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date: 18 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the Iron Age in the region extending from the western Black Sea to the North Caucasus. As in many parts of Europe, this was the first period in which written sources named peoples, places, and historical events. The Black Sea saw Greek colonization from the seventh century BC and its northern shore later became the homeland of the important Bosporan kingdom. For a long time, researchers sought to identify tribes named by authors such as Herodotus by archaeological means, but this ethno-deterministic perspective has come under critique. Publication of important new data from across the region now permits us to draw a more coherent picture of successive cultures and of interactions between different parts of this vast area, shedding new light both on local histories and on the role ‘The East’ played in the history of Iron Age Europe.

Keywords: Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Greek colonization, kurgan, north Pontic region, burial practices, settlement, votive hoard, nomadism

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