Ancient History & Civilisation


Greeks and their arts in Central Asia

Greeks and nomads: Scythians, Sarmatians

At this point my narrative is less about Greek presence in Asia than about the effect of Greeks and their arts in Asia; more archaeological-cum-art-historical than straight history, and much is more northerly. We have had to consider in the last chapter, beside excavated and datable works, much that is from undated hoards or uncertain excavated contexts. This material covers the period immediately subsequent to Alexander’s conquest. There is much more besides, especially in south Central Asia, which displays Greek influence and perhaps workmanship in what appears to be the same period – not strictly either Bactrian Greek or Indo-Greek, but highly expressive of Greek presence from the Hellenistic period on, quite apart from what was happening in Parthia, to which we shall return, or from what had happened earlier, out of the Black Sea area to the north. We are dealing with a period in which cross-continental routes are opening up yet more vigorously. That ‘European Scythians’ and ‘Asian Scythians’ may need distinguishing, but can be considered as a single continuum, is a fair indication of the geographical problems.197 The Scythians, or Saka as they are known in Central Asia, are in touch with Greek behaviour around the Black Sea and from south of the Caucasus. Meanwhile there are major states developing among the greater cities like Bokhara, Samarkand and Tashkent. Movement from the east, from the Altai Mountains of Siberia, and around the Taklamakan desert from China’s borders, is strongly in evidence. The Persian legacy is evident still too in Siberia (the Altai) and Bactria. The Greeks are not prime movers in this, but, being Greeks and given the apparently influential aspects of their arts – both narrative and naturalistic, and already not a little redolent of eastern practices – their effects are manifest. And from the 3rd century on they are in residence in some numbers, not just along the Oxus in Bactria, but, it seems, to the north where the Scythians and Sarmatians ruled, and east (Ferghana) towards China and the peoples on Chinese frontiers. Evidence is generally scattered and seldom usefully centres on a single site.

Distinguishing Scythians and Sarmatians (Sauromatai to Herodotus) is not easy, and perhaps not too necessary for an understanding of Central Asian affairs. They were related Indo-European nomad peoples and it is the Scythians that deal with Greeks in the north and around the Black Sea, later replaced by their kin the Sarmatians, whose arts we associate rather with later periods, and, physically, more with colourful inlaid goldwork than with the essential steppe ‘Animal Style’. But it was Scythians too who had passed south of the Caspian, through Media, in the 8th/7th century BC, and left traces of steppe art in the Near East (the Ziwiye hoard),198 and the Saka are well represented farther east, in the Ferghana area, both from finds and texts (Chinese). Herodotus’ distinction between Scythians and Sarmatians helps us little, but for him the latter seem to give their women a more prominent role, a feature of much in Asian nomad culture. He gives a very full account of Scythian ways, often mistrusted by scholars of Greek history and historical texts, but very fully supported by the account of nomads offered by archaeology and Chinese historians.199 We ignore or mistrust Herodotus at our peril.200

And it not only a matter of Scythians and Sarmatians. The nomads east of the Black Sea were more varied. Thus, Chorasmia, east of the Caspian, reveals different touches of Greekness on objects that are very broadly realistic and apparently pre-Alexander.

