AMPHORA FROM CHORTOMLYK BARROW AND PECTORAL FROM TOVSTA MOHYLA: THE GENERAL AND THE PECULIAR (HISTORIOGRAPHICAL OVERVIEW AND NEW OBSERVATIONS)


Keywords: Scythians, amphora, pectoral, Chortomlyk barrow, Tovsta Mohyla, Greek-Scythian toreutics

Abstract

The comparison of the masterpieces of the Greek-Scythian toreutics — the silver amphora from Chortomlyk and the gold Pectoral from Tovsta Mohyla became the set tradition from the moment of the pectoral discovery. Both objects have a range of distinct common traits, such as composition tripartite structure with plot identical in contents — scenes of nomadic daily routine, represented by miniature high relief figures of the characters, scenes of animal combat, and also the zones of floral ornament, enlivened by birds’ figures and many other nuances.

The researchers compared the amphora and the pectoral in different contexts. A. P. Mantsevich saw in them, first of all, handiwork of Thracian craftsmen. Many researchers interpreted the compositions of amphora and pectoral as reflection of cosmogonic idea about tripartite Universe structure where the scenes of animal combat were associated with the day of vernal equinox and the idea of the cyclicality of seasons, the floral composition — with the World Tree symbolic, and the horse riding — with ritualistic sacrifice during a coronation or burial of king (E. E. Kuzmina, B. M. Mozolevskyi, D. S. Raevskii).

Ann Farkas interpreted the plots on amphora and pectoral as cosmogonic act of creation, S. S. Bessonova saw in them the elements of cattle-breeding rituals, connected with calendar holidays. D. A. Machinski associated both handiworks with the cult of the Great Goddess, and F. R. Balonov considered the amphora and the pectoral compositions the model of mythopoetic space — the time.

The researchers also didn’t reach common ground on the handiwork authorship — part of them consider the amphora and pectoral originated from the one workshop (W. Rudolph, D. Williams, F. R. Balonov), and some believed that both objects origin from different workshops (E. A. Savostina).

Several more observations can be added to this similarity — in the context of using some or other beverages in the represented rituals, the compositional nuances of the ornithomorhic bestiary, numeric symbolism, etc. So, the comparison of two masterpieces in different contexts remains a promising direction of their study.

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2021-03-29
How to Cite
Babenko, L. I. (2021). AMPHORA FROM CHORTOMLYK BARROW AND PECTORAL FROM TOVSTA MOHYLA: THE GENERAL AND THE PECULIAR (HISTORIOGRAPHICAL OVERVIEW AND NEW OBSERVATIONS). Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 41(4), 121-133. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2021.04.09