the last decades of the XIX century the region of
Tsaritsyn was invaded by "gold-rushes" -
and the territory was explored for clandestine excavations
undertaken by local people to find ancient treasures.
Information about such robberies became known to the
Imperial Archaeological Commission and in 1895 the
noted scientist A. A. Spitsyn started excavations
in the Kamyshin district near the villages Lebiazhie,
Novaia Norka and Ust-Griaznukha. Materials from these
field works were given to the Commission and are kept
in the Imperial Hermitage, S.-Petersburg.
of local lore was founded in the city of Tsaritsyn
(later called as Stalingrad, now Volgograd) in 1914.
Archaeological collections of the new museum were
collected by local scientists and students of local
the 1920-30-s a remarkable group of research fellows
was working in the Museum of local lore of Stalingrad
– Ò. Ì. Minaeva, P. I. Shishkin, A. I. Il'ina and
others. Their field activity assisted in the replenishment
of the collections of the Museum and were important
in spreading knowlege of ancient history among local
political events in Soviet Union during the second
half of 30-s resulted in vast repression among archaeologists
of the Volga-Don region. Most of them perished in
"labour camps" in Stalin's times. Archaeological
research was headed then by I. V. Sinitsyn - the only
survivor from the group of the Saratov Academic Archive
Commission. In 1937 he directed the excavation of
the necropolis near Avilovskiy khutor on the Ilovlia
main part of the material kept now in the Museum of
Local Lore of Volgograd was collected after the Second
50-60-s of the XX century the expedition of the Institute
of Archaeology of the USSR Academy of Science (Leningrad
branch) directed by V. P. Shilov, was doing field-work
in the Volgograd region. In this team were working
archaeologists -I. P. Zasetskaya, L. Ia. Malovitskaya,
A. S. Skripkin and V. I. Mamontov (at this time research
fellow of Volgograd Museum). These broad fieldworks
have resulted in numerous investigated graves with
plenty of important material that came into the funds
of the Museum. World-known are the archaeological
assemblages from the Zhutovo and Verkhnepogromnoe
necropoli investigated by this team.
Leningrad team influenced the growth of the study
of archaeology in the Volgograd region. Intensification
of excavation works was caused by building of large
irrigative systems in the Volgograd region1.
archaeological laboratory of Volgograd State Pedagogical
Institute (V. I. Mamontov, A. S. Skripkin, I. P. Lisitsyn,
A. V. Lukashov) was a centre of fieldworks in 70-s.
Works of this Institution are continued now by A.V.
Kiyashko, V. I. Mamontov, E. P. Mys'kov and N. B.
Skvortsov. After the foundation of Volgograd State
University in 1980 fieldworks were broadened. Archaeological
excavations are conducted now by the archaeological
laboratory of the University and by the Archaeological
Institute of Lower Volga Region (A. S. Skripkin, A.
N. Diachenko, B.F. Zhelezchikov, V. M. Klepikov, V.
A. Kriger, A. V. Lukashov, I. V. Sergatskov). During
the last decade more institutions started to undertake
their own investigations. Among them are worthy to
note the Regional Scientific Centre for Guarding the
Monuments of History and Culture (A. A. Nazarov, P.
E. Zakharov, L. V. Gurenko), the Culture Commettee
of the Administration of Volgograd Region (A. V. Sitnikov)
and Volzhskiy State Humanitarian Institute (A. A.
present in the collections of the Volgograd Museum
of Local Lore there is kept significant collection
of antiquities of the Sarmatian Culture, among them
unique and rare items made of gold and silver by ancient
craftsmen for barbarian kinglets and nobility. These
precious items are witnesses of the ancient history
of the Volgo-Don region and remind us the traditions
of our ancestors.
this volume are published all items made of precious
metals from graves of the Sarmatian Culture, which
are kept in the collections of the Volgograd Museum
of Local Lore. The main part of this volume is the
complete Catalogue of such items prepared by V. Mordvintseva
and N. Khabarova. It is followed by an essay devoted
to some categories of jewellery and toreutics (V.
Authors feel a deep gratitude to O. Lokhova, the Head
Keeper of the Volgograd Museum of Local Lore for her
priceless help. It is worthy to note the help of D.
Sharapov and A. Gritsaeva in selecting archive materials
for the Catalogue.
drawings were done by V. Mordvintseva. Photos are
made by V. Mordvintseva, N. Khabarova and A. Severianov.
