• Bowl with the Depiction of a Lion-Hunt

    Technique:
    chasing

Bowl with the Depiction of a Lion-Hunt

Created: Scythian Culture. Turn of the 5th and 4th centuries BC

Found: Solokha Tumulus, side burial. Left bank of the lower Dnieper near the village of Velikaya Znamenka, Taurida Province, Russian Empire. Excavated by Nikolai Veselovsky, 1913

The vessel is decorated with gilded relief in the form of several friezes. A garland made up of two strands of ivy runs around the upper edge, while two almost symmetrical hunting scenes are placed below it. On one side, two young horsemen in typical Scythian dress and with the nomads’ typical weaponry (bows and spears) are hunting a lion with the aid of dogs. On the other side, hunters are attacking a fantastic beast – a horned lioness. The presence of such a creature points to the mythological or epic character of the scene, the meaning of which remains a mystery, despite various proposed interpretations (the hunt has, for example, been taken as one of the deeds of a local, Scythian Hercules, the ritual defeat of a predator or as a struggle between representatives of the “world of the living” and creatures from the “world of death”). It is noteworthy that the heroes of the scene are young warriors. The actual shape of the piece, a distinctive feature of which is the two horizontal handles, is typical for Scythian festive and ritual vessels. In the Scythian world, such vessels were, admittedly, more often made from wood and decorated with gold mounts depicting deer, fish, predatory animals and birds of prey.

Title:

Bowl with the Depiction of a Lion-Hunt

Epoch. Period:

Archaeological site:

Solokha Tumulus, side burial

Material:

Technique:

chasing

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1914; handed over from the Imperial Archaeological Commission

Inventory Number:

Дн.1913-1/40