FINIALS FROM CHMYREVA MOHYLA (finding of 1898)


Keywords: finial, deer, Chmyreva Mohyla, Haimanova Mohyla, the State Hermitage, M. F. Sumtsov Kharkiv Historical Museum.

Abstract

In 1898 during excavations of Chmyreva Mohyla held by F. Brown, near the burial mound the countrymen plowed four bronze finials in shape of bearded deer. The finials were taken to the Hermitage collection, and in 1932 they were given to Ukraine, to Kharkiv, and now they are in the collection of the M. F. Sumtsov Kharkiv Historical Museum.

On the outside the finials from Chmyreva Mohyla are close to those from the Haimanova Mohyla. But they are different in that they are less schematic, more variable inside the series and that they have more clear relief of the small details.

When found, one of the finials was broken into two parts — a plug and a deer figure. When the finials were given to Ukraine, the plug occasionally was left in the Hermitage and the deer figure was taken to Kharkiv. Later it caused the confusion in calculating the general number of finials from Chmyreva Mohyla, which was surmounted due to analysis of accounting records.

It is more correct to associate an animal on the finials with fantastic creatures due to its unnatural treat — a long goat beard.

«Deers’» postures on the finials are the bent front feet and stretched in a step hind feet that are typical for a posture of an animal that is carved by a predator or a gryphon. This equates to treat the «deers» as offering animals, which corresponds to the main function of the finials as means that provided for communication between the universe zones.

Tradition of depicting signs in the form of birds’ heads on the «deers’» shoulders and shieldbones had deeps roots, but for the Scythian art of the 4th century BC the peculiar trait was a gradual loss of zoomorphic basis and as a consequence — the characters schematization.

Analysis of the finials from Chmyreva Mohyla and Haimanova Mohyla allows making a conclusion that in the 4th century BC a practice of making finials by a specified pattern became widespread. Herewith different masters could have been participating in replicating the same copy; they tried to reduplicate a particular example, sometimes without the whole understanding the meaning of some of its details.

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2019-12-25
How to Cite
Babenko, L. I. (2019). FINIALS FROM CHMYREVA MOHYLA (finding of 1898). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 295-312. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.22