Swan

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

Found: Pazyryk Barrow No. 5 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko, 1949). Altai Territory, Pazyryk Boundary, the Valley of the River Bolshoy Ulagan

The body of the swan, filled with reindeer wool, is made of white felt, while the bill, cere and eye of black felt. The feet made from felt of a reddish-brown colour are stretched over wooden stakes that support the figure in a vertical position. The swan was probably fixed on the wooden top of a chariot or decorated the top of a funeral tent. The representation of birds was rarely used by ancient Altaic people. A swan symbolized life in three spheres of the universe - in air, on earth and in water. There was also a widespread concept of the creation of the universe by a swan, duck or goose, which was characteristic of many cosmogonical conceptions in ancient times.

Title:

Swan

Epoch. Period:

Archaeological site:

Pazyryk Barrow No. 5 (excavations by S.I. Rudenko, 1949)

Material:

Technique:

applique

Dimensions:

h. 30 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1950; handed over by the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; the Leningrad branch

Inventory Number:

1687-260

User collections including this work of art: