10 Facts About Sarmatians


Sarmatians were a large confederation of ancient Eastern Iranian equestrian nomadic peoples of classical antiquity who dominated the Pontic steppe from about the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE.

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Territory inhabited by the Sarmatians, which was known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, covered the western part of greater Scythia, and corresponded to today's Central Ukraine, South-Eastern Ukraine, Southern Russia, Russian Volga, and South-Ural regions, and to a smaller extent the northeastern Balkans and around Moldova.

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Ethnogenesis of the Sarmatians occurred during the 4th to 3rd centuries BCE, when Scythian-related nomads originating from the southern Ural foothills migrated southwest into the territory of the Sauromatians, between the lower Volga and Don rivers.

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The supremacy of the Sarmatians was finally destroyed when the Germanic Goths migrating from the Baltic Sea region conquered the Pontic Steppe around 200 CE.

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However, a people related to the Sarmatians, known as the Alans, survived in the North Caucasus into the Early Middle Ages, ultimately giving rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group.

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Sarmatians were part of the Iranian steppe peoples, among whom were Scythians and Saka.

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The Sarmatians, described as a large confederation, were to dominate these territories over the next five centuries.

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Sarmatians spoke an Iranian language that was derived from 'Old Iranian' and was heterogenous.

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Roxolani, who were one of the earlier Sarmatian tribes to have migrated into Europe and therefore were among the more geographically western Sarmatians, used helmets and corselets made of raw ox hide, and wicker shields, as well as spears, bows, and swords.

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The Sarmatians examined were found to be closely related to peoples of the earlier Yamnaya culture and to the Poltavka culture.

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