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11-04-2019

“Great Steppe: history and culture”
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At the exhibition in the Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan you can see the reconstruction of the Golden Man in clothes embroidered with gold plaques, in a special conical headdress, which is decorated with golden plates in the form of golden arrows, snow leopards, argali, horses and birds, and a collection of archaeological Findings of the early Iron Age (V – IV centuries. BC.), accompanying the burial of this notable Saka young warrior (according to archaeologists his age is 17-18 years).

Sakas (translated from Persian means “mighty men”) are the distant ancestors of the Kazakhs. In the writings of Greek authors, they are called Asian Scythians (the word saka goes back to the Scythian – “deer”), in other ancient sources they were figuratively described as “tours with the fastest horses”. Among the three large groups of these tribes were mentioned the Saki-Tigrahaud (“wildermen”), who lived in the territory where the Issyk mound was found with the burial of the “Golden Man”. More than four thousand gold items were found in the mound: details for decorating clothes, as well as decorations and household items.

1 IMG_7336 1 IMG_6894 The topography of the objects in the burial has allowed the researchers, as a result of hard work, to recreate the look of an ancient warrior, which is presented at the exhibition. The most important feature of the ancient art of the steppe is the dominance of zoomorphic images – the so-called “animal style”, the distinctive features of which are the stylized images of totem animals, scenes of fighting animals, endowed with magical functions. The drama plots symbolize the opposition of the elements and the revival to life, the confrontation between good and evil, the eternal movement and the eternal struggle of opposites. A striking example of “animal style” is a plaque, dating from the V-IV centuries BC., made of gold in the technique of stamping and corrugation in the form of two mirrored leopards. As Christianity and Islam were established, the “animal style” gradually lost its original meaning, which goes back to pagan beliefs and ideas. However, decorative images of animals, devoid of their original magical meaning, continued to exist in medieval art: in jewelry, book miniature, wood carving, stone and bone, in architecture – but in a more generalized form, acquiring forms of stylized ornament, decorative elements . These trends are clearly expressed in the finds from the Sairam treasure, which are presented in the exhibition items of jewelry, dating from the XV century. A special place in the exposition is occupied by the silver bowl with the inscription made in the runic script found among the finds of the Mound of Issyk – one of the oldest written records found on this territory. Also at the exhibition will be presented unique archaeological finds from Saks mounds Taksay (West Kazakhstanregion), Taldy-2 (Karaganda region) and Berel (East Kazakhstan region). In total, the exhibition features 106 items from the collections of the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The masterpieces of ancient and medieval art of Kazakhstan represented at the exhibition are only a small part of the works of the nameless masters of the past, reflecting the originality of the heritage of the Eurasian steppe culture.

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