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Scythian Gold Plaque Bearing a Scene of Sworn Brotherhood, Kul Oba kurhan, Crimea, 4th century BC



Two Scythians sharing the same drinking horn in a ritual described by Herodotus. They are shown with their foreheads and noses pressed together, creating the illusion of a single frontal face and two bodies. The conceit of two creatures with their heads conjoined is common in ancient are in the depiction of animale, but is here applied to human beings. This plaque is about fifty years later than the similar one from Solokha (no. 72).

Two Scythians sharing a drinking horn, clothing ornament plaque. Gold, height 4.9cm. (1 15/16 in.)

4th century B.C. Crimea, near Kerch, Kul Oba, kurhan. Excavations, 1830 Hermitage, КО 41.

Artamonov, Splendor, pl. 203.
Source: p.59, Cat. no. 76 (Color plate 14), "From the Lands of Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the U.S.S.R., 3000 B.C.–100 B.C.": The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 32, no. 5 (1973–1974) Piotrovsky, Boris (1973–1974)



See also Illustrations of Scythian, Cimmerian and Sarmatian Costume and Soldiers from the Black Sea Region