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Georgian Silver Rhyton with Warriors,
from Gomi Village. Kutaisi Museum.







In the mountainous region of Georgia, in Upper Racha, a silver vessel depicting a battle scene is a very unique example of toreutics. Noteworthy is its story and ornamental jewelry. The silver vessel is in the shape of an elongated cone; Residual height 13 cm; Mouth dm - 6.5 cm; Weight - 86 g; Part of the mouth and throat is damaged; The lower part is broken. The vessel is kept in the precious metals fund of the Kutaisi Museum (Inv. N111) [29, p. 37]. The vessel is made of a single sheet of silver. It is possible that the relief was first made on a flat sheet and then assembled. This is why the figures are somewhat deformed and the proportions are distorted. The vessel has three belts. The first from the top - a grooved frieze; The second - a scene of four people fighting each other; Third - two animals and a tree. The given images are symmetrically placed on the wall of the vessel. Below the grooves are two battle scenes. The first bearded man from the left wears a helmet; in his raised hand he holds a short spear, and in his left hand he holds a rectangular shield. The warrior wears a short tunic on his body and bare legs visible below it. He is wearing shoes with ankle ties. The second warrior is depicted as the first, and the bow and arrow are aimed at the first. He is wearing a helmet, unnamed clothes and shoes like the first warrior. The third warrior stands with his back to the other, wearing a helmet on his head; in his right hand he holds a dagger, and in his left hand he holds a shield like the first warrior. The figure of the fourth warrior is directed towards the third and holds a spear in his hand. Some parts of the figures are damaged/deformed. Below the warriors is an eight-limbed tree and a deer and a wolf standing face to face to each other. The technique of making images on a vessel is done by means of cutting, carving and embossing from the inside of the relief. The contours of the convex figures are sharply rounded. The figures are schematic-touristic; It is made with low relief and concave lines. Relief need not be performed by a high class master. The bodies of all four fighters are in three-quarter view, while the head is expressed in profile. The beard of the warriors are shown by lines. The spatial solution of the upper and lower composition is simple. In the lower register, a tree can be seen behind the animals, creating the illusion of two different planes. The horizontal stripes on the rectangular shields of the warriors give the impression that the craftsman tried to create the illusion of an artistic perspective. The dynamic poses of the warriors in the battle scene composition create a mood of aggressive expression. In the centre, the tree in the background is seen as the main symbol connecting the upper and lower stories. There is no exact artistic-stylistic analogy in the Caucasus and around it yet. We can look for general similarities only in its sacral (tree, animal) and material (weapons).
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Thus, on the southern slope of the Caucasus, in Zemo Racha, in the village of Gomi, the proven silver Rython is, according to our version, a local product, generally made in the Late Hellenistic-Late Antiquity period and must have been from the Brill Cemetery.
Source: Gela Gamkrelidze "Silver Rhyton from the village of Gomi" in Colchian Essays, pp.138-155, 2010. Archaeological Research Center (SMA)



Other Georgian Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers
Other Ancient Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers