13 June 2017

Suppressed Histories Archives Page Liked · 3 hrs · Edited · While i'm in the midst of Amazonology: Kazakh and Kyrgyz artists have been working with the archaeology of their lands. Here the Kazakh painter Talgat Tleuzhanov draws on the Golden Figure of Issyk to portray the Saka warrior queen Tomyris (of the Massagetae, as Greek sources call them). Her exploits, including defeating the Persian army of Khouroush / Cyrus, were described by Herodotus and other ancient writers. Tomyris was enraged at the treachery of Khouroush, who set up a banquet with lots of wine, to entrap the Saka warriors, and then slaughtered them and captured many once they were drunk. The queen challenged Khouroush to a real battle, which she won decisively. Herodotus relates that Tomyris beheaded him and then dipped his head into a basin of blood, saying, "I warned you that I would quench your thirst for blood, and so I shall." (On the other hand, Xenophon reported that Cyrus died in his bed.) The richly adorned Issyk find is often called the Golden Man, yet archaeologists have recognized that the slight 5'3" frame could well have been a woman, as has had to be recognized for many other armed burials of the Sakas, Sarmatians and Scythians. Jeanine Davis-Kimball has led in advocating for this view. The very high headdress she is wearing (based on Issyk) is in line with women's headdresses in the region. It tracks with the Kazakh saukele (now a bridal dress) and with the tall headdresses worn by women in the Ukok plateau and Tarim basin of Central Asia.

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