Myshkin V.N. Cheek-Pieces with Zoomorphic Images of the Samara-Ural Region Nomads in the VI–IV Centuries BC

 
Vladimir N. Myshkin, Candidate of History, Head of Archaeological Laboratory, Samara State Social and Pedagogical University, Leninskay St., 127, 443041 Samara, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article illustrates a study of cheek-pieces with zoomorphic images used by the nomads of the Samara-Ural region at the end of the VI–IV centuries BC. A review of 79 cheek-pieces is presented, as well as their characteristics. As a result of the excavations, two chronological groups of such horse gear are identified. The date of the early group refers to the second half of the VI–V centuries BC. It is characterized by rod-like straight and arcuate curved bronze, iron, bimetallic double-hole bit shank with zoomorphic ends. The most common endings are decorated with realistic sculptural images of the heads of birds of prey / griffins, wolves and horses. Combinations of the heads of a predatory animal and a bird of prey, a predatory animal and a horse, a camel and a horse, as well as the head of a bird of prey and a hoof are rare images. The late group refers to the period of the end of the V–IV centuries BC. This group is characterized by the following cheek-pieces: S-shaped with endings shaped as horse hooves; L-shaped with curved endings shaped as a horse’s hoof or an open-work plate, which is a stylized image of a bird’s paw, the claws of which are transformed into the heads of birds or animals. A significant difference between these two groups is stated and based on their composition, motives (plots) of images and their stylistics. The mapping of the findings allowed to record the concentration of the most numerous groups of cheek-pieces (straight lines with endings in the form of the heads of birds of prey / griffins, wolves, horses, and S-shaped bit shanks with endings in the form of horse hooves) on the territory of the steppes, adjoining the western slopes of the Ural Mountains. These are mainly steppes in the basin of the middle and lower reaches of the river Ilek.
Key words: Early Iron Age, Samara-Ural region, nomads, Scythian time, horse equipment, bit shanks, zoomorphic images, chronology, localization.
Citation. Myshkin V.N., 2020. Psalii s zoomorfnymi izobrazheniyami u kochevnikov Samaro-Ural’skogo regiona v VI–IV vv. do n.e. [Cheek-Pieces with Zoomorphic Images of the Samara-Ural Region Nomads in the VI–IV Centuries BC]. Nizhnevolzhskiy Arkheologicheskiy Vestnik [The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin], vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 56-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.2.3
 
Cheek-Pieces with Zoomorphic Images of the Samara-Ural Region Nomads in the VI–IV Centuries BC by Myshkin V.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
 
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