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#Exhibit of the Month

The pectoral from Tolstaya Mogila is considered the main archaeological treasure of Ukraine (it is depicted, for example, on the logo of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). This unique artifact of 958 gold, weighing 1140 g, was discovered as a result of excavations of the Scythian burial mound of Tolstaya Mogila (Tovsta Mohyla) on June 21, 1971 near the modern city of Pokrov (then Ordzhonikidze) in the Dnepropetrovsk region. Following the excavations carried out by Boris Mozolevsky and Yevgeny Chernenko, it turned out that a mound with a height of 8.6 m and a diameter of 70 m was filled over the representatives of the Scythian elite around 350s-340s BC. The Tolstaya Mogila mound was the family tomb of the Scythian aristocracy, in which а male burial of а "king" and then, after a short period, of a "queen" with a child was performed. Then, some time after the funeral, the burial of the "king" was robbed, but the robbers, fortunately, did not notice jewelry (a sword in a scabbard, a whip) lying in the dromos at the entrance to the tomb, including the pectoral.

It is believed that the pectoral was made by goldsmiths of Greek or Macedonian origin. It is kept in the Kiev Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine and belongs to the State Fund of Precious Metals and Precious Stones of Ukraine. The pectoral has a crescent shape; its composition consists of three tiers, separated by two hollow tubes in the form of a twisted rope. Two more of the same tubes frame the pectoral from above and below. The upper tier features several separate scenes with Scythians and domestic animals. In the center, two half-naked men are holding in their hands a stretched animal skin, similar to a sheep's skin. On the left and right, horses with foals and cows with calves are depicted; behind them, there are figurines of Scythian servants, one of whom is milking a sheep, and the other is milking a cow, holding in their hands, respectively, a clay pot and a small amphora. In the middle tier, among the stems of plants and flowers, there are figurines of birds. The lower tier depicts hunting scenes of fantastic griffins and real wild animals. The upper and lower friezes of the pectoral are lacy; the figurines of people and animals on them are made using the casting technique on the basis of a lost wax model. These are almost completely three-dimensional sculptures, flat only on the inside. Three-dimensional figurines of birds are attached with pins among flowers, the petals of which are covered with colored enamel.

It is obvious that a certain iconographic text was encrypted in the pectoral, although its understanding is very difficult. Therefore, it is not surprising that over half a century since the discovery, more than twenty interpretations of images in the pectoral have been put forward. One of the most accurate and innovative seems to be the primary interpretation of images in the pectoral, expressed by its discoverer Boris Mozolevsky. Already in his precise, insightful analysis, the smallest details of the decor, including floral ornaments, all the movements of the figures of the lower and upper friezes, gestures and the direction of the views of the characters of the central scene are noted, although they are not always taken into account in further research. B.N. Mozolevsky also proposed an analysis of the composition of the friezes, and the interpretation of the nature of the images, especially the central scene of the upper frieze. Dmitry Sergeevich Raevsky brilliantly entered the pectoral into the conceptual model of the Scythian universe, devoting a special study to it, in which the structure of the pectoral is read as the Greco-Scythian cosmogram. The plot of the upper frieze of the pectoral can also be based on a time-varying legend associated with the emergence of the Macedonian dynasty. Therefore, the pectoral could go to the Scythian leader as a trophy captured in a clash with the Scythians in 339 BC, received as a gift during negotiations, received as a gift from Ateas for helping in the war (and he, in turn, received it as a gift when they had good relations with Philip II of Macedon). Yet much remains unclear. The pectoral has no analogies, not only in the Scythian world, but also in the Greek environment. Until now, despite the possible correspondences to its elements and techniques found in other things, the pectoral remains a special work of art, still not surpassed in the skill of execution and the lightness of the idea of its creator.

The copy of the pectoral from Tovsta Mohila, an object of historical value of the Ukrainian treasury, was given as a gift to President Maia Sandu by his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during his visit to Kyiv in January 2021 and is currently part of the MNIM heritage.


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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. VII [XXII], nr. 1

Investigations of a mega-structure at the Trypillian culture settlement near Nebelivka in 2012
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Investigations of a mega-structure at the Trypillian culture settlement near Nebelivka in 2012

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VII [XXII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

In 2012 the British-Ukrainian expedition continued investigations at the Trypillian culture settlement near Nebelivka. The main aim of the field season was exploration of the largest object in the area (about 20×60 m), which was detected in 2012 by magnetic prospection. The investigations were funded by AHRC (Grant No. AH/I025867: 2012-2016) and the National Geographic Society (Grant No. 2012/211). Results of the excavations have confirmed the size of the site and have provided important information on this structure.

