Monday, April 23, 2012

Truth or a lie #3


The Sarmatians didn't have a hat with flaps worn over the face, but someone had a hat with flaps sewn above the face.
If you go to the Hermitage Museum's collections database and type in "Sarmatian", one of the entries that comes up is this:
Fur; h. 21 cm
Tashtyk Culture. 3rd - 4th century
Oglakhty Burial VI, Grave No. 4 (Excavations of Prof. L.R. Kyzlasov), South Siberia, Khakassia Republic, left bank of the River Yenisei, near Mount Oglakhty
Source of Entry:   Archaeological Expedition to Khakassia of the Moscow State University. 1969
There it is- a hat with flaps over the face. It's kind of odd and I highly doubt they were worn that way since they'd cover the eyes and all that. Perhaps they were wrapped around the sides of the face and tied under the chin to keep the sides of the face warm? Or else tied behind the head to help hold it on?
You may notice that the caption says nothing about Sarmatians, but instead mentions the Tashtyk culture. The Tashtyks might be the same people as the Yenisei Kirghiz ( Name culture=lingo for archeological finds of uncertain affinity), but they're too far east to be Sarmatians (they definitely aren't Alans in service to Mongols). The child's coat from the kurta post is another Tashtyk artifact, but so close to Sarmatian style that I have no issue presenting it as something to base a pattern on for Sarmatian personae (steppe nomads shared a lot of similarities). This hat I haven't seen anywhere else so it's probably something particular to the Tashtyk.
Grousset, R., 1970, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, Rutgers University Press, 718 pp.
Xipoliya Yanke Suo Jian Xiajiesi Monijiao" ("Siberan Rock Arts and Xiajiesi's Manicheism") 1998 Gansu Mingzu Yanjiu


  1. This hat has puzzled me for years now. All I can figure is that what we're seeing is the back of the hat, and it's our cultural assumptions which cause us to think the panels hanging down there are the front. But maybe to the Sarmatians the attachment curves there are really supposed to rest at the base of the skull, and the panels wrap around to tie at the front of the neck or something?

    1. That's a thought...though I'm not sure how else it would fit on the head if that weren't the front. It isn't Sarmatian, though. It's from some other culture in Siberia north of westernmost Mongolia. I'm not sure why the Hermitage Museum website pulls it and other artifacts from the same find up on a search for Sarmatians.