A Hoard of Silver Rhyta of the Achaemenid Circle from Erebuni

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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This paper is devoted to a treasure found in 1968. The hoard in “a large jug”, consisting of three silver rhyta, a silver goblet and a fifth, now missing object, was found during construction works at the foothill of the Erebuni citadel. The silver vessels were preserved in a jug in a flattened condition. Every piece of the Treasure is discussed in detail. Descriptions of the vessels are provided in a catalogue section.

The results of our analysis do not contradict the suggestion that the Treasure was possibly hidden in ca. 330 bc, thus assigning it a date more or less the same as that of the hoard from Pasargadae, which was also hidden in a clay vessel and most probably, like the Erebuni Treasure, coincided with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.

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  • 1

    See for example Kraay ‖ Moorey 1968228.

  • 2

    See for example Melikian-Chirvani 1993111-130.

  • 3

    See for example Miller 2010853-897; Rehm 2010 161-194.

  • 6

    Arakelyan 1971143-158; see also: Arakelyan 1976 42-44 pls. 56-59; Moorey 1980 141-142; Tiratsyan 1988 52-56 pl. ix.

  • 8

    Markaryan 2002166-177; Hačatrian ‖ Markarian 2003 9-20; Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003 114-122; Arakelyan ‖ Krapetyan 2007 190-191 pls. ci-civ; Stronakh 2010 180-197; Ter-Martirosov 2010 202-222; Markaryan 2011 226-244; Stronach 2011 251-274.

  • 10

    Back in 1985P. Calmeyer had noted errors in the tracing concerning in particular details of the horse’s harness Calmeyer 1985 129 note 41.

  • 11

    See in particular Cremer 198488fig. 1; von Graeve 1987 142 fig. 13; Pfrommer 1998 52 fig. 6; Yatsenko 2006 fig. 9. It is in this form that the depiction figures in the corrected and extended on-line version of S. A. Yatsenko’s book: http://www.narodko.ru/article/yatsenko/eurazia/glava1/. An “improved” version of the first tracing to which details in the rendering of the horseman’s trousers have been added was published in 2003 (Hačatrian ‖ Markarian 2003 11 fig. 2). It was only in 2010-2011 that a reliable tracing of the rhyton’s protome was published which had been executed by a member of the Erebuni Expedition of the University of California in Berkeley T. Nersesyan: it is to be found in both the Armenian and English versions of the article by D. Stronach (Stronakh 2010 190 fig. 2; Stronach 2011 258 fig. 5).

  • 13

    Savel’eva ‖ Smirnov 1972114-115fig. 5; Manassero 2008 57 No. 38; 65 pl. xvii; Treister 2010 356-362 figs. 2-4; Treister 2013b 85-90 No. A9.1.1.1 with bibliography pls. i.22-25; ii.6 1; figs. I.17-18; ii.34 1.

  • 14

    Savel’eva ‖ Smirnov 1972115.

  • 15

    Melikan-Chirvani 199326-27figs. 8-9; Cat. Berlin 1996 No. 206; Summerer 2003 29-30 fig. 8; Manassero 2007a 126 fig. 14 b; Manassero 2008 58 No. 55; 89 pl. xix.

  • 17

    Marazov 197830-33figs. 23-24; Dörig 1987 18 No. 12; Cat. Saint Louis 1998 187 No. 124; Ebbinghaus 1999 390; Cat. Bonn 2004 155-156 No. 221.b; Manassero 2008 148 No. 16; 150-151 165 pl. xlv; Valeva 2008 14-15 fig. 16.

  • 18

    Marazov 197836-39figs. 29-30; Dörig 1987 18 No. 10; Cat. Saint Louis 1998 223 No. 174; Stoyanov 1998 71-77; Ebbinghaus 1999 391 392 fig. 1.b; Cat. Bonn 2004 195 No. 226.c; Manassero 2008 148 No. 16; 150-151 165 pl. xlv; Valeva 2008 14-15 fig. 17.

