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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. VI [XXI], nr. 1

The pottery kilns at the Maeothian settlements of the Kuban river and the Don river regions
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

The pottery kilns at the Maeothian settlements of the Kuban river and the Don river regions

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VI [XXI], nr. 1, Arheologie. Istorie Antică

In 2005-09, three pottery kilns were unearthed at the Maeothian settlements of the first centuries AD in the Kuban River region. Together with 20 kilns excavated in the 1970s they formed a typologically compact group of pottery kilns in the region. All kilns are two-storey structures and differ only in size and design of the heating chambers. The diameters of kilns range from 0,9 to 2,6 m, with ca. 2,0 m on average. The roof of the heating chamber was supported by the partitions long-trapezoidal in shape. The openings for fire are mainly facing the east or northeast, for the western and southwest winds in summer did not cool the kilns. It allows us to suggest the seasonal use of these kilns, mainly for the summer.

The kilns dated to the 2nd-1st  centuries BC at the Elizavetinsky settlement located in the same region had served as prototypes for the kilns in study. The kilns of the similar design are known neither from the Greek or Roman pottery workshops, nor was it in use by the craftsmen of Central Asia. Some features makes parallel the Maeotian kilns of the Kuban region with kilns found in the Northwest Black Sea and Transcarpathian regions, the areas connected to the Celtic traditions. These traditions could be adopted by the Meothian craftsmen from the Celts lived in Asia Minor.

The potters of the Kuban region, re-settled by the nomads to the Lower Don area in the 1st  century AD had reproduced there their customary type of the pottery kilns. It explains the complete identity in the construction of kilns in both regions.


The medieval pottery kilns in the Northeast Caucasian region did not continue the tradition. These were more primitive in design and easier to make.

List of illustrations:
Fig. 1. The pottery kiln at the necropolis of the Sporny 1 settlement: plans and cross-sections of different levels.
Fig. 2. Pottery kilns of the Kazansky 1 settlement: 1 - the 2005 field season; 2 - the 2009 field season.
Fig. 3. Pottery kilns of the Starokorsunsky 2 settlement: 1 - kilns Nrs. 7-9, the plan and cross-section; 2 - kilns Nrs.
1-6, the plan and cross-section.
Fig. 4. Pottery kilns of the Starokorsunsky 2 settlement: 1 - the kiln nr. 10, the plan and cross-section; 2 - the kiln Nr. 11, the plan and cross-section; 3 - the kiln nr. 12, the plan and cross-section; 4 - the kiln nr. 14, the plan and cross-section.
Fig. 5. Pottery kilns of the Starokorsunsky 2 settlement: 1 - the kiln nr. 13, the plan and cross-section; 2 - the kiln nr. 15, the plan and cross-section; 3 - the kiln nr. 20, the plan and cross-section.
Fig. 6. Pottery kilns of the Starokorsunsky 2 settlement: 1 - the kiln nr. 18, the plan and cross-section; 2 - the kiln nr. 16, the plan and cross-section; 3 - the kiln nr. 19, the plan and cross-section; 4 - the kiln nr. 17, the plan and cross-section.
Fig. 7. Pottery kilns of the Maeotian settlements in the Lower Don region: 1 - the Kobyakovsky settlement, the kiln unearthed in 1961, the plan and cross-section; 2 - the Kobyakovsky settlement, the kiln unearthed in 1955; 3 - the Podazovsky settlement, the kiln unearthed in 1959.
Fig. 8. The kiln unearthed in 2009, pahsa slabs from the Kazansky 1 settlement. Plate 1. The main features of pottery kilns from the Kuban and the Lower Don regions, the first centuries AD.


 

 


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
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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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