60 A Scythian Bronze Roundel showing a griffin attacking a stag

60 • A Scythian Bronze Roundel showing a Griffin attacking a Stag

Central Asia, 5th–4th century BC
Size: 10 cm diameter

The carving of this layered agate is of extraordinary quality, showing a winged griffin with the beak of an eagle slaying a desperate stag. The subject was popular in the Black Sea area during the 5th and 4th centuries BC, and a Greek master craftsman must have made this superb example of Greco-Scythian art there. Unusually, it is pierced with two parallel holes, suggesting it was once part of a necklace or armband, and not made for a ring.