Sarmatian Wolf Torque

This torc found in an undisturbed Tumulus clearly shows anthropomorphic figures with Wolf Heads battling a dragon or serpent.

Discovered in a first-century AD Sarmatian Kobyakovo tumulus (see Prokhorova 1994).

This open-work gold torque, still awaiting a comprehensive analysis of its mythological and cultic significance, features the repeated scene of a battle between a dragon and two monstrous canine-headed and canine-legged warriors, wearing armor and fighting with a club.

Since there are two warriors, one fighting the dragon from the front and the other from the rear, they probably symbolize a group of werewolves or wolves wearing armor. Dragon fight, as Wikander (1938) and Widengren (1969) show, is a classical feature of Männerbund mythology, especially among the Iranians.

The club, a most primitive weapon, characterizes the Männerbund as a pristine warrior band (Wikander 1938, Widengren 1969). Thus, the Kobyakov torque appears to feature a scene from the mythology of warrior societies.

Source: adapted from “The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom” by Yulia Ustinova.