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Exhibition "Greeks – Scythians – Amazons"

Opening of Joint Exhibition by Freie Universität Berlin and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in the Pergamon Museum

№ 123/2007 from Jun 13, 2007

The Collection of Classical Antiquities of the national museums in Berlin and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of the Ancient World of Freie Universität Berlin collaborated to organize an exhibition on the reciprocal views held by the Greeks and Scythians as mutual inhabitants of the region around the northern Black Sea. The exhibition opened on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 in the Pergamon Museum. It focuses on images of the Amazons to illustrate the Greeks’ view of the strangers as well as the self-conception of the “barbarian” Bosporans. The exhibition will run until October 21, 2007.

Both the Greeks and the Bosporans employed the myth of the Amazons for a reflection of their own identity: Self and Other – Greeks and Scythians as mutual inhabitants of the region around the northern Black Sea and their views of each other are portrayed in images of Amazons on pottery containers found in graves on the Crimea, the region of the former Bosporan empire. Some of the pottery remains discovered had come from Greek imports, and others were the result of local production.

The exhibition presents the physical structure and inventory of a typical burial mound (kurgan) from the region north of the Black Sea. In addition, the Three Brothers Kurgan near Nymphaion on the eastern Crimea from the 4th century BC and no longer in existence, is reconstructed virtually, and its interior is made visible through the use of computer animation. The Collection of Classical Antiquities of the national museums in Berlin contains findings from kurgans of this type including: Golden ornaments, weapons, and containers made of pottery or wood. In the present exhibition these items convey an impression of the accoutrements and burial rites of the population of the Bosporan region that included the Greeks and Scythians. This small exhibition is thus an important supplement to the major exhibition, “Under the Sign of the Golden Griffin – The Royal Tombs of the Scythians,” that will open in the Martin Gropius Building on July 6, 2007.

Location of the Exhibition: Pergamon Museum, Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin (North Wing, The Collection of Classical Antiquities [Antikensammlung], Main Floor).
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog (84 pages; €11.90).

Additional information may be obtained from:

  • Dr. Martin Langner, Institute for Classical Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin  Tel.: 030 / 838-53715, Email: langnerm@zedat.fu-berlin.de
  • Dipl. phil. Ursula Kästner, The Collection of Classical Antiquities, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Tel: 030 / 20 90 52 06