Any tidiness that might be attempted in this section must owe more to the types, objects or subjects described than to geography, and the Greekness may be diluted in various ways, yet it is often dominant. Finds range from beside the Black Sea to Kazakhstan. Thus, gold and silver medallions adopt various functions; some form part of women’s jewelry, some hang on harness for horses or decorate armour (phalera), others decorate bowls. Two such seem typical of hellenizing Central Asia, but especially in the north; both are from Novouzensk, 275 miles (440 km) north of the Caspian. One bears a purely Greek griffin, but unnaturally elongated to fill the circle [52].201 The other has a more informative scene of a war elephant [53], with mahout and a turreted howdah bearing two warriors, one wearing a Macedonian helmet, suggesting a more southerly origin for the type:202 very Indian, at first sight, but it seems that adding a mini-fortress to an elephant’s back was a Greek invention, so this is a successor to those elephants with which Indian kings used to bribe westerners. The cloth below the howdah is decorated with a Greek sea monster (ketos), a creature which we shall meet again and which proves to have been very influential in the east, more so than in the west where its main role as a mount for sea deities was only varied when it was adopted by artists to represent Jonah’s whale.203 A silver medallion from much farther east and probably then more like a record of Greek infiltration of northern nomad societies, like the Scythians, bears a purely Greek frontal bust of their virgin huntress goddess Artemis, slightly wild-eyed [54].204 And another gilt silver goddess, winged and clutching a pomegranate, clearly betrays her classical origins but has an eastern identity (Khvaninda?). Several carry aggressively Hellenistic motifs, like a pair with Bellerophon and the Chimaera from a Sarmatian burial in west Kazakhstan [55].205 At the end of the series, into years AD, Greek motifs are not forgotten but rendered in a somewhat bizarre style – strangest, perhaps, one from the Kuban with Dionysos holding a thyrsos, on a lion’s back, and Athena attacking a naked, snake-wrapped, giant [56].206 Truly Sarmatian phalera have a good range of steppe motifs, but related is a silver lid from the Astrakhan area decorated with fine incised fish and winged ketea, and with a very pure Greek hatched double meander [57].207

52 Silver gilt phaleron with a stretched griffin, from Novouzensk. (St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum)

53 Silver gilt phaleron from Novouzensk, featuring a war elephant with turreted howdah and a ketos on the saddle cloth. (St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum)

54 Silver gilt medallion from south Russia, with a bust of Artemis. (St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum)

55 Silver gilt phaleron from Volodarka Kurgan, Kazakhstan. Bellerophon on Pegasus rides down the Chimaera. (After Mordvintseva)

56 Silver gilt phaleron from the Kuban. Dionysos rides a lion, and Athena fights a naked giant within a vine border. (After Mordvintseva)

57 Detail of a silver lid from Astrakhan. A fish and a sea-griffin. (Drawing, author)

58 Gold belt plaque with inlays; a hero attacks a centaur. (Drawing, author)

The confrontation of the classical and the ‘Animal Style’ deserves a little digression. The Animal Style208 had little or nothing to do with the human figure, and animal forms are stylized more conceptually than, say, the Mesopotamian, yet with close observation, and the twisting engaged figures seem as much the view from horseback of struggles on the ground as mere invention of engaging interlocking compositions. The arts of the Greeks could barely compromise with this, as we have seen, but their griffin, their own orientalizing version of the eastern monster, made its way in areas where it was said to have lived – compare the Arimasp story and our ill. 4, and the stretched form on ill. 52. And it continues long to appear on Central Asian artifacts, often as a Greek heraldic pair and beside patterns of a more eastern cast. Like the ketos, it was wholeheartedly adopted in Asia.209

Farther off towards China, the rich finds of the Altai and their kin, even those to the west, attest styles in bronzework which owe much to east and west but do not betray much of certain Greek inspiration.210 There are just stray finds that suggest Greek style and subject could sometimes serve local storytelling. Plaques and hooks for belts are a major field. One isolated piece of inlaid gold [58]211 takes the form of a belt-hook, with a knob on its semicircular finial, a type known elsewhere in Asia and related to the more angular Parthian plaques. This has a hero attacking a centaur, a classical subject and in a classical composition, but with the expected colour inlays and a certain fluidity in parts of the body. But the hero is no ordinary Greek, nor certainly Herakles, although the group assuredly derives from western art, and the piece, with no certain provenience, is not easily assigned to any one of the various other demonstrations of Greek motifs in Asia, nor readily dated. The centaur has an odd history in the east: a very Greek version apparently dancing in a floral setting appears on a pair of 1st-century BC trousers from Sampula, in the Tarim Basin,212 and we shall meet others.

