Shemetev Alexander Aleksandrovich
Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance

On the territory of the Ural region there was found recently Arkaim city. Some researchers suppose that most probably is a Greek city. The scientific dispute is more warmed by the historical fact that not far from Arkaim three another ancient Greek cities remains were found, and also the Ural region was described well by some ancient Greek historians. More and more tourists want to see these places by themselves today. For making the future researches in this sphere more money are needed. Therefore tourism in these places can become a monetary accumulator for the future researches in this sphere.

Keywords: Ural "Land of ancient cities", Ural in Mediterranean world, Ural tribes

Category: 07.00.00 History, 08.00.00 Economics, 11.00.00 Geography

Article reference:
Did ancient Greek people live in Russia?! // Modern scientific researches and innovations. 2011. № 2 [Electronic journal]. URL: https://web.snauka.ru/en/issues/2011/06/593

View this article in Russian

Well, there are many ancient cities that were found at the Ural region; some cities’ age is far more than 5 or even 7 thousand years old. Plus to this about 46 settlements of stone age found at the Ural region. The genetic expertise shown the origins of these people: Greek roots (not from ancient Greece times, its further more ancient times, primitive times when these people migrated). It was far before the ancestries of Hungarian and Finish (modern Finland) tribes settled at this area mixed with those came from Geek region. So, what is the economical and historical mean of a qestion: Did ancient Greek people live in Russia?! Some words in the paper here are pronounced double: the signatures under the illustration material.

The question that mystifies in itself the name of the paper is some rhetorical. In the long-ago-gone times of Antique world there was no Russia as a state. Even the roots of the word “Russia” origins is a theme for wide disputes. And, at the same time, some researchers say it could be appeared at the Antique period as the name of one of the tribes.The territory of Modern Russian state is, in whole, some kind of “white spot” of the Antique world: the modern scientific mankind knows almost nothing about this territory at that time. Only the most recent researches made in Russia can spill some light upon this problem.At the same time, some Ancient Greek manuscripts describe for us some aspects of life of people who lived in the territory of the modern Ural region. Of the most far-away lands described by the Ancient authors can become “les Arimaspes”. The story about the Arimaspes one can find at Herodotus (Herodotus reprint of 1999), Plinius (Plinius reprint of 1983-1997), Pavsanius (Pavsanius reprint of 2002), Solin (Solin reprint of 1864), Aristeas of Proconessus (Proconessus reprints of 2007; 1962; 1964) and others.

