Rich female Scythian from the Black Sea Region
4th century BC
This costume of a Scythian woman who is assigned, due to the numerous gold applications, to the social upper class, comes from the Kurgan of Ryžanovka. The young woman with only 145 cm height was buried in east-west orientation. The dead and all additions were originally embedded on a bed of plants.
The Ryžanovka-Kurgan was investigated by Godryk Ossowski, who published his excavation results 1888. The conservation status of the skeleton was poor, also the grave was partially exposed by looting of the local population, so that the exact location of the gold plates was no longer to determine. But the situation of the remaining gold applications enabled an attempt of reconstruction with the arrangement shown here on the clothes of the dead. Regardless of the exact position of the gold applications it is clear that the entire clothing was covered with it.
Moreover the woman wore a gold (right) and a silver (left) bracelet, bronze leg rings and a total of eight gold finger rings (six on the right and two on the left hand). On the neck she wore a necklace of gold applications and figuratively shaped earrings. Other offerings in the grave chamber were a bronze Situla with iron grip, an earthen Kantharos, a silver Kylix, a bottle, an earthen bowl, a bronze plate, fragments of a bone spindle and a silver cup. These numerous and precious offerings emphasizes the high social rank of the dead.
Click here for the equipments.
Chochorowski, Jan (2011): „Godryd Ossowski: Autodidakt, Archäologe, Universalgelehrter.“ In: Wemhoff, Matthias und Andrzej Kokowski (Hg.): Das Silberne Pferd. Archäologische Schätze zwischen Schwarzem Meer und Kaukasus. Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Nationalbesitz, 111-148.
Seipel, Wilfried (Hg.) (2009): Gold der Steppe. Fürstenschätze jenseits des Alexanderreichs. Mannheim: Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen
Wamers, Egon und Dagmar Stutzinger (Hg.) (2003): Steppengold. Grabschätze der Skythen und Sarmaten am unteren Don. Frankfurt am Main: Archäologisches Museum.