||Eye-bar for a Bridle
Late 7th-early 6th centuries BC
H 2.7 cm
Krasnodar region, Kuban area
Kelermes burial mound N1
This fine item in the shape of a ram's head - in the Scythian Animal Style - was found in the Kelermess burial mound together with numerous bone ornaments from horse harness. The burial mound had been ransacked long ago, but the horses were of no interest to the robbers, thus the harness and its ornaments remained safe. The other objects were made in the shape of the heads of rams and ram/birds, of horse's hooves, and curled-up beasts of prey. The Scythians often depicted only part of an animal's body and used it to symbolise the whole. Inspired by a real beast, the artists picked out clearly identifiable features associated with a particular species. Without copying nature, they accurately conveyed the essence of every beast depicted, adapting the image to the form of the object to be decorated.