Authors are grateful to Mr. John Roberts for his kind
help in correcting Summary, which was written in English
by V. Mordvintseva.
help in studying jewellery and jewellery literature
was received by V. Mordvintseva during the work in
cooperation with M. Treister on the investigative
project "Zwischen technischer und kunstlerischer
Innovation und Beharren in lokalen Traditionen. Zu
toreutischen Werken und Schmuckgegenstanden im nordlichen
headed by Frau Dr. F. Fless. We are cordially grateful
to H. Parzinger, F. Fless, H. von Hesberg, H. Salskov
Roberts for their help and for the possibility of
working in the libraries of Berlin, Cologne, and Copenhagen.
studies in Russia (modern state of research). Up to
the present time academic literature on jewellery
in the West is numerous and various. Nearly all important
collections of ancient jewellery are published, observed
in special surveys, and included in typologies. However,
there still remain the questions of local centres
of provenance, regional chronologies built on the
basis of context material and the problem of definition
of originals and forgeries.
situation with academic literature on the territory
of former Soviet Union is different. Most numerous
are publications of complexes with jewellery3.
museums only the collection of jewellery from Chersonesos,
kept in State Historical Museum (Moscow) was published4.
This monography was for a long time the only special
work on antique jewellery, and it became a handbook
for several generations of Soviet archaeologists.
At the same time this book was responsible for number
of myths in the science of our country, including
opinions about large scale import of jewellery from
Syria and Middle Asia to the North Pontic region (without
notes on source of such information)5,
or theories about the late date for jewellery inlayed
with stones (not earlier than I–III ñ. A.D.)6.
great importance was the publication of «Greek Gold»
by J. Ogden and D. Williams in the Russian language7.
In this volume were published essays on the techniks
of ancient goldsmiths and on centres of jewellery
production. However, this catalogue consisted of mainly
well-known artefacts from the Metropolitan Museum,
the British Museum and the State Hermitage. The chronological
frame of the book (IV–III ñ. B.C.) is also too limited
for students of Barbarian cultures of the North Pontic
region and Eastern European Steppes.
great number of professional surveys of jewellery
are published mainly abroad8.
It has meant in a low level of jewellery knowlege
in our country. At the same time interest in ancient
jewellery and toreutics is growing. Many new articles
and essays on this theme have appeared. A special
conference on «Jewellery Art and Material Culture»
is held in the State Hermitage twice a year, with
published volume of every meeting9.
from these articles other kinds of works on jewellery
have become a sign of modern times. In recent years
many collectors of ancient artefacts have appeared
in Russia and Ukraine. Huge-scale demands for antiquities
have resulted in a huge amount of forgeries. Some
of them have already been declared as originals by
The desire of collectors to see their collections
published is understandable. In this way objects become
recognizable by scientists and moreover get better
price. To publish a private item without proper context
it is worth remembering that such material is «second
hand» and should be examined critically. When forgeries
are already published it is hard to improve the situation.
course not all objects from private collections are
of modern production. A great misfortune for archaeology
and for humanity are the large-scale clandestine excavations
throughout South Russia (Kuban region) and Ukraine
(the Crimea in particular).
the contemporary situation with jewellery studies
in Russia could be characterized as corresponding
to the state of science in the West in 60-s of the
XX century: a large amount of finds having no identification
papers have appeared in museums and private collections,
with discussions concerning their authenticity, the
search for methods to define forgeries, the growth
of interest to build typology and the chronology of
this category of material.
characteristic of the jewellery collection 2 c. B.C.
- 4 ñ. A.D. of the Volgograd Museum of Local Lore.
All objects being discussed in this volume were found
in an archaeological context giving proofs of their
made of precious metals played a distinctive role
in the history of mankind as objects of prestige and
signs of high social position. In this capacity jewellery
and toreutics were placed in the Sarmatian graves.
the first chronological period (III–I c. B.C.) belong
objects from 38 complexes: Baranovka-I, 10-9; Belokamenka,
1-3,6-5,7-3; Berdia 1-7; Bykovo 11-3,2-3, 5-7; Varlamov
2-5; Vengelovka 2-4; Verkhnepogromnoe 1-12,6-5,7-6,14-11;
Verkhny Balykley 7-2; Volzhsky 8-6; Zheltukhin 1-1;
Zhurov 2-5; Zhutovo 27 (votive deposition in mound),
27-4, 27-5, 30-1; Zapadnye Mogily 18-2, 18-7, 21-2;
Zaplavnoe 8-9; Ilyevka 4-2; Koroli 4-1; Oktyabrsky-V
1-1, 1-2, 3-1; Pervomaisky-I 13-3; Pervomaisky-VII
42-4; Pisarevka-II 6-2; Priozernoe 2-8; Pyatnadtsaty
poselok 5-3; Khimkombinat-B 4-5; Tsarev 23-4. In this
number 9 of 38 graves were robbed.
the second chronological period (I - first half of
II ñ.A.D.) belong objects from 36 complexes: Antonov
5-1; Baranovka-I 1-1, 3-1,4-1, 14-1; Berdia 3-1, 5-1,
6-1, 8-2; Verbovsky-I 6-1, Verbovsky-II 4-1; Verbovsky-III
2-1; Vetyutnev 1-1; Zhutovo 67-2, 71-1, 82-1; Zakanalny
2-1, 10-1, 11-1; Zapadnye Mogily 22-1; Kilyakovka
3-8; Kolobovka 5-7; Koroleva Mogila 1-1; Malaya Vorobtsovka
3-1; Novy Rogachik 6-1; Oktyabrsky-I 1-1; Oktyabrsky-II
1-2, 2-1, 3-1; Pervomaisky-I 1-2; Pervomaisky-VII
14-1; Pervomaisky-IX 4-1; Peregruznoe 5-1; Politotdelskoe
2-7; Primorsky-I 6-1; Razdol'e 2-2. In this number
28 of 36 graves were robbed.
the third chronological period (second half of II-IV
ñ. A.D.) belong objects from 7 complexes with jewellery
objects: Abganerovo-II 13-1, 33-1; Bykovo 3-1; Vesely-VI
1-1; Ivanovka 2-1; Nagavsky-II 11-1; Solyanka-I 3-2.
