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The Toreutics of Colchis in the 5th-4th Centuries BC Local Traditions, Outside Influences, Innovations

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Two silver vessels: a silver aryballos from the mid-5th century BC burial No. 11/1969 in Vani and a silver goblet from the ritual complex No. 1 of the Ulyap barrow No. 1 in the Kuban basin, dated to the late 5th-early 4th century BC, are discussed. e similarities in details of the vessels and their decoration with those of the silver vessels found in Lydia and the vicinity of Sinope are pointed out. A group of items of toreutics from the 5th-4th centuries BC complexes in Colchis and outside it is singled out: they are decorated with incised animal or mythological images, the bodies of which are covered with vertical rows of horizontal notches. One can not exclude, that this kind of decoration goes back to the images on the Colchian bronze axes and belts of the 8th-6th centuries BC. The characteristic rosette decorating the bottoms of the vessels from Vani, Ulyap and the phiale No. 61 from the Treasure of Akhalgori is analysed; its genesis is discussed going back to the rosettes on the 6th century BC phialai from Iran, Asia Minor and the Balkans. Further the examples of Lydian metalware found in Colchis are discussed, including the phiale with the votive inscription to the temple of Apollo in Phasis found in the later Sarmatian burial in the Kuban basin. Finally, the problem of the 'international Achaemenid style' and the regional school of Achamenid-inspired toreutics is analysed. In general the author comes to the conclusion of the strong influence of toreutics of the Lydian-Ionian school and Anatolia in a broad sense of this term on the local school of toreutics, which emerged in Colchis in the 5th-4th centuries BC.


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