An exhibition entitled ‘Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia’ has opened at the British Museum, exploring the daily life, culture and art of the Scythians. These were nomadic tribes who thrived in a vast landscape stretching from Kazakhstan through to Siberia, and from China to the Black Sea. This is the largest UK exhibition to explore Scythian culture in 40 years.
The exhibition reveals various aspects of the day to day life of the Scythians, including their religion, history and cultural heritage. The objects include household items, clothes, weapons, gold ornaments, and even human remains preserved in permafrost conditions. The exhibition also presents visitors with a section dedicated to horse decorations, including masks, saddle pendants, and harnesses.
The National Museum of Kazakhstan has been one of the main contributors of the exhibition at the British Museum, having loaned the exhibition 17 objects. In particular, much attention during the exhibition was paid to the Saka dagger of the “Golden man” from the Issyk excavation. Other objects loaned from the National Museum of Kazakhstan included a silver bowl (V-III cc. BC, the Issyk excavation), a bracelet made in an animal style (VI c. BC, the Taksay I barrow), and other unique archaeological finds from the excavations such as Taksay, Berel and Taldy.
The exhibition also exhibits artefacts from the collections of the Royal Family, the State Hermitage Museum of Russia, and the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford, UK. This exhibition is on at the British Museum until 14th January, 2018.
As part of the exhibition, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK plans to hold a separate event with a presentation of materials on the cultural and historical heritage of Kazakhstan. This event, as well as further co-operation between the UK’s largest museum and its Kazakh counterparts, will be discussed at the meeting of the Kazakh Ambassador Mr Erlan Idrissov with Mr Hartwig Fischer, the Director of the British Museum, which will take place in the near future.