Gold Scythian Ritual Cone

Unknown400 - 300 BCE

National Museum of the History of Ukraine

National Museum of the History of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine

This conical artefact was found during the excavations of Scythian Perederiieva Mohyla barrow in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine. Around the base of the “cone” is a narrow floral band of Greek metalwork. The top of the “cone” is decorated with a double rosette surrounded by a rope pattern, with a small hole in the centre. The scene of the confrontation between four youngsters and two old men is engraved on the main surface of the “cone”. The composition is divided into two groups with three figures each.
The images are made in high relief and realistic manner, big and precise.
There are few interpretations of the depicted scenery. The most popular one tells us about the story of the famous ancient Greek historian Herodotus: he wrote about the return of the Scythians to the North Black Sea region after their 28-year rule in West Asia.
This “cone” is the source of many theories about its function. Most likely, it was a ritual object used during special cult ceremonies.


  • Title: Gold Scythian Ritual Cone
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 400 - 300 BCE
  • Location Created: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: h 182, d 166 mm
  • Type: Objects of worship
  • Rights: National Museum of the History of Ukraine
  • Medium: Gold, punching, chasing
  • Place found: The Perederiieva Mohyla, Donetsk Region, Ukraine
  • Period: Early Iron Age
  • Culture: The Scythians

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