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.
The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, and the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Center for Ethnological Studies, Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Bashkortostan, Russian Federation.
An indemnity has been granted by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The exhibition catalogue is made possible by the Doris Duke Fund for Publications.