Reconstruction of headdresses with original decorations

Unknown380 - 360 BCE

National Museum of the History of Ukraine

National Museum of the History of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine

There were two headdresses in the costume of a Scythian woman: a headband and a hat. A headband is decorated by a so-called metopida – a golden strip (2,5 x 33 cm), which is connected to the textile base by holes made from above and from the sides. The plain of metopida is split into two parts with a thin band between them. An embossed ornament is above the band: smooth and thin sinusoid-like lines are stretched from both sides of the central palmette. The sprouts with flowers and carved leaves are branched out of the sinusoid-like lines. A weaving of egg-and-dart underlines this ornament.
One more headdress was reconstructed based on the precise record of decoration: the so-called modius or Scythian calathus. Its form (inverted truncated cone) is reflected by rectangular openwork plaques with mythical images and palmette. The upper end is decorated with rims and pendants. A convex base distinguishes the headdress. The details of the decoration were lying in the layer of dark-cherry dust (perhaps, a felt). The gold appliques, 8 plaques made of thin gold trapeze-shaped sheets, the lower base of which is smaller than the upper, saved the outline of the slightly indented sides of the headdress. There are embossed depictions of mythical and phytomorphic images on the plaques. Their iconography is unique. The images of mythical creatures are presented by so-called lionhead gryphons located on two plaques. Gryphons are depicted in a profile: turned left and right, standing with a rised front paw left or right. It`s inherent to the different creatures in heraldic compositions. Phytomorph motifs are placed on four plaques: palmette present on three of them, with sprouts and flowers on both sides. One applique is supposedly carved from a long strip. A fragment of an ornament evidences this: its base was a wavy line with acanthus sprouts and flowers.
Eight round silver gilt plaques were found among the headdress's decorative elements. The scene of “tearing” stamped on them, with the main characters being a lion and a hoofed animal. Plaques adorned the upper part of the headdress. It was also decorated with rims of a narrow strip with an embossed ornament, the upper edge of which was slightly curved. Rings were soldered to the rims, with smooth amphora-like pendants attached to them by one smaller ring.


  • Title: Reconstruction of headdresses with original decorations
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 380 - 360 BCE
  • Location Created: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: h 100, l 560 мм
  • Type: Clothes
  • Rights: National Museum of the History of Ukraine
  • Medium: Fabric, gold, silver, stamping, cutting
  • Place found: Mykolaiv Region, Ukraine
  • Period: Early Iron Age
  • Culture: The Scythians

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