EN RO
National Museum of History of Moldova
Read Mode















#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.


Click here for a Virtual Tour of the Museum

 
National Museum of History of Moldova
 

Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. VI [XXI], nr. 1

The results of archaeological research in the Mazarache Church of Chișinău in 2010
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

The results of archaeological research in the Mazarache Church of Chișinău in 2010

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

In the summer of 2010 archaeological excavations in the historic part of Chișinău were carried out. The earliest written records about the Chișinău show that the historic core was located in the lower part of the modern city, near the river of Bâc. Apparently, the locality already existed in the 14th  century, before the Golden Horde was ousted from the south-eastern part of the Carpathian-Dniester land in 70s-80s of this century. On the opposite, left side of the river there was located the settlement of the Tatar times mentioned in the sources.

On the right bank of the Bâc River, on top of a hill at the foot of which there was a spring, there is the Intercession (Mazarache) Church that was built in 1739-1740 (Eșanu 1998, 56), 1742 (Ciocanu 2002, 39-43) or, according to some data, in 1752 (Kishinev 1984, 324). According to researchers, the stone church was built on site of an ancient wooden one, burned by Turkish troops in 1739 during the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739 (Eșanu 2001, 147).

Archaeological excavations conducted in the immediate vicinity of the Mazarache Church revealed some ceramic materials of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, as well as ample evidence of the existence of a settlement and burial site of the medieval and modern times.

Among the most interesting finds we can mention an earthen fortress moat, which refers, apparently, to the 16th-17th  centuries. Having a depth of 4,5 m and width at the top to 5,1 m, it would close access to the cape, where the cemetery was located. To the west of the cape the remains of a dwelling with a stone vault, referring to the 17th-18th centuries, were investigated. There were found well-preserved remains of a monumental architectural structure of red brick, determined by us as a part of the urban water supply catchment galleries constructed by A.I. Bernardazzi in the late 19th century (Bubis 1997, 59-62).

Excavations were carried out in the south-western periphery of the cemetery and directly at the northern apse of the church. The excavation area is 88 sq. m. There were investigated 52 burials. All of them are in the Christian tradition. More than half of the skeletons belong to children or teenagers. Skeletons lie on the back, face up, or on the right or left side. The arms are bent at the elbows, hands on chest, abdomen or, more rarely, on the collarbone. A special attention was drawn to a children’s burial, the head oriented to the west, in a highly flexed position on the right side.

Inventory of burials is quite poor. In different burials there have been found from one to five coins, as well as bone, bronze or silver buttons of various types, earrings, rings and fragments of ceramics. In burials of the Mazarache Church cemetery of Chisinau 29 coins were found. Of these, 13 specimens belong to the Hungarian issuers of the 16th  - early 17th  centuries, a silver poltorak of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the early 17th  century, and a silver Swedish shilling of the second half of that century. A third, undefined, poorly preserved European coin, obviously, refers to these issuers. Ottoman coins (13 pieces) are in the majority of 18th - early 19th centuries. Three Ottoman coins belong to the 16th-17th  centuries.

Discovery of these coins in burials can be explained by the fact that the Hungarian silver denarii depict Our Lady with the Child and were worn in 6th-17th  centuries as an icon, mostly by children and women (at least according to our observations in the course of investigation of burial grounds). It must be noted that the finds of coins in the graves of the Mazarache Church cemetery were observed only in the graves of children, adolescents, and, rarely, women. This shows the existed practice of wearing of silver coins as a talisman, both in the Middle Ages and in modern times. If they originally worn the coins with the image of Our Lady with the Child, later, in the 18th  - the beginning of 19th century, they become to wear, symbolically (Dautova 1977, 75-78), any silver coins, including the Ottoman akçe and para.

As a result of the investigation of the medieval cemetery in Chisinau it can be also stated that in the middle and in the second half of the 16th  century a territory of the cape around the supposed wooden church was fully occupied with the local Christian community burials.

Recent burials refer to the first two decades of the 19th century, until 1827, when a stone wall around the church was built, and burials were prohibited.


 

 


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

  
National Museum of History of Moldova
  
Come to Museum! Discover the History!
  
Visit museum
Visit museum
Summer schedule: daily
10am – 6pm.

Winter schedule: daily
10am – 5pm.
Closed on Fridays.
Entrance fees:  adults - 10 MDL, pensioners, adults with moderate disabilities / disability of the 3rd degree, students - 5 MDL, school students - 2 MDL. Free access: enlisted men (...)

WiFi Free Wi-Fi Zone in the museum: In the courtyard of the National History Museum of Moldova there is Wi-Fi Internet access for visitors.






#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...

Read More >>






























__________________________________________

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

menu