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Seller: ancientgifts (4.638) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122592642746 “The Golden Deer Of Eurasia: Scythian And Sarmatian Treasures From The Russian Steppes” by Joan Aruz, Ann Farkas, Andrei Alekseev, and Elena Korolkova. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art (2000). Pages: 350. Size: 12¼ x 9½ x 1¼ inches; 4¾ pounds. Summary: Spectacular works of art were excavated between 1986 and 1990 from burial mounds at Filippovka, in Russia, on the border of Europe and Asia. The objects were created from about the fifth to the fourth century B.C. by pastoral people who lived on the steppes near the southern Ural Mountains. The large funerary deposits include wooden, deer-like creatures with predatory mouths and elongated snouts and ears, overlaid with sheets of gold and silver, as well as gold attachments for wooden vessels and gold and silver luxury wares imported from Achaemenid Iran. These treasures are now in the collection of the Museum of Archaeology, Ufa, in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan. The discoveries at Filippovka open a new chapter in the history of the material culture of the nomads who in the first millennium B.C. traversed the steppe corridor extending from the Black Sea region to China. Yet the information provided by the Filippovka excavations is complicated and ambiguous. The identity of the people represented by the finds remains uncertain, but the forms and ornamentation of many works from Filippovka, as well as the cemetery’s location in the southern Urals, argue for the cultural-chronological designation of this material as Early Sarmatian. Stylistic features, however, point also to the arts of Siberia, Central Asia, and China in the east and to the art of the “Meotian-Scythians” in the west. Imported Achaemenid goods raise questions about their place of production and about the circumstances that brought them to be included in tombs on the southern Ural steppes. Finally, robbers penetrated the burials in antiquity, destroying much of the evidence necessary for understanding the Filippovka nomads’ religious and funerary practices. These are among the issues addressed in this volume, the catalogue for an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that brings together the remarkable new material from Filippovka and, from the incomparably rich collections of the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, related luxury objects found in graves of other Eurasian steppe tribes. Gold and silver objects from the Scythian Black Sea tombs; textiles and leather and wooden works from the Altai Mountains; and gold and bronze pieces from the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Siberia illustrate developments in the art of the steppes in the centuries preceding the Filippovka burials, in contemporary societies, and in later centuries, toward the turn of the first millennium B.C. These outstanding works not only place the Filippovka discoveries in their proper historical and cultural context but are themselves fascinating and enigmatic. The book is the catalogue for an exhibition that opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in October 2000 and runs until February 2001. CONDITION: NEW. HUGE New hardcover with dustjacket. Metropolitan Museum of Art (2000) 350 pages. Unblemished except for very faint edge and corner shelfwear to dustjacket and covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. As mentioned, the dustjacket and covers evidence only faint edge and corner shelfwear in the form of a crinkle at the spine head. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8870a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Spectacular works of art have recently been excavated in Filippovka, Russia. They were created from about the fifth to the fourth century B.C. by the nomadic people who lived on the steppes of the southern Ural Mountain region. The objects include wooden, deer-like creatures overlaid with sheets of gold and silver, as well as gold attachments, with representations of animals, for wooden vessels, leather, and fabric. These unique works of art are the focus of this stunning book:. The subjects represented in the Filippovka works are similar to those in the animal repertoire of contemporary Scythian art, but the exuberant and highly ornamental Filippovka style is unmatched in the area and resembles that of artworks found much farther east, in the frozen tombs of the Altai Mountains region of Siberia and in western China. An introductory overview by Ann Farkas and essays by Russian authorities explain the history and archaeology of the nomads of Eurasia, the Filippovka kurgans, cults and rituals of the steppe nomads, and conservation of the Filippovka finds. The volume also includes a catalogue of the more than two hundred objects, both Filippovka works from the collection of the Archaeological Museum in Ufa and related Scythian, Sarmatian, and Siberian art from The State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. REVIEW: The special exhibition "The Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures from the Russian Steppes", held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the fall and winter of 2000–2001, highlighted the rich finds unearthed from burial mounds near the village of Filippovka in the southern Ural steppes from 1986 to 1990. These extraordinary objects include twenty-six gold and silver deer as well as hundreds of gold mounts for wooden cups. Carefully restored and analyzed, they have both added a new dimension and raised further questions regarding our understanding of the funerary beliefs and practices of the Eurasian nomads. In imagery and style, they also represent a new chapter in the art of the horse-riding nomads who traversed the corridor of open grasslands that extends from the Black Sea to China. The presence of precious vessels of Achaemenid Persian manufacture at Filippovka has also raised the issue of the relationship of nomadic and settled populations. REVIEW: Between 1986 and 1990, hundreds of astonishing objects, ornately carved and decorated in a unique style and covered in gold, were excavated at an archaeological site outside the village of Filippovka, located on the open steppes of southern Russia. Created by nomads living in the southern Ural Mountain region of Russia, these distinctive works from Filippovka represent one of the most important caches of early nomadic Eurasian art. Dating from the fifth to fourth century B.C., these treasures are characterized by the extensive use of animal imagery—most notably that of deerlike creatures of wood overlaid with sheets of gold and silver—along with other striking objects of precious metals. Sixteen impressive wooden stags from the new find—some almost two feet in height and covered with gold and silver—are the centerpiece of the exhibition. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue of the same name presents some two hundred of these dazzling works, which have never before been on public display. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, and the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Center for Ethnological Studies, Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Bashkortostan, Russian Federation. REVIEW: Joan Aruz first worked in the Metropolitan Museum as a curatorial fellow from 1978 to 1981, studying textile patterns of Assyrian reliefs. In 1978-79 and 1980-81, she was awarded the Hagop Kevorkian Curatorial Fellowship for doctoral studies in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; in 1983-84, she held the Norbert Schimmel Fellowship in the departments of Greek and Roman Art and Ancient Near Eastern Art; and, in 1985, she received the Museum’s J. Clawson Mills Fellowship in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1987 as a researcher on the Museum’s collection of cylinder and stamp seals. In 1989, she was appointed Assistant Curator and, in 1995, Associate Curator. In 1999, Dr. Aruz was appointed Acting Associate Curator in Charge of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. In July 2001, she was named Acting Curator in Charge and then, in February 2002, Curator in Charge of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since 1995, Dr. Aruz has helped organize several exhibitions at the Metropolitan, including "Assyrian Origins: Discoveries at Ashur in the Tigris" (1995); "Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum" (1995); "Ancient Art from the Shumei Family Collection" (1996). She curated "The Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures from the Russian Steppes" (2000) and "Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus" (2003). Dr. Aruz received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and has written extensively on the subject of art and intercultural exchange, with special focus on stamp and cylinder seals. Her book entitled "Marks of Distinction: Seals and Cultural Exchange Between the Aegean and the Orient", is presently in press. REVIEW: Joan Aruz is Acting Associate Curator in Charge in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Ann Farkas is Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Andrei Alekseev is Head and Senior Researcher and Curator in the Department of Archaeology at the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg. Elena Korolkova is Senior Researcher and Curator in the Department of Archaeology at the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Director's Foreword. Contributors to the Catalogue. Chronology. Map: The World of the Eurasian Nomads. Acknowledgments. Note to the Reader. I. The Filippovka Kurgans: Filippovka and the Art of the Steppes by Ann Farkas The Iranians and the Sarmatians: A Note on Terminology by Gernot Windfuhr. The Filippovka Kurgans at the Heart of the Eurasian Steppes by Anatolii Pshenichniuk. Conservation and Technical Analyses of the Finds from the Filippovka Kurgans by Aleksei Bantikov. Paleoanthropological Characteristics of the Early Nomads of the Southern Urals: The Evidence from the Filippovka Kurgans by R. M. Iusupov. II. The Nomads of Eurasia: History and Archaeology: The Scythians: Asian and European by Andrei Alekseev. The Nomads of Kazakhstan, the Altai, and Tuva by Leonid Marsadolov. The Sarmatians: Masters of the Steppes after the Scythians by Elena Korolkova. III. Cults and Rituals: Scythian Gods and Customs by Liudmila Galanina. Images of the Mounted Steppe Warrior by Elena Korolkova. Ritual Vessels of the Nomads by Elena Korolkova. Bone Spoons and Wooden Vessels of the Nomads and the Cult of Soma/Hauma by Vitalii Fedorov. Catalogue I: The Filippovka Kurgans and the Art of the Sarmatians. The Filippovka Kurgans and the Animal Style by Elena Korolkova, Catalogue numbers 1–136. Catalogue II: The Caucasus and the Pontic Steppes. Scythian Art from the Pontic Steppes by Liudmila Galanina, Catalogue numbers 137–68. Catalogue III: The Kurgans of the Altai and Central Asia. The Nomadic Culture of the Altai and the Animal Style by Liudmila Barkova, Catalogue numbers 169–98. Catalogue IV: Nomadic Antiquities from Siberia. Bronzes from the Minusinsk Basin and Goldwork from the Siberian Collection of Peter the Great by Maria Zavitukhina, Catalogue numbers 199–212. Bibliography of Works Cited. Index. Photograph Credits. