FORTIFICATION OF THE LATE SCYTHIANS OF LOWER DNIEPER REGION


Keywords: the Late Scythians, the Late Scythian culture, the lower Dnieper Region, fortification, defensive structures, rampart, moat, defensive wall, tower, citadel.

Abstract

The Late Scythian hill-forts are placed on the floodplain terraces and high banks of the Dnieper and its creeks. Usually the Late Scythians chose the part of steep bank above the river surrounded by gullies for the erecting of fortress.

According the topography and layout of fortification two types of them can be classified: the cape hill-forts and riverside ones. The same types are correct for the Late Scythians of Crimea.

The cape type hill-forts are Chervony Mayak, Mykolayivka-Kozatske, Lvove, Poniativka, Velyka Lepetykha and Kairy.

The riverside type hill-forts are Havrylivka, Hannivka, Sablukivka, Konsulivka, Staroshvedske (Zmiivka), Znamyanka, Zolota Balka, Tiahynka and Liubymivka.

The first descriptions and topographic plans were made in the late 18th—19th centuries. The some parts of ramparts and moats were excavated during the first half of the 20th century. The period of massive archaeological excavations during fifties — sixties of the 20th century were associated with Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant building.

The defensive structures of the Late Scythians consisted of the system of ramparts and moats. The fortified walls sometimes with towers erected on the ridge of rampart. Behind them the settlements were located. On the several Late Scythian hill-forts these parts have got additional line of fortifications. The most complex fortification system had three lines of defense.

The defensive structures on the twelve Late Scythian hill-forts such as Zolota Balka, Havrylivka, Hannivka, Konsulivka, Chervony Mayak, Mykolayivka-Kozatske, Lvove, Tiahynka, Poniativka, Znamyanka, Kairy and Liubymivka were studied.

Velyka Lepetykha, Hornostayivka and Berislav hill-forts were destroyed or covered by modern buildings.

The defensive structures of Late Scythians, according to the artifacts, have appeared not early than second half of the 1st century BC, or at the turn of era.

The analysis of excavations of the Olbio chora shows same elements of fortification at the first centuries AD: moats, ramparts, walls and towers. But the architecture and building features of the Late Scythian fortification are peculiar, and specific only for this culture. The creation of two parallel defensive lines, stone filling in the internal space of towers, multiple thickening of walls indicate not a Hellenistic origin of builders.

Only general ideas and typical elements of fortification are the same in Olbio and in the Late Scythians hill-forts. The technical realization of these ideals shows the local origin of the Late Scythian fortification.

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Published
2020-05-25
How to Cite
Dzneladze, E. S., & Sikoza, D. N. (2020). FORTIFICATION OF THE LATE SCYTHIANS OF LOWER DNIEPER REGION . Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 36(3), 191-213. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2020.03.10