Thraco-Cimmerian is a historiographical and archaeological term, composed of the names of the Thracians and the Cimmerians. It refers to 8th to 7th century BC cultures that are linked in Eastern Central Europe and in the area west of the Black Sea.
Paul Reinecke in 1925 postulated a North-Thracian-Cimmerian cultural sphere (nordthrakisch-kimmerischer Kulturkreis) overlapping with the younger Hallstatt culture of the Eastern Alps. The term Thraco-Cimmerian (thrako-kimmerisch) was first introduced by Romanian archaeologist and historian Ion Nestor in the 1930s. It reflects a "migrationist" tendency in the archaeology of the first half of the 20th century to equate material archaeology with historical ethnicities. Nestor intended to suggest that there was a historical migration of Cimmerians into Eastern Europe from the area of the former Srubna culture, perhaps triggered by the Scythian expansion, at the beginning of the European Iron Age. This "migrationist" or "invasionist" theory, assuming that the development of the mature Hallstatt culture (Hallstatt C) was triggered by a Cimmerian invasion, was the scholarly mainstream until the 1980s.[ citation needed ] In the 1980s and 1990s, more systematic studies[ by whom? ] of the artefacts revealed a more gradual development over the period covering the 9th to 7th centuries, so that the term "Thraco-Cimmerian" is now rather used by convention and does not necessarily imply a direct connection with either the Thracians or the Cimmerians.
Archaeologically, Thraco-Cimmerian artifacts consist of grave goods and hoards. The artifacts labelled Thraco-Cimmerian all belong to a category of upper class, luxury objects, like weapons, horse tacks and jewelry, and they are recovered only from a small percentage of graves of the period. They are metal (usually bronze) items, particularly parts of horse tacks, found in a late Urnfield context, but without local Urnfield predecessors for their type. They appear rather to spread from the Koban culture of the Caucasus and northern Georgia, which together with the Srubna culture, blends into the 9th to 7th centuries pre-Scythian Chernogorovka and Novocherkassk cultures. By the 7th century, Thraco-Cimmerian objects are spread further west over most of Eastern and Central Europe, locations of finds reaching to Denmark and eastern Prussia in the north and to Lake Zürich in the west. Together with these bronze artifacts, earliest Iron items appear, ushering in the European Iron Age, corresponding to the Proto-Celtic expansion from the Hallstatt culture.
The Scythians, also known as Scyths, Saka, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were an ancient nomadic people of Eurasia, inhabiting the region Scythia. Classical Scythians dominated the Pontic steppe from approximately the 7th century BC until the 3rd century BC. They can also be referred to as Pontic Scythians, European Scythians or Western Scythians. They were part of the wider Scythian cultures, stretching across the Eurasian Steppe. In a broader sense, Scythians has also been used to designate all early Eurasian nomads, although the validity of such terminology is controversial. According to Di Cosmo, other terms such as "Early nomadic" would be preferable. Eastern members of the Scythian cultures are often specifically designated as Sakas.
The Cimmerians were a nomadic Indo-European people, who appeared about 1000 BC and are mentioned later in 8th century BC in Assyrian records. While the Cimmerians were often described by contemporaries as culturally "Scythian", they evidently differed ethnically from the Scythians proper, who also displaced and replaced the Cimmerians.
The Dacians were the ancient Indo-European inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea. They are often considered a subgroup of the Thracians. This area includes mainly the present-day countries of Romania and Moldova, as well as parts of Ukraine, Eastern Serbia, Northern Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and Southern Poland. The Dacians spoke the Dacian language, which has a debated relationships with the neighbouring Thracian language and may be a subgroup of it. Dacians were somewhat culturally influenced by the neighbouring Scythians and by the Celtic invaders of the 4th century BC.
The Sarmatians were a large Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD.
The Thracians were an Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in ancient history. Thracians resided mainly in the Balkans, but were also located in Asia Minor and other locations in Eastern Europe.
A kurgan is a type of tumulus constructed over a grave, often characterized by containing a single human body along with grave vessels, weapons and horses. Originally in use on the Pontic–Caspian steppe, kurgans spread into much of Central Asia and Eastern, Southeast, Western and Northern Europe during the 3rd millennium BC.