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The four authors have succeeded in producing a book that places the Filippovka discoveries in their proper historical and cultural context, and also shows them...to be fascinating and enigmatic. [Magazine Antiques]. REVIEW: The wealth of information both textual and visual will prove of great value to scholars in this field. [Choice Reviews]. REVIEW: Many of the world's most exciting archaeological discoveries are being made in the central steppes of Eurasia, the vast undulating grasslands that stretch from Hungary to the Pacific. For thousands of years, nomadic tribes sharing strong cultural affinities flourished here, producing artworks of great power and vitality of which the objects illustrated in this book are spectacular examples. "The Golden Deer of Eurasia" is the catalog of an exhibition jointly organized by the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. It presents objects dating from the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. unearthed from burial mounds near Filippovka at the foot of the Ural Mountains. Of the 212 catalog items, two-thirds are recent finds from Filippovka, including gold jewelry, golden plaques showing scenes of animal combat, and gold-plated sculptures of mythological deerlike creatures with predatory muzzles and wide-branching antlers. Other treasures in the exhibition, borrowed from the Hermitage's immensely rich collections of Scythian and related cultures, put the new discoveries in context. The significance of these unique objects is explained in short chapters by American and Russian scholars; subjects range from social customs of the vigorous and violent steppe-peoples to conservation techniques. In addition to objects demonstrating the raw exuberance of the nomads' production, there are exquisite gold drinking vessels that use nomadic decorative themes but were made by Iranian and Greek craftsmen for trade with the tribes--a fascinating example of trade influencing art. As expected from a Met publication, The Golden Deer of Eurasia offers both an art book produced to the highest standards and cutting-edge scholarship on an important and fashionable area of art-historical research. [Amazon.com]. REVIEW: Accompanied the exhibition of the same name, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 211 items listed with annotations; Contains several essays about the Scythians and Sarmatians, including their cults, rituals, and art; Beautifully illustrated; Oversized book. REVIEW: Curated by Joan Aruz, acting associate curator of the Ancient Near East department, this exhibit from the Metropolitan presents objects from several nomadic cultures of different periods and geographic regions across Central Asia. The first part of the exhibit is dedicated to material uncovered from the largest of 25 kurgans near the village of Filippovka, in the foothills of the southern Ural Mountains of Russia, by a team from the Institute of History, Language, and Literature of the Ufa Research Center of the Russian academy of Sciences. This rich collection of artifacts, all dating from the 4th century BC, escaped earlier treasure-hunting, and was recovered during recent excavation of this vast burial mound-- measuring almost 400 feet in diameter and 22 feet in height-probably the tomb of a local chieftain. The first gallery of the exhibit is dedicated to the most impressive of the 26 golden deer recovered in the kurgan, those with antlers held perpendicular to the body, each almost two feet high. Often a lone animal is shown in a recumbent pose, perhaps in the moment of collapse before death, such as in the gold shield emblem of a stag from the end of the 7th century BC which marks the Metropolitan exhibit (fig.1). The five most skillfully rendered (one of which is shown here; fig.3) were found in the passageway outside the main burial chamber, there perhaps to wait as guardians, or to carry the dead to the afterlife. These are, in fact, no ordinary deer, but supernatural animals with a strange amalgamation of features, such as a goat-like beard and tail, long, outlandish ears and tubular, flat nuzzles. Their bodies are decorated entirely with deeply carved spirals, a motif that is emphasized in the enormous, highly curved antlers. These, in turn, terminate in birds' heads, in a manner we have seen on many of the Scythian artifacts, although the overall ornamental style of these creatures resembles that of art found much farther east, in the Altai region and in western China. The second gallery is round in shape to evoke the burial chamber of the kurgan, and contains additional material that would have accompanied the dead. This includes eight other deer, found in surrounding treasure pits, somewhat less carefully carved and covered half in gold and half in silver. The room also contains the personal effects of the deceased; gold appliques from his clothing, jewelry and weapons, and the ornaments that had decorated his horse's bridle. The latter are in an Achaemenid style and may have been a gift from a Persian chief. A large silver mirror evokes the ceremonial scene from the Scythian diadem and may have had mythical significance, perhaps as a tool to reflect away evil spirits. The gold handles and mounts for up to 100 wooden bowls, as well as beautiful gold-decorated dippers found in the treasure pits surrounding the main chamber are the remains of a ritual drinking ceremony, probably of the hallucinogenic hauma, that took place just before the tomb was sealed. Many of these handles and plaques are also in the form of griffins, stags, and other predators, and are rendered within the intricate scrollwork which is distinctive of the “Scytho-Siberian” animal style. A divergence from the artwork from the Ukraine is the addition of animals such as argali (wild sheep) and camels (fig. 2), which clearly designate further eastern influence, particularly contact with Bactria. Much of the remainder of the exhibit features Scythian, Sarmatian and Siberian art from the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Most of the Scythian pieces will already be familiar to those who visited the exhibit in Brooklyn. A small globular gold vessel shows Scythian men with long, flowing hair and beards who in some ways are close counterparts to those depicted on the golden helmet described above, but here they are shown not actively engaged in combat, but perhaps in scenes preparing for and repairing from battle. Another interpretation is that the quietly evocative scenes illustrate the legend we know from Herodutus of how Heracles’youngest son, Scythes, became the ruler of Scythia when he was the only one able to string hisfather's bow. Finally, it is worth observing the scene of epic drama that unfolds on the top of a small gold comb, which was found next to the right shoulder of a buried Scythian ruler. The actors in the scene, each rendered in the round in minute detail, wear a combination of Greek and Scythian armor, either as reference to a specific myth or historical event, or merely as a reflection of the cultural infusions growing increasingly common in Scythian culture. The exhibit at the Metropolitan also challenges us to recognize connections between the Scythians with those cultures further east. We have seen the various associations, both western and eastern, inherent in the burial objects from Filippovka, which lies roughly in the center of this great steppe corridor; now we move further to the east to view material from the Altai moutains, where one can see increasing influence both from (Achaemenid) Iranian and Chinese art. Even less is known about the ancient Altai nomads than their western cousins. Much of our information comes from the 1929 excavations of the “frozen tombs” of Pazyryk, which date from the fifth to the fourth centuries BC--for although the tombs had been robbed in antiquity,the permafrost filling the tombs preserved a wealth of less precious objects of wood, leather and textiles. Thus, in cedar and larch we see the same familiar animal motifs-griffins and birds-but here carved in a fantastical, flowing style. The swirls and spirals we saw in the Filippovka stags again predominate, filling in the bodies of the tigers and prey, for example, on the long wooden lid which covered the massive tree-trunk sarcophagus found in kurgan 2 of Bashadar. These curvilinear motifs are further emphasized in the leather appliques, where spiral, tear-drop and triangular cut-outs create an openwork effect which is clearly echoed in certain metal plaques of the Scythians (see, for example, Brooklyn cat. #123). Finally, the textiles allow us to see these incredible creatures in full color. One fragmentary felt hanging depicts a struggle between a sinuous demon made up of human, feline, bird and stag elements and a preposterously ornate phoenix. While the demon has counterparts in Persian art, the phoenix's origin is probably Chinese. Once again we see the propensity of these far-ranging nomads to appropriate the art of their neighbors, without ever totally losing the basic elements of their own, inherent style. At some point in time that distinctive nomadic art-style became so watered-down that it becomes difficult to distinguish. The art of the later Sarmatians, even, seems to have little of the vitality of the classic “animal style.” And yet it is possible to suggest that certain aspects of this style, including a propensity to depict both actual and imaginary beasts, lived on in the art of much later nomadic tribes called barbarians, who swept in from the east to overrun the civilized world at the fall of the Roman Empire. [Athena Review]. REVIEW: CERTAIN kinds of art are box office gold. Art made of gold is one. People are nuts about it. It's just one of those things. As it happens, there is a Fort Knox-size supply of the precious, malleable, untarnishable stuff in New York at the moment. The exhibition "The Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures From the Russian Steppes" is glowing away at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And "Gold of the Nomads: Scythian Treasures From Ancient Ukraine" opens today at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. This overlap of shows on roughly the same subject was a scheduling fluke, but it works out fine. Together they offer a really substantial archaeological update on the last big Scythian showcase in these parts, the Met's popular "From the Land of the Scythians" 25 years ago. But they also