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 Scyth, Saka, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were a nomadic people who dominated Central Asia, parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River, and parts of South Asia between the 7th century BC and the 3rd century AD. They were part of the wider Scythian cultures, stretching across the Eurasian Steppe, which included many peoples that are distinguished from the Scythians. Because of this, a broad concept referring to all early Eurasian nomads as "Scythians" has sometimes been used. Use of the term "Scythians" for all early Eurasian nomads has however led to much confusion in literature, and the validity of such terminology is controversial. Other names for that concept are therefore preferable. The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians were located in the Pontic steppe and the North Caucasus.
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 Sarmatians were a large Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and South-eastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. The study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology.
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, 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. Linguistic evidence and continuity with the following Hallstatt culture suggests that the people of this area spoke an early form of Celtic, perhaps originally proto-Celtic.
The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Western and Central European culture of Late Bronze Age from the 12th to 8th centuries BC and Early Iron Age Europe from the 8th to 6th centuries BC, developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BC and followed in much of its area by the La Tène culture. It is commonly associated with Proto-Celtic and Celtic populations in the Western Hallstatt zone and with (pre-)Illyrians in the eastern Hallstatt zone.
The Tumulus culture dominated Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age.
Scythian art is the art associated with Scythian cultures, primarily decorative objects, such as jewellery, produced by the nomadic tribes of the area known as Scythia, which encompassed Central Asia, parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River, and parts of South Asia, with the eastern edges of the region vaguely defined by ancient Greeks. The identities of the nomadic peoples of the steppes is often uncertain, and the term "Scythian" should often be taken loosely; the art of nomads much further east than the core Scythian territory exhibits close similarities as well as differences, and terms such as the "Scytho-Siberian world" are often used. Other Eurasian nomad peoples recognised by ancient writers, notably Herodotus, include the Massagetae, Sarmatians, and Saka, the last a name from Persian sources, while ancient Chinese sources speak of the Xiongnu or Hsiung-nu. Modern archaeologists recognise, among others, the Pazyryk, Tagar, and Aldy-Bel cultures, with the furthest east of all, the later Ordos culture a little west of Beijing. The art of these peoples is collectively known as steppes art.
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.
Chernoles culture or Black Forest culture is an Iron Age archaeological unit dating ca. 1025–700 BC. It was located in the forest-steppe between the Dniester and Dnieper Rivers, in the Black Forest of Kirovohrad Oblast in central Ukraine. This location corresponds to where Herodotus later placed his Scythian ploughmen. From 200 BC, the culture was overrun by the arrival of Germanic and Celtic settlers to the region.
The Srubnaya culture, also known as Timber-grave culture, was a Late Bronze Age culture in the eastern part of Pontic-Caspian steppe.
The Pontic–Caspian steppe, Pontic steppe, or Ukrainian steppe is the vast steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea as far east as the Caspian Sea, from Dobruja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, through Moldova and eastern Ukraine across Russian Northern Caucasus, Southern and lower Volga regions to western Kazakhstan, forming part of the larger Eurasian steppe, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east. It is a part of the Palearctic temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.
The Sigynnae were an obscure people of antiquity. They are variously located by ancient authors.
The Chernogorivka and Novocherkassk cultures are Iron Age steppe cultures in Ukraine and Russia, centered between the Prut and the lower Don. They are pre-Scythian cultures, associated with the Cimmerians.
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.
The Bronze and Iron Age cultures in Poland are known mainly from archeological research. Early Bronze Age cultures in Poland begun around 2300–2400 BCE, while the Iron Age commenced in approximately 700–750 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.
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.
Scythian cultures, also referred to as Scythic cultures, Scytho-Siberian cultures, Early Nomadic cultures, Scythian civilization, Scythian horizon, Scythian world or Scythian continuum, were a group of similar archaeological cultures which flourished across the entire Eurasian Steppe during the Iron Age from approximately the 9th century BC to the 2nd century AD. Among Greco-Roman writers, this region was known as Scythia.