As we take in the splendour and beauty of the gold artefacts from the Great Steppe, we can’t help but wonder about their prehistoric makers and users: Where did they obtain the precious metal? What tools and techniques did they employ to turn it into the elaborate artefacts we admire today? How did they learn their skills? Were these objects used in life, or made for the dead? Scientific analyses provide some answers but also raise new questions.
Marcos Martinón-Torres is Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge. He is a specialist in the scientific investigation of archaeological artefacts, and ancient goldwork is one of his key areas of expertise. Together with students and other colleagues, he has analysed gold artefacts from numerous sites in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
About Gold of The Great Steppe
Gold of The Great Steppe (28 September 2021 –30 January 2022) will display an archaeological sensation, hundreds of outstanding gold artefacts recently discovered in the extraordinary ancient burial mounds built by the Saka people in East Kazakhstan.
This exhibition will place archaeological finds discovered in the last three years by Kazakh archaeologists on a global stage for the first time, amplifying voices that often go unheard in museums in the west and giving UK audiences a unique opportunity to see and understand for the first time the rich cultural history of a country the size of western Europe.