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Who were Scythians?

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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who were Scythians?
    Posted: 15-Feb-2005 at 23:16

(BTW, what's the difference between iranic, arian and persian?)

The term Iranic is ethno-linguistic.  It is used of peoples speaking languages related to Persian, the primary language of Iran, and so hence "Iranic". 

Aryan was originally a cultural designation.  It described those Iranic-speaking groups which adopted a sedentary livelihood as opposed to a nomadic way of living.  In the Zend Avesta, Airyas were one group and Tiuryas, Sairimas, Dahis, and Sainus were other groups.  The latter groups were nomadic in nature.  The earliest representation of the term as a place-name, Airyanem Vaejah, "home of the Aryans" was to the south of the Aral Sea watered by the Vanguhi Daitya or the Oxus and perhaps located in the region of Chorasmia which was the outpost of agricultural society. 

Of specific groups which used the term to describe themselves, were the Medians, whom Herodotus stated were originally called "Arians", the Persians which described their rulers as being of "Aryan seed" and their language as "Aryan", and the Bactrians whose language was described by the Kushan king Kanishka I, as being called "Aryan".  The implication is that all these sedentary groups had a common name to describe their culture and language.

In the meantime, after Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, the Greeks were referring to Iran as Ariana.  Although we don't have a surviving Persian equivalent, the implication is that the native Iranian peoples were already referring to Iran in some form of the ancient expression Airyanem Vaejah.  From the Parthian Period we have a development of the Avestan term in the form Eran Wej, and perhaps Iran was already known as "Eran", which was in use during Sassanid times to describe Iran and immediate western and eastern adjacent lands.  The "migration" of the name for Iran, originally only designating the land about the Oxus, south of the Aral Sea (in present-day Uzbekistan), into the present-day Iran was now complete.

The term "Persian" originally designated those Iranians or "Aryans" which settled the region of "Parsa" (the "borderland"), the modern southwestern Iranian province of Fars.  Since it was the Persians who unified Iran, and whose language became the predominant language, in the west, at least, "Persia" was equivalent to "Iran", and for a time, Iran was officially known as Persia until modern times.

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  Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2005 at 12:46
i don't know much information about them but they lived between iran and russia and the were a part of persian army in the batlle of marathon
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2005 at 14:41

Originally posted by Ahmed The Fighter

i don't know much information about them but they lived between iran and russia and the were a part of persian army in the batlle of marathon

me neither but were the sarmatians and scythians the same people but with different name?

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  Quote giani_82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2005 at 15:47
I think they were not quite the same. The sarmatians being just descendants from the Schytians, sharing much in common.
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  Quote jstampfl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 09:21
A few references for information about the Scythians ( and other steppe cultures):

The State Heritage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia has an emense amount of material:

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_2_6.html

unfortunately only a small amount is on line.

Books:

"The Golden Deer of Eurasia"  Scythian and Sarmarian Treasujres from the Russian Steppes.  Ed>  Joan Aruz

"Scythian Gold"  Ed: Ellen D. Reeder

"Nomads of the Eurasian Steppes in the Early Iron Age"  Ed: Jeannine Davis-Kimball

"Warriors of the Steppe" by Erik Hildinger

"Warrior Women" by Jeannine Davis-Kimball


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  Quote jstampfl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 09:37
There are acutally hundreds of Kurgans in the vicinity of Pazyryk. Some of them entomb asiatic scythian cheiftans whereas at others iranian scyths are buried. There is definatly enough archealogical evidence to support that there was significant intermarrage and cross-cultural polination that far east. I would also tend to agree with earlier posts about the fact that many scholars have some urge to to classify scythians and sacas as though they were entirly different peoples when in actuality the cultures of the stepe all had a shared cultural heritage.



Moving East, a joint Korean-Mongolian Joint Exedition in Mongolla found the grave of a Hunnu general  in the Arkhangai Aimag, Khudgiin turmuli.
This gerneral was a caucasian.  In near by graves were found Mongoloid types.  This is located about 30 km north of Khara Khorum (Xar Xorin)  which is also the homeland of the Uyghurs.

