New archaeological and scientific discoveries are also used to shed light on this fascinating period of ancient history.
The Scythians were a large group of Iranian Eurasians who made up one of the great nomadic civilisations of antiquity. First mentioned by the Assyrians in the 9th century BC, they were ruled by a wealthy class known as the Royal Scyths. After establishing a vast trade network across Greece, Persia, India and China and learning to master mounted warfare, they were able to dominate a huge region stretching from Siberia to the Black Sea.
The Scythians valued decorative objects and developed a rich artistic culture characterised by opulent tombs, fine metalwork, and a brilliant art style. This exhibition includes royal Scythian tombs from Siberia and Kazakhstan, multi-coloured rugs, fur-lined garments and accessories, unique horse headgear, beautiful gold objects and more.
Gold applique showing two archers back to back, Kul Oba, 400BC-350BC
(c) The Trustees of the British Museum