KLEPIKOV V.M. In the Footsteps of the Problem of the Third Century BC

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.5.1

Valeriy M. Klepikov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Russian and World History, Archaeology, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The problem of selecting monuments of the 3rd century BC in the Early Sarmatian culture came into sight during the process of discussing the reasons for the fall of Scythia, when it became clear that the Early Sarmatian funerary monuments in the Northern Black Sea steppes are recorded starting from the 2nd century BC, a hundred years after the alleged destruction.

Methods and materials. During the research process the scientists came to the conclusion that there are no imports of the 3rd century BC in the burials of the Lower Volga region and the Southern Urals. Some researchers stated the absence of monuments of this time in the indicated territories, while others continued to search for new approaches. As a result, they proposed the the method of “clamped” dating, which allows us to distinguish a stratum between well-dated complexes of the 4th and 2nd – 1st centuries BC.

Analysis. In the course of clarifying the situation in the original Sarmatian territories, some researchers have decided to devide the reference early Sarmatian burial ground Prokhorovka into two groups, not only chronologically, but also culturally. The 3rd century BC became a time separating these groups, elusive according to these authors, not only in the Northern Black Sea region, but also in the Volga-Ural steppes. Opposing this point of view, supporters of the culture of continuous development in the 4th – 1st centuries BC pay attention to the unity of the funeral rite throughout the entire period, and the lack of well-dated imports is explained by crisis phenomena and migration processes, when old contacts with civilizations are crashing and new ones have not yet been established. The discussion that unfolded in the 90s of the 20th century with the accumulation of new materials and clarification of old dates periodically revived, updated with new participants, but the position of opponents has not really changed. The proposed article is devoted to evaluating the arguments of both sides.

Results. The method of “clamped” dating is not the most universal, considering the constantly growing database of sources and its corrections. But this method works and many scientists continue to rely on it. A simple statement of the impossibility of identifying monuments of the 3rd century BC, when the existence of the monuments of this time is asserted, seems even more surprising than the assertion of the “hiatus” of the 3rd century BC, in the Volga-Ural steppes region.

Key words: Early Sarmatians, 3rd century BC, Lower Volga region, southern Urals, Northern Black Sea region. Citation. Klepikov V.M. In the Footsteps of the Problem of the Third Century BC. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 8-16. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.5.1.

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In the Footsteps of the Problem of the Third Century BC by Klepikov V.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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