  • 20

    Vorob’eva 1959108-110figs. 17 1; 18; Vorob’eva 1967 111-112 fig. 47; Vainberg 1994 74 fig. 8; Kalalÿ-Gÿr 2 2004 164-165 fig. 5 1; Manassero 2008 63 Nos. 106-108; 97 pl. xxvii.

  • 21

    Amiet 198387-88fig. 10.

  • 22

    Calmeyer 1985143-144; Bittner 1987 235 pl. 36.

  • 24

    Tanabe 1989529535 pl. I.

  • 25

    Manassero 200858No. 50; 67 88 pl. xviii.

  • 29

    Schmidt 1957pl. 79 3-5; Moorey 1985 30; Cat. London 2005 219 No. 387.

  • 30

    Schmidt 1953207-210.

  • 31

    Amiet 1998143-153; Amiet 2010 350 fig. 386.

  • 32

    Smirnov 196189-90; Smirnov 1964 219.

  • 33

    See for example Treïster 2010361.

  • 34

    See Érlikh 201088-8995 fig. 9 1-6.

  • 35

    Nadiradze 199031-32157 pl. xxvi1; Érlikh 2010 89 No. 2 (with a bibliography); 95 fig. 9 2 5.

  • 40

    See in general Moorey 19806370-72; Donder 1980 No. 102 pl. 12; Besenval 1982 177-178; Moorey 1985 29-30; Valmeyer 1985 141; Muscarella 1988 213-214; Pfrommer 1998 85 note 577.

  • 41

    Schmidt 1957100pls. 78 2-4; 79 7-9; Cat. London 2005 218 Nos. 383-384.

  • 42

    Potratz 1966117pl. lii122; Cat. London 2005 218 No. 385.

  • 43

    Potratz 1966117pl. lii124b; Moorey 1980 No. 228 fig. 10; Cat. London 2005 218 No. 386.

  • 45

    Schmidt 1953pl. 43; Walser 1966 pls. 24; 84 (top); Calmeyer 1985 132 pl. 49.

  • 46

    Schmidt 1953pl. 32; Ghirshman 1964 pl. 224; Walser 1966 pls. 13 47-48; Calmeyer 1985 134 pl. 48.

  • 47

    Walser 1966 pl. 29; Calmeyer 1985135pl. 50 1.

  • 48

    Schmidt 1953pl. 29; Ghirshman 1964 pl. 222; Walser 1966 pl. x; Calmeyer 1985 129-130 pl. 45 1.

  • 49

    Schmidt 1953pl. 35; Walser 1966 pl. 16; Calmeyer 1985 130-131 pls. 46-47; Pfrommer 1998 80-81 note 546.

  • 50

    Schmidt 1953pl. 37; Walser 1966 pls. 18 83 (bottom); Calmeyer 1985 pl. 43.

  • 52

    Arakelyan 197144.

  • 53

    Stronach 2011259263. At the same time however in the Armenian version of the article or at least in its resumé a narrower date range is given for the rhyton: the second half of the 5th century bc (Stronakh 2010 197).

  • 54

    Marazov 197850-53figs. 42-43; Luschey 1983 326 No. B 13 pl. 59 4; Dörig 1987 19 No. 14; Cat. Saint Louis 1998 225 No. 176; Ebbinghaus 1999 390-392 fig. 1 a; Cat. Bonn 2004 195 No. 226.d; Cat. Paris 2006 76-77 No. 15; Cat. Basel 2007 197 199 No. 136.d; Manassero 2008 148 No. 17; 150 165 pl. xlv; Valeva 2008 18-19 fig. 26; Rehm 2010 172 fig. 8; Stoyanov 2010 411 413-414 fig. 4; Stoyanov 2011 53-66.

  • 56

    Stronach 1978177; Williams 2005 111.

  • 59

    Carter 2001168fig. 2; Manassero 2008 57 No. 41; 87 pl. xvii.

  • 60

    Manassero 200856No. 31; 85 pl. xv.

  • 62

    Dalton 196442No. 178; pl. xxii; Cat. London 2005 122 No. 119; Manassero 2008 73 No. 126; 100 pl. xxx.

