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Armoured cavalrymen attacking a fortress,
from Semireçye in Central Asia, 9th-10th century

The Nildin Dish


A larger image of Armoured cavalrymen attacking a fortress. Plate from Semireçye in Central Asia, 9th-10th century. Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk.


The diameter of the Nildin dish is 235 - 240 mm, the height is 29 - 34 mm, the diameter of the circular stem is 97 - 99 mm, the height of the leg is 4 - 5 mm (Fig. 1). The weight of the dish is 1103 g. The metal loop for hanging is lost; a thin leather strap was threaded through the holes for the rivets.

In the center of the dish there is an image of a fortress (castle?), which is surrounded on two sides by ten horsemen. Figures of three warriors are shown on the upper tier of the building. The heads of four more people are visible in the watchtowers. From the top of the fortress hang two figures of the dead, two bodies lie at the foot of the wall. In the middle of the stage there are figures of seven musicians with trumpets raised up and a man holding a box on his shoulders. In the window above the entrance to the fortress, a woman is depicted with her hands raised up. The background of the figures is covered with gilding. Also gilded are images of the sun and the moon, figures of soldiers hanging on a crossbar, faces of women and soldiers in towers, spearheads of horsemen, an arch and a pillar at the bottom of the dish. The dish dates back to the 8th - early 9th centuries and refers to the products of the craft workshops of Central Asia [Gemuev, 1988].

On the front side of the dish, next to the figures of warriors, engraved images of moose were made in Siberia. It is no coincidence, apparently, that the upper figure of the elk is located directly opposite the warrior with the bow, and the lower figure is next to the horseman's spear. We can talk about the elements of hunting magic, or about the fact that animals are depicted as a sacrifice brought to the heroes-ancestors.

The Nildin dish turned out to be a double of the famous Anikovsky dish from the collection of the State Hermitage, which was found in 1909 near the village of Bolshe-Anikovskaya, Cherdyn district, Perm province [Smirnov, 1909; Darkevich, 1976, p. 28 - 29]. The differences in the decoration of the figures on the obverse sides of the Anikovsky and Nildinsky dishes were analyzed in detail by I.N. Gemuev [1988, p. 39 - 48].
Source: Baulo A.V. "The connection between times and cultures (a silver dish from Verkhne-Nildino)" in Archeology, ethnography and anthropology of Eurasia. - 2004. - No. 3. - pp. 127-136.



The dish from Verkhne-Nildino now belongs to the collection of the museum of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk Fedorova N., 2003.

See a comparison of the Jericho Plates found at Verkhne-Nildino and Anikovskoe, from Semireçye in Central Asia, 9th-10th century



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