Gr 1 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

Gr 2 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

These remain of a scull was found together with some other sculls in archeological researches not far from Ekaterinburg city. By this was stated that no other fragments or other remains of skeleton were found nearby. A part of exhibition of the Ekaterinburg city local-lore museum.K.V. Salnikov (1900-1966), a famous Russian scientist-archeologist, a specialist in the South Ural ancient historyEven in the ancient times the Herodotus himself had his doubts about the existence of arimaspes in fact.Whether the tribes the Herodotus told about really existed or not, as like as a range of other questions, – is mostly now a question for the modern researches. Unfortunately, the researches of many of Russian scientists in fact not much were translated into the international languages. It essentially prevents from these places historiography and archeology questions researches, the places that in the Ancient times particularly were “a blind spot”.The famous Russian scientist-historian-archeologist, Konstantin V. Salnikov (look at photo) (Salnikov, 1965) researched this region. In the Gorohovskiy human-made-mound he researched Elesina pit. Inside the Elesina pit he found a remain of cup made of a senior age man scull with no more fragments of his skeleton nearby found. It is deserved to be noticed, that such like “findings” one can found rather a periodically at the Ural region. These sculls belong to the tribes of the Gorohovskaya culture. Then “the bald argippeas” (tribes we can found in Herodotus book) can be the Saks tribes (Matveeva, 2009) from the South Ural. The Saks lived nearby the tribes that were called by the archeologists as the Gorohovskaya culture tribes. Herodotus described the next to argippeas tribes that honored their tribes” chiefs so much, that after their death the tribes even made cups of the sculls of the loved by them chiefs. And the remains of most probably these scull-cups were found at the Gorohovskaya culture tribes. Therefore, the tribes of the nearby, more oriental culture can be the Arimaspes. At the same time, more and more researchers today say the fact, Arimaspes translation as “One-eye-people” – is not very correct interpreting from the ancient Scythian language. The Scythian language belongs primary to the group of semitic-hammitic language family of the Iranian subfamily. From the Iranian (and both Scythian) language the word “ari” means an Iranian, mostly, mounted. And “asp” means “a horse”.Arimaspes, according the mentioned above ancient authors, lived at the same place with the griffins, they were like Cyclopes, and they lived together with centaurs. And also the South Ural tribes lived together with the satyrs (Herodotus described a tribe of people whose legs were like the goat”s legs).Also an interpreting of history made by Publius Terentius Varro Atacinus [Varro reprint of 2008], who also described the people who lived in this part of the world (the Ural). Holding the Scythian tribes history description, he describes some snake-like and animal0like form nymph (Asheri et al., 2007). There is a probability that this nymph has some connections with the nymph from the Ural mythology that preserved in the mythological histories of the Ural peoples, and also formed a symbol of the modern Ural: an image of woman that holds all the treasures of the Urals, and who can turn herself into a snake or into a lizard. Probably, this myth was widespread among the Scythes also.I.V. Pyanov (Pyanov, 2007) and D.A. Sheglov (Sheglov, 2008), analyzing the speeches of Hecataeus (Ἑκαταῖος) (F. 217), they associated a described cult of the god Apollo (Ἀπόλλων) to the territory of the South Ural and the North Kazakhstan. The South Ural and nearby areas tribes were nomads in their nature. A part of the gold collection, probably, of Arimaspes, was found in the times of Peter the Great in the South Ural area.At the same time, a part of gold of the Antique civilizations could have its origins from the South Ural or even Altai. In fact, there is no doubts that gold production and gold pieces production (most often of the anthropomorphic pieces or animals” pictures) was developed at the Ural region.According the research made by V.M. Amalchenko (Amalchenko, 2007), the Arimaspes live at the Ural Mountains; “above the issedons” (he quoted Herodotus). And the arimaspes could be one-eye-people-population like Cyclopes; because “the Scythes blinded their slaves” (he quoted Herodotus). V.M. Amalchenko thinks, that the masters of all kind (blacksmiths, jewelry makers, healers, brave warriors (masters of sword or arch), …) they picked out only one eye so that they could be much useful for the society.Made of metal (bronze with elements of iron) maces, axe heads and field knife of the South Ural tribes, 7 – 4 centuries B.C., Ekaterinburg state local-lore museumAristeas of Proconessus tells that all these tribes had constantly been in war with each others. And, by this, this war was started by the Arimaspes who were “possessed by the Febus” (that means by the strong thirst for gold). The Arimaspes ousted the issedons, and the issedons in their turn ousted the Scythes.Gr 3 [Alexander A. Shemetev]Gr 4 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

The remains of ancient South-Ural heavy armored Sargat tribe Cartaphractarian-Knight ammunition (the remains of steel armor, arrowheads, steel pots, hand-to-hand-combat weapons), approximately, 3 – 5 th centuries B.C., Ekaterinburg state local-lore museumAnd, at the same time, according to Herodotus, the Scythes is an invincible people (“How can somebody win a people who has no homes (…) their homes are taken with them by themselves (…)” (Author”s translation of Herodotus)). Who could conquer the invincible Scythes?!At that times, at the South Ural the mining and metal production was known for rather a long time before even the Antique civilizations of Mediterranean world appeared. By the 9th century B.C. the South Ural tribes knew the technology of steel and even some iron production. South Ural is a supplier of steel for the Sargat tribes, whose remains can be found at the South Ural region, especially from the 5th century B.C. The Sargats first time in history started to use heavily armored knights. The Ancient Greek people called these knights as the Cartaphractarians (κατάφρακτος). From these first knights we can start the history of the knights whose rise occurred during the Medieval times in Europe more than approximately 1,5 thousands years after these first knights. The Sargat Cartaphractarians had arches and arrows with steel heads for archery shooting, long spears with steel heads and maces for the hand-to-hand-combats, and also swords. Even the horses were often covered with armor.Gr 5 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