  • 63

    Vickers 2002334.

  • 64

    Harmatta 1979306. See also: Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003 117.

  • 65

    Apart from D. Stronach: Stronach 2011260261-262.

  • 68

    Dalton 1964Addendum to plates after pl. xl; Cat. London 2005 226 No. 408.

  • 69

    For more details see: Treïster 2010359.

  • 71

    Tanabe 1989529535 pl. i.

  • 73

    See in general Bittner 1987238-241. See also for example Boardman 2000 143 fig. 4.14 a; see also note 75 below.

  • 74

    Arakelyan 1971147; Harmatta 1979 306.

  • 75

    Tiratsyan 198853.

  • 76

    Yatsenko 200639; http://www.narodko.ru/article/yatsenko/eurazia/glava1/. With criticism of the viewpoint of Shakhbazi (http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/clothing-ii) to the effect that the head-dress could have been made out of felt.

  • 78

    von Graeve 1987134fig. 1; Boardman 1994 48 fig. 2.36; Calmeyer 1996 227 fig. 4; Boardman 2000 182 fig. 5.63; Paspalas 2000b 542 fig. 9; Brosius 2010 142 145 fig. 13.5.

  • 79

    Moorey 1978149fig. 8; Boardman 2000 164 fig. 5.21; Wu Xin 2010 552-553 fig. 51.8; Yatsenko 2011 505 fig. 4 3; 508.

  • 80

    Harmatta 1979306-308; Tiratsyan 1988 53; Pfrommer 1998 116.

  • 81

    Luschey 1972257pl. 69 1; Rehm 1992 454 fig. 76; Cat. London 2005 95 No. 77; Soudavar 2010 124 127 fig. 12.8.

  • 82

    Dalton 196415No. 33 pl. xii; Cat. London 2005 146-147 No. 185.

  • 83

    Soudavar 2010124.

  • 84

    Stronach 2011260.

  • 85

    Mellink 1972265-266pl. 58 figs. 16 18; Dentzer 1982 571 No. R 34 fig. 224; Boardman 1990 128 pl. 12b; Özgen ‖ Öztürk 1996 47 figs. 88-89; Boardman 2000 200 fig. 5.84; Cat. London 2005 46 fig. 14; Miller 2011 96 fig. 1; 100.

  • 87

    Dalton 196419-20No. 48 pl. xiv; Curtis ‖ Searight 2003 No. 1 fig. 2 1; Cat. London 2005 166 No. 213.

  • 89

    Dalton 196421No. 61; 23 No. 82; 24 No. 85; Curtis ‖ Searight 2003 226 fig. 3 19-20; 229 fig. 6 44; Cat. London 2005 162-165 167 Nos. 225 232 254. See also plates from the so-called second part of the Oxus Treasure: Cat. Miho 2002 82 No. 68 h m (ills.); 86 No. 75 d g j (ills.); 239 241.

  • 90

    Amiet 1972183-184No. 2 pl. v 2b.

  • 91

    Barnett 1974895fig. 122; 898 fig. 125.

  • 92

    On the dating of the hoard see: Luschey 1983328; Hachmann ‖ Penner 1999 126: ca. 404 bc; Miller 2010 860-861: ca. 410 bc; Shefton 1993 180: ca. 400 bc; Pfrommer 1983 275 note 198: end of the 5th – beginning of the 4th century bc; Pfrommer 1987 180: beginning of the 4th century bc.

  • 94

    Maximova 1928670fig. 25; Maksimova 1956 193 fig. 3; Zazoff 1983 151 note 135; Neverov 1986 19; 145 pl. i4; Boardman 2001 220 297 316 pl. 681; Williams ‖ Ogden 1994 158 No. 97; Cat. Bonn 1997 144 No. 55; Cat. Amsterdam 2004 50 fig. 23; 51 86; Cat. Malibu 2007 148 No. 55.

  • 97

    Furtwängler 190052pl. x27; Maximova 1928 670.

  • 99

    Maksimova 1956193.

  • 100

    Williams ‖ Ogden 1994158.

