Crescent-Shaped Gold Pectoral of a Scythian King

Unknown400 - 300 BCE

National Museum of the History of Ukraine

National Museum of the History of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine

The golden pectoral was found near the entrance to the Central tomb of the Scythian Tovsta Mohyla barrow.
The basis of this pectoral consists of the frame made from four twisted plait-like hollow tubes, connected by two ornamented girdles and completed with lion-headed clasps.
Main plane of the pectoral consists of three registers divided by mentioned tubes. Lower and upper registers are filled with soldered sculptural scenes, middle one – with a one-piece gold plaque with a floral pattern and bird figurines attached. The lower register is filled with animal and mythic beast interaction scenes, including horses, lions and griffins.
In the centre of the topmost register, two kneeling men stitch a fleece between them. On either side of them is a horse with a foal. On the other side of the horses are a cow and its calf. Next follows on each side a kneeling Scythian with a sheep, one milking, the other holding an amphora. Beside them is a goat with its young and, in each corner, a bird.
The pectoral`s composition represents a cosmogonic conception of the Scythians, thus making the pectoral from Tovsta Mohyla not only a stunning jewellery piece but an important object of cult.
Pectoral, as a special type of breast adornment, which has been known since ancient times in West Asia, Caucasus and Thrace. But Tovsta Mohyla pectoral is unique and known only in a single piece.


  • Title: Crescent-Shaped Gold Pectoral of a Scythian King
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 400 - 300 BCE
  • Location Created: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: d 306 mm
  • Type: Decorations
  • Rights: National Museum of the History of Ukraine
  • Medium: Gold, enamel, casting, chasing, stamping, forging, drawing, inlay, soldering
  • Place found: The Tovsta Mohyla kurgan, Dnipropetrovsk Region, Ukraine
  • Period: Early Iron Age
  • Culture: The Scythians

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps