c. 5th Century B.C.
Cast from bronze and gilded this excellent example of Scythian metal work is well formed and terminates in two ram heads. Crafted with well-defined faces and prominent, curving horns, the gilding is most evident on the terminals and gives the viewer a sense of the splendor of this object when originally made. Remnants of the gilding are present over the entire object. Similar examples can be found at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
The Scythians were an Indo-European people who lived primarily in the Eurasian steppes around the Black Sea. At various points their empire included parts of modern Crimea, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, the Ukraine valley, Belarus, Romania and northern India. The Scythians were renowned for their metalwork, particularly their use of gold, as well as their agricultural prowess and acumen in battle. Although mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus in a less than favorable light, as we can see from this excellent example the Scythians were a culture of great aesthetic sensitivity with superior craftsmanship skills.
2.67 inches (6.8 cms) diameter; 67.50 grams
Export Approval from Israel Antiquities Authority
Ancient Near East