Collection of Peter I (16 photos)

Take a look at the ancient treasures of the Siberian collection of Peter I.
Very valuable, probably worth a fortune.

In 1715 Ural gornozavodchikov Nikita Demidov sent a gift to Catherine I («by heart» the newborn prince) of 100 thousand rubles in gold and some gold objects from the Siberian burial mounds. These things were found bugrovschikami - people who hunted the search for ancient burial mounds and pulled out value. Many merchants in Siberia and the Urals bought extracted in this way the treasure and melted them, profiting from sales of gold.
Peter I decided to put an end to this and issued a decree ordering all the interesting and unusual finds donate authorities. Soon Prince MP Gagarin, the governor of Siberia, sent to St. Petersburg a lot of old gold items that formed the basis of the first and the world's only collection of Siberian gold items. First, the collection was stored in the cabinet of curiosities of Peter, and in 1859 transferred to the Hermitage. Since this year was established the Imperial Archaeological Commission, which was tasked with collecting information on ancient monuments and antiquities search, related primarily to the country's history and life of the peoples inhabiting the vast expanses of Russia.
Over time, the collection has grown, and its constituent exhibits geographically gone far beyond just one Siberian burial mounds. Now it is, and the world famous "Scythian gold».

... Broad band from the Danube to the Yenisei River (and further in the Trans-Baikal and Mongolia) runs a huge steppe, cut into pieces deep rivers. For a long time on these boundless as the sea, open spaces settled kindred peoples, unhampered by barriers. There bloomed homogeneous culture and created vast empires, often not very durable. Here lies the devastating path of conquest and the Great Migration.

Steppe, as the sea is rarely calm: the one in its place, then climbed another storms that often drifts barrows (earthen mounds) - these characteristics of the Eurasian landscape. Mounds stretched in all directions of the horizon, wherever you looked. Some of them barely rise above the steppe, while others raised hemispherical or conical mountain. Often these mountains reach a height of 20-25 meters and hundreds of meters in circumference.

Especially large size and complexity of the devices differ burial mounds with burials of Scythian leaders. The vast majority of Scythian burial mounds were plundered even their contemporaries, but not only ... So, for example, the rich Kelermesskaya mounds were excavated in 1903 no expert, but one hunter - a kind of technician DG Shultz. He dug in four nerazgrablennye Kuban embankment, which found a lot of expensive things - hats and weapons buried.

Although Kelermesskaya mounds were plundered, then, scientists have found here a great silver mirror decorated with engraved on the back side, and overlaid with a thin gold leaf, which stamped the wonderful drawings.

The back side of the mirror is divided radii of rope into eight sectors, sharp corners are filled with two petals. In the center of the mirror the petals form a large rosette, and the remainder of each sector is filled with images of animals and mythological subjects, and those and others alternate between them in the correct order. For example, in one of the sectors in full growth in a long (up to Fr) clothes represented Cybele - the winged goddess of the eastern, mistress of the animals. She holds the front legs of the two lions, cowardly push-tails. In the neighboring sector depicts a bull fight with a lion and a boar figure of this scene.

One of the most interesting exhibits of the collection are the Scythian objects found in the 1862-1863 years Chertomlyk mound (to the north of the town of Nikopol), and among them a magnificent golden lights - quiver and bow case for the same time. Did it burn Greek goldsmith, he also decorated it with reliefs depicting scenes from ancient mythology. The two levels, for example, there are scenes depicting the life and exploits of Achilles - from the time when his child taught archery to the last episode - when his mother, the goddess Thetis, clutching an urn with the ashes of the deceased son mourns it.


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