This grave complex has several hundred graves of which only 3 were excavated.
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  Quote Alborz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Dec-2005 at 18:22

Okay, I don't know if anybody has already posted this, but anyways:

Iranian Peoples

THE SAKAS

AN INTRODUCTION


 

CAIS

 

 

Scythia.jpg (296127 bytes)

Scythia

 

Introduction

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Scythians

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Scythian Successes

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Scythian

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Scythian Art (An Overview)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Scythians were members of a nomadic people of Iranian Stock who migrated from Iranian Homeland in Central Asia to southern Russia in the 8th - 7th C. BCE.

Centered on what is now the Crimea, the Scythians founded a rich, powerful empire that survived for several centuries before succumbing to the Sarmatians during the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD.> >

Much of what is known of the history of the Scythians comes from the account of them by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who visited their territory. In modern times this record has been expanded chiefly by the work of Russian anthropologists.> >

The Scythians were feared and admired for their prowess in war and, in particular, for their horsemanship. They were among the earliest people to master the art of riding, and their mobility astonished their neighbors.

 

The migration eventually brought them into the territory of the Cimmerians, who had traditionally controlled the Caucasus and the plains north of the Black Sea. In a war that lasted 30 years, the Scythians destroyed the Cimmerians and set themselves up as rulers of an empire stretching from west Iran through Syria and Judaea to the borders of Egypt.

 

The Median dynasty, who ruled Iran, attacked them and drove them out of western Iranian lands in Anatolia, leaving them finally in control of lands which stretched from the Iranian border north through the Kuban and into southern Russia.> >

The Iranian Scyths were remarkable not only for their fighting ability but also for the civilization they produced. They developed a class of wealthy aristocrats who left elaborate graves filled with richly worked articles of gold and other precious materials. This class of chieftains, the Royal Scyths, finally established themselves as rulers of the southern Russian and Crimean territories. It is there that the richest and most numerous relics of Scythian civilization have been found. Their power was sufficient to repel an invasion by the Iranian King of King Darius the Great in about 513 BC.> >

The Royal Scyths were headed by a sovereign whose authority was transmitted to his son. Eventually, around the time of Herodotus, the royal family intermarried with Greeks. In 339 the ruler Ateas was killed at the age of 90 while fighting Philip II of Macedonia. The community was eventually destroyed in the 2nd century BC; Palakus being the last sovereign whose name is preserved in history.> >

The Scythian army was made up of freemen who received no wage other than food and clothing, but who could share in booty on presentation of the head of a slain enemy. Many warriors wore Greek-style bronze helmets and chain-mail jerkins. Their principal weapon was a double-curved bow and trefoil-shaped arrows; their swords were of the Persian type. Every Scythian had at least one personal mount, but the wealthy owned large herds of horses, chiefly Mongolian ponies. Burial customs were elaborate and called for the sacrifice of members of the dead man's household

 

 

Scythian successes >>

The first sign that steppe nomads had learned to fight well from horseback was a great raid into Asia Minor launched from the Ukraine about 690 BC by a people whom the Greeks called Cimmerians.

 

Some, though perhaps not all, of the raiders were mounted. Not long thereafter, tribes speaking an Iranian language, which the Greeks called Scythians, conquered the Cimmerians and in turn became lords of the Ukraine.

 

According to Herodotus, who is the principal source of information on these events, the Scyths (or at least some of them) claimed to have migrated from the Altai Mountains at the eastern extreme of the Western Steppe. This may well be so, and some modern scholars have even surmised that the foreign invasions of China that brought the Western Chou dynasty to an end in 771 BC may have been connected with a Scythian raid from the Altai that had occurred a generation or two before Scythian migration westward to the Ukraine.> >

The Eastern Steppe was, however, too barren and cold for invaders to linger. Consequently, the spread of cavalry skills and of the horse nomads' way of life to Mongolia took several centuries. We know this from Chinese records clearly showing that cavalry raids from the Mongolian steppe became chronic only in the 4th century BC. China was then divided among warring states, and border principalities had to convert to cavalry tactics in order to mount successful defenses. The first state to do so developed its cavalry force only after 325 BC.> >