The Yuehzhi and Tillya Tepe

We move later now, still in Central Asia on the Oxus and still with a once-nomad people, but on the brink of important new developments far to the south – the creation of the Kushan dynasty in India. And we depend almost wholly on the evidence of a single site.

The story begins in China, on its northern borders, attacked from earliest times by nomad peoples of the north and west. The most prominent of these were the Xiongnu (Hsiungnu), whose homes were in the eastern Siberian steppes. Beside them were their rivals, the Yuehzhi, an Indo-European race, nomad by origin but also more seriously horse-riding, and operating mainly from desert areas at the eastern end of the Tienshan Mountains, mainly south and west of the Xiongnu. The latter eventually attacked them and, in the early 2nd century BC, defeated them. As a result the Yuehzhi moved away, some along more southerly routes long familiar to them around the Taklamakan desert, others to the north of the Tienshan, where they met and defeated Saka/Scythians (from the Issyk-kul sites), were attacked by the probably related Wusun, and moved on through Ferghana (where Greeks lived too) to the lands north of the River Oxus.213

China and a Chinese now take an important role in our story. In 138 BC the Han emperor Wuti sent an envoy, Changkien, to talk to the Yuehzhi and enlist their aid against the Xiongnu.214 He (and his embassy of 100 men) visited Ferghana where he noted some seventy walled towns, many of them probably Greek settlements such as Alexander had founded by walling villages; hardly a Greek realm of a ‘thousand cities’ (Justinus 41.1), but on the way. He was captured, imprisoned, but eventually resumed his mission and met the Yuehzhi between Samarkand and the Oxus. He records their defeat of the Tahsia – the Greeks of Bactria, who were not, he remarks, a very warlike people, and who lived in walled towns and were much given to trade. This sounds totally Greek, decidedly not Macedonian – they did not want a nomad life and were only warlike when they had to be. In Ferghana and Bactria they sought a quieter existence, most like home, far from their rather more belligerent ‘royal’ kin to the south, and were busy traders, as ever.

The Yuehzhi went on to found the great Kushan dynasty in north India, which was soon to become Buddhist and will occupy us below.215 Two centuries after their removal of the Greeks the Yuehzhi were still occupying Bactria, and in the 1980s Russian archaeologists excavated the burial places of one of their princes at Tillya Tepe, some 60 miles (100 km) west of Balkh/Bactra. The finds were brilliantly published by Victor Sarianidi (TT). Just how ‘nomad’ the Yuehzhi were by this time is anyone’s guess; possibly very little. The burials were hugger-mugger: that is, although the bodies were quite well preserved with all their lavish dress and equipment in position, they were in rough wooden coffins and it seems likely that they had been removed from their original intended burial place, probably on the occupation site of Emshi Tepe (which might then be judged a real Yuehzhi ‘township’), to be buried more safely on the older, religious site of Tillya Tepe. Coins date the burials to the mid-1st century AD.216 They are brilliant records of a people, once nomad, with connections east to China, south to Greeks, and in an area still permeated by the traditions of Achaemenid Persian, Macedonian and Greek rule. If only archaeologists were always so lucky; without these finds our picture of Bactrian life at the dawn of the Buddhist era would have been more than sketchy and we would have been denied vivid testimony to Bactria’s past.

There was one male, probably a prince, with five regal women, consorts, no doubt, and perhaps killed for the princely burial, following a familiar Asian practice. (Another burial was looted.) The clothes and grave goods were lavish, rich with gold, and for the most part, it seems, locally produced since there is great congruity of technique, if not always of style and subject, and the contents of these burials reflect in considerable detail the history of both the Yuehzhi and of the land in which they had now settled, with its rich steppe, Persian, Macedonian and Greek past. They seem to demonstrate that, whatever changes there might be in ruling classes, the people, peasants as well as merchants, craftsmen and many of the other well-to-do, still exercised a considerable influence on ways of life and art. Here we are concerned with what there is of Greeks and Greek art still apparent in the products of an ex-nomad people becoming empire-builders, but there is much too at Tillya Tepe to recall directly China and its arts, from the Yuehzhi’s long period of neighbourhood and hostility to China, as well as those of the steppes and the Saka, even of Persia.

