NOTES ON BRONZE POLE-TOPS WITH A GRIFFIN FROM SCYTHIAN ALEKSANDROPOL BARROW


Keywords: Alexandropol burial mound, bronze pole-tops, casting, phased process of manufacturing and decorating.

Abstract

The article proposes a scheme and algorithm for the manufacture of four bronze pole-tops from the Scythian Royal Alexandropol burial mound dated to the second half of the 4th century BC, which can serve as a basis for understanding the manufacturing process or the ancient repair of the similar Scythian replicated products.

There is both a general idea of the manufacture of such bronze pole-tops by casting (according to a wax model or in detachable forms), and private judgments about the nature of castings, the correction of defects and the repair of pole-tops and their parts. But at the same time, specific details of the production process by different researchers (S. V. Polin, B. N. Mozolevsky, A. I. Melyukova, L. I. Babenko, A. R. Kantorovich, V. R. Erlikh, etc.) are assumed different, showing a very colorful picture.

The process of making bronze pole-tops which were similar in composition, but different in the elaboration and decoration, most likely consisted of the following successive steps: creating a stencil of wax models of griffins in a rectangular frame; revision and decoration by hand of some individual parts on the surface of these wax figures (wings, paws, etc.), giving individuality to each object; attachment and molding of wax plugs; closure of the wax model by the clay mold, its drying and firing (?); casting in metal; destruction of clay mold; machining the surface of the casting.

The pole-tops are casted from lead-tin bronze (copper is the base, tin is 9—12 %, lead is 2—3 %, traces of arsenic, iron and nickel). The pole-top (no. Dn 1853 1/6) differs by one feature. On the side edges of the nozzle are high dark triangles with clear boundaries, made by lead-tin plating. On the other objects such ornamentation (?) is not visible.

Thus, the considered pole-tops were made using a single stencil and cast according to a single technical scheme.

References

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Published
2019-12-25
How to Cite
Alekseev, A. Y., Minasyan, R. S., & Shablavina, E. A. (2019). NOTES ON BRONZE POLE-TOPS WITH A GRIFFIN FROM SCYTHIAN ALEKSANDROPOL BARROW. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 278-284. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.20