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Sarmatian Enigmatic Figure


            Left: Sarmatian Cataphract from Tanais:
Marble block with the image of a horseman
(2nd century A.D.)

Marble 40х35 cm, from the ancient city of Tanais on the Don. The horseman is in the garb of a Sarmatian or Alan mounted warrior: long scale armour held on by a broad belt, a fluttering cloak with fibula brooch, trousers tucked into soft boots, and a rounded conical helmet. His main weapon is a lance kontos. According to the Greek inscription, the image depicts a historical person, Triphon, the deputy [?] of the ruler of the Bosporus in the ancient city of Tanais. Compare Pausanias' description of armor (text below). Photo from "Sarmatians"







Recently an carved wood item of unknown origin was bought from an auction .
(see two pictures below)


            This figure bears a striking resemblance to the Marble scupture of Triphon of Tanais. The wood appears very old and there is some faint paint still left in some areas. The horse mounted rider has scale armor on his upper body and what looks like plate armor on his legs. He has a skull helmet very similar to Triphon and a long flowing cape or scarf behind him.


           If this turns out to be an antiquity, then an owner would want to make sure it gets returned to the proper country. If somebody could uncover the history behind it please address to the owner (e-mail: gswain@tx.rr.com)




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