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Regular version of the site

Article

The Sarmatians: The Creation of Archaeological Evidence

Oxford Journal of Archaeology. 2013. No. 32(2). P. 203-219.

According to the general modern view the steppes of the Northern Black Sea region, from the Danube to the Ural valleys, in the period from the third century BC to the mid-third century AD, were inhabited by Sarmatian tribes using a burial mound rite. Several consecutive waves of Sarmatian peoples came to this territory from the East, conquering the local population. This view is based on the paradigmatic explanatory model, which has roots in the history of the Russian Empire. However, the archaeological culture of the Volga-Don and Ural steppes, known as the ‘Sarmatian Motherland’, is apparently not related to the Sarmatians of the written sources. Besides, the culture of the Northern Black Sea region features various kinds of archaeological monuments (settlements, votive depositions, kurgans, flat necropolises), which are characteristic of different cultural-economic types. This demonstrates the complexity and diversity of the culture in the region, which could be affected by many factors: the residence of Greek settlers on the Northern shore of the Black Sea, the expansion of the Roman Empire, the pressure of nomadic tribes from the East, the advancement of the Celtic-Thracian peoples from the West, changing of environmental conditions, etc.According to the general modern view the steppes of the Northern Black Sea region, from the Danube to the Ural valleys, in the period from the third century BC to the mid-third century AD, were inhabited by Sarmatian tribes using a burial mound rite. Several consecutive waves of Sarmatian peoples came to this territory from the East, conquering the local population. This view is based on the paradigmatic explanatory model, which has roots in the history of the Russian Empire. However, the archaeological culture of the Volga-Don and Ural steppes, known as the ‘Sarmatian Motherland’, is apparently not related to the Sarmatians of the written sources. Besides, the culture of the Northern Black Sea region features various kinds of archaeological monuments (settlements, votive depositions, kurgans, flat necropolises), which are characteristic of different cultural-economic types. This demonstrates the complexity and diversity of the culture in the region, which could be affected by many factors: the residence of Greek settlers on the Northern shore of the Black Sea, the expansion of the Roman Empire, the pressure of nomadic tribes from the East, the advancement of the Celtic-Thracian peoples from the West, changing of environmental conditions, etc.