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Were the ancient Scythians really Nomads?

The diets of ancient steppe Scythians, classically known as nomads, has revealed that while some of the population did indeed travel far and wide warring for new lands on horseback, many didn’t, and most settled where they were born.

Most Scythians Preferred Farms and Fires Over Swords.

Scythians emerged from the Pontic steppe (southern Siberia) around 700 to 200 BC and dominated all territories between the Black Sea and China. In the 5th century BC, Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the Scythians descended from the child of Heracles and a hybrid snake-woman.

Since then they have been perceived as nomadic horse-riding warriors. Now, a new paper by Professor Alicia R. Vetresca Miller of the University of Michigan, published in the journal PLOS ONE , suggests that Scythian people led more complex and settled lives than is commonly assumed.

The new study set out to reveal secrets pertaining to the “diet and mobility” of Scythian populations. This lead the team of researchers to undertake complex isotopic analysis of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and strontium from human teeth and bones recovered from Scythian burial sites in Ukraine.

The results of the study directly challenge the commonly held stereotype that the Scythians were horse-riding long-distance nomadic warriors , claiming that most “did not travel long distances during their lifetimes.