Saddle cover. Detail: Griffin attacking an ibex.
4th c BCE Central Asian Scythian Animal style Applied Arts
(act. c. 6th c BCE - 3th c BCE)
c. 390 BCE
4th c BCE
114 cm long.
Scythian Animal style
Pazyryk Barrow, Bolshoy Ulagan river valley. Altai Mountains. Russia.
St. Petersburg. State Hermitage Museum.
From Pazyryk Barrow No. 1 in the Bolshoy Ulagan river valley. The saddle was made using two tanned learther pillows stuffed with raindeer hair. Appliques on the saddle show an ibex or mountain goat being attacked by a griffin. Leather cutouts of human heads hang down from the saddle. Herodotus reported that the Scythinas scalped the heads of those whom they had killed and from the skins made 'hand-towels which they hung from the bridle of their horse and in which they take great pride, for the more of these hand-towes a Scythian had, the greater his reputation for valor.'
PAZYRYK | Saddle cover. Detail: Griffin attacking an ibex. | c. 499 BCE-400 BCE | Central Asian | Scythian