  • 102

    Maksimova 1956195; Neverov 1986 19.

  • 103

    Maksimova 1956194fig. 4 (with a date between 378 and 372 bc); Boardman 2000 177 fig. 5.52; Moysey 1986 19-21 pl. 5 51-59 (with the date 369/8-361/0 bc).

  • 105

    Chernenko 198429-33; Litvinskiï 2001 226-233 pl. 54. In both articles the tracing of the akinakes on the rhyton from Erebuni is given with more (Chernenko 1984 30 fig. 16 4) or less significant (Litvinskiï 2001 pl. 54 3) distortions.

  • 106

    Walser 1966pls. 31 34.

  • 107

    For example in the Council Hall Schmidt 1953pl. 65 C-D.

  • 108

    Schmidt 1953pl. 37; Walser 1966 pls. 56-57.

  • 110

    Sevinç ‖ Rose 2001389-391figs. 4-6; 395-396 figs. 11-12; Rose 2007 254-255 264 figs. 12-13. For the dating of the sarcophagus and the possible historical context for its creation see: Sevinç ‖ Rose 2001 401-402; Rose 2007 254.

  • 113

    Dalton 196413No. 24 pl. x; Litvinsky 2001 157-158 fig. 9; Cat. London 2005 220-221 No. 396. M. Pfrommer considers this phalera to be of Early Hellenistic date: Pfrommer 1998 87 note 591.

  • 114

    Ghirshman 1964261fig. 315; Cat. London 2005 226 No. 409.

  • 115

    Rudenko 1953351-356fig. 196 pls. cxv-cxvi; Rudenko 1961 23-29 fig. 14 pl. iii; Rubinson 1990 52 fig. 5 a-b; 55-56; Lerner 1991 9-10 12 fig. 9; Polos’mak ‖ Barkova 2005 138 157 fig. 4.10; Francfort ‖ Lepetz 2010 76 fig. 18 (top left).

  • 116

    Boardman 2000159-160fig. 5.14; Boardman 2001 351 pl. 831; Cat. Speyer 2006 45; Francfort ‖ Lepetz 2010 73 75 fig. 17 (top).

  • 117

    Nollé 199259-60pl. 6.

  • 118

    Sevinç ‖ Rose 2001389-391figs. 4-6; 396 figs. 11-12; 397.

  • 119

    Rolle Murzin ‖ Alekseev 199831No. 191 colour plate 25 2; Nefedkin 1998 71-76; Cat. New York 2000 233-235 No. 164 with bibliography; Pfrommer 2002 267-274.

  • 120

    Knauer 1990282.

  • 121

    Amiet 1972189pl. iii5.

  • 123

    Boardman 2001306309 351 pl. 843.

  • 124

    Boardman 2001311352 pl. 864.

  • 125

    Boardman 2001316-317354 pls. 904 905.

  • 126

    Boardman 2001318354-355 pls. 924 927.

  • 132

    von Graeve 1987140-143figs. 9-12; Pfrommer 1998 51 fig. 5.

  • 133

    von Graeve 1987143; Pfrommer 1998 51.

  • 134

    Hačatrian ‖ Markarian 200311.

  • 135

    Stronach 2011263note 39.

  • 137

    Arakelyan 1971143147; Arakelyan 1976 43; Tiratsyan 1988 53; Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003 116 120; Orontes i son of the Bactrian king Artasyras and son-in-law of Artaxerxes ii: Harmatta 1979 308-311; Cremer 1984 87 note 3; Cat. Nantes 1996 198 200; Ter-Martirosov 2010 212-213 219; this identification is rejected by Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003 120 – at the same time they consider that this is a depiction of a satrap and they date the rhyton to the first half of the 4th century bci.e. to the time when precisely Orontes was the satrap of Armenia.

  • 138

    Pfrommer 199854; Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003 116.

  • 139

    Pfrommer 199854.

  • 140

    Khachatryan ‖ Margaryan 2003121-122. F. Ter-Martirosov goes still further (Ter-Martirosov 2010 211) describing these lost “inlays” as “semi-precious stones” probably turquoise.

