The Golden Deer of Eurasia
Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures from the Russian Steppes
October 12, 2000–February 4, 2001
Accompanied by a catalogue
Between 1986 and 1990, hundreds of astonishing objects, ornately carved and decorated in a unique style and covered in gold, were excavated at an archaeological site outside the village of Filippovka, located on the open steppes of southern Russia. Created by nomads living in the southern Ural Mountain region of Russia, these distinctive works from Filippovka represent one of the most important caches of early nomadic Eurasian art. Dating from the fifth to fourth century B.C., these treasures are characterized by the extensive use of animal imagery—most notably that of deerlike creatures of wood overlaid with sheets of gold and silver—along with other striking objects of precious metals. Sixteen impressive wooden stags from the new find—some almost two feet in height and covered with gold and silver—are the centerpiece of the exhibition.
This exhibition presents some two hundred of these dazzling works, which have never before been on public display.