PRESUMABLE VARIANTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF FORTIFIED SETTLEMENTS OF THE DNIEPER-DON FOREST-STEPPE IN THE SCYTHIAN AGE


Keywords: Early Iron Age, Scythian period, Dnieper-Don forest-steppe, hillfort, settlement structure.

Abstract

The intensive constructing of fortified settlements has turned the Dnieper-Don forest-steppe into a huge building site since the second half of the 6th century BCE. Mass development of fortifications has begun. Despite the local features related with topography and the availability of building materials, it is possible to distinguish some common vectors.

The hillforts are traditionally perceived by researchers as static structures that have «frozen» in their original forms. Recent archaeological researches on the Tsyrkuny, Bilsk and Mokhnach hillforts in the Forest-Steppe, confirmed by the series of planographic observations on the other sites, allow us to classify some features of the development of fortified settlements.

On the one hand, hillforts are formed on the basis of the unfortified settlements. Another part was initially built as fortification. Simple forms of defensive structures and poorly saturated cultural layer are the characteristic features of the fortifications of so-called «shelter-fortresses». The review of the sources allowed us to say that these sites are hillforts which, for some unknown reasons, were not settled down, capturing the first stage of the existence of fortifications, and their specific cultural layer cannot be the evidence of their belonging to certain cultural and economic type.

The series of cross-sections of fortifications indicated the traces of restructuring and repairing of individual defensive lines throughout the entire period of their use. There are examples of expanding the area of the hillfort due to constructing of the new defensive structure as an extension of the main line or the creation of the fortification on the next cape that could be united by the common rampart. Also are known the examples of the special reduction of the area of hillfort. Similar situation is observed at the last stage of the Bilsk archaeological complex.

In the Late Scythian period, a new type of monuments appeared on the territory of the Dnieper-Don Forest-Steppe, fortifications consisting of the acropolis (central fortified part) and large household yard.

The current research allows to critically evaluate the popular models of classifications and the validity of their application for historical reconstructions.

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Published
2020-05-29
How to Cite
Kriutchenko, O. O. (2020). PRESUMABLE VARIANTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF FORTIFIED SETTLEMENTS OF THE DNIEPER-DON FOREST-STEPPE IN THE SCYTHIAN AGE. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 36(3), 101-110. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/274