The vivid imagination that produced their
designs are not unlike that of the early seal designers of Mesopotamia, however there is
this difference: the organic coherence of the creatures appearing in the earlier designs
was sacrificed by the Luristan designers, who malformed the creatures to suit their
Thus, fish tails are made to end in ram's
heads, tines of a stag's antlers in bird's heads, and so on. In an early study of this,
Ludwig Curtis calls this the zoomorphic juncture.
Interlace continued as an art form in the near
East, and eventually appears in highly developed form in Egyptian and Coptic art.
However, the animal style also moved north
through the the art of the nomads of Luristan to those of the Steppes, particularly the
These were a particular people from the Orient
who successfully invaded the northern shores of the Black Sea during the 8th and 9th
centuries B.C., and the name came to be applied to various tribes inhabiting the vast
regions north of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The Animal Style of the Scythians probably
arise in the early 6th century B.C., its distinguishing feature the portrayal of mainly
beasts of prey, and stags. Examples, highly stylized and yet full of motion, have been
found as far west as the Hungarian Plain, and as far north as East Prussia.