One of the women (burial 6; [60]) was most richly decked out with golden objects of Greek inspiration, perfume flasks from the Mediterranean, as well as a Chinese mirror. She held a unique gold Parthian coin in her hand, inscribed in Greek, and in her mouth a silver one with a Greek inscription (30s BC), counterstruck with the head of an Indo-Greek king.217 The coins in hand and mouth are the Greek custom of providing for the ferryman of the dead, ‘Charon’s fee’.218 The woman had been brought up as an Asian, her head deliberately deformed at birth, but intermarriage had been commonplace and there were Saka kings in the south with children bearing Greek names. One cannot but think that the lady of burial 6, and/or the women who saw to her laying-out, were in some respect conscious of and proud of some aspects of Greek heritage.

Her jewelry is the most informative, most carefully hammered from matrices and lavishly decorated with inlays of turquoise, carnelian and other precious stones or glass, in the manner we associate most with the Sarmatians of the steppes. Her gold floral crown has most to do with the steppes or even China. Her earrings were winged Erotes. Hanging from her crown were two pendants (5.8 × 4.6 cm) showing a near-naked frontal Aphrodite of Hellenistic type, flanked by two fishy monsters whose closest kin are to be found in the makara of north India [59].219 Over her breasts were gold spangles including a tiny (5 cm) naked winged Aphrodite, legs swathed and leaning on a column [PL. XXXV],220 and with a forehead ‘caste mark’ – an Asian sign of status. Her gold finger ring held a garnet cut with the head of a young Apollo. Among much else of varying steppe or Hellenistic style are also a millefiori glass flask and one of pale blue, of Mediterranean origin.

The most spectacular of the jewelry was hung at her neck: two clasps (7 × 6.5 cm) showing mirror images of Dionysos and Ariadne seated on the back of a lion that sports a griffin’s mane and some leaf-like excrescences (acanthoid) [PL. XXXI],221 a Hellenistic feature exploited in various ways in the east. The god holds a cup poised over the horn-cup of a kneeling satyr who is dressed in his belted hairy pelt (rather than growing it, as he should). The pair are being crowned by Victory/Nike and their dress is as it would have been in Greece but for the thick sleeves and cap of Ariadne – these are nomad dress. The Nike shows that this is more than a wedding and that it must owe something to classical scenes of the Triumph of Dionysos over the Indians, a subject gaining a new lease of life once celebration of the comparable Triumph of Alexander in the east had adopted the theme also, assimilating mortal to god, an easy process in this case. If so, it is the single direct reference in art in the east to the Triumph of Dionysos,222 and would have been much in the traditions of the Indo-Greeks, whatever their views about Alexander/Dionysos and the Macedonians.

59 Gold plaque from Tillya Tepe with Aphrodite and monsters. 1st cent. AD. (Drawing, author. After TTG)

60 The woman from burial 6 at Tillya Tepe. For the ornaments at ears and neck, see PLS. XXXII and XXXI. (After TT)

Burial 6 had the lion’s share of the hellenizing material, but there is no little in the other graves which is closely comparable, for instance another naked, winged Aphrodite standing between two columns, and now with an Eros at her shoulder, but she is wearing what looks most like a Persian cap [PL. XXXIV].223 There are Greek and Greco-Persian engraved gems, inscribed in Greek, some from earlier periods; and splendid roundels and hair-pins combining Greek acanthus with eastern lotus [PL. XXXIII].224 There are several more Erotes, riding dolphins or alone. Two larger plaques [PL. XXXII],225 mirror images, have a burly warrior in hellenizing armour, in what looks like a monster arbour (with winged lions), and with features that no little resemble those of Alexander, whose image was well known in the east.226 The warrior prince’s own belt was of eastern type, of connected discs, each showing a woman holding a drinking cup of Greek shape (often found in the east) and riding a lion [61].227 Nanaia/Nana was an eastern lion-rider, from Mesopotamia to India,228 but not with a cup, and she could be assimilated to Athena or Artemis; this one is more like a Greek maenad, of which there is the earlier Greco/Scythian example from near the Black Sea, where her dress is Greek but with thick steppe sleeves [6], as also worn by our Ariadne.229 So this looks like another assimilation of a Greek figure to an eastern one. Finally, a series of plaques shows a fish-legged figure, with acanthus skirt [62],230 just like a Greek Triton, carrying an oar and with a dolphin wrapped around his neck. All the elements of the Greek Triton are there though they are never (it seems) so combined in the west, but the figure recurs in the east, on an Indo-Greek coin (of Hippostratos), a gem, a relief and a palette [91],231 while a Kushan coin [63] has a male holding a dolphin and labelled OAXO, so there are good reasons to think that it may represent the River Oxus itself.

