Hilt of Achaemenid Sword

Created: Scythian Culture. 5th-4th century BC

Found: Chertomlyk Tumulus. Right bank of the lower Dnieper, near Nikopol, Yekaterinoslav Province, Russian Empire. Excavated by Ivan Zabelin, 1862–1863

Today there can be no doubt about the ancient Iranian character of the ornamental motifs in the compositions and in the stylistic peculiarities of its depictions. Going by the shape of the hilt and numerous analogies in Achaemenid applied art (Susa, Persepolis, the Oxus Treasure), it is possible to conclude that this piece was created in the 5th–4th centuries BC. Certain motifs that link the hilt to art of the Median era do not contradict such a dating. In Scythia in the 4th century BC, the sword was given a new iron blade of the Scythian type. This weapon may have been among diplomatic gifts from Alexander the Great to a Scythian ruler. An exchange of embassies between the European Scythians and the Macedonians in 329/328 BC was reported by Appian, a historian of Alexander the Great’s campaign.


Hilt of Achaemenid Sword

Epoch. Period:

Archaeological site:

Chertomlyk Tumulus





length: 14,9 cm

Inventory Number: