Equipment Female Sarmatian Warrior
The name “Tirgatao”
Sauromatians and early Sarmatians were culturally closely linked. They were divided each into different tribes, which names are not completely passed on today, as the sparse information ancient authors do not name all factions to summarize them as “Sarmatian” or “Sauromatian”.
Wamers, E. und D. Stutzinger (Hg.): Steppengold. Grabschätze der Skythen und Sarmaten am unteren Don, 26-33.
Helmet (Sauromatian; Nikol’skoe, 4th century BC)
In the nomadic graves of the Scythian area we stumble consistently on ancient helmets which have been modified for the mounted combat technique. This also applies to the bronze helmet from the original Corinthian type whose nasal and cheeks had been sawed off and replaced on the side of the helmet by flexible scale mesh.
Cernenko, E.V.: Die Schutzwaffen der Skythen, 95.
Mail Belt (Scythian; Igren’, 4th century BC)
With elongated iron or bronze scales studded belts were a popular addition to the arms of Scythian nomads. They could vary greatly in the level of the individual scales and could be very broad as an independent armor object. This belt was originally made of 1 x 3.5 cm large bronze plates and had also semi-oval end pieces and perforated center plates, with which the belt could be closed and provided with straps for attachment.read on...
Cernenko, E.V.: Die Schutzwaffen der Skythen, 77 f.
Scale Armor (Early Sarmatian; Filippovka I Kurgan 4; 5th/4th century BC)
This scale armor comes from a 2006 investigated grave of an early Sarmatian princess. The fund was heavily corroded, but by the position of the individual scales the shape could be reconstructed. In addition it consists of two large shoulder plates, which have not been built by us yet.
During the reconstruction of the armor we have, as far as possible, recourse to detectable materials: leather as an underlay, goatskin for the hem and different scales in the found quantities with corresponding holes.
Heavy armor has been found very rarely in Scythian women’s graves. In the grave of a Scythian girl a full scale armor with belt was found, however, such as, helmet and a back-shield as a supplement. In addition, since anthropological studies failed to research in graves with defensive weapons, because they were considered male burials, the spreading of heavy armor among warring women has not yet been clarified.
Treister, M. und L. Yablonsky (Hg.): Einflüsse der achämenidischen Kultur auf das südliche Uralvorland Bd. II, 105f.
Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer (Hg.):Amazonen. Geheimnisvolle Kriegerinnen, 153-159.
Greaves (Scythian; Nymphaion grave 6; 4th century BC)
Also greaves were made in for nomads typical shed construction as those armor originally made of bronze show. The individual, elongated scales are turned up on the edge and secured in three horizontal lines with wire staples on the leather pad. The greaves are short and end a few inches below the knee.
Vickers, M.:Scythian and Thracian antiquities, 46 f.
Goryt, bow and arrows
The bow was since ancient times to modern times, the most feared and most powerful weapon of the Eurasian mounted warriors. The Scythian nomads knew several sizes of composite reflex bows. Arrows in customized length were shot and were generally provided with three bladed bronze tips of different shapes. The arrows could be poisoned and its shafts have colorful paintings.read on...
Tucked were bow and arrows in a combined bag, called goryt which was rear facing worn on the left side of the body. This piece of equipment can be seen on countless works of Scythian toreutics.
Rolle, R., Müller-Wille, M. und K. Schietzel (Hg.):Gold der Steppe. Archäologie der Ukraine, 143-149.
Spear (Early Sarmatian; Filippovka I Kurgan 4; 5.th/4.th century BC)
Spears were a favorite weapon of mounted warriors, that you could be used from horseback for pushing or throwing. According to often be found spearheads in Scythian tombs of the entire steppe belt – even in those so-called “Amazons”. They are usually in sheet form with a rhombic cross-section, about 30 cm long and made of iron.
Treister, M. und L. Yablonsky (Hg.):Einflüsse der achämenidischen Kultur auf das südliche Uralvorland Bd. II, 105.
Akinakes (Frühsarmatisch; Novyi Kumak; 4. Jh. v. d. Z.)
Double-edged short swords were popular melee weapons of Scythian nomads and far spread over the whole steppe. Usually they were made entirely of iron and were usually carried in a wooden sheath with characteristic suspension on the belt. The short swords appear from today’s perspective very small and were generally not longer than 30 to 50 cm, but they were often used as stabbing weapons in the melee.
Sulimirski, T.:The Sarmatians, 87.
The Scythian nomads apparently had different customs of war, which were based primarily on the attainment of trophies of different parts of the body of the enemy (scalp, skin, hands, jaws et al). Not only in reports of Herodotus, but also in the archaeological record these customs reflect. According to Herodotus Sauromatian women first had to slain an enemy, until they were allowed to marry – after Pseudo-Hippocrates there were even three enemies.
Pseudo-Hippokrates:De aeribus aquis locis (17).
Whip (Scythian(?); Berdjanskij)
According to Herodotus the whip was a prestige emblem of Scythian aristocracy and was also used at work with the herds, the punishing of slaves and used as a weapon.
Whips of different shapes are proofed by pictorial representations and by archaeological finds of handle fragments. This whip handle in wolf-head-shape was found in Berdjanskij at the Sea of Azov and had blue paint remains, which led us to a colored reconstruction.
Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer (Hg.): Amazonen. Geheimnisvolle Kriegerinnen, 155 f.
Bowl (Early Sarmatian; Filippovka I Kurgan 15; 5th/4th century BC)
From Scythian and Sarmatian context many golden fittings are known that were originally attached to wooden bowls, which have passed over time. Probably this type of vessels had a ritual function because according to Herodotus bowls had a mythical significance for nomads and were brought in conjunction with the monarchy.
Treister, M. und L. Yablonsky (Hg.): Einflüsse der achämenidischen Kultur auf das südliche Uralvorland Bd. II, 137.
Rolle, R., Müller-Wille, M. und K. Schietzel (Hg.):Gold der Steppe. Archäologie der Ukraine, 153-156.
Buckle made of bone (Early Sarmatian; Pokrovka; 4th – 2thcentury BC)
Buckles are frequently encountered in the tombs as the only non-passed components of nomadic dress. Most often they are made of metal (iron, silver, bronze, gold), but now and then there are also examples of organic material. The buckle shown here is a good example for clothing items from graves of simple Scythian nomadic population which are rarely published.read on...
Davis-Kimball, J. und L. T. Yablonsky: Kurgans on the Left Bank of the Ilek. Excavations at Pokrovka, 80f.
Whetstone (Early Sarmatian; Pokrovka; 4th – 2thcentury BC)
Utensils for the nomadic life that were constantly in use one was always carrying by fastening to the belt. Whetstones were important utensils you accordingly often found in Scythian graves of men and women. Usually they have a hole at the top, which made it possible to provide the stone with a loop and to fasten it at the belt.read on...
Davis-Kimball, J. und L. T. Yablonsky: Kurgans on the Left Bank of the Ilek. Excavations at Pokrovka, 62.
Boar-Tusk-Amulet (Sauromatian or Early Sarmatian; 6th – 4th century BC)
A special item in early Sarmatian and Sauromatian burials are tusk-shaped pendants made of bone, antler or tusk. They have some complex decoration in Animal Style and are found in connection with weapons and horse trappings, on which they seem to have been fixed. Maybe they had a function as amulet or talisman.read on...
Sulimirski, T.: The Sarmatians, 37f.
Knife (Early Sarmatian; Kyryk-Oba II; 5th century BC)
Knifes are often found in many Scythian tombs. This antler-handle has a beautiful Animal Style decor, but the blade is no longer obtained. The handle has on one side a wolf’s head with forelegs and on the other side boars. Following Sakan finds the plastic cavities were filled with red paint.
A knife sheath was not found in Kyryk-Oba II, but gold pads of the same shape as they are used here.
Stöllner, T. und Z. Samašev (Hg.): Unbekanntes Kasachstan. Archäologie im Herzen Asiens, Bd. II, 772.
Treister, M. und L. Yablonsky: Einflüsse der achämenidischen Kultur auf das südliche Uralvorland Bd. II, 38.
A Video with the Female Warrior.read on...