Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.702-706

УДК 902.6

Cultures of the Early Iron Age in China as a Part of the Scythian World

Shulga P.I.

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Based on archaeological and written sources, the author characterizes two ethnocultural regions of the 9th to 3rd centuries BC, which developed in the east of the Scythian world, i.e. in Xinjiang and North China. In the 9th to 8th centuries BC, there, in local cultures of transitional appearance, burial complexes with the «Scythian triad» individual elements in the animal style in a horse bridle were recorded. It is obvious that both of these areas were the early Scythian culture formation centers similar to the center in Tuva. At the same time, according to all sources, the animal style was brought to the China territory from Mongolia. Due to environmental factors, in these areas during the period of up to the 2nd century BC, the Scythian cultures developed almost in isolation from each other in contact with the adjacent Kazakhstan, Southern Siberia, and Mongolia regions. In the second half of the 4th century BC, the northern part of Xinjiang (including the Tien Shan) got culturally closer with the Pazyryk culture from Altai, while the western part, to the Sakas and Wusuns of Kazakhstan. At this time, the North China cultures were in close contact with the South Siberian population. At the same time, some Scythian-like features were preserved in them until the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC, even after the Han and Xiongnu empires formation at the end of the 3rd century BC. We can suggest that, in Xinjiang and North China, as well as in Tuva (Arzhan-1) in the 9th to 8th centuries BC, some centers appeared with some elements of the early Scythian culture. Perhaps, this was due to the influence of Mongolia, around which they were located. The above-mentioned cultures in the territory of China were an integral part of the Scythian world.


Scythian world, Scytho-Siberian animal style, the Sakas, the Wusuns, the cultures of the Xinjiang and North China

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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