come with contrasting attractions of their own. Brooklyn's "Gold of the Nomads," organized by the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore and the San Antonio Museum of Art, is a traveling, survey-style "collections" show giving United States audiences a first glimpse of 14-carat objects drawn from museums in Ukraine, where the Scythian nomads put down roots in the first millennium B.C. The Met also has museological rarities in the form of masterworks from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. But the focus here -- and it gives the proceedings a kind of treasure-hunt thrill -- is a cache of objects excavated fairly recently from tombs in Central Asia and belonging to non-Scythian people whose identity is something of a mystery. Not that the Scythians themselves are an open book; we don't know much about them. Horse-riding hunters and herders with a bellicose streak, they seem to have come from the mountains of western Siberia. From an early date, they were on the move westward. Around the seventh century B.C., they had contact with the Near East; Assyrian and Persian culture became part of their lively and eclectic art tradition. A bit later they settled in the area around the Black Sea that is now Ukraine. There they encountered Greek colonists, with whom they forged a working relationship. The Scythians took control of the east-to-west flow of grain and other staples into Greece itself, a profitable business. They gradually adopted a more sedentary lifestyle, embraced Greek culture and acquired sumptuous works of art, many of which ended up in tombs. Herodotus, the fifth-century-B.C. Greek historian, observed Scythians firsthand in his travels and reacted to them with fascinated distaste. To him they were barbarians: trigger-happy, party-hearty cowboys, a kind of Wild Bunch of the steppes, who drank too much and spiced up their steam baths with marijuana smoke, to predictably raucous effect. But for cowboys, they had excellent taste in art, as these exhibitions demonstrate. The Brooklyn show is the smaller and more neatly packaged. Cleanly installed, it is cast as a kind of walk-through historical narrative, with personable object labels written by Ellen D. Reeder, deputy director of art at the Brooklyn Museum and curator of the show along with Gerry Scott III of the San Antonio Museum. The exhibition even has an ambient PBS-ish soundtrack of bird cries, wind and music, which is nice. The story starts with a few works from the ninth and eighth centuries B.C. -- jewelry, horse ornaments -- by Central Asian people known as Cimmerians, whom the Scythians dislodged or perhaps simply absorbed. By the seventh century B.C., familiar Scythian motifs, mostly animal images, are in place. They include deer, felines and birds of prey, alone or locked in mortal combat, and hybrid creatures blending aspects of all three into intricate, abstract patterns. Patterns probably meant a lot to these people, who lived under the open sky and must have experienced the world in terms of endless organic links and cycles. Such concepts take visual form in their art: a hunting scene on an openwork gold plaque is rendered as an unbroken network of lines, all connected; a relief of horses' heads on a small, nugget-thick gold cup from the fifth century B.C. has a continuous swirling design that seems to burst open like a flower. Ms. Reeder suggests that these naturalistically rendered creatures are direct descendants of the horses on the Parthenon, and that sounds right. Still debated, however, is whether such works were actually made by Greek artisans or by Scythians, or whether they represent a collaboration between the two. Certainly both cultures contribute to one of the Brooklyn show's star attractions, a bow-and-arrow case cover of beaten gold on loan from the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine in Kiev. Greek floral scrolls and Scythian beasts alternate in the borders. The figurative vignettes in the center are Greek in style, but according to some scholars they illustrate episodes from a Scythian epic. For anyone interested in pursuing such questions, this is an opportune moment. A virtually identical version of the Brooklyn piece, possibly hammered out on the same template, can be found in "The Golden Deer of Eurasia" at the Met, surrounded by superb examples of Greco-Scythian material. The Met show is bigger, more complicated and more adventurous by far than the one in Brooklyn, though it, too, covers the historical basics. Among the early entries is a seventh- century-B.C. gold shield ornament, on loan from the Hermitage, in the form of a recumbent stag, antlers unfurling across its back like ocean waves. Reproductions of a similar item have long been a staple of the Met gift shop, so it has become a sort of Scythian logo. Also here from the Hermitage are matchless fourth-century-B.C. works. A gold comb topped with a miniature battle scene, which includes figures in Scythian dress, surely earned its owner a first-class ticket to the afterlife. Scythian warriors also appear in relief on the side of a large gold vase. Here they seem to be recovering from a skirmish: one man bandages a companion's leg, and another strings a bow. But the two exhibition catalogs give conflicting interpretations of the vignettes, indicating yet again how much we have to learn about this culture. The Met show, organized by Joan Aruz, acting associate curator in charge of the department of ancient Near Eastern art, becomes particularly interesting, as one might expect, when it enters terrain unexplored or only lightly touched on in Brooklyn. Here, for example, one finds an array of Iranian items that illuminate Scythia's longstanding ties to the Near East and an amazing display of nomadic material from Siberia, including wooden furniture and appliqued textiles that survived, freeze-dried, under layers of permafrost. Most intriguing of all and making up two-thirds of the exhibition are more than 130 items excavated between 1986 and 1990 from non-Scythian burial mounds near the town of Filippovka on Russia's southern steppes. Built for a ruling elite, the graves were lavishly furnished with gold-fitted swords, cups and equestrian gear. The real find, though, was a suite of 26 sculptures of standing stags, each about two feet tall and made from wood covered with sheets of gold. They appear in the opening gallery of the exhibition, much as they did at the entrance to the tomb. With their Bullwinkle snouts and sometimes spotty workmanship, they are, frankly, a little uncouth. But they have striking features -- graphically bold surface designs, antlers that spiral up like toppling Carmen Miranda hats -- and they open doors to all kinds of archaeological inquiry. Although resembling forms used by Scythian artists for centuries, these sculptures were produced at a time when the Scythians were being replaced by new arrivals. These were the Sarmatians, with whom some art historians have associated the Filippovka people, at least tentatively. The Brooklyn show concludes with Sarmatian pieces, notably a tiny Greek-style gold, bronze and crystal pin in the form of a dolphin. Granted, it is of a very late date -- first or to second century A.D. -- but it also occupies a totally different aesthetic universe from that of the gold-sheathed stags. So we're left with mysteries. Do the Filippovka sculptures represent a distinctive style? Did they set the gold standard for a local school of artists still to be discovered and defined? Did a broader Sarmatian wave absorb that style, as Scythian art absorbed cultures it encountered and was absorbed by them in turn? Nobody knows for sure. But scholars in Russia and Ukraine are hard at work on finding answers. And with future excavations, and opulent exhibitions like these, more will be revealed. [New York Times]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: "The Golden Deer of Eurasia" is the catalog of an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, focusing on recent excavations of a 4th-3rd centuries BC Sarmatian grave mound from the eastern Black Sea. The exhibition also included a variety of earlier and later material from points east and west to provide both historical and geographical context. Some of this material (from the Hermitage collection) is very familiar and quite spectacular; some is from smaller provincial museums and has never before been published in English or with color photos. The brief essays by Russian (and a few American) archaeologists are especially valuable because most of the Russian material is available only in Russian and because they illustrate the widely diverging views of the dates, social and cultural context and meaning of the Sarmatian and Scythian material. Translations are excellent, photos attractive, captions range from excellent to perfunctory. Overall a very worthwhile book providing access to fascinating and poorly documented material. REVIEW: Looking for the cultural link before recorded euro-centric point of view? This is a sumptuous place to begin. Timeline and contributors place the antiquities within a manageable framework of the vast, mysterious story of people in the Eurasian Steppe country. Through beautifully photographed images the book renders a comprehensive aesthetic initiation on the cultural study of the subject leaving the reader with a desire to learn more. REVIEW: Ably edited and with informative commentary by Joan Aruz, Ann Farkas, Andrei Alekseev, and Elena Korolkova, "The Golden Deer Of Eurasia: Scythian And Sarmatian Treasures From The Russian Steppes" is a showcase volume of spectacular artifacts crated from about the fifth to the fourth century B.C. by the nomadic people who lived on the steppes of the southern Ural Mountain region and uncovered by recent archaeology expeditions in Filippovka, Russia. The objects include wooden, deer-like creatures overlaid with sheets of gold and silver, as well as gold attachments for wooden vessels, leather, and fabric. Very highly recommended for art history, anthropology, and archaeology reference collections, "The Golden Deer Of Eurasia" is the catalogue for an exhibition presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a 320-page compendium of 335 illustrations (280 in color) and seven maps. REVIEW: Great time line showing locales of different nomadic cultures, especially Scythian and Sarmatian, flanked by the locale of some fixed cultures. Good maps depicting ancient and modern place names. Photos of many pieces of gold depicting Golden Stags, but mostly from two museums, Hermitage in St Petersburg and Ufa. REVIEW: I really enjoyed the color plates of the archaeological findings at the kurbans (burial mounds) at Filipovka in Russia. The artistry of these nomad people, Scythians and Sarmatians, was simply amazing! There are also many other color plates of pieces from a collection of Peter the Great, which are now at the Hermitage Museum. REVIEW: Stunning photos, large and detailed! As an artist looking at it for designs and inspiration, it was a invaluable source! REVIEW: Majestic works from a group of cultures I wish we could know more about. REVIEW: Glorious pictures of the 'animal style' of steppe art. