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“Portrait” Medallions from the Kazym Hoard

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We describe so-called portrait medallions and plaques with similar representations from a hoard found near Kyzym, the Beloyarsky District of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra in the summer of 20I4. We introduce I7 artifacts cast of bronze and differing in shape and technological level. These fall into two groups in terms of quality. The principal questions addressed in the article are where, by whom, and based on which prototypes the Kazym artifacts were made. To resolve them, we analyze similar artifacts, including silver medallions representing a Parthian king and found in northwestern Siberia, and a series of bronze items from various sites in the Surgut and the Lower Ob region. These parallels, like the presence of numerous “Sarmatian " bronze mirrors in the Kazym hoard, point to the period between the late 1st century BC and the 1st or 2nd centuries AD. The results suggest that the “portrait" medallions and other bronze plaques depicting anthropomorphic characters are local replicas of imported prototypes. This testifies, firstly, to stable trade links with ancient civilization centers in the beginning of the Christian era, and secondly, to the absorption of certain elements offoreign traditions by the local culture.

About the Authors

N. V. Fedorova
Arctic Research Center
Russian Federation

Junior Researcher.

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090

A. V. Baulo
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Leading Researcher.

of Sciences, pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090


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For citations:

Fedorova N.V., Baulo A.V. “Portrait” Medallions from the Kazym Hoard. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2019;47(4):85-92.

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)