Ancient silver plate adorned with winged gods and griffins is found inside the wooden tomb of a warrior who died in the 4th century BC in Russia

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  • Wooden tomb discovered in western Russia in the 4th century BC containing the skeleton of a man in the 40s
  • Along with weapons and tools, he was buried with a silver plate containing the Scythian war goddess Artympa and several griffins.
  • The Scythians were a nomadic Eurasian civilization that lived in what is now southern Siberia between 900 and 200 BC.
  • A warrior culture where both men and women fought, their influence extended from the Black Sea to China and the Middle East
  • The Greeks later reported that the Scythians drank the blood of their enemies and participated in human sacrifices.

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A decorative silver plate adorned with ancient gods and mythological creatures has been found inside the 2400-year-old tomb of an ancient Eurasian warrior.

On Friday, the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IA RAS) announced that a team had found a 14-inch plate – depicting the Scythian war goddess Artympa, as well as a winged deity, several griffins and other imaginary creatures. Gaya – near the city of Devitsa, outside Ostrogozhsk, western Russia.

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The tomb contained the skeleton of a man in his 40s, who was buried along with a variety of weapons, tools, decorative artifacts and sacrificial objects.

The Scythians were a nomadic civilization that settled in what is now southern Siberia between 900 and 200 BC.

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At its peak, his influence extended from the Black Sea to China and the Middle East.

They were ruthless warriors, in which both men and women were fighting.

According to legends, the Scythians also drank the blood of slain enemies and participated in human sacrifices.

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A decorative plate dating to the 4th century BC was discovered in a Scythian tomb in western Russia. Artifacts depict various Scythian deities, including the war goddess Artympa, as well as griffins and other mythical creatures.

Devitsa was first discovered in 2000 as the site of a Scythian necropolis, when IA RAS archaeologists found 19 burial mounds there.

While most of the tombs were plundered centuries ago, the roof of this particular tomb collapsed, protecting some of its treasures from grave robbers.

Along with the warrior’s remains, the team with the IA RAS found an iron knife, a spear, harness and other equestrian equipment, and a horse’s rib, possibly the remains of a ceremonial food offering.

They also found six bronze plates in the shape of a wolf.

The Scythians were nomadic warriors who used female warriors and smoked opium and cannabis to form bonds between tribes.  They also reportedly participated in human sacrifices, drank the blood of slain enemies and used their skulls as a drinking cup.

The Scythians were nomadic warriors who used female warriors and smoked opium and cannabis to form bonds between tribes. They also reportedly participated in human sacrifices, drank the blood of slain enemies and used their skulls as a drinking cup.

The plate was found in a tomb that is part of a Scythian necropolis near the city of Devitsa, outside Ostrogozhsk, western Russia.

The plate was found in a tomb that is part of a Scythian necropolis near the city of Devitsa, outside Ostrogozhsk, western Russia.

But in the northeast part of the tomb, separate from the body and other objects, was the most unusual discovery: a silver square plate on a wooden base with small silver nails.

About 14 inches long and three inches wide, the plate depicts an unidentified winged figure facing the Scythian god Artympa, a bisexual goddess of war, fertility and sovereignty.

Her upper body is stripped, and she wears a headdress – possibly a crown with thorns – on her head.

The Scythians were a group of nomadic tribes that originally lived in southern Siberia between 900 and 200 BC.  Above: His influence extends across Central Asia, from China to the Black Sea

The Scythians were a group of nomadic tribes that originally lived in southern Siberia between 900 and 200 BC. Above: His influence extends across Central Asia, from China to the Black Sea

Artympasa is surrounded on both sides by mythical creatures with the griffin, the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion.

The animals, which were depicted in Asia Minor and the ancient world as far back as 3300 BC, were often depicted in Scythian art along with Artympa.

To the left of the plate are two more fictional figures, including an anthropomorphic character with a crown on his head surrounded by griffins.

Prominent archaeologist Valery Gulaev stated that the discovery of Devitsa was the first time an artifact depicting Scythian gods, from where the main Scythian centers were until now.

It is also notable because it is rare for so many gods to appear on one object.

But ‘who those characters are and what this plate is decorated with remains an open issue,’ according to one release IA from RAS.

The Scythians were known to be experts in waging war on horseback and were often buried with cavalry equipment

The Scythians were known to be experts in waging war on horseback and were often buried with cavalry equipment

The Devitsa site has been plundered by ancient robbers and recent agricultural development, but archaeologists still made several important discoveries there: in 2019, the remains of both a female warrior and an older woman were found in a mound.

Last year, archaeologists in southern Siberia uncovered a 2,500-year-old tomb they believed to be a Scythian warrior couple.

The couple is believed to have died in their 30s and were buried with a child and an elderly servant.

The woman was buried with the same weapon as her male companion – a warbler and a short sword.

This Scythian couple is believed to have died in their 30s and were buried with a child and an elderly servant woman

This Scythian couple is believed to have died in their 30s and were buried with a child and an elderly servant woman

This is rare in an area where women were buried with any weapon, it usually being a bow and arrow.

Researchers theorize that swords and battle axes may have been used in hand-to-hand combat and bloody melee, a sign of Scythian culture.

The man was buried with two axes and two bronze daggers.

Archaeologist Anatoly Vybornov at the time said, ‘Both men and women took part in the hostilities. ‘Violence was an acceptable and legal way to solve their problems.’

Historians have assumed that Scythian warrior women were the inspiration for the Amazons of Greek mythology.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus left a detailed account of the Scythians and their female warriors.

Hippocrates said that a young woman would cease to play her role as a fighter after marriage.

‘They don’t give up their virginity until…

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