This is the first exhibition of Scythian antiquities of such scale that was ever held in Ukraine, said Nadia Kapustina, director of Dmytro Yavornytsky Dnipropetrovsk National Historical Museum. The exhibition of items from the collections of the Archeology Institute of the Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences “Golden Scythia” will feature findings of several generations of Ukrainian archeologists. Before, only the experts of Scythian studies had access to these items.
“Scythians came to Ukraine in 5-6 century B.C. and the center of the Great Scythia was our land – former Katerynoslav province and now the Dnipropetrovsk region. Unfortunately, before the revolution all the valuable items made of gold and bones were sent to the Imperial reserve, now it is the Hermitage. Many valuable exhibits that were found on the territory of our region are now preserved in Saint Petersburg Hermitage.
In the Soviet times, the excavations in Dnipropetrovsk region, where such great masterpieces as the Golden Pectoral were found, were actively carried out by the Institute of Archaeology of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Most of the objects found then were kept in the funds of the institute. As a rule, the Institute of Archaeology together with the Museum of Historical Treasures organized exhibitions abroad. However, we could only dream about an exhibition of all those items found in our land for a long time,” said director of the museum at a press conference. Several years ago the workers of the historical museum came up with an idea to have an exhibition of Scythian gold in Dnipropetrovsk. The local authorities got interested in the suggested project and assisted in its realization. “The solemn opening of the exhibition will take place on March 15.
We expect many guests. Roundtable discussion will be held before the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition will be open until May 31,” announced Kapustina. Most of the golden items made by Scythian craftsman are in “animal style” with Hellenic motives. Visitors will see women’s jewelry, shoes, household items, and many other things. The total number of the exhibits is about 1,500. The exposition will be accompanied with visuals for all to see Scythian rarities in detail. “At the present moment there is a new alarm system in the building and during the show we will have more security. Museum staff are fully prepared to ensure the safety of this unique collection,” said the director. Senior researcher Larysa Churylova, professional archeologist that works in the region, says that for the first time such rare art items of such rank will be presented in Ukraine within the framework of the “Golden Scythia” exhibition. For example, the gilded silver plates with images that depict heroic deeds of young Hercules, ritual vessels the surface of which is decorated with dynamic patterns in animal style and a unique bowl with images of the four horses. Not to mention hundreds of ornamental golden plates.
“This is something we are proud of – the golden fund of Ukraine,” said Churylova. The exhibition will also feature Scythian artifacts that were discovered just recently. In 2007 excavations of the mound Twin-2 were carried out in the southern outskirts of Dnipropetrovsk. According to the experts, it was a royal burial mound, plundered back in the old times. However, some unique finds were discovered there, the items that were of no interest for the gold seekers – bone plates with anthropomorphic images of Hellenic scenes, arrowheads, Scythian sword-akinak, harness, and many other items.