61 Inlaid gold roundel from a belt. A goddess (eastern maenad?) seated on a lion and holding a cup. 1st cent. AD. (Drawing, author. After TTG)

62 Inlaid gold plaque with a Triton holding an oar and a dolphin. 1st cent. AD. (Drawing, author. After TTG)

63 Design of a man holding a dolphin from a Kushan silver coin. 1st cent. AD. (Drawing, author. After TTG)

The whole complex can be seen to be rather like that at Begram, which we have yet to consider, with the profound difference that at Begram the range of foreign goods and associations was demonstrated by many imported objects, mainly of later date, but at Tillya Tepe largely by precious objects made locally and strongly reflecting a very similar range of influences.

The farther east

The Greeks in Central Asia were dealing with many peoples whose homes had been farther to the east, notably the Yuehzhi who had fought the Chinese on their northeastern border, and they were themselves observed and commented on by the Chinese envoy. Alexander may have intended to take his armies farther east, but only in India, and an Indo-Greek king did indeed raid far along the Ganges to Pataliputra. Of other direct and deliberate Greek interests in the direction of China we hear and see nothing, yet there are strange echoes of Greekness, and with the Christian era, clear indications of trade interests, often of Roman goods (glass) into Chinese lands.

A feature of the Chinese/nomad struggles of the last centuries BC (mainly 5th to 2nd) was, in archaeological terms, the use of decorated belt plaques of styles which lend themselves readily to stylistic classification and historical associations.232 Overall the designs are Chinese or strongly reminiscent of the steppe styles of nomads, even Scythians, although quite distinct from them in their farther eastern manifestations. Among them I have found one pair of 4th-century gold plaques [PL. XXIII] in a puzzling style that had nothing in common with the rest, though the subject is as one might expect, and they were clearly made in north China – inscribed on the back with their weight and a description (‘tiger and pig’).233 The fine incised decoration has more in common with the sub-archaic styles of Asia Minor in Persian times – 5th/4th centuries BC – than with anything else (compare ill. 8). There is Persian influence in the Altai; that a Greco-Persian could have gone farther east is by no means inconceivable.

A different indication of awareness of the Greek west is purely iconographic and concerns the appearance of the Greek sea monster (ketos), whose varied fortunes in Central Asia and India occupy us more than once in this book.234 The relevant feature is its head, with a long snout, bridged nose, pointed ears and often horns, beard, and leafy (acanthoid) excrescences. These all become features of the Chinese dragon as it begins to be depicted in the early Han period (2nd/1st centuries BC). Before, their dragon had been rather fish-like or feline; now it is reptilian with clawed feet, but its head appears suddenly quite transformed and more like that of the Greek ketos than anything that had appeared before in Chinese or Asian art [64]. Given its success in Central Asia and India it is perhaps not surprising that it should have been noticed also by Chinese artists, and with long-lasting effects.235

Otherwise there is a scatter of finds that indicate how far objects can travel and sometimes the unexpected influence they might have on local craftsmen. For the objects, there is an early Roman gryllos gem in south Indo-China, a lamp in Thailand and glass in Korea.236 In south Thailand a bronze bowl from a site mainly of the 4th to 2nd century BC (Khao Sam Kaeo) has a whirl of rows of animals including an unmistakable griffin.237 There is Greek ‘black-glazed’ pottery from north Malaya (Perlis).238 In China a lobed cup with animals added atop derives from a Greco-Persian heritage,239 and from Datong (Shanxi) is a gilt bronze cup with a vintage scene which is wholly classical, probably of the early centuries AD [65].240 From Jingyuan (Gansu) comes a gilt silver plate showing Dionysos on a leopard in a heavy vine border and marked with a Greek/Bactrian weight inscription, probably dating to the 1st century BC/AD [66].241 A Chinese bronze sword handle carries felines related to those on belt plaques but also a facing horned, eared, bearded, mask very like a satyr’s of earlier date.242 More remarkable is the Sasanian-type silver gilt flask found in the tomb of a Chinese general (Li Xian; died AD 569) in north China with what seem to be extracts from scenes of the Trojan epics.243 Farther off, there are elements in Japanese arts, deriving mainly via China, that attest distant classical influence, mainly the use of vinous motifs, and these persist for long in their new environment, with masks that might ultimately derive from oriental translations of a gorgoneion.244

64 Ketos and dragon heads. Left – Chinese; right – Greek; below – Tillya Tepe. (Drawing, author. After After Alexander)

65 Gilt bronze cup from Datong (Shanxi, China) with a Vintage scene. 1st/2nd cent. AD (?). (After Rawson)

66 Gilt silver plate from Jingyuan (Gansu, China), featuring Dionysos on a leopard within a vineyard border. 1st/2nd cent. AD. (After China Digest)

Eastwards, the route up from Gandhara towards the passes into China (at Gilgit) yields a native version of a Greek centaur-rhyton in bronze [PL. XXX],245 and at the other end of the Taklamakan desert along the Silk Road a kneeling bronze warrior combines Greek with Phrygian (the helmet) and is said to be from a 4th-century BC grave [67].246 So far from home it is later periods that reveal continuity of use of classical motifs – some architectural, some iconographic, like the flying women with blown dress, floral swags and rinceaux, realistic body-modelling and shading – mainly too distant in time and place, from the Taklamakan desert to China, to attest any direct contact with their ultimate western sources.247 For much of this we are indebted to the discoveries of explorers of more than a century ago – Sir Aurel Stein, Albert von Le Coq and others.

From the Chinese point of view any westerners were only of immediate importance if they could be useful or if they fostered trade, principally in silk,248 but trade was conducted hand-to-hand and it takes some time before China seems to have any serious knowledge of what lay beyond Central Asia and its populations – of whom they were well aware having to fight them so often. We have seen how an embassy went west in the reign of the emperor Wuti (141–87 BC) to consult the Yuehzhi, observing Greeks to the south as well as making mention of India (Shentu) and Parthia (Anhsi). They returned in 114 BC with much information, and specimens of flora and fauna. In AD 97 there was an embassy (led by Gan Ying) to the Tach’in, probably not the Romans but peoples of the west Persian Gulf (Tiaochih = Tigris?), while the Parthians and Indians were sending embassies and gifts to the Han court. Antioch (Charax) at the Tigris mouth may have been the principal port of contact, carrying goods from the Greek and Roman world arriving via Palmyra to proceed by sea, not land, to the east, and so a major source for Mediterranean trade with India beside that via the Red Sea.249 The Emperor Claudius (reigned AD 41–54) sent an embassy to Sri Lanka (Pliny, Nat. Hist. 6.24) but trade with the Chinese was never to be a simple face-to-face affair rather than stage by stage along the silk roads (ibid., 6.54).250

