ON SOME PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH SOURCES ON THE BEGINNINGS OF THE SCYTHIAN HISTORY


  • A. P. Medvedev Voronezh State University
Keywords: Northern Black Sea region, Cimmerians, Scythians, early Scythian history, ancient literary tradition, Herodotus

Abstract

The subject of this article is the problem of correlation and verification of ancient literary sources and archaeological evidence with a view to reconstruct the history and culture of the early Scythians. The author analyzes the current state of affairs in cultural identification of the Cimmerians and the Scythians in Russian archaeological and historical science and shows drawbacks of the hypercritical approach to ancient literary sources on the basis of the early Greek tradition on the Cimmerians and the Scythians in the Northern Black Sea region. If we use the methods that have been recently used to analyze the Greek tradition on the Cimmerians, we will have to make a disappointing conclusion that not only the Cimmerians but also the Scythians in the Northern Black Sea region are virtually not mentioned for a period before the middle of the 5th century BC. The archaeological evidence can largely make up for the shortage of narrative sources on the Scythians. The author makes a conclusion that the «old» hypothesis about the arrival of the Scythians in the Black Sea region (based on the third Herodotus’ story) and replacement of the late pre-Scythian culture by the early Scythian one combines almost all known literary and archaeological evidence into a more consistent theory than the «new» approach offered in the 1990s and stating that the Cimmerians were bearers of the Early Scythian culture known only to the west of the Euphrates.

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Published
2018-06-22
How to Cite
Medvedev, A. P. (2018). ON SOME PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH SOURCES ON THE BEGINNINGS OF THE SCYTHIAN HISTORY. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 27(2), 410-417. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2018.02.30