Perusing the marvelous digital collection of the Hermitage Museum, I discovered many interesting objects from the Caucasus, mainly dating to the period 1000 to 500 BC. It took some searching to assemble all of these images, since the collection is split among various modern nations (Georgia, Ossetia, etc.), but, well, I was just back from a week at the beach and was happy to sit and watch web pages load. Above, a finial or staff top from Georgia, 6th century BC.
A rhyton from Abkhazia, 8th century BC.
A bridle ornament from Ossetia, 8th century BC.
Bronze Ax from Georgia, 8th century BC. I find myself drawn as ever to the cultures just beyond the reach of our written records. These people may be mentioned in the correspondence of Assyrian kings, and perhaps they appear in Greek legends of the colonization period like the tale of Jason and the Argonauts. But whatever information we have is minimal and scattered. For me this leaves these objects floating in a haze of myth, even though I know their societies were no more strange and magical than those we know a lot about.
Some of the objects, like these small ornaments, are attributed to the Koban Culture, which occupied the northern Caucasus from 1100 to 400 BC. It seems odd to me that a single culture should span the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, which in other places led to a major break in the archaeological record. But every place is different.