In this number 2 of 7 graves were robbed.
chronological disproportions in the number of burials
with jewellery and objects of toreutic in different
periods were caused by general changes in the Sarmatian
culture. It is particularly obvious for burials of
the third chronological period. Standardization of
the burial rite in times of the so-called Late Sarmatian
Culture was followed by relatively small number of
objects of social prestige. The same situation could
be observed in other Barbarian territories of Eastern
Europe, for example in the Crimea from the second
half of the II to the first half of the III ñ A.D.
majority of graves containing jewellery and toreutics
is dated to the I c. B.C. -I c. A.D. Unfortunately
those graves were mostly robbed. Perhaps robbers were
aware of the richness of the burials, which usually
were made in graves of square or broad rectangular
different periods of the Sarmatian Culture there are
tendencies to use peculiar categories of jewellery
the graves of the 1st chronological period (II–I c.
B.C.) daggers plated with golden foil are characteristic
(Cat. 20, Cat. 25, Cat. 61, Cat. 77). Most of them
were not the proper weapon but substitutes used for
ritual purposes or to show social status.
objects - temple pendants or earrings, bracelets,
torques - in this period are mainly made of gold wire
curled in several coils. Some of earrings are supplemented
with granulation. Another group of objects show long
narrow platings with representations of animals (Cat.
214, Cat. 77, Cat. 134, Cat. 18, Cat. 181). The are
dated from the I c. B.C. to the first half of the
I c. A.D. Most likely these items functioned as a
kind of ritual baton. They were found exclusively
in the graves of warriors of high social rank. In
the grave these batons were put on the most meaningful
places: swords, arrow-cases, left hand of the buried.
From the I c. B.C. and in the I c. A.D. the burials
of highest rank are accompanied with sets of precious
of silverware was found in Oktyabrsky-V 1–1: a beaker
with the handle in the shape of hare (Cat. 163), a
hemispherical bowl with long petals and central rosette
on the bottom (Cat. 164), conical beaker (Cat. 165)
and a low conical phiala (Cat. 166).
the grave of the burial 4 of Verbovsky-II necropolis
were found a vessel with lid and two handles in the
shape of wolves (Cat. 52) and a cup with internal
medallion representing Gorgona Medusa (Cat. 53).
compexes with silver vessels originated from the Berdia
necropolis. One is represented by a beaker of conical
shape (Cat. 42), another - by two hemispherical cups
with handles shaped as griffins (Cat 27).
finds in the Sarmatian graves of the first centuries
A.D. are sewn appliques or tubes for necklaces. They
have been found quite often, and nearly in every grave
containing jewellery objects. Other jewellery items
are represented more rarely, due to many of robbed
complexes. In this period new types of jewellery ornaments
appeared. Among them are earrings with pendants on
chains, amulet-pendants, buckles and other objects.
objects of the 3rd chronological period (second half
of the II–IV ñ. A.D.) are represented by belt fittings
(buckles, tips) and some jewellery objects - mainly
found in rich graves of the second half of the II
ñ. A.D. (Nagavsky and Vesely).
of jewellery and toreutic objects from the Volgograd
Museum of Local Lore is only the first step in the
research of jewellery of the Sarmatian Culture. It
provides material for a future comparative study.
was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
1986; Ïðîõîðîâà, Ãóãóåâ 1992, 142-161; Ãóùèíà, Çàñåöêàÿ
1989; 1994; Ñèìîíåíêî, Ëîáàé 1991; Loboda, Puzdrovskij,
Zajcev 2002; Mordvintseva, Zaytsev 2003, etc.
4 Ïÿòûøåâà 1956.
5 Ïÿòûøåâà 1956, 17.
6 Ïÿòûøåâà 1956, 19.
1996, 172-184; 2001; 2002; 2002à; 2003, 295-304; 2004;
for example: Âîëüâàõ, Ïîäâûñîöêàÿ 2003, 18-20; Çàéöåâ
2004, 47-50; Ìîðäâèíöåâà 2004, 64-66. Ïîäâûñîöêàÿ, ×åðíÿêîâ
2004, 81-83; Ðóñÿåâà2003, 99-102; Ñòîÿíîâ 2003, 118-121.
2004; 2004à; Àðõèïîâ, Ñèìîíåíêî 2004.