Cover to Sword Sheath, 450-400 B.C.

Gold: Stamping, hammering, repousse, filigree

4. Disk with “Gorgoneion”,  300 B.C.

Silver: repousse

5.  Delphinium flask,  4th-3rd Centuries B.C.

Gold, glass of obscure blue color: blowing, soldering, granulation

6.  Alabastron, 4th Century B.C.

Glass, sandy mandrel technique

7.  Amphora,  end of the 4th Century B.C.

Pottery: production on potter’s wheel

8.  Pyxis, 4th-2nd Centuries B.C.

Gold, glass: hammering, stamping, engraving, soldering, filigree

9.  Figured Vessel, 2nd half of 4th Century B.C.

Gold: forging, stamping, casting

10. Rhyton (Drinking Horn), 5th-4th Centuries B.C.

Gold: forging, engraving, stamping, soldering

11. Rhyton,  4th Century B.C.

Gold: molding, hammering, engraving

12. Lion Statuette, 9th-8th Centuries B.C.

Bronze: molding, gilding

13.  Pendant, 4th Century B.C.

Gold: molding, soldering, granulation, hammering

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Next Section: The Sarmatians