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: Scythian Art showcases ancient treasures of the Scythians, the fierce, nomadic horsemen who roamed the European steppe from the seventh to the third centuries BC. These proud warriors, who grew rich on trade with the Greeks, commissioned lavish gold objects for adornment, ceremony and battle, drawing on their own ancient artistic traditions and employing the finest Greek goldsmiths of the age. The Scythians flourished more than 2,500 years ago in what is present-day Ukraine and are among the most fascinating of the great warrior cultures that dominated the steppes for centuries. They originated in the central Asian steppes sometime in the early first millennium, BC. After migrating into what is present-day Ukraine, they flourished, from the seventh to the third centuries, BC, over a vast expanse of the steppe that stretched from the Danube, east across what is modern Ukraine and east of the Black Sea into Russia. Invincible for nearly four centuries, the Scythians were a people of great military skill and unrelenting ferocity. They were also extremely influential patrons of the arts, and left behind an extraordinary legacy of both ruthless conquest and lavish artifacts. Gold of the Nomads offers visitors a rare glimpse into the lives of these great warriors, whose brutality was matched only by their passion for exquisite ornament. Much of what is known about the Scythians has been uncovered through archaeological excavations of their burial mounds, known as kurhany. Ongoing explorations of kurhany continue to recover an astonishing wealth of gold and silver objects, ranging from horse trappings to armor, weaponry, jewelry and ceremonial adornment. Early finds of Scythian gold artifacts in the 1700s were so stunning that Catherine the Great ordered their systematic study, launching what became the field of Scythian archaeology. Some of the most extraordinary finds were uncovered only in the last two decades, and excavations continue on an ongoing basis to explore some of the more than 40,000 kurhany still unexcavated in Ukraine. Many of the works of art are in the animal style associated with the central Asian steppes, while others reflect influence from ancient Near Eastern cultures. Still other objects reveal a fusion of the animal style with Near Eastern motifs and Greek iconography and style. Rich evidence of this sophisticated, artistic dialogue constitutes an intriguing new frontier in archaeological research. The story of the Scythians and Scythian art is also a story of interaction with the Greek world, which eagerly purchased grain, furs and amber from the Scythians. Profits from this trade brought Scythians the wealth to indulge their taste for elaborate objects ranging from torques to horse decorations. Magnificent gilded bronze Greek vessels discovered in a bog 300 miles up the Dnipro River testify to the extensive commercial and cultural ties between the peoples. When the Scythians at last abandoned their nomadic lifestyle for the prosperous, settled life which trade had brought them, the door was opened for the invasion of a hardier nomadic tribe, the Sarmatians. The exhibition will close with several superb Sarmatian gold objects, including a torque, a dolphin brooch and a pendant, as a reminder of how intriguing and how still little known are the cultures, objects, and artistic styles of this part of the world. REVIEW: The Scythians were a nomadic people who originated in the central Asian steppes sometime in the early first millennium, B.C. After migrating into what is present-day Ukraine, they prospered from the fifth to the third centuries, B.C, through trade with the Greek cities on the Black Sea coast. Scythian graves and burial mounds continue to yield an astonishing wealth of gold and silver objects, many of which are in the salled animal style associated with the central Asian steppes. Other objects reflect influence from ancient Near Eastern cultures, and still other pieces are either strongly in the Greek style or exhibit an intriguing blend of Greek and animal style elements. Many of the recently excavated objects presented here constitute a new chapter, even a new book, on the interrelationships of the ancient Aegean world, the ancient Near East, and the steppes that extend from north of the Black Sea as far as the Altai Republic near Mongolia. REVIEW: In the 1970s, Scythian gold was the subject of one of the first of what are now commonly called "treasure house" shows at American art museums. An exhibition seen in New York and Los Angeles focused on the exquisitely fabricated decorative metalwork so highly prized by the ancient nomads of the region north of the Black Sea--metalwork in some cases made for them by Greek artisans working in Crimea more than 2,300 years ago. Scythian gold was hitherto largely unknown in the West, but the popular exhibition left a gilded icon in its wake: the glittering image of an elk-like deer, its legs tucked beneath its body in a recumbent pose, its antlers transformed into an elegant, rhythmic interlace of serpentine lines. The exhibition this book was prepared for was part of an unprecedented presentation of Scythian gold. played out as one cultural episode in a larger Cold War drama of one-upmanship between East and West. The story told by Scythian artifacts is a story of ancient international trade and the subsequent transformation of established cultural tradition, albeit on a relatively small scale. Something of the dramatic difference that Scythian art underwent in its increasingly interdependent encounter with the Greeks can be seen in many of the objects presented here. As nomads, the Scythians were relatively limited in their artistic traditions and capacities. They had migrated from Central Asia around 600 BC. Hunting and gathering (and no doubt plundering) still went on, but in relatively short order they discovered something new. They discovered trade, and especially the meaning of the potentially lucrative term "middleman." The wandering Scythians found they could take grain grown by indigenous farmers in the north and sell it, at a big profit, to the Greek cities springing up in the south along the Black Sea coast. Eventually their peripatetic nomadism gave way to regular seasonal encampments. Slowly but surely the Scythians were getting rich, and so they did what the newly rich do: They went shopping. What they bought were luxuries. The Greeks who were building small cities around the Black Sea bought Scythian grain, but they had artistic talent to sell back to their increasingly prosperous traders. Consequently Scythian style and Greek often mingle, merge and mix with one another. One extraordinary example is an elaborately decorated sword and scabbard plated in gold. The refined and cleverly composed reliefs show scenes of fierce animal combat. The pommel of the sword carries a single crouching stag, typically Scythian, while the blade cover is arrayed with fantastic griffins--half eagle, half lion--of Near Eastern heritage. Elsewhere a half-goat figure of Pan, Greek god of the forests, turns up. And asymmetrical dynamism, which speaks of a worldview based on continuous movement and dramatic flux, begins to be transformed into a more relaxed balance and equilibrium, an expression of eternal harmony. In more general terms, Scythian decorative motifs tended to be animal and vegetable in origin, as might be expected from warriors who hunted. From Greece came representations of human beings, such as those that turned up at war on the ritual gold helmet, or the elegant seated women who appear on a pair of elaborate earrings, or the portrait-like men's faces that adorn bridle attachments. And the powerful Scythian figure of a ruling goddess, shown in the center of a magnificent diadem, is eventually joined by a bridle ornament showing the Greek figure of a bearded hero with a lion's pelt and an enormous club--who else but Hercules. It is said that the Scythians, whose brutal ways included human sacrifice in the ritual slaughter of attendants (and horses) at elaborate burial feasts, might have grown weak and slothful with all their worldly success as tradesmen. No one really knows for sure the details of why or how the Sarmatians quashed the Scythians. You get the feeling, though, that this otherwise engaging post-Cold War look at Scythian gold has been given a small but distinctly cautionary coda: Beware getting fat and sassy in a globalizing economy. REVIEW: Originally nomads, the Scythians migrated from central Asia through the Near East, finally settling on the shores of the Black Sea in what is now Ukraine. The wealth they earned by selling grain to Greek cities provided the means to purchase fabulous gold ornaments that fused the styles of Greece, the Near East, and Central Asia. It would be fair to say that the Scythians had a weakness for gold. Where did they get all that gold? It is accepted that the Scythians were fierce warriors. But historical myths suggest that the was as a result of commercial exchanges; grain for gold. Scythian art is characterized by its so-called animal style. This catalog displays some of the finest gold treasures of this ancient nomadic people--swords, a helmet, exquisite jewelry, and other objects dating from the fifth to the third centuries. REVIEW: Scythia was a region of Central Eurasia in classical antiquity, occupied by the Eastern Iranian Scythians, encompassing parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River and Central Asia, with the eastern edges of the region vaguely defined by the Greeks. The Ancient Greeks gave the name Scythia (or Great Scythia) to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea. The Scythians – the Greeks' name for this initially nomadic people – inhabited Scythia from at least the 11th century BC to the 2nd century AD. Its location and extent varied over time but usually extended farther to the west than is indicated on the map opposite. Scythia was a loose state that originated as early as 8th century BC. Little is known of them and their rulers. The most detailed western description is by Herodotus, though it is uncertain he ever went to Scythia. He says the Scythians' own name for themselves was "Scoloti". The Scythians became increasingly settled and wealthy on their western frontier with Greco-Roman civilization.The region known to classical authors as Scythia included the Pontic-Caspian steppe: Ukraine, southern Russia, and western Kazakhstan (inhabited by Scythians from at least the 8th century BC). Genetic evidence for ranging clear across the plains (steppes) from Black Sea to Lake Baikal. The Kazakh steppe: