The Scythians were powerful nomads, who spoke a language from the
Persian family. They arrived in the Black Sea coastal area from the eastern part of
Eurasia sometime between the 8th and 7th centuries BC.
According to Herodotus, the Scythians had no
towns and fortifications, but carried their ‘dwelling places' with them. The males
were all archers, and they bred cattle, rather than farming the land.
The most notable of the nomadic tribes in the ancient world, they were the first
of a whole series of tribes who conquered the South Russian steppes one after another
between the 7th century BC and the end of the 15th century AD: the Scythians, Sarmatians,
Bulgars, Khazars, Pechenegi, Polovtsi and Mongols.