Some remains of fortified fortress and settlement Nyaksimvol (4th century B.C. – 2nd century A.D.): made of steel anthropomorphic man-bear idol and armor shields, Ekaterinburg state local-lore museum

Gr 6 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

Cartaphractarians spearheads, armor parts and armor round shields, and also a melting pot and shape made of stone for the mass production of steel spearheads at the blacksmiths 2 – 5th centuries B.C., Ekaterinburg state local-lore museumThe steel production was so developed at the South Ural, that even a field equipment of Sargats- Cartaphractarians could include big for that times pots made of steel.The South Ural tribes had rather a developed culture. For instance, in the Nyaksimvol settlement (4th century B.C. – 2nd century A.D.) steel anthropomorphic idols (on the picture you can see man-bear idol), and also armor shields and many other metal made things.Together with this, the destiny of the Soviet archeologists, who found these samples, is tragic. In the same level of research with Konstantin V. Salnikov, spouses Alexander A. Berns and Elizabeth M. Berns took their research. In 1930-th they were repressed and A. Berns was sentenced to death. Together they found more than 80.000 ancient findings at the Ural region.The Sargats imposed a significant influence to the Antique Mediterranean world, especially, to a part of the Black and Azov seas basin. The metal production was so developed at the Urals, that some Russian scientists supposed, that a significant part of Ancient Mediterranean world metal could take its origins from the Urals, where much metal can be found in ore.At the end of the 19-th century A.D. during the mass people settlement in the Urals, the remains of the ancient Ural culture were mostly destroyed, and the ancient pieces made of metal were sold for cheap to everyone who wished to buy them. At that time a club of historians was formed. The club consisted of O.E. Kler, M.V. Malachov, N.A. Rizhnikov, V.Y. Tolmachev and others. These people researching the origins of these ancient things findings tried to built a metallurgy map of the Urals by researching the metallurgy production in the ancient times. They also preserved some ancient pieces, but great amounts of these pieces were lost.The modern researches of E.N. Chernih, V.E. Stoyanov, G.V. Beltnikova approve the researches made by K.V. Salnikov and spouses Berns about the anciency of the Ural metal production. The bronze production was firstly discovered approximately in the middle of the 3-d millennium B.C. The first metal alloy, also copper in great amounts and even iron pieces production was discovered in circa 7th century B.C. The ancient metal disks have often been founded at the Ural. These disks, most probably, connected with the cult of Sun as a life fire, that can be correlated with Apollo, a god of Sun, cult, that was described in manuscripts about these places written by the ancient Greek authors (Herodotus and Aristeas of Proconessus).Another interesting fact is connected with the buried treasure that was described by Mr. Bazhov, who remade the local tribes” myths into the book tales. The local tribes described a burial treasure at Azov-mountain (South Ural, not far from the modern Ekaterinburg city). In 1939 a group of boys searching the legendary buried treasure found a range of ancient buried treasures at Azov-mountain. The treasures were contained of copper anthropomorphic idols and bird of prey idols (24 idols are now preserved; some other were lost). One can find rarely weapons in these treasures. At the same time, almost every idol and other pieces have round-shaped form, like Sun: the mirrors; rolled himself up into a ball wolf; other pieces.Historically, one can find, that in the end of 19th century and in the very beginning of the 20th century, during the Ural mass colonization process, people found many ancient pieces, mostly, birds of prey idols and anthropomorphic idols, that were sold for cheap to everyone who wished to buy it. At those times firstly the historians started to connect the idol motives origins with certain regions. I.I. Tolstoy and N.B. Kondrakov supposed, this tradition came to the Ural from the ancient Assyria and Persia. D.N. Anchyrin supposed