northern Kazakhstan and the adjacent portions of Russia Sarmatia, corresponding to eastern Poland, Ukraine, southwestern Russia, and the northeastern Balkans, ranging from the Vistula River in the west to the mouth of the Danube, and eastward to the Volga Saka tigrakhauda, corresponding to parts of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, southeastern Kazakhstan, and the Tarim Basin Sistan or Sakastan, corresponding to southern Afghanistan, eastern Iran, and southwestern Pakistan, extending from the Sistan Basin to the Indus River. Following successive invasions of the Indo-Greek kingdoms, the Indo-Scythians also expanded east, capturing territory in what is today the Punjab region. Parama Kamboja, corresponding to northern Afghanistan and parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Alania, corresponding to the northern Caucasus region Scythia Minor, corresponding to the lower Danube river area west of the Black Sea, with a part in Romania and a part in Bulgaria. In the 7th century BC Scythians penetrated from the territories north of the Black Sea across the Caucasus. The early Scythian kingdoms were dominated by inter-ethnic forms of dependency based on subjugation of agricultural populations in eastern South Caucasia, plunder and taxes (occasionally, as far as Syria), regular tribute (Media), tribute disguised as gifts (Egypt), and possibly also payments for military support (Assyria). It is possible that the same dynasty ruled in Scythia during most of its history. The name of Koloksai, a legendary founder of a royal dynasty, is mentioned by Alcman in the 7th century BC. Prototi and Madius, Scythian kings in the Near Eastern period of their history, and their successors in the north Pontic steppes belonged to the same dynasty. Herodotus lists five generations of a royal clan that probably reigned at the end of the 7th to 6th centuries BC: prince Anacharsis, Saulius, Idanthyrsus, Gnurus (Гнур (ru)), Lycus and Spargapithes. After being defeated and driven from the Near East, in the first half of the 6th century BCE, Scythians had to re-conquer lands north of the Black Sea. In the second half of that century, Scythians succeeded in dominating the agricultural tribes of the forest-steppe and placed them under tribute. As a result, their state was reconstructed with the appearance of the Second Scythian Kingdom which reached its zenith in the 4th century BC. Scythia's social development at the end of the 5th century BC and in the 4th century BC was linked to its privileged status of trade with Greeks, its efforts to control this trade, and the consequences partly stemming from these two. Aggressive external policy intensified exploitation of dependent populations and progressed the stratification among the nomadic rulers. Trading with Greeks also stimulated sedentarization processes. The proximity of the Greek city-states on the Black Sea coast (Pontic Olbia, Cimmerian Bosporus, Chersonesos, Sindica, Tanais) was a powerful incentive for slavery in the Scythian society, but only in one direction: the sale of slaves to Greeks, instead of use in their economy. Accordingly, the trade became a stimulus for capture of slaves as war spoils in numerous wars. The Scythian state reached its greatest extent in the 4th century BC during the reign of Ateas. Isocrates believed that Scythians, and also Thracians and Persians, are "the most able to power, and are the peoples with the greatest might." In the 4th century BC, under king Ateas, the tribune structure of the state was eliminated, and the ruling power became more centralized. The later sources do not mention three basileuses any more. Strabo tells that Ateas ruled over the majority of the North Pontic barbarians. Written sources tell that expansion of the Scythian state before the 4th century BC was mainly to the west. In this respect Ateas continued the policy of his predecessors in the 5th century BC. During western expansion, Ateas fought the Triballi. An area of Thrace was subjugated and levied with severe duties. During the 90 year life of Ateas, the Scythians settled firmly in Thrace and became an important factor in political games in the Balkans. At the same time, both the nomadic and agricultural Scythian populations increased along the Dniester river. A war with the Bosporian Kingdom increased Scythian pressure on the Greek cities along the North Pontic littoral. Materials from the site near Kamianka-Dniprovska, purportedly the capital of the Ateas’ state, show that metallurgists were free members of the society, even if burdened with imposed obligations. Metallurgy was the most advanced and the only distinct craft speciality among the Scythians. From the story of Polyaenus and Frontin, it follows that in the 4th century BC Scythia had a layer of dependent population, which consisted of impoverished Scythian nomads and local indigenous agricultural tribes, socially deprived, dependent and exploited, who did not participate in the wars, but were engaged in servile agriculture and cattle husbandry. The year 339 BC was a culminating year for the Second Scythian Kingdom, and the beginning of its decline. The war with Philip II of Macedon ended in a victory by the father of Alexander the Great. The Scythian king Ateas fell in battle well into his nineties. Many royal kurgans (Chertomlyk, Kul-Oba, Aleksandropol, Krasnokut) are dated from after Ateas’s time and previous traditions were continued, and life in the settlements of Western Scythia show that the state survived until the 250s BC. When in 331 BC Zopyrion, Alexander's viceroy in Thrace, "not wishing to sit idle", invaded Scythia and besieged Pontic Olbia, he suffered a crushing defeat from the Scythians and lost his life. The fall of the Second Scythian Kingdom came about in the second half of the 3rd century BC under the onslaught of Celts and Thracians from the west and Sarmatians from the east. With their increased forces, the Sarmatians devastated significant parts of Scythia and, "annihilating the defeated, transformed a larger part of the country into a desert". The dependent forest-steppe tribes, subjected to exaction burdens, freed themselves at the first opportunity. The Dnieper and Southern Bug populace ruled by the Scythians did not become Scythians. They continued to live their original life, which was alien to Scythian ways. From the 3rd century BC for many centuries the histories of the steppe and forest-steppe zones of North Pontic diverged. The material culture of the populations quickly lost their common features. And in the steppe, reflecting the end of nomad hegemony in Scythian society, the royal kurgans were no longer built. Archeologically, late Scythia appears first of all as a conglomerate of fortified and non-fortified settlements with abutting agricultural zones. The development of the Scythian society was marked by the following trends: An intensified settlement process, evidenced by the appearance of numerous kurgan burials in the steppe zone of North Pontic, some of them dated to the end of the 5th century BC, but the majority belonging to the 4th or 3rd centuries BC, reflecting the establishment of permanent pastoral coaching routes and a tendency to semi-nomadic pasturing. The Lower Dnieper area contained mostly unfortified settlements, while in Crimea and Western Scythia the agricultural population grew. The Dnieper settlements developed in what were previously nomadic winter villages, and in uninhabited lands. In the 4th century BC in the Dnieper forest-steppe zone, steppe-type burials appear. In addition to the nomadic advance in the north in search of the new pastures, they show an increase of pressure on the farmers of the forest-steppe belt. The Boryspil kurgans belong almost entirely to soldiers and sometimes even women warriors. The bloom of steppe Scythia coincides with decline of forest-steppe. From the second half of the 5th century BC, importing of antique goods to the Middle Dnieper decreased because of the pauperization of the dependent farmers. In the forest-steppe, kurgans of the 4th century BC are poorer than during previous times. At the same time, the cultural influence of the steppe nomads grew. The Senkov kurgans in the Kiev area, left by the local agricultural population, are low and contain poor female and empty male burials, in a striking contrast with the nearby Boryspil kurgans of the same era left by the Scythian conquerors. Growth of trade with Northern Black Sea Greek cities, and increase in Hellenization of the Scythian aristocracy. After the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian war, Attican agriculture was ruined. Demosthenes wrote that about 400,000 medimns (63,000 tons) of grain was exported annually from the Bosporus to Athens. The Scythian nomadic aristocracy not only served a middleman role, but also actively participated in the trade of grain (produced by dependent farmers as well as slaves), skins and other goods. Scythia's later history is mainly dominated by sedentary agrarian and city elements. As a result of the defeats suffered by Scythians, two separate states were formed, the 'Lesser Scythias': one in Thrace (Dobrudja), and the other in the Crimea and the Lower Dnieper area. Having settled this Scythia Minor in Thrace, the former Scythian nomads (or rather their nobility) abandoned their nomadic way of life, retaining their power over the agrarian population. This little polity should be distinguished from the Third Scythian Kingdom in Crimea and Lower Dnieper area, whose inhabitants likewise underwent a massive sedentarization. The interethnic dependence was replaced by developing forms of dependence within the society. The enmity of the Third Scythian Kingdom, centred on Scythian Neapolis, towards the Greek settlements of the northern Black Sea steadily increased. The Scythian king apparently regarded the Greek colonies as unnecessary intermediaries in the wheat trade with mainland Greece. Besides, the settling cattlemen were attracted by the Greek agricultural belt in Southern Crimea. The later Scythia was both culturally and socio-economically far less advanced than its Greek neighbors such as Olvia or Chersonesos. The continuity of the royal line is less clear in the Lesser Scythias of Crimea and Thrace than it had been previously. In the 2nd century BC, Olvia became a Scythian dependency. That event was marked in the city by minting of coins bearing the name of the Scythian king Skilurus. He was a son of a king and a father of a king, but the relation of his dynasty with the former dynasty is not known. Either Skilurus or his son and successor Palakus were buried in the mausoleum of Scythian Neapol that was used from c. 100 BC to c. 100 AD. However, the last burials are so poor that they do not seem to be royal, indicating a change in the dynasty or royal burials in another place. Later, at the end of the 2nd century BC, Olvia was freed from Scythian domination, but