Long before then, however, the Scythians had erected a loose confederacy that spanned all of the Western Steppe. The high king of the tribe heading this confederacy presumably had only limited control over the far reaches of the Western Steppe. But on special occasions the Scythians could assemble large numbers of horsemen for long-distance raids, such as the one that helped to bring the Assyrian Empire to an end. After sacking the Assyrian capital of Nineveh in 612 BC, the booty-laden Iranian Scyths returned to the Ukrainian steppe, leaving Medes, Babylonians, and Egyptians to dispute the Assyrian heritage. But the threat of renewed raids from the north remained and constituted a standing problem for rulers of the Middle East thereafter.

 

 

Scythian Jewelry> >

It is to the Scythians, a semi nomadic people from the Eurasian steppes who moved out from southern Russia into the territory between the Don and the Danube and then into Mesopotamia, that we owe a type of gold production, which, on the basis of its themes, is classified today as animal-style. 

 

During the early period (5th-4th century 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, embossed with powerful plasticity and free interpretation of the forms. The animal-style had a strong influence in western Asia during the 7th century BC. Such ornaments as necklaces, bracelets, pectorals, diadems, and earrings making up the Ziwiye treasure (discovered in Iran near the border between Kurdistan and Azerbaijan provinces) provide evidence of this Asiatic phase of Scythian gold-working art.

 

The ornaments are characterized by 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.>  

>

 

2. SCYTHIAN ART

Scythian Art is also called STEPPES ART, decorative objects, mainly jewelry and trappings for horse, tent, and wagon, produced by nomadic tribes that roamed Central Asia from slightly east of the Altai Mountains in Inner Mongolia to European Russia. What little is known of these tribes, called Scyths, or Sacae, in the classical sources, indicates that they established control of the plain north of the Black Sea over a period of several centuries, from the 7th-6th century BC until they were gradually supplanted by the Sarmatians during the 4th century BC-2nd century AD. Many of the most impressive pieces of Scythian art (now part of the treasure at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg) were cast of solid gold and were recovered in the 17th-19th century, before the development of modern archaeological methods that might have shed more light on their origins.> >

The Scythians worked in a wide variety of materials, including wood, leather, bone, appliqu felts, bronze, iron, silver, gold, and electrum. The tombs of Pazyryk in the Altai yielded many well-preserved articles of clothing that were profusely trimmed with embroidery and appliqu designs; the clothes of the wealthy in southern Russia were covered with tiny gold-embossed plaques, sewn to the garments. At Pazyryk, felt appliqu wall hangings were found, some displaying religious scenes featuring the Great Goddess or anthropomorphic beasts, others with geometric or animal motifs. Felt rugs were also found, as well as a vast number of beautifully made tools and domestic utensils.> >

The art of the period is essentially an animal art. Combat scenes between two or more animals are numerous, as are single animal figures. Many real or mythical beasts are represented, the majority of the types having roots in deep antiquity, but the Scythians fashioned them in a manner that was new and characteristically their own. As is to be expected with nomads who were constantly on the move, the decorative objects they produced are generally small in size, but many are made of precious materials and practically all are of superb workmanship.> >

The Scythian gold figures of semi recumbent stags, measuring some 12 inches (30.5 cm) in length, are outstanding; they were probably used as the central ornaments for the round shields carried by many Scythian fighters. Perhaps the loveliest of the gold stags is the 6th-century-bc example from the burial of Kostromskaya Stanitsa in the Kuban, but versions of the 5th century BC from Tpiszentmrton in Hungary and of the 4th century BC from Kul Oba in the Crimea are scarcely less beautiful. In all three examples the stag is shown in a recumbent position, with its legs tucked beneath its body, but with its head raised and its muscles taut so that it gives an impression of rapid motion.> >

The Scythian artistic idiom is one of great compression as well as of synthesis; contrasting positions of the body are combined with astonishing skill to depict every possible aspect of the animal when visualized during all its diverse activities. Though the art is basically representational in character, it is at the same time imaginative in spirit, often verging on the abstract in conception. Yet however complex its elements, they are fused in the finished work into a single entity of compelling force and beauty.

