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Ancient tribe Scythians - Ancestry and origin

History

Their name for themselves is the Sokolotes. They are a people of Iranian descent, originally a nomadic people from the southern steppes of Russia. The Scythians settled down in the first half of the first millennium B.C. in the region around the Black Sea, where they came into contact with Greek culture. The name Scythian was already applied to the peoples of the southern Siberian steppes in the fourth century B.C. In the fourth and third centuries B.C., these formerly nomadic Scythian people were already farming and had both permanent settlements and fortifications. The ruling class settled in fortifications with sturdy buildings while the specialized craftsmen occupied huts in the area surrounding the fortress.
The Scythians pressed on into the lower Danube valley, the Balkan Peninsula, into Carpathia and Hungary, to Poland and the Niederlausitz region. At the end of the fourth century B.C., the Scythians were driven out of their territories west of the Danube by the Sarmatians, and pushed back across the Danube by Philipp the Second of Macedonia; in the third century B.C., the Scythians of southern Russia came under the rule of the Sarmatians.


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Culture

Scythians wore tight fitting, richly ornamented skirts, and pants that were held up by a leather belt, shoes of soft leather and caps on their heads. They lived in wagons or tents. They kept herds of horses, cattle, and sheep. Their primary weapons were the recurve bow and a short, dagger-like sword. The power and wealth of the Scythians was reflected in their magnificent architecture, the rich decor of their structures and in the ornamentation of everyday objects with jewels.

Scythian art derived from northern Eurasian hunters' art, in contact with Iranian and Greek art in the period from 600 to 300 B.C. The artistic skill on display in the Greek cities of the northern coast of the Pontus brought Scythian art into full flower. The primary motif is the animal, either individually or in groups of fighting animals, either in naturalistic or highly stylized representations. Weapons, clothing, tack and harness, and household object of all kinds were decorated. After the Scythians were conquered by the Sarmatians, Scythian art changed to favor multi-colored ornaments.

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