List of illustrations:

Fig. 1. Nebelivka. Plan of the site according to the magnetic survey: 1 - general plan; 2 - plot with the mega-structure (object B5).

Fig. 2. Nebelivka. General view on the place of the Trypillian culture settlement: 1 - photo taken by means of a kite (north-west direction); 2 - on the south side, from the opposite slope of the river valley.

Fig. 3. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, as seen from a kite: 1 - after clearing daubing strata; 2 - after the removal of the upper daubing stratum.

Fig. 4. Nebelivka. Exploration of the mega-structure: 1-3 - general view of the excavation process; 4 - after ending of the clearing burnt daubing layer.

Fig. 5. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, burnt daubing: 1 - near elevation No.1; 2 - near elevation No.7; 3 - near elevation No.2, view from S.

Fig. 6. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, location of the main constructions: a - milling stone; b - clay bin with milling stone; c - elevation No.2; d - elevation No.4; de - threshold; e - podium; f - elevation No.1; g - elevation No.3; h - place with broken pots and bowls over the pit near elevation №5; i - elevation №5; j - elevation No.6; k - remains of clay arc; l, r - strips of burnt daubing at eastern part; m - threshold; n, o, p - thresholds; q - elevation No.7.

Fig. 7. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, round elevation: 1-2 - elevation and broken pots; 3 - elevation after removing of pottery.

Fig. 8. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, podium: 1, 2 - general view; 3, 4 - cross-sections; 5 - part near the wall.

Fig. 9. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, remains of a pithos near the podium: 1, 2 - fragments with decoration; 3 - remains of pithos and other pottery.

Fig. 10. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, pithoi: 1 - pieces of pithos after clearing; 2 - wreckage of the pithos in the course of picking; 3 - fragment of a pithos with decoration; 4 - broken small pithos.

Fig. 11. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, elevations on the ground surface: 1 - elevation №4; 2-3 - elevation No.2, general view and a fragment of the blade with rims; 4 - cross-section of elevation No.4; 5 - cross-section of elevation No.2.

Fig. 12. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, elevation No.2: 1 - general view, to the right - clay bin with milling stone; 2 - fragment of an edge of elevation No.2 with in-depth ornament; 3 - part of elevation No.2; 4 - explorations of elevation No.2.

Fig. 13. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation: elevation №7: 1 - general view after clearing; 2 - after preparations to take as a monolith; 3 - fragment with decorations.

Fig. 14. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part, clay bin: 1 - at the beginning of explorations; 2 - after the cleaning.

Fig. 15. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, clay bin with milling stone: 1 - corner and a broken pot inside; 2 - coating of the bottom and the remains of a construction in the center; 3 - fragment of a rim; 4 - corner.

Fig. 16. Nebelivka, Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, milling stone and remains of the second (?) rectangular structure.

Fig. 17. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, remains of thresholds: 1 - the main entrance on the east side; 2 - entrance to the left room.

Fig. 18. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, remains of the threshold from the western side.

Fig. 19. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, eastern part of excavation, strips of daubing: 1, 2, 4 - general views of the southern strip; 3 - cross-section of the northern strip.

Fig. 20. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation: pottery among strata of burnt daubing.

Fig. 21. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation: broken pottery and bowls over the pit near elevation No.5.

Fig. 22. Nebelivka. Mega-structure, the western part of excavation, finds: 1 - part of a necklace made of yellow metal; 2 - pendant made of the tooth of a predatory animal.


 

 


Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
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#Exhibit of the Month

The pectoral from Tolstaya Mogila is considered the main archaeological treasure of Ukraine (it is depicted, for example, on the logo of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). This unique artifact of 958 gold, weighing 1140 g, was discovered as a result of excavations of the Scythian burial mound of Tolstaya Mogila (Tovsta Mohyla) on June 21, 1971 near the modern city of Pokrov (then Ordzhonikidze) in the Dnepropetrovsk region. Following the excavations carried out by Boris Mozolevsky and Yevgeny Chernenko, it turned out that a mound with a height of 8.6 m and a diameter of 70 m was filled over the representatives of the Scythian elite around 350s-340s BC. The Tolstaya Mogila mound was the family tomb of the Scythian aristocracy, in which а male burial of а "king" and then, after a short period, of a "queen" with a child was performed. Then, some time after the funeral, the burial of the "king" was robbed, but the robbers, fortunately, did not notice jewelry (a sword in a scabbard, a whip) lying in the dromos at the entrance to the tomb, including the pectoral...

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2021 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

 



The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2021 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

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