became a subject to Mithridates I of Parthia. By the end of the 1st century BC, Olbia, rebuilt after its sack by the Getae, became a dependency of the Dacian barbarian kings, who minted their own coins in the city. Later from the 2nd century AD Olbia belonged to the Roman Empire. Scythia was the first state north of the Black Sea to collapse with the invasion of the Goths in the 2nd century AD (see Oium). At the end of the 2nd century AD, King Sauromates II critically defeated the Scythians and included the Crimea into his Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus, a Roman client state. Scythian art is art, primarily decorative objects, such as jewellery, produced by the nomadic tribes in the area known to the ancient Greeks as Scythia, which was centred on the Pontic-Caspian steppe and ranged from modern Kazakhstan to the Baltic coast of modern Poland and to Georgia. The identities of the nomadic peoples of the steppes is often uncertain, and the term "Scythian" should often be taken loosely; the art of nomads much further east than the core Scythian territory exhibits close similarities as well as differences, and terms such as the "Scytho-Siberian world" are often used. Other Eurasian nomad peoples recognised by ancient writers, notably Herodotus, include the Massagetae, Sarmatians, and Saka, the last a name from Persian sources, while ancient Chinese sources speak of the Xiongnu or Hsiung-nu. Modern archaeologists recognise, among others, the Pazyryk, Tagar, and Aldy-Bel cultures, with the furthest east of all, the later Ordos culture a little west of Beijing. The art of these peoples is collectively known as steppes art. In the case of the Scythians the characteristic art was produced in a period from the 7th to 3rd centuries BC, after which the Scythians were gradually displaced from most of their territory by the Sarmatians, and rich grave deposits cease among the remaining Scythian populations on the Black Sea coast. Over this period many Scythians became sedentary, and involved in trade with neighbouring peoples such as the Greeks. In the earlier period Scythian art included very vigorously modelled stylised animal figures, shown singly or in combat, that had a long-lasting and very wide influence on other Eurasian cultures as far apart as China and the European Celts. As the Scythians came in contact with the Greeks at the Western end of their area, their artwork influenced Greek art, and was influenced by it; also many pieces were made by Greek craftsmen for Scythian customers. Although we know that goldsmith work was an important area of Ancient Greek art, very little has survived from the core of the Greek world, and finds from Scythian burials represent the largest group of pieces we now have. The mixture of the two cultures in terms of the background of the artists, the origin of the forms and styles, and the possible history of the objects, gives rise to complex questions. Many art historians feel that the Greek and Scythian styles were too far apart for works in a hybrid style to be as successful as those firmly in one style or the other. Other influences from urbanized civilizations such as those of Persia and China, and the mountain cultures of the Caucasus, also affected the art of their nomadic neighbours. Scythian art especially Scythian gold jewellery is highly valued by museums and many of the most valuable artefacts are in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Their Eastern neighbours, the Pazyryk culture in Siberia produced similar art, although they related to the Chinese in a way comparable to that of the Scythians with the Greek and Iranian cultures. In recent years, archeologists have made valuable finds in various places within the area. The Scythians worked in a wide variety of materials such as gold, wood, leather, bone, bronze, iron, silver and electrum. Clothes and horse-trappings were sewn with small plaques in metal and other materials, and larger ones, including some of the most famous, probably decorated shields or wagons. Wool felt was used for highly decorated clothes, tents and horse-trappings, and an important nomad mounted on his horse in his best outfit must have presented a very colourful and exotic sight. As nomads, the Scythians produced entirely portable objects, to decorate their horses, clothes, tents and wagons, with the exception in some areas of kurgan stelae, stone stelae carved somewhat crudely to depict a human figure, which were probably intended as memorials. Bronze-casting of very high quality is the main metal technique used across the Eurasian steppe, but the Scythians are distinguished by their frequent use of gold at many sites, though large hoards of gold objects have also been found further east, as in the hoard of over 20,000 pieces of "Bactrian Gold" in partly nomadic styles from Tillya Tepe in Afghanistan. Earlier pieces reflected animal style traditions; in the later period many pieces, especially in metal, were produced by Greek craftsmen who had adapted Greek styles to the tastes and subject-matter of the wealthy Scythian market, and probably often worked in Scythian territory. Other pieces are thought to be imports from Greece. As the Scythians prospered through trade with the Greeks, they settled down and started farming. They also established permanent settlements such as a site in Belsk, Ukraine believed to the Scythian capital Gelonus with craft workshops and Greek pottery prominent in the ruins. The Pazyryk burials (east of Scythia proper) are especially important because the frozen conditions have preserved a wide variety of objects in perishable materials that have not survived in most ancient burials, on the steppes or elsewhere. These include wood carvings, textiles including clothes and felt appliqué wall hangings, and even elaborate tattoos on the body of the so-called Siberian Ice Maiden. These make it clear that important ancient nomads and their horses, tents, and wagons were very elaborately fitted out in a variety of materials, many brightly coloured. Their iconography includes animals, monsters and anthropomorphic beasts, and probably some deities including a "Great Goddess", as well as energetic geometric motifs. Archaeologists have uncovered felt rugs as well as well-crafted tools and domestic utensils. Clothing uncovered by archaeologists has also been well made many trimmed by embroidery and appliqué designs. Wealthy people wore clothes covered by gold embossed plaques, but small gold pieces are often found in what seem to be relatively ordinary burials. Imported goods include a famous carpet, the oldest to survive, that was probably made in or around Persia. Steppes jewelry features various animals including stags, cats, birds, horses, bears, wolves and mythical beasts. The gold figures of stags in a crouching position with legs tucked beneath its body, head upright and muscles tight to give the impression of speed, are particularly impressive. The "looped" antlers of most figures are a distinctive feature, not found in Chinese images of deer. The species represented has seemed to many scholars to be the reindeer, which was not found in the regions inhabited by the steppes peoples at this period. The largest of these were the central ornaments for shields, while others were smaller plaques probably attached to clothing. The stag appears to have had a special significance for the steppes peoples, perhaps as a clan totem. The most notable of these figures include the examples from: the burial site of Kostromskaya in the Kuban dating from the 6th century BC (Hermitage); Tápiószentmárton in Hungary dating from the 5th century BC, now National Museum of Hungary, Budapest; Kul Oba in the Crimea dating from the 4th century BC (Hermitage). Another characteristic form is the openwork plaque including a stylized tree over the scene at one side, of which two examples are illustrated here. Later large Greek-made pieces often include a zone showing Scythian men apparently going about their daily business, in scenes more typical of Greek art than nomad-made pieces. Some scholars have attempted to attach narrative meanings to such scenes, but this remains speculative. Although gold was widely used by the ruling elite of the various Scythian tribes, the predominant material for the various animal forms was bronze. The bulk of these items were used to decorate horse harness, leather belts & personal clothing. In some cases these bronze animal figures when sewn onto stiff leather jerkins & belts, helped to act as armor. The use of the animal form went further than just ornament, these seemingly imbuing the owner of the item with similar prowess & powers of the animal which was depicted. Thus the use of these forms extended onto the accoutrements of warfare, be they swords, daggers, scabbards, or axes. The primary weapon of this horse riding culture was the bow, & a special case had been developed to carry the delicate but very powerful composite bow. This case, "the gorytus", had a separate container on the outside which acted as a quiver, & the whole was often decorated with animal scenes or scenes depicting daily life on the steppes. There was a marked following of Grecian elements after the 4th century BC, when Greek craftsmen were commissioned to decorate many of the daily use articles. Scythian art has become well known in the West thanks to a series of touring loan exhibitions from Ukrainian and Russian museums, especially in the 1990s and 2000s. Kurgans are large mounds that are obvious in the landscape and a high proportion have been plundered at various times; many may never have had a permanent population nearby to guard them. To counter this, treasures were sometimes deposited in secret chambers below the floor and elsewhere, which have sometimes avoided detection until the arrival of modern archaeologists, and many of the most outstanding finds come from such chambers in kurgans that had already been partly robbed. Elsewhere the desertification of the steppe has brought once-buried small objects to lie on the surface of the eroded land, and many Ordos bronzes seem to have been found in this way. Russian explorers first brought Scythian artworks recovered from Scythian burial mounds to Peter the Great in the early 18th century. These works formed the basis of the collection held by the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Catherine the Great was so impressed from the material recovered from the kurgans or burial mounds that she ordered a systematic study be made of the works. However, this was well before the development of modern archaeological techniques. Nikolai Veselovsky (1848-1918) was a Russian archaeologist specializing in Central Asia who led many of the most important excavations of kurgans in his day.