عنوان مقاله [English]
The Scythians were a Persian speaking tribe who had kinship with the intial tribes of the Aryans living in the Iranian plateau. They have beenmore or less considered the same as ‘Turan’ and ‘Turanians’ mentioned in Avesta and the Iranian epic legends.
The Scythians had a vast territory stretched from Eastern Europe to the borders of China and Mongolia. This region was inhabited by various Scythians tribes who were not only in battle with their neigbours but were also in conflict with each other.
Unlike other Aryan tribes (such as the Greeks, Romans, Iranians and Indians), the Scythians were unable to set up a centralized and advanced state system that could lead them to civilization and urbanization and the type of their economy lacked required characteristics to meet such goal.
However, they were desert-dwellers but they shouldn’t be considered among the savage tribes of the ancient world because they were artloving people and even in the proximity of their civilized neighbours, they were able to distinguish right from wrong and shad artistic taste and admired art. Scythian art illustrated the life of a warrior and a nomadic tribe and thus, their art was distinctly different from the art of the ancient civilizations. Scythians loved arts and culture yet their geographical and social conditions did not allow them to establish a civilization similar to their southern neighbors.
The Scythians used to assault their neighbours and took entire possession of their belongings. Thus, in their arts, traces of Chinese, Indian, Iranian, mesopotamian and Greek arts can be found. One of the greatest discoveries of Schtyian art are Pazirik and Vettersfelde treasures each of which contain valuable golden items that clearly reflect the influences of the pre-Achaemenid and Achaemenid Persian art. Moreover, although they didn't create a city or have a permanent residence; but valuable relics and works of art have been found in their graves and sanctuaries. These include several golden tools, weapons and a number of other objects among which the golden ones had motifs and sketches of mythical creatures and animals and other interesting designs.
Aiming to examine one of the forgotten aspects of Iranian art in Europe, the author has based his research on this hypothesis that the Iranian and ancient Mesopotamia art have influenced the Scythian Vettersfelde art. Employing a descriptive-analytical method of research, the paper seeks to answer these questions that which elements prove that the works recovered from Vettersfelde have been influenced by the art of Iran and the ancient Mesopotamians and how they such elements have found their way to the Scythian Vettersfelde art.
The study shows that the motifs and designs on these objects have a common root and that they indicate apparent influences from Iranian and Mesopotamian art or even they have been created in this region. Among different art styles of numerous regions, the Zagros Bronze Age artworks are most prominent which corresponds to the arrival of Scythians in the area during the Median period and the existence of the Scythian graves there.
Addressing this issue is important in several respects including that the Scythians played a role as cultural mediators among their neighboring nations because they were scattered over a vast territory. Given their close proximity to Iranians, a thorough understanding of their art and culture can be very helpful in understanding Iranian art and culture. Moreover, the Vettersfelde treasure shows the strong influence of Iranian and Mesopotamian art on the art of far-reaching areas and can help researchers seek similar influences in such a vast scope.
The treasure contains few objects (because most of the artifacts were crushed or melted by farmers), but among them, there are a few golden saddles that are extremely valuable for understanding the Scythian culture. In two large pieces of Vettersfelde Collection, there are several distinct designs, each of which show that these items all belong a single origin and have probably been made by the same artist. While studying it against the Achaemenid and pre-Achaemenid Persian art (especially the Zagros region) as well as the Mesopotamian art, the outcomes display that their motifs and patterns have been derived from the arts and culture of this region, which is dealt with in this research.
Perhaps the Scythians' military influence over the Median and Urartu territories for three decades and then Darius's war operations in Western Scythian territory led to the influence of Iranian culture influence on Scythian art.