67 Bronze kneeling warrior from a burial north of the Tienshan range. (Urumchi Museum. After DCAA. H. 42 cm)

There is a very classical Chinese riding down a boar on an exquisite but quite undatable gold buckle from a site in Tajikistan [PL. XXIX],251 but there is a further possible trace of classical influence in China which has been discussed recently, although I am uncertain about its true relevance. Chinese art is most notable for its exquisite essays in stylization of natural forms. However, the First Emperor (died 207 BC), with his ‘terracotta army’, offers a degree of realism and individuality in the treatment of human physique and features that is quite at variance with this tradition. It has been suggested252 that this is the result of knowledge of classical realism, which we cannot trace in execution farther east than the Taklamakan desert. Moreover, the emperor set up a series of twelve colossal bronze statues which, it is suggested, were inspired by the Twelve God statues said to have been erected by Alexander the Great’s army at the confines of India before they turned for home.253 But those are attested only by Diodorus Siculus at a time when the mythologization of Alexander was already well established, and it is not an act which matches Alexander’s other, better attested bids for fame – the naming of cities and probably erection of statues to himself and family.

The Chinese figures are a matter of appearance, not technique. But the appeal of ‘realism’ could be experienced by any artist at any time and without contact with other realists. It may be a rare phenomenon, but it happened even in Central America, otherwise totally committed to extreme stylization and out of touch with ‘classicism’, and far earlier in many palaeolithic cave paintings. The fashion did not linger in China, and when in the 1st century BC Han painters came close to very realistic rendering of human forms and dress, it was without in any way betraying anything ‘classical’. That arrived only with Buddhist arts from India, much later.254

XIV Gilt silver cup with maenads, one naked playing a syrinx, another dressed, with a torch. 3rd/2nd cent. BC. (Miho Museum, Shigaraki. H. 13.2 cm)

XV, XVI Reconstructions of the city at Aï Khanoum. above Courtyard with entrances to iwans. below The city and fortifications alongside the river. (After Bernard)

XVII Gilt silver disc from Aï Khanoum, showing the goddess Cybele in a chariot, with priests, a radiate bust of a god, the moon and sun. 3rd cent. BC. (After Afghanistan. Diam. 24 cm)

XVIII Bronze statuette of a piping satyr, dedicated at Takht-I Sangin by one Atrosokes. 3rd cent. BC. (After Oxus. H. 33 cm)

XIX Ivory scabbard from Takht-I Sangin with a lion holding a deer, and on the chape a curled-up goat in nomad style. 4th cent. BC. (After Oxus. L. 27.7 cm)

XX Ivory forepart of a rhyton vase in the form of a lion, from Takht-I Sangin. 4th/3rd cent. BC. (After Oxus. H. 8.6 cm)

XXI Ivory head of Herakles wearing a lionskin cap, the pelt over his shoulders, from Takht-I Sangin. 3rd cent. BC. (After Oxus. Height 3.6 cm)

XXII Ivory relief from a scabbard with a winged female horse-fish, holding an oar and fruit, from Takht-I Sangin. 3rd cent. BC. (After Oxus. Width 11.8 cm)

XXIII Coin of Demetrios I wearing an elephant head as headdress. Early 2nd cent. BC.

XXIV Coin of Eukratides I wearing a cavalry helmet. On the reverse, the Dioskouroi on horses. 2nd cent. BC.

XXV Coin of Diodotos I. On the reverse Zeus striding forward, his aegis draped over his arm and raising a thunderbolt. 3rd cent. BC.

XXVI Coin of Agathokles. On the reverse Zeus with a sceptre and holding a small figure of the goddess Hekate. Early 2nd cent. BC.

XXVII Coin of Euthydemos. On the reverse Herakles with his club seated on rocks. Late 3rd cent. BC.

XXIII Gold belt plaque showing a lion and boar fighting, in an unusual and possibly western style. From Xigoupan, north China. 5th/4th cent. BC (?) (After Boardman. 13 × 10 cm)

XXIX Gold belt buckle from Tajikistan. A Chinese horseman rides down a boar. The border is a classical ovolo. (After Treasures. W. 5.2 cm)

XXX Bronze rhyton in the form of a centaur holding a goat, from near Gilgit, Pakistan. 3rd/2nd century BC. (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 1963.28. H. 27.5 cm)

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