THE INFLUENCE OF NATURAL FACTORS ON THE EMERGENCE OF LARGE SCYTHIAN SETTLEMENTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE ROUTES


Keywords: settlement, climate, Scythians, ceramics, trade routes

Abstract

This article considers the impact of changes in the natural environment on historical processes that took place in the steppe and forest-steppe zones of Ukraine in the XI—V centuries BC. It is determined that one of the main reasons for the emergence of large Scythian settlements was a natural factor. Changes in climatic conditions in the steppe zone led to the almost complete outflow of population from its territory in the XI—V centuries BC. The establishment of a more favorable climate in the south of Ukraine, which began in the VII century BC, led to an increase in the population in the forest-steppe zone and the emergence of large Scythian settlements on its territory.

The article also considers the question of the emergence and functioning of the main trade routes that existed in the Northern Black Sea region at that time. South Bug, Dnieper and Don rivers were used as trade routes beginning ХV century BC. The Scythian penetration to forest-steppe zone and the construction of big sites of settlements started before the start opening the north coastal Black Sea territory by Greek colonists. The Scythians appeared in the forest-steppe zone in the first half to mid- VII century, and the Greek opening of the coastal areas starts at the end of VII century BC. That time the South Bug, Dnieper and Don rivers became waterways connecting North Black sea area with central East Europe and Baltic countries. It were the estuaries of these rivers where appeared the biggest early Greek settlements: Berezan at the Bug and Dnieper estuary’s conjunction and Taganrog at the Don estuary. In the VII—V centuries South Bug was the main trade route. This point is supported by the fact that the Olvia state capital-Olvia city was established on the right bank of the Bug estuary.

The Greek centers exported to these areas, possibly ceramics, vine, olive oil, jewelry etc. These are the ceramic residuals which make it possible to determine the big Scythian settlements lifetime. Greek traders as reported ancient authors imported from forest-steppe areas, where these settlements were established, cattle, slaves, copper, furs, wax, salted fish, amber etc. The climate improvement at the North Black Sea area started opening of these unsettled steppe areas. This process resulted in gradual decadence of big Scythian settlements. The Grate Scythian center moves to the lower reach of Dneaper river, which followed by main trade route transfer to that exact river. So the natural factor seriously influenced the South Black Sea areas historical processes in the VII—V centuries BC.

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Published
2022-04-06
How to Cite
Minaeva, N. I. (2022). THE INFLUENCE OF NATURAL FACTORS ON THE EMERGENCE OF LARGE SCYTHIAN SETTLEMENTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE ROUTES. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 42(1), 193-202. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2022.01.14