The Urnfield culture was a late Bronze Age culture of Central Europe, often divided into several local cultures within a broader Urnfield tradition. The name comes from the custom of cremating the dead and placing their ashes in urns which were then buried in fields. Over much of Europe, the Urnfield culture followed the Tumulus culture and was succeeded by the Hallstatt culture. Some linguists, such as Peter Schrijver, have suggested that the people of this area may have spoken a form of Italo-Celtic, and suggest that the Proto-Celtic language may have originated in a dialect spoken by members of this group.
The Getae or Gets were several Thracian-related tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Both the singular form Get and plural Getae may be derived from a Greek exonym: the area was the hinterland of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, bringing the Getae into contact with the ancient Greeks from an early date. Although it is believed that the Getae were related to their westward neighbours, the Dacians, several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit that the Getae and the Dacians were the same people.
The Tumulus culture dominated Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age.
The Basarabi culture was an archaeological culture in Southeastern Europe, dated between 8th - 7th centuries BC. It was named after Basarabi, a village in Dolj County, south-western Romania, nowadays an administrative component of the Calafat municipality. It is sometimes grouped with related Bosut culture, into the Bosut-Basarabi complex.
The Srubnaya culture, also known as Timber-grave culture, was a Late Bronze Age culture in the eastern part of Pontic–Caspian steppe. It is a successor of the Yamna culture, Catacomb culture and Poltavka culture. It is co-ordinate and probably closely related to the Andronovo culture, its eastern neighbor. Whether the Srubnaya culture originated in the east, west, or was a local development, is disputed among archaeologists.
The Pontic–Caspian steppe is the steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea to the northern area around the Caspian Sea. It extends from Dobruja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, through Moldova and southern and eastern Ukraine, across the Russian Northern Caucasus, the Southern and lower Volga regions to western Kazakhstan, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east, both forming part of the larger Eurasian Steppe. It forms a part of the Palearctic realm and of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.
The Sigynnae were an obscure people of antiquity. Ancient authors describe them as occupying several locations in various regions approximately bordering Black Sea.
The archaeology of Northern Europe studies the prehistory of Scandinavia and the adjacent North European Plain, roughly corresponding to the territories of modern Sweden, Norway, Denmark, northern Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe, centred in modern Bulgaria. They were bordered by the Scythians to the north, the Celts and the Illyrians to the west, the Greeks to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.
Scythia was a region of Central Eurasia in classical antiquity, occupied by the Eastern Iranian Scythians, encompassing Central Asia and parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River, with the eastern edges of the region vaguely defined by the Greeks. The Ancient Greeks gave the name Scythia to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea. During the Iron Age, the region saw the flourishing of Scythian cultures.
In Europe, the Iron Age is the last stage of the prehistoric period and the first of the protohistoric periods, which initially means descriptions of a particular area by Greek and Roman writers. For much of Europe, the period came to an abrupt local end after conquest by the Romans, though ironworking remained the dominant technology until recent times. Elsewhere it may last until the early centuries AD, and either Christianization or a new conquest in the Migration Period.
The Bronze and Iron Age cultures in Poland are known mainly from archeological research. Early Bronze Age cultures in Poland began around 2400–2300 BCE, while the Iron Age commenced in approximately 750–700 BCE. The Iron Age archeological cultures no longer existed by the start of the Common Era. The subject of the ethnicity and linguistic affiliation of the groups living in Central Europe at that time is, given the absence of written records, speculative, and accordingly there is considerable disagreement. In Poland the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became particularly prominent. The most famous archeological finding from that period is the Biskupin fortified settlement (gord) on the lake from which it takes its name, representing the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age.
The Dacian bracelets are bracelets associated with the ancient people known as the Dacians, a distinct branch of the Thracians. These bracelets were used as ornaments, currency, high rank insignia and votive offerings Their ornamentations consist of many elaborate regionally distinct styles. Bracelets of various types were worn by Dacians, but the most characteristic piece of their jewelry was the large multi-spiral bracelets; engraved with palmettes towards the ends and terminating in the shape of an animal head, usually that of a snake.
Dacian art is the art associated with the peoples known as Dacians or North Thracians; The Dacians created an art style in which the influences of Scythians and the Greeks can be seen. They were highly skilled in gold and silver working and in pottery making. Pottery was white with red decorations in floral, geometric, and stylized animal motifs. Similar decorations were worked in metal, especially the figure of a horse, which was common on Dacian coins.