Spectacular new discoveries from the Caucasus set the stage for a dramatic hilltop ritual.
Modern scholars have had to rely heavily on the accounts of ancient historians to interpret the archaeological evidence, Greeks dismissed their neighbors to the west as “mare milkers” and drunks, and the Scythians’ nomadic lifestyle must have seemed strange to these more urbanised cultures. The bodies and grave goods in these burials have added to what was already known about Scythian culture from earlier excavations in western Russia and Ukraine, some of which yielded fantastic gold artifacts.
These discoveries are so unexpected that some experts at first believed the finds to be fakes, now that authenticity has been established researchers are trying to determine what the artefacts might have been used for. Residue found on the artefacts has been analysed providing evidence for the use of mind altering drugs, suggesting their use in ritual.
Source: Rites of the Scythians