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Filigbee necklaces of the classical period from bosporan necropoli (P. Silantyeva)

Necklaces of large spherical gold beads decorated with filigree and granulations are well represented in the burials of the Bosporan Kingdom. A study of these necklaces leads to new conclusions as to their dating and classification.

By the ornamental patterns on the beads, the necklaces may be divided into three groups. These groups differ in date, in details of form, and in quality of workmanship: the distinction in design between the necklaces of the first and second groups is recorded in the present paper for the first time.

In determining the dates of manufacture, researchers based their conclusions on the study of later specimens of Bosporan beads, found in the Bolshaya Bliznitsa Barrow and in the Cyme burial in Aeolis. By the coins of the time of Alexander the Great, discovered in these burials, all necklaces of this type were dated to the second half and the end of the fourth century B.C. The fifth-century necklace from the Kukuv Barrow in Bulgaria was not taken into account. The study of the material accompanying the finds of Bosporan beads shows that necklaces of spherical beads with filigree and grain decoration were known on the Bosporus from the close of the fifth century, and remained in use until the end of the fourth.

The place of manufacture of these Bosporan necklaces cannot at present be established with certainty. S. Ruxer's conjecture regarding their local production is hardly plausible, since such necklaces occur in other classical cities besides those on the Bosporus. To judge by their high artistic and technical quality, many of the Bosporan necklaces may well be attributed to the best Greek workshops. Bosporan filigree necklaces resemble those from Eretria, but all other analogues refer to the area of Asia Minor. 125

The necklace of the third group yielded by the Semibratny Barrow, the only one of its kind, may have been manufactured, to judge by the style of its palmette decor and its restrained composition, at a Greek workshop.

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