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Scythians-msg - 1/31/00


A Eurasian Nomadic people. 700 - 300 B.C.


NOTE: See also the files: Celts-msg, England-msg, Mongols-msg, East-Eur-msg, Picts-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Subject: ANST - More on Tattoos, Scythians, and Celts

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 99 19:47:19 MST

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


'wolf asked:

> is this a decent resource?  have a particular fondness for

> the "horse barbarian" ciltures, especially the scythian and

> was thinking of incorporating something with scythian /

> pictish iconography into the master plan.


Your fondness is perhaps more Celto-tribal than you know. The Romans

fetched with them to Britain fairly large numbers of... you guessed it,

Sarmatian auxiliaries (a people very closely related to the Scythians).

Some very well-researched scholarship beginning with Georges Dumezil, has

gone into quite a lot of detail proving that the origin of the entire Grail

Cycle was these auxiliaries.  (For instance,

see http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tomgreen/arthur.htm)


But even before then, the Celts originally migrated from the area that the

Scythians and Sarmatians called their home, so it is also very possible that

the Celts brought these legends (and art and other cultural baggage) with

them in their migrations north and west.


Here are some sources:


I believe that the first report of Scythian tattoos surviving in

freeze-dried kurgan occupants was in the May 1965 Scientific American.


Rolle, Renate.  The World of the Scythians.  London: B.T. Batsford.  1980.

ISBN 0520068645. [Contains some very incorrect information, but also has

some of the best pictures of horse trappings, tattoos, and line-art of

Scythian artifacts I've ever seen.  Get the book for the pictures.  Get

better sources for the real meat of the subject.]


Rudenko, Sergei I. Frozen Tombs of Siberia: the Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age

Horsemen. Berkeley: The University of California Press. 1970.

[Probably the best over-all source on the kurgans and their frozen



"Nyt om gammelt m, artikel af S¿ren Nanche-Krogh om hans tatoveringer".

Skalk No 4, 1969.

[Magazine with article on Scythian tattooing, in Danish.]


Cernenko, E.V.  The Scythians: 700 - 300 B.C.  Men-at-Arms Series 137.

London: Osprey.  1983. [Very good book -- nice reconstructions of Scythian

costume, arms and armor. No tattoos.]


M. I. Artamonov. Treasures from Scythian tombs in the Hermitage Museum,

Leningrad.  ISBN 0500231125.[Contains some of the most famous and most

beautiful photos of Scythian artifacts, particularly the gold belongings of



Glusker Irwin, Christian von Rosenvinge and Lilly Hollander, eds.  From the

Lands of the Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the U.S.S.R.,

3000 B.C.-100 B.C.  New York:  (Museum Catalog) Metropolitan Museum of Art

in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 1975. [This book

has many gorgeous photos of the most spectacular Scythian art and artifacts

known today.  No tattoos, but lots of very worthwhile art and art design.]


Michael Vickers. Scythian Treasures in Oxford (Ashmolean Museum Archaeology,

History & Classical Studies) Oxford: Ashmolean. 1979. ISBN 0900090618. [I

have a copy of this one.  This contains info only on the Scythian artifacts

held at the Ashmolean Museum, and this is a fairly small collection.  None

the less, the information is very interesting and there's some nice jewellry

pictured. No tattoos.]


Minns, Ellis H.  Scythians and Greeks:  A Survey of Ancient History and

Archaeology on the North Coast of the Euxine from the Danube to the

Caucasus.  Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. P.  1913.  [Very dry, but also very

informative. Predates the frozen kurgan finds.]


Herodotus.  Selections from the Persian Wars, Book IV. from The Greek

Historian.  ed. Francis R. B. Gondolphin.  New York: Random House.  1942.

[This is the famous description of the Scythians and the Sarmatians.]


Here's another website that shows more of the Scythian tattoos... too bad

the book being advertised is $108.



see also


Mummified Scythians and their Tattoos



Scientists work to preserve 3,000-year-old mummy found in Siberia



Scythian Archaeology of the Middle Don River Basin



A HairRaising Report of A Modern Archaeological Excavation of a Kurgan



The Center for the Study of the Eurasian Nomads



Ukrainian Museum of Historical Treasures (Scythian Gold) in the Monastary of

the Caves-Pecherska-Lavra



Gunnora Hallakarva




Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:38:53 -0600

From: Stephanie Howe <olga at icon-stl.net>

To: Calontir Newslist <calontir at crcvms.unl.edu>

Cc: "sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Gold of the Nomads


The current issue of Archeology magazine (Jan-Feb 2000) contains a brief

article and schedule for the "Gold of the Nomads: Scythian Treasures

from Ancient Ukraine" exhibit.


San Antonio Museum of Art: Current through Jan. 30


Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore:  March 7- May 28


Los Angeles County Museum of Art:  July 2- Sept. 24


Brooklyn Museum of Art:  Oct.29- Jan. 21, 2001


Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, KC:  May 27- August 11, 2001


Lilies War field trip, anyone?




Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 13:41:45 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Gold of the Nomads


Stephanie Howe wrote:

> The current issue of Archeology magazine (Jan-Feb 2000) contains a brief

> article and schedule for the "Gold of the Nomads: Scythian Treasures

>from Ancient Ukraine" exhibit.


> Olga


The book, Scythian Gold, which accompanies this exhibition is

stunning and fairly large. It's currently selling for $65.





Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 20:29:46 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Gold of the Nomads


J. Kriss White wrote:


> I saw the tour "Scythian Gold" at the L.A. County Museum of Art back in the

> mid '70s.  (75?  76?)  Do you know if new things have been added, or if

> this is the same bunch of (beautiful and interesting!) artifacts, making

> the rounds again?  It's interesting that the book you mention has the same

> title as the tour did back over 20 years ago.


I have both exhibitions' catalogs. The old one was a hardback

a little over a half inch thick. The new one is larger and about

an inch and a quarter thick. It's also better done. It comprises

some of the old stuff which was an exhibition with much of which's

material was collected from Russia. The new one is based largely

on finds from the UKRAINE in the last twenty years with some of

the finest pieces of the other exhibition added in to make a

much better book.


The 1975 catalog was entitled _From the Lands of the Scythians_

and can be commonly found on Bibliofind. Last week when I was

too lazy to go get it for a citation I noticed it was selling

from $6-45.


Of course this a all pre period but it's also some of the most

fantastic work ever created. I hope that is ebullient enough

and honest enough for you.


One of my friends is having a complete set of high

quality Scythian garb and armor and weapons made for him. I've

seen the helmet and it is very impressive. He intends to be buried

in it one day. By birth he's Sicilian, and for some strange reason

I've never been able to convince him one has nothing, or very

little, to do with the other. Go figure.


Magnus, who really, really likes the Scythians and similar



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org