http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Anthropology/Scythian/introduc tion.htm

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  Quote Alborz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Dec-2005 at 18:24

for more visit these:

Sakas (Scythians)
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Ethnic of Sakas (Sythians), by: I. P'iankov

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Interpretation of Scythian, Sarmatian & Meotian-Sarmatian Motifs & Records (the)

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Sakas (the), An Introduction

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The Saka Nomenclature, A Persian appraisal, by Guive Mirfendreski

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Scythian Genealogical legend in Rustamiada, by: Igor V. Pyankov

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Scythians, Sarmatians, Meotians: Interpretation of the Ancient Cultures (The)

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Scythian Wave; Theories on the Scythian invasion of India and their relation to the Yu-chi advance into Bactria, by Robert Bracey

"Who so shall worship Ahura Mazda, divine blessing will be upon him, both while living and when dead" Darius The Great
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  Quote Socrates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 03:58

Here's a scythian harp:

http://www.soundtransformations.btinternet.co.uk/arcmain.htm

A reconstructed harp also at:

www-ic.dcn-asu.ru/projects/ grant/korotkov/en/exps/exp5_b.html



Edited by Socrates
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  Quote Anbalan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2006 at 12:18
Originally posted by Socrates

Here's a scythian harp:

http://www.soundtransformations.btinternet.co.uk/arcmain.htm

A reconstructed harp also at:

www-ic.dcn-asu.ru/projects/ grant/korotkov/en/exps/exp5_b.html

I am sorry I know too few about musical instruments. However is there any special about that scythian harp? What does make it different from other ones of similar kind? It seems to be very little visual difference between the so-called "scythian harp" and an Ossetian one. See pictures:

Look at guy playing regular (arc) fandur and guy playing "kessun fandur" on left. This is Tuganov's artwork related to Nart Sagas.

This is also Tuganov's artwork "Searching avalanche victims" (1933). There is a man playing "kessun fandur".  The "kessun fandur" was popular instrument once, but was replaced by accordion recently.

 



Edited by Anbalan
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2006 at 12:23

Looks like a kamancheh

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  Quote Anbalan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2006 at 12:40

This is from Alan tomb (v. Zmejskaya), North Ossetia, Russia. This looks like related to Iranian Simurg story (The bird carrying branch of Tree of Life).

 

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2006 at 14:01

haha, another thing the damn christians copied from iran.

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  Quote HistoryGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jan-2006 at 19:20
No one really seems to know their origin, I have heard things like Iranian, proto-European, Turkic, Mongoloid, Persian. Now I really don't know....
هیچ مردی تا به حال به شما درباره خدا گفته.
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  Quote kobalt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2006 at 17:34
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  Quote Maziar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2006 at 22:24
Sorry Cobalt, but your link www.turkicworld.org is an ultranatinalist, pan turkist site. Fake scientist like Polat Kaya are moderating this site. They claim skythians Alani, sarmatian are on turkic stock and summerian were turks. This site has no academic base. Forget this one.
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  Quote kobalt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2006 at 05:30
There is only a part of article about scythian DNA. the another link doesn't work. The DNA was taken from several skeletons in Paziryk. The were mixed origin. Closed to the people from  Mountain Altaj or some small north siberian groups. Each one was different mixed between europoid and asian population. All share one haplogroups N1a.
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Socrates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2006 at 06:51

What is your view kobalt-r u claiming that turks r scyths? 

 

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  Quote kobalt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2006 at 10:54
scythian were scythian. They will tell you the same today.
I didn't wrote about Turkey. There is no current nationality with haplogroups N1a.
 
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  Quote Socrates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jan-2006 at 02:14
I saw a russian TV-series called "Brigada".There's a Tajikistani there who claims to be Iranian nordic( or similar).Some of other Tajikistanis in the series had some ''iranian'' features (specific nose shape, for instance)-some appeared almost 100% iranian, but most appeared as an irano-turk mixture...and one guy looked more mongolian then anything else...I also found one of the Russians ( Philatov) to have certain iranian characteristics.Anyone saw ''Brigada''?
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