BRONZE AGE ON THE EURASIAN STEPPE SECTIONS:
- Warrior Wear
The Bronze Age ushered in a new era in the cultural history of Eastern Europe. Bronze is the earliest artificial alloy invented by humans. Made of copper and tin but superior to both, bronze was strong and easily cast into a variety of forms. With the invention of bronze, man was able to develop the sword, an advanced weapon used exclusively for warfare. Dating to the 17th century BC, some of the earliest bronze swords were found in the Black Sea region of present-day Ukraine. Bronze swords could hold a sharp edge remarkably well and had enough power to pierce most armor of the period. Bronze swords dominated the battlefields of the ancient world for many centuries until the introduction of iron in the 1st millennium BC.
During the Bronze Age, groups of stockbreeding warrior nomads traveled throughout the Eurasian Steppe in search of grassy pastures. Presumably the ancestors of modern Europeans, these nomadic populations spoke the languages of the Iranian linguistic family. Cimmerians were the first Eurasian nomads known by their historical name.
In the Odyssey, Homer describes them as the people dwelling on the edges of the inhabitable world, which, for Homer’s contemporaries, were the unexplored territories north and east of the Black Sea. Homer writes, “In a lonely land and gloomy cells the dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells.” Greek and Persian writers recorded the fearsome raids of Cimmerians sacking the powerful cities of Asia Minor and Near East. In the 7th century BC, Cimmerians were driven from the northern shores of the Black Sea by Scythian tribes, but the memory of them still lingers in the histories of ancient empires and in the name of the Black sea peninsula Crimea.
1. Portrait of Homer, 1-2 Century CE
Next Section: Warrior Wear