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Greeks - Scythians - Amazons

14.06.2007 to 21.10.2007


The Greeks located the home of the warlike Amazons at the edge of the inhabited world, to the north of the Black Sea. During the age of classicism, this was the home of the Scythians who stood in a close political and economic interplay with the Greeks. From the 5th century BC, this gave rise to an independent Greek-Scythian culture: the Bosporan Kingdom.

The exhibition aims to both highlight the way the Greeks regarded foreign groups of people, and to investigate the self-conception of the "barbarous" Bosporans. What comes to light is that both Greeks and Bosporans utilised the myth of the Amazons as a mirror of their own identity. The very central exhibit is the "three brothers kurgan", a burial mound from the 4th century BC on the eastern Crimea (now demolished). A computer-based simulation of the burial mound, together with numerous ancient finds, offer insight into the burial rites of the Bosporan elites and illustrate the cultural influence of the Greek and the Scythians on each other.