Scythian Mysteries

“The Mystery of the Scythians” is a lecture presented by Andrew Gregorovich at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Toronto on February 1st. Sponsored by the Ucrainica Research Institute this is the first of several lectures announced by Ihor Steciw, President of the Institute. He introduced the guest speaker as a former department head for 30 years in the University of Toronto Library system, a former member of the Academic Board of the University of Toronto and now the Senior Researcher at the Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre.

“I have been studying the Scythians for 35 years” said Mr. Gregorovich “and I would like to share with you some of my ideas on the mysteries of the ancient Kingdom of Scythia which had existed in Ukraine between 700 and 200 B.C.” Mr. Gregorovich is the author of Scythia and Scythian Gold published as Forum magazine no. 103-104 in 2001 and the Scythian Bibliography of 675 entries published in 2002.

The Scythians are considered the world’s first horsemen and they were considered among the finest ancient warriors and archers because in 513 B.C. they defeated mighty King Darius the Great of Persia. Herodotus, the ancient Greek “Father of History” visited Scythia (Ukraine) about 460 B.C. and dedicated his Book Four to ancient Scythia. Mr. Gregorovich said that Herodotus and especially the research of archeologists in this past century have given us a window on Scythia.

The Bible mentions the Scythians three times since they ruled the Middle East (Israel and Babylon) for 28 years. Gregorovich said that there may be a relationship between the Scyts and Scots. He offered a brief comment on the discovery of Amazon graves which proves the ancient Amazons actually existed in Ukraine and were more than a Greek myth. He also noted that the world’s first horse ridden by a man was in Dereivka, Ukraine, about 4350 B.C. in the center of the future Scythia.

Originally it was thought for over two thousand years that the Scythians were a short, yellow, Mongol people who had come from central Asia but archeologists now know that “The Scythians were a tall, white European people whose kings were 2 metres (6’6”) tall.”

Scythian Gold artifacts found in hundreds of kurhan burial mounds (one kurhan had 1,200 gold artifacts) are made of exquisite gold. The mystery has been: who created them? In the past century it was thought Greek craftsmen made all of them but Mr. Gregorovich suggested that some researchers now think they are the work of Scythian craftsmen. In particular, the greatest work of Scythian gold art, the Kiev Pectoral from Tovsta Mohyla kurhan found 1971, according to Mr. Gregorovich, must have been created by a Scythian artisan goldsmith. He calls it the Kiev Pectoral because it is on exhibit in the Pecherka Lavra museum in Kiev.

The greatest mystery remaining today about the Scythians is whether there is any relation between the ancient Scythians of 2,500 years ago and modern Ukrainians. Mr. Gregorovich said that we will soon know the answer to this question once DNA research is done and gives us definite scientific proof. In his opinion there is likely to be some Scythian ancestry found among the population of Ukraine today.

Andrew Gregorovich points to the gold Kul Oba Vase which shows the Scythians were Europeans not Mongols. This famous Scythian artifact was found in a kurhan in 1830 in Crimea region of Ukraine and is now in a Russian Museum in St. Petersburg