The Scythians were a nomadic western Iranian population who inhabited the Central Eurasian Steppe from the 9th century BC up to the 2nd century BC. Amongst the first people to master mounted warfare, they developed archery on horseback. As nomads, they kept herds of horses, sheep and cattle, and lived in tents. Scythians developed a rich culture characterised by opulent tombs, very fine metalwork and a brilliant art style. Several ancient historians speak of them being ruthless, bloodthirsty people who enjoyed wearing lavish amounts of gold, not only on themselves, but on their horses as well. These delicate appliques come from the Crimea region in modern Ukraine, the region surrounding the river Dnieper. People from this area used to adorne clothing of men and women with such appliqués, sewn onto the sleeves and necklines of the garments. Appliqués of this type were made from thin gold foil, which was punched and pressed to create various patterns. The decoration of festive and official attire with small gold appliqués had a long tradition in the Crimea region.
To discover more about Scythian gold, please visit our relevant post: Scythian Gold: The Ziwiye Treasure.