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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. VIII [XXIII], nr. 1

Research project
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Research project "Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe: the case of the Trypillian mega-sites" in 2013

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VIII [XXIII], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

In 2013, the Ukrainian-British expedition under the scientifi c-research project "The Tripillian Mega-Sites Project (Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe: the case of the Tripillian mega-sites)" continued research on the settlement at Nebelevka. The Project successfully completed a fi ve-week summer season, running from 15th July to 17th August 2013. The principal objectives of the 2013 seasons were defi ned before the season, as follows: geophysical prospecting of a further 160 ha of the mega-site, the excavation of several Trypillian features: a pit near a Trypillian house and sections across linear features on geophysical plots identifi ed in the 2012. The Ukrainian side excavated a house-and-pit complex near the 2012 mega-structure trench (tr. 3), Bisserka Gaydarska and Toni Stoilka Ignatova began the excavation of a large pit (tr. 4). Excavations confi rmed the existence of cultural layer around dwellings. There were investigated several pits, originally served for the extraction of clay. Later at this pits there were deposited artifacts, related to everyday life and sacral life of the nearest households. There were provided the mechanical coring and test-pitting of 50 burnt structures to recover samples for AMS dating, on-site soil micromorphological investigations; finished intensive, systematic fi eld walking of a further 20 km2 of the Nebelivka hinterland; conducted palaeo-environmental investigations of further sites near to Nebelivka and within a 30 km radius; completed plan of site, based on magnetic survey, checked few types of the new kinds of archaeological objects found by geophysicists.

List of illustrations:

Fig. 1. Plan of Nebelivka and location of 2013 trenches: 1 - places of trenches 3 and 4; 2 - place of excavations at 2012-2013; 3 - place of tr. 43; 4 - place of tr. 3; 5 - place of tr. 4.
Fig. 2. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, general views.
Fig. 3. Nebelivka 2013. House B17, clay elevations 1-4.
Fig. 4. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, elevation on ground level.
Fig. 5. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, ceramic abrasive.
Fig. 6. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, pottery at the remains of house.
Fig. 7. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, pottery at and under remains of house.
Fig. 8. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, clay interior details with traces of painting and other decorations.
Fig. 9. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, clay interior details with traces of painting and other decorations.
Fig. 10. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, plaster of walls with traces of painting.
Fig. 11. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, fi nds of painted pottery.
Fig. 12. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, house B17, pit near the house, cross-sections.
Fig. 13. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, remains of the house B18.
Fig. 14. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 3, pit near house B18, general view and cross-section.
Fig. 15. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 4, investigations of the pit.
Fig. 16. Nebelivka 2013. Test pits: 1 - TP 2; 2 - TP 4, 3-4 - TP 25; 5 - TP 6.
Fig. 17. Nebelivka 2013. Test-pit 1, bowl on foots.
Fig. 18. Nebelivka 2013. Finds from test-pits: 1, 4, 5 - from TP 4 (AMS 1/3); 2, 3 - TP 4 (AMS 1/4).
Fig. 19. Nebelivka 2013. Early Bronze Age kurgan at the area of the site.
Fig. 20. Nebelivka 2013. Tr. 4, part of the clay model of the house.
Fig. 21. Nebelivka 2013. Anthropomorphous fi gurines from different trenches.
Fig. 22. Nebelivka 2013. Small fi nds and fl int tool.


 

 


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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