Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan

August 11, 2012 – December 2, 2012

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

Spectacular gold objects and monumental gilded horns dating from the first millennium BCE were excavated in recent years from burial mounds (kurgans) in the vast grasslands and steppes of Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia. These finds, many never before shown in the United States, constitute a brilliant introduction to the nomadic and settlement cultures of the ancient peoples in Kazakhstan. On view are more than 150 objects that reveal a powerful and highly sophisticated culture with strategic migratory routes and active networks of communication and exchange. The exhibition also explores a form of Eurasian nomadism centered around an elite culture of horseback warfare, as well as illuminate the central role of horses in Pazyryk culture.