Demonstrators supporting the annexation of Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow, March 2014.Photo by Reuters

The Allard Pierson archeological museum in Amsterdam is in a bind. Since February 7, it has exhibited “The Crimea, Gold and secrets from the Black Sea,” which it originally billed as “Spectacular archeological finds from the Ukraine.” Now it doesn’t know whether to return the precious gold artifacts to Russia or to Ukraine or to just stay out of it and hold on to the exhibition for the time being.

The reason this report caught my eye is that most of the “Gold and secrets” of Crimea come from the Scythians. Originally from what is today southern Iran, the Scythians were a horse riding tribe that inhabited much of today’s Georgia, Armenia and the southern parts of Ukraine and Russia for close to 1300 years, from the 7th century BC to the 4th century AD. The northern coast of the Black Sea was absolutely Scythian.

And what’s so special about the Scythians? Well, it turns out that Josephus Flavius, the turncoat Jewish historian who chronicled the Masada saga, had an interesting theory about the Scythians and the lands in which they lived. He concluded that their land was the Magog, as in Gog and Magog, as in the war of Gog and Magog, as in the biblical prelude to the End of Days.

Which is one of the many reasons why recent events in the Ukraine have created a buzz among Continue reading →