N.V. Fedorova1 and A.V. Baulo2 1Arctic Research Center, Respubliki 20, Salekhard, 629008, Russia 2Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
We describe so-called portrait medallions and plaques with similar representations from a hoard found near Kyzym, the Beloyarsky District of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra in the summer of 2014. We introduce 17 artifacts cast of bronze and differing in shape and technological level. These fall into two groups in terms of quality. The principal questions addressed in the article are where, by whom, and based on which prototypes the Kazym artifacts were made. To resolve them, we analyze similar artifacts, including silver medallions representing a Parthian king and found in northwestern Siberia, and a series of bronze items from various sites in the Surgut and the Lower Ob region. These parallels, like the presence of numerous “Sarmatian” bronze mirrors in the Kazym hoard, point to the period between the late 1st century BC and the 1st or 2nd centuries AD. The results suggest that the “portrait” medallions and other bronze plaques depicting anthropomorphic characters are local replicas of imported prototypes. This testifies, firstly, to stable trade links with ancient civilization centers in the beginning of the Christian era, and secondly, to the absorption of certain elements off oreign traditions by the local culture.