  • 141

    Stronach 2011263note 39.

  • 142

    Armbruster 2005135-136; Armbruster 2010 401-402.

  • 146

    Moorey 1988a6769 pl. 84; Cat. London 2005 122 No. 120; Manassero 2008 56 No. 32 with bibliography; 86 pl. xvi.

  • 148

    See for example Yatsenko 200665-66fig. 27 48-67.

  • 150

    Raeck 1981326Nos. P 552 560 565 585; 327 No. P 602 figs. 42 44-46 51-52 56 59; Bittner 1987 pls. 6-8; 27.

  • 152

    Filow 193446No. 14 figs. 55-59; 199-206; pl. iii; Amandry 1959 39-41 pl. 20 3; Marazov 1978 27-30 figs. 19-20; Luschey 1983 323-324 No. A2 fig. 4 pl. 59 2; Agre 1984 72-79; Moorey 1988a 83-84 pl. 105; Pfrommer 1990b 193 note 13 pl. 40 2; Cat. Saint Louis 1998 No. 117; von Gall 1999 154 156-157 figs. 7-8; Boardman 2000 190 fig. 5.71; Paspalas 2000a 141 No. 5; Cat. Basel 2007 177 No. 124a; Miller 2010 872.

  • 154

    Filow 1934200fig. 212; Robinson 1950 47-48 No. 24 pl. 23; Amandry 1959 46-48 pl. 23 4-5; Reade 1986 80 No. 24 pl. iia-d; Pfrommer 1990b 195; Rehm 1992 43 fig. 18; Cat. London 2005 125 No. 129.

  • 155

    Treister 2010237-238fig. 10; Treister 2013a 71-78 No. A13.2.3.3 with bibliography; colour plates i.11 6; ii.26 1; pls. i.6-9 figs. 1.6-9; ii. 82 1.

  • 159

    On that battle see Waterfield 20061-19.

  • 161

    Savel’eva ‖ Smirnov 1972115-116fig. 6; Pfrommer 1998 54 61; Treïster 2010 362-367 with bibliography figs. 5-8; Treister 2013c 158-160 No. A9.1.1.2 with bibliography pls. i.88-89; ii.6 2-3; fig. i. 66-67; ii.34 2.

  • 162

    Treister 2010245247 fig. 18; Treister 2013c 172 Nos. A13.2.3.24-25 with bibliography; colour plate i.32; pls. i.100-104; ii.15 3; i.76-77; ii.83 1-2.

  • 164

    Treister ‖ Yablonsky 2013316-318.

  • 166

    Rehm 199948No. 20.

  • 168

    Luschey 1983326No. B14; Dörig 1987 10-18 No. 9 pls. 2-12; Stoyanov 1998 78 fig. 5 2; Cat. Saint Louis 1998 222 No. 173; Cat. Bonn 2004 195 No. 226a; Cat. Paris 2006 70-71 No. 12; Manassero 2007b 20-25 figs. 16-17; Cat. Basel 2007 195-196 No. 136.a; Miller 2010 867; Valeva 2008 25-26 figs. 47-50.

  • 170

    Treister 2010238-239fig. 11; Treister 2013b 90-92.

  • 171

    Filow 193446fig. 55.

  • 173

    Arakelyan 1971151; Ter-Martirossov ‖ Deschamps 2007 70.

  • 174

    Marazov 197436.

  • 175

    Markaryan 2002176; Hačatrian ‖ Markarian 2003 20; Markaryan 2011 241. Cf. the date for the rhyton proposed by N. Manassero – the second half or end of the 4th century bc (Manassero 2008 141).

  • 176

    Stronach 2011270.

  • 177

    Summerer 2006139. She dates the Erebuni rhyton in the same way as the rhyton from Kazbegi; when dating the latter she started out from the opinion of I. Marazov and M. Pfrommer (see Summerer 2006 139 note 41).

  • 178

    For parallels see Treïster 2006437-439.

  • 179

    Tiratsyan 198854-55.