Dating a scythian tomb
In 2000-2003, a ‘royal’ burial site in Tuva Republic, Siberia, dating to early Scythian times, was excavated by a joint German-Russian research program.Thousands of gold articles were discovered in the wooden chamber of ‘royal’ burial no. The majority of these ornaments are decorated in the Scythian animal style.Une sépulture princière, datée du début de la période Scythe, a été fouillée en 2002-2003 dans la République de Touva, Sibérie, dans le cadre d’un programme de recherche germano-Russe.Des milliers d’objets en or ont été découverts dans la chambre funéraire de la sépulture n° 5, datant du siècle av. La majorité de ces parures est décorée dans le style animalier Scythe.5, a man and a woman, were literary covered with gold.They were adorned with personal ornaments, such as torcs, necklaces, ear ornaments, pendants and pins.The technical expertise and the equipment at the disposal of the Early Iron Age craftsmen can be inferred from tool marks and analysis of surface structures.The early date of these finds, demonstrated by a combination of radiocarbon and dendrochronology, supports the assumption that this particular, sophisticated style of early Scythian metal work originated in the Tuva region.
Plastic shaping was executed with hammers and anvils (stone or iron), and with dies (bronze or hard wood).
That is why our knowledge of techniques is based above all on the study of archaeological artefacts with the help of analogies, experiments and material sciences.
Tool marks and surface textures on the gold work from Arzhan 2 testify to the advanced technological knowledge of the goldsmiths and their well equipped workshops.
The study of the technological aspects reveals the variety of manufacturing techniques and designs employed for these extremely rich ornaments, and provides an insight into the complexity of the art of the early Scythian goldsmiths at the end of the 7 century BC.
This paper aims to present the large variety of distinct processes used in the manufacture of these gold artefacts.
However, no evidence of any early Scythian goldsmith workshop has ever been found.