Ancient Ukraine

This is a closed, past exhibit; it is not available for viewing.

6,000 Years Of Archaeology!

On tour for the first time in the United States, the exhibit ДРЕВНЯ УКРАЇНА (Ancient Ukraine) – Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations covers 6,000 years of history and prehistory of various cultures that once inhabited the territory of modern Ukraine.

Ancient trade routes crossed this part of the world for countless centuries. As a result, trade items from many of the Old World’s civilizations have been found in Ukraine.

  • The Beginning: Trypilian culture – The exhibit starts with the Trypilian culture, dating back to 5,000 BC. Pottery decorated with red and black paints, sacred symbols, as well as temple models and animal sculptures, will be on display.
  • Scythian Style – Between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC, the Scythians, known for their beautiful stylized animal-shaped ornaments, roamed what is now Ukraine. The fertile soil of the region attracted Greek settlers as early as the 7th century BC.
  • Hellenistic Influences – Greek presence lasted well into the Hellenistic period (around the 2nd century BC), represented here by a dazzling array of bronze sculpture, exquisite gold jewelry, extraordinary rhytons (drinking cups partially in the shape of a ram), black-slip pottery, and amphorae.
  • Roman Might – Rome’s might reached the Black Sea—and the shores of Ukraine—as early as the 1st century BC. We see Roman presence reflected in art forms that blend traditions from both Greek and Roman worlds. Among the items on display are bright red and orange pottery, transparent glass, bronze and silver vessels, and jewelry incorporating precious stones, filigree, granulation and inlays.
  • Byzantine Treasures – Discover treasures from the Byzantine Empire, the ancient Slavic state of Kyivan Rus’, and various steppe nomads, spanning the 5th through the 13th centuries AD. Utensils, relics, chalices, kolts, pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces provide an idea of the array of objects used by the inhabitants of medieval Ukraine.

The Glory of Ukraine: Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries
The second part of the exhibition picks up where the first part ends, around the beginning of the second millennium A.D. On display is a superb collection of 77 icons and religious regalia drawn from the collections of the Kyiv-Pechersk National Historical and Cultural Preserve and the Lviv National Museum.

Ukraine played a pivotal role in the adoption of Orthodox Christianity throughout eastern Slavic lands. In the 10th century, Grand Prince Volodomyr formally declared his realm, the Kyivan Rus’, a Christian land. Ever since these early days, artists developed their own Ukrainian iconography, incorporating folk traditions. Their color palette was bright and distinctly Ukrainian, using red, green, blue, white, and gold.

Many of these icons and regalia have never been on display in the United States. Indeed, many of these objects have not been seen in Kyiv either, since there is virtually no space in the Preserve to display the incredible wealth of its collection.

This exhibit was presented by the Foundation for International Arts & Education of Bethesda, Maryland in cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.


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