the motives origins with the North India. Ch. Apelgren supposed these origins came from the Ancient Greece.Almost all the idols have the motives of round-shaped Sun. The believes of the ancient local tribes were connected with the God of Sun, that was associated with the Live and sacred fire, that fires in the blacksmith shops and helps to melt the metal.Spouses Berns supposed the ancient tribes of the Ural buried the sacred idols under the stones. These idols were the saint patrons of the local areas of the Ural. V. Viktorova (Viktorova, 2001) supposed that idols of birds characterize the ancient metallurgists”, chiefs” and shamans” souls. The round ornament, most obviously, characterizes the souls and at the same time the idols of the metallurgists and the gods that were considered as metallurgy saint patrons at the ancient Ural. The metal ore was mined from the mountains; the dead people should be buried at the mountains. And there were only two things higher than the mountains: birds and Sun-fire that were considered as sacred cults.Ural is the territory where from the ancient times different tribes lived at. Not far from the modern Ekaterinburg the remains of 20 ancient cities were found, and also tens of settlements. All the cities were surrounded by the walls and moats that were themselves rather a difficult fortification system. There were two main traditions in building the cities at the Ural: the oval-circle tradition and the rectangular-square tradition. The oval-circle tradition symbolizes the Sun. And it is quite probable that the rectangular-square cities borrowed building tradition from the antique Greek civilizations. Some researchers suppose that about three cities have close connection to the Ancient Greece.14 cities have circle or oval shape. These are such cities as Isiney, Kizil, Arkaim, Alandi, Bersaut and other. Cities Kuysak and Stepenoi were oval, circle and rectangular-square in different periods; the cities were periodically rebuilt anew by the local tribes.One more quite probably Greek tradition is concluded in next. In the center of almost each city there is a central square, like Greek or Roman forums, where the city population could gather together. The remains of canalization systems, rain gulleys, and paved by round logs streets. These cities have big houses that are separated inside for some life-blocks families lived in. Big houses could contain up till 30 families and they had up till 30 life-blocks. Each such like life-block could contain up till 10 sleeping rooms, a kitchen, a storeroom and a main hall. Wells stood nearby such houses. The common square of such like life-block could be up till 200 square meters.Almost each house had a work-shop and a blacksmith shop. In these places usually melted and constructed such things as armor and weapons for the ancient warriors, and also the most ancient in the world war-chariots (one of the chariots found had an age of more than 4 thousand years (build in 2056 B.C.)). Nearby some cities the trays of irrigation systems were found. Each such city was a center of the local countryside.Some researchers, in particular, A. Zhdanov and N.Ya.Merpert, call Sintashta city as the most powerful center of the ancient metallurgy. Sintashta city was found in 1968 by the expedition of the Ural State University. Sintashta”s moat was fulfilled by the toxic metallurgy production slime that protected strongly the city. To produce slime enough to fulfill the city moat constantly city produced very much metal in the ancient times. But what is the place all this metal in such amounts could be exported to?! The Ural cities produced metal in great amounts, much prevailed the needs of the local population and even the nearby Scythes. That is the basis for the hypothesis of this metal to the ancient Greece and Italy. It is Sintashta city, the very place where the war-chariot that age is more than 4.000 years was found. Sintashta is an ancient city that age is more than 4.000 years. It is almost as ancient as another Ural city, Arkaim (2 – 3 millenium B.C.; probably 7th millennium B.C.).Arkaim was discovered in 1987 by S.G. Boltanov”s, S.A. Grigoryev”s, V.S. Mosin”s, G.B. Zdanovich”s, L.L. Gurevich”s expedition. The Soviet government wanted to eliminate the