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Scythians

Pegasus

 

Sometimes objects from Scythian burials can tell us surprising details. For example, not so long ago in 1982 Professor A.M.Leskov, a Moscow archaeologist, while excavating a Scythian burial at aul Ulyap in Adyghe found a silver horn-shaped vessel with the lower part imitating the winged horse Pegasus. E.V.Vlasova, a Hermitage research worker, found out that there were at least two periods in the history of this thing. At the end of the VI th c. BC it was a Greek horn, used as such for about 40 - 50 years (till 470-460 years BC). Then a protomem, the front half of the Pegasus's figure was fixed on it and the joint was covered with a gilded rim, the lower part of the mouth was engirded with another wide rim , decorated with engraved fight of titans. A stem with a round base was soldered from below.

The engraving on the rim with depictions of the fight between gods and titans is of special interest. Together with the usual fights of people, armed with short swords, there is a fight scene, strange at first sight. The personage, interpreted by some researchers (e.g. F.R. Balonov) as Zeus, holds in his hand a bundle of grass or some plant stalks, not a thunderbolt or any other weapon. Specialists think, it is either mandrake or iris. Both plants figure in Greek mythology and are provided with medicinal and lethal qualities. Among other recognizable personages there are Hephaestus with forging tongs and a goddess, probably Hera. The engraved frieze on the rhyton will be studied by specialists for a long time.

 


 

  

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