[11] One of the first sites discovered by modern archaeologists were the kurgans Pazyryk, Ulagan district of the Altay Republic, south of Novosibirsk. The name Pazyryk culture was attached to the finds, five large burial mounds and several smaller ones between 1925 and 1949 opened in 1947 by a Russian archeologist, Sergei Rudenko; Pazyryk is in the Altay Mountains of southern Siberia. The kurgans contained items for use in the afterlife. The famous Pazyryk carpet discovered is the oldest surviving wool pile oriental rug. The enormous hoard of "Bactrian gold" discovered at Tillya Tepe in northern Afghanistan in 1978 comes from the fringes of the nomadic world, and the objects reflect the influence of many cultures to the south of the steppes as well as steppes art. The six burials come from the early 1st century AD (a coin of Tiberius is among the finds) and though their cultural context is unfamiliar, it may relate to the Indo-Scythians who had created an empire in north India. Recent digs in Belsk, Ukraine uncovered a vast city believed to be the Scythian capital Gelonus described by Herodotus. Numerous craft workshops and works of pottery have been found. A kurgan or burial mound near the village of Ryzhanovka in Ukraine, 75 mi (121 km) south of Kiev, found in the 1990s has revealed one of the few unlooted tombs of a Scythian chieftain, who was ruling in the forest-steppe area of the western fringe of Scythian lands. There at a late date in Scythian culture (c. 250 - 225 BC), a recently nomadic aristocratic class was gradually adopting the agricultural life-style of their subjects. Many items of jewelry were also found in the kurgan. A discovery made by Russian and German archaeologists in 2001 near Kyzyl, the capital of the Russian republic of Tuva in Siberia is the earliest of its kind and predates the influence of Greek civilisation. Archaeologists discovered almost 5,000 decorative gold pieces including earrings, pendants and beads. The pieces contain representations of many local animals from the period including panthers, lions, bears and deer. Earlier rich kurgan burials always include a male, with or without a female consort, but from the 4th and 3rd centuries there are number of important burials with only a female. The finds from the most important nomad burials remain in the countries where they were found, or at least the capitals of the states in which they were located when found, so that many finds from Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union are in Russia. Western European and American museums have relatively small collections, though there have been exhibitions touring internationally. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has the longest standing and the best collection of Scythian art. Other museums including several local ones in Russia, in Budapest and Miskolc in Hungary, Kiev in Ukraine, the National Museum of Afghanistan and elsewhere have important holdings. The Scythian Gold exhibition came from a number of Ukrainian exhibitions including the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine, the Institute of Archaeology in Kiev and the State Historical Archaeological Preserve at Pereiaslav-Khmel'nyts'kyi. REVIEW: Russian scholars from the State Hermitage Museum have concluded that a discovery of Scythian gold in a Siberian grave last summer is the earliest of its kind ever found and that it predates Greek influence. The find is leading to a change in how scholars view the supposed barbaric, nomadic tribes that once roamed the Eurasian steppes. The dig near Kyzyl, the capital of the Siberian republic of Tuva, revealed almost 5,000 decorative gold pieces -- earrings, pendants and beads -- that adorned the bodies of a Scythian man and woman, presumably royalty, and dated from the fifth or sixth centuries B.C. In addition to the gold, which weighed almost 44 pounds, the archaeologists discovered items made of iron, turquoise, amber and wood. "There are many great works of art -- figures of animals, necklaces, pins with animals carved into a golden surface," said Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage Museum. "It is an encyclopedia of Scythian animal art because you have all the animals which roamed the region, such as panther, lions, camels, deer, etc. This is the original Scythian style, from the Altai region, which eventually came to the Black Sea region and finally in contact with ancient Greece, and it resembles almost an Art Nouveau style." Russian and German archaeologists excavated a Scythian burial mound on a grassy plain that locals have long called the Valley of the Kings because of the large number of burial mounds of Scythian and other ancient nomadic royalty. The fierce nomadic Scythian tribes roamed the Eurasian steppe, from the northern borders of China to the Black Sea region, in the seventh to third centuries B.C. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. they interacted with the ancient Greeks who had colonized the Black Sea region, which is now in Ukraine and southern Russia. Not surprisingly ancient Greek influence was evident in Scythian gold previously discovered, but the recent find dates from before contact with the Greeks and from the heart of Siberia where, scholars say, contact with outsiders can almost be excluded. Research on the Tuva burial mound, known as Arzhan 2, began in 1998, and to the amazement of scholars the grave was discovered to be untouched, though failed attempts by grave robbers to locate the burial chamber were evident on the sprawling, 185-foot-long, 5-foot-high mound. This was the first such discovery since the early 1700's, when Russian explorers brought Scythian treasures to Czar Peter the Great, a find that became the State Hermitage Museum's collection of Scythian gold. All burial mounds explored since then had been robbed. To avoid contamination and disturbing the items stored in the grave, the Russian and German archaelogists entered it first with a small remote-control video camera to study how burial items were originally arranged and to reconstruct the burial rituals. The discovery was made by Russian scholars from the Hermitage Museum and the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage, led by the Russian archaeologist Konstantin Chugonov, who has been studying Bronze Age and Scythian sites in Tuva for 20 years. German scholars also took part in the dig and were led by Herman Parzinger and Anatoli Nagler from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. "Tuva's Valley of the Kings has long been a major area of interest for archaeologists because it contains the largest burial mounds in the region of Tuva and in all of the Altai region," Mr. Chugonov said. "We chose to work on those mounds in greatest danger, and we chose this one because of all the major mounds it is the most damaged." About 25 percent of the excavated burial mound, which is stone slate, was destroyed when Soviet authorities built a road through the area in the 1960's. Over the years, residents walked off with pieces of the stone to use in building their houses. After its discovery, the treasure was sent to the Hermitage Museum for storage and restoration, and it will stay there until Tuva can build a museum to house the items. This is in accordance with Russian Federation law stating that items be displayed in their place of discovery so long as local authorities provide the proper conditions. Building such a museum is years away, however, Dr. Piotrovksy said. Until then they will remain in the Hermitage, and at some point will be put on display. Though the Russian-German dig began last May, preparations took almost three years. Scholars first approached the burial mound in 1998, studying it with geophysical equipment allowing them, without excavating, to determine the presence of almost 200 items inside. The first reconnaissance dig was made in the summer of 2000. "The find was not an accident, because scholars know there are burial mounds in that area, but most were robbed, and empty," Dr. Piotrovsky said. "Their success in actually finding something was a combination of hard work and luck." REVIEW: A team of archeologists led by Anton Gass of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has unearthed a small trove of gold objects left behind by a people known as the Scythians, a group of fierce nomads that thrived for over a thousand years in the environs of what is now southern Russia. The Scythians are believed to have been a warring people, occupying the steppes of central Eurasia from the ninth century BC to the fourth century AD—but they did not leave behind much evidence of their existence, much less their history—they built no cities and kept on the move. They did however, create grave mounds called kurgans (Slavic for tumulus, or a particular type of grave where a mound of dirt is heaped over a chamber). One particular kurgan stood in the path of a power line construction, which caused utility officials to contact Gass to investigate. He brought a team to the site expecting to find nothing but dirt, clay and sand—it had been combed over by looters many times already. But, as it turns out the looters had missed something—deep inside a layer of clay was a chamber lined with stone, inside of which lay artifacts made of gold: two vessels shaped like buckets sitting upside down. Inside the buckets were three gold cups, a finger ring, a gold bracelet and two neck rings—taken together the find adds up to seven pounds of riches. In speaking with the press, the researchers described how the vessels had intricate inscriptions on them, one depicting an elderly man slaying a younger man, and another showing griffons killing a stag and a horse. Both are so well done that the researchers were able to make out details such as hair styles, clothing types, etc. They reported also that they had found sticky dark residue on the insides of the vessels, which after analysis turned out to contain both cannabis and opium. The researchers believe the opium was used in a tea of sorts and consumed, while the cannabis was smoked. The find corresponds to the writing of Greek historian Herodotus, who described occasions where the Scythians burned a plant to produce a smoke that made them shout out loud. REVIEW: The Scythians were a much-feared, barbaric group of pre-common era tribes that ruled the Eurasian grasslands for over a thousand years. Said to be of Iranian origin, they left no cities behind, only huge burial mounds called kurgans. Solid gold artefacts discovered in a Scythian burial mound in southern Russia include two bucket-shaped vessels, three gold cups, a heavy finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet. The kurgans of the Scythians dot the Eurasian steppes from Mongolia to the Balkans, and through Ukraine and on to the Black Sea. It is from the artifacts uncovered in the kurgans that archaeologists have learned much about Scythian life and art. A massive kurgan was discovered in Stavropol, a territorial district in Southern Russia, by workers clearing the way for a power line project. Stavropol-based