ANIMAL STYLE: A term describing a type of gold production whose themes were animals and which arose from the Scythians, a seminomadic people from the Eurasian steppes who moved from southern Russia into the territory between the Don and the Danube and then into Mesopotamia. During the 5th to 4th centuries bc, this style appeared on shaped, pierced plaques made of gold and silver, which showed running or fighting animals (reindeer, lions, tigers, horses) alone or in pairs facing each other. The animal style had a strong influence in western Asia during the 7th century bc. Ornaments such as necklaces, bracelets, pectorals, diadems, and earrings making up the Ziwiye treasure (found in Iran near the border of Azerbaijan) show evidence of highly expressive animal forms. This Central Asian Scythian–Iranian style passed by way of Phoenician trading in the 8th century bc into the Mediterranean and into Western jewelry. The most popular themes are antlered stags, ibexes, felines, birds of prey and, above all, the animal-combat motif, which shows a predator, usually bird or feline, attacking a herbivore. The joining of different animals and the use of tiny animal figures to decorate the body of an animal are also characteristic. Animal bodies were also contorted – animals curved into circles and quadrupeds with hindquarters inverted. The term is shorthand for this complex of motifs and treatments, which for long periods represented the art of the vast steppe zone of Europe and Asia. The transformations they underwent in the course of their long history on the steppes often leave the sources and affiliations of particular versions obscure.