Saltovo-Maiatskoe Culture

Saltovo-Maiatskoe Culture


an archaeological culture whose remains were left by seminomadic peoples in the Don and Azov regions in the eighth and ninth centuries. The culture arose among the nomads of the Khazar Kaganate during the transition from a nomadic to a sedentary way of life, when feudal relations were being established. The culture was destroyed by the Pechenegs at the turn of the tenth century.

There are more than 200 known remains of the Saltovo-Maiatskoe culture, including remains of nomad camps, settlements, castles, cities, and burial grounds. Investigations began in 1900 with the excavation of the Saltovo burial ground in the village of Verkhnee Saltovo, Kharkov Oblast, and in 1906 with the excavation of the Maiatskoe Gorodishche, located where the Tikhaia Sosna River empties into the Don, in Voronezh Oblast.

There are two variants of the Saltovo-Maiatskoe culture: the forest-steppe Alan culture and the steppe Bulgar culture. The Alan culture is characterized by agricultural settlements, castles with white stone walls, and catacomb burials, and the Bulgar culture is characterized by nomad camps and pit burials. The steppe dwellers who settled along the lower Don also built white stone castles and lived in large cities, for example, Sarkil, Tamatarkha, and Phanagoria. Both variants of the culture developed in the same manner economically.

Cultures similar to the Saltovo-Maiatskoe culture are known to have existed in areas settled by the Alans and the ancient Bulgars, including the eastern Crimea, the Middle Volga Region, and the lower Danube.


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