Skythians, - who are they?


For the first time the world heard about Scythians from Greeks who had started to develop the Northern Prichernomorje and faced there with martial, semi-nomadic tribes of skilled riders. Herodotus, who is supposed to visit Prichernomorje and to see those places personally, devoted to Scythians the whole book in his "History". There are two interpretations of the term "Scythians": ethnographical and geographical.Scythians lived in Prichernomorje between the Danube and the Don. Greek and Latin texts preserved some Scythian names and toponyms showing that their language belonged to the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European linguistic family. From the modern languages the Ossetic language is the closest to the Scythian one. By their appearance, clearly seen on the objects, shown here (the pectoral from Tolstaya Mogila, vessels from Kul-Oba burial and from one of the Chasty burials etc), as well as by numerous determinations of the skulls from excavated burials Scythians, undoubtedly, were Europeoids. So A. Blok's description of Scythians as people with "slanting and greedy eyes" - is only a fantasy of a great poet.

Nomadic tribes close to Scythians in language and culture occupied a vast territory - the steppe belt from the Don to Pribaikalye, including foothills and mountain valleys of the Tien Shan, Pamir , Hindu Kush, Altai and Sayans. During recent excavations typically Scythian things were found in the remote districts of China, in Iran and Anatolia. They undergo the name "Asian Scythians" though in Greek, Iranian and Chinese texts they were called "Massagetae", "Saka", "Seh". Among numerous finds in the burials of the European Scythia, together with subjects with elements of Greek and ancient oriental traditions, one can see the "purely" Scythian manner with the same stylistic peculiarities as on subjects, found in the middle Asia and Southern Siberia.




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