The Scythians are thought to be:

  • Indo-European (Eastern Iranian), spoke an Iranian language related to the modern Ossetian.
  • Originally from central Asian (probably Kazakhstan), spread from western China desert to northern India to eastern European steppe.
  • No political unity, divided by family, tribe, and clan.
  • Lived a nomadic lifestyle, relied on herds of horses and cattle, seasonal migration, maintained a few permanent settlements.
  • Horsemanship, hunting, and occasional cattle raids were all necessary to life on the steppe, so the Scythians learned skills which made them fearsome warriors.

Skythian lands

The Evidence of the Scythians:

  • No written records from the Scythians and very few archeological uncovered.
  • Kurgan grave mounds hands few archaeological remains.
  • The only written record was from outside sources, such as: Indian, Chinese, and Persian records mentions the Scythian tribe.

grave mound (kurgan)

Kurgan Burial Mound:

  • Many archaeological artifacts were uncovered from his royal burial mound.

royal outfit

Royal Scythians:

  • The outfits worn and used by the Upper Scythian Class.

Scythian comb Restitution

Scythian Jewelry:

  • Scythians were well-achieved craftsmen, and they developed many assorted jewelries, such as: earrings, necklaces, and broaches.

typical skythian animal art

This decorative Deer Crest was not only ornamental, but placed in the middle of a shield for protection against enemy combatants.

Scythian Warriors

Scythians hard at work developing their weapon-crafts.

Greek art depicting Skythians (1)    Greek art depicting Skythians (2)


Scythian Art:

Much of the Scythian Art was used to describe routine daily activities.  Although, the Greeks considered the Scythians barbarians, no Scythian Art displayed any violence.



A popular and well-known Scythian philosopher in Hellenistic Greece.  He learned the Greek culture and politics and became an influential philosopher to the Greeks.

The Scythians relevance to the Greeks:

Pontic steppe Scythian “interacted” with the Greeks; frequently trading or raiding; and working as mercenaries.

Most reliable and accurate records of the Scythians come from the Greeks (Herodotus).

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