archaeologist Andrei Belinski began excavating the kurgan, called Sengileevskoe-2, the summer of 2013, and his finds prompted authorities to keep the site a secret until now. Solid gold artifacts, including two bucket-shaped vessels, three gold cups, a heavy finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet were unearthed. In all, the artifacts when cleaned, weighed about seven pounds (3.2 kilos). "It's a once-in-a-century discovery," says Anton Gass, an archaeologist at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin. "These are among the finest objects we know from the region." When the excavation of the kurgan began, the archaeology team didn't have great expectations of finding much because it was apparent the kurgan had been looted some time in the past. But after several weeks of digging, the team came across a thick layer of clay. After careful digging, underneath the clay they came across a large rectangular chamber lined with broad, flat stones. Inside the chamber, the team found a 2,400-year-old treasure the looters had missed. "It was definitely a surprise for us," Belinski says. "We weren't expecting to find anything like this." Once the residue was removed from the gold vessels, ornate decorations, showing great detail were revealed. One vessel shows an old bearded man slaying young warriors. The other vessel shows griffons, mythological creatures ripping apart a horse and a stag. The bleak background depicted on the vessel led Belinski to think this was a representation of the Scythian underworld. Inside the vessels, Belinski discovered a black, sticky substance. Samples were sent to a forensics laboratory for identification. The images on the vessels are an exciting find. The vessel depicting the shoes, haircuts and clothing of the old man and the warriors is amazingly lifelike. "I've never seen such a detailed representation of the clothing and weaponry of the Scythians," says Belinski. "It's so detailed you can see how the clothing was sewn." Gass thinks the vessel depicting the old man slaying young warriors is a representation of the "bastard wars" as described by the Greek historian Herodotus. As Herodotus tells the story, the Scythians were engaged in a 28-year war with their neighbors. the Persians. When the Scythians finally returned home, they found intruders in their tents. They were the bastard children of the Scythians lonely wives and their slaves. Gass believes the slaughter that ensued was important enough that it was described in detail on the vessel. Herodotus writes that the grown bastard children went forth to engage the returning warriors, and many lives on both sides were lost. Herodotus writes: one Scythian warrior turned to his fellows, saying: "What are we doing, Scythians? We are fighting our slaves, diminishing our own number when we fall, and the number of those that belong to us when they fall by our hands. Take my advice- lay spear and bow aside, and let each man fetch his horsewhip and go boldly up to them. So long as they see us with arms in our hands, they imagine themselves our equals in birth and bravery; but let them behold us with no other weapon but the whip, and they will feel that they are our slaves, and flee before us." Belinski believes the vessel has a more metaphorical meaning. This could be a representation of the power struggle that occurs when a ruler or king has died. "When a king died, there was chaos," he says. "The spirit world was upset by the death of the king, and order had to be born anew." The black, sticky substance inside the vessels was cannabis and opium residue. For Scythians, cannabis was an important part of the death ritual when a leader died. First, the body was cleaned and dressed. Then, the leader's body was taken around the region where he ruled for 40 days so that everyone could pay their respects. After the leader's body was buried, Scythians would purify their bodies by erecting small tepee-like structures. A fire was made inside the structure, and when red-hot coals were left, hemp seeds were either thrown on the hot coals or put into vessels and set on the coals. The vapors produced were intoxicating, and the out-of-body experience supposedly cleansed the soul and mind. Herodotus, in about 450 BC writes, "when, therefore, the Scythians have taken some seed of this hemp, they creep under the cloths and put the seeds on the red-hot stones; but this being put on smokes, and produces such a steam, that no Grecian vapour-bath would surpass it. The Scythians, transported by the vapour, shout aloud." It has long been believed that these "hemp rituals" were nothing more than a myth, but it is a fact this ceremony did occur. In 1929, Professor S. I. Rudenko and his team of archaeologists were digging some ancient ruins near the Altai Mountains, on the border between Siberia and Outer Mongolia. They unearthed a 20-foot deep trench about 160 square feet in size. Around the trench, they found the skeletons of horses and inside the trench was the embalmed body of a man and a large cauldron filled with the residue of cannabis seeds. It is interesting to note that the sacrifice of a horse was considered the most "prestigious" sacrificial gift to their pantheon of seven gods. The central portion of the burial mound was finally excavated in full last fall. The team found additional trenches around the kurgan, but due to political tensions, the excavating has been put on hold. "It's like a detective investigation. We don't understand it all, not immediately," says Gass. "We need to keep digging." REVIEW: The Hermitage collection of Scythian antiquities is renowned worldwide, its nucleus consisting of finds from burial complexes in the Crimea, Kuban basin and in the valleys of the Dnieper and Don rivers. The most attractive feature of the collection is the abundance of articles of applied art from a variety of schools and trends, with objects created in the Scythian Animal style, and items made by Greek craftsmen or imported from Oriental countries and the nearby Classical centers to the North of Black Sea and intended for Scythian noblemen. According to Scythian tradition, alongside a dead chief the tribe buried his wives, servants, armour-bearers, grooms and horses, and these burials thus contain numerous artifacts, from weapons and harness to everyday objects and a multiplicity of personal adornments. Most valuable of all is the Scythian Gold, often lavishly decorated with precious stones. Two gold shield emblems in the forms of a panther and stag – the Kelermes Panther and the Kostromsky Stag (from burial mounds in the Kuban area, 7th century BC) – are true masterpieces, which have come to symbolize the achievements of Scythian craftsmen. These two animals were hugely popular during the Scythian era and appear on many objects. No less remarkable are the articles from the burial mounds of Scythian chiefs (5th to 4th centuries BC), executed in the Graeco-Scythian style and decorated with scenes from a Scythian heroic epic: the gold comb from the Solokha burial mound; gold and silver vessels from the Kul-Oba and Chastye barrows; a silver amphora bearing relief representations of scenes from Scythian life (Chertomlyk burial mound). The detailed images on these pieces make it possible for us to picture the appearance of the Scythians, their clothes and weapons. Rich tombs beneath tumuli and ancient settlements in the area of the forested steppes, inhabited by the tribes subject to the Scythians, have also yielded hand-made clay vessels, farming tools, utensils, arms and armour and objects associated with the working of bronze and iron, both imported and of local production. REVIEW: Russian archaeologist Andrey Belinski wasn’t sure what to expect when he found himself facing a small mound in a farmer’s field at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. To the untrained eye, the 12-foot feature looked like little more than a hillock. To Belinski, who was charged with excavating the area to make way for new power lines, it looked like a type of ancient burial mound called a kurgan. He considered the job of excavating and analyzing the kurgan, which might be damaged by the construction work, fairly routine. “Basically, we planned to dig so we could understand how it was built,” Belinski says. As he and his team began to slice into the mound, located 30 miles east of Stavropol, it became apparent that they weren’t the first people to take an interest. In fact, looters had long ago ravaged some sections. “The central part was destroyed, probably in the nineteenth century,” Belinski says. Hopes of finding a burial chamber or artifacts inside began to fade. It took nearly a month of digging to reach the bottom. There, Belinski ran into a layer of thick clay that, at first glance, looked like a natural feature of the landscape, not the result of human activity. He uncovered a stone box, a foot or so deep, containing a few finger and rib bones from a teenager. But that wasn’t all. Nested one inside the other in the box were two gold vessels of unsurpassed workmanship. Beneath these lay three gold armbands, a heavy ring, and three smaller bell-shaped gold cups. “It was a huge surprise for us,” Belinski says. “Somehow, the people who plundered the rest didn’t locate these artifacts.” As he continued to excavate the area surrounding the kurgan, he spotted postholes near the stone box, as though tree trunks had once been sunk in the earth to support a pavilion or roof. Belinski and Anton Gass of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin, whom Belinski had invited to participate in the excavation, realized that they had found something far beyond a simple burial mound. In fact, some scholars think the site may have been the location of an intense ritual and subsequent burial rite performed by some of the ancient world’s most fearsome warriors. From about 900 to 100 B.C., nomadic tribes dominated the steppes and grasslands of Eurasia, from what is today western China all the way east to the Danube. All across this vast expanse, archaeological evidence shows that people shared core cultural practices. “They were all nomads, they were heavily socially stratified, they had monumental burial structures and rich grave goods,” says Hermann Parzinger, head of Berlin’s Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and former head of the German Archaeological Institute. Today, archaeologists refer to the members of this interconnected world as Scythians, a name used by the Greek historian Herodotus. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). However this book is quite heavy, and it is too large to fit into a flat rate mailer. Therefore the shipping costs are somewhat higher than what is otherwise ordinary. There is a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Condition: NEW. See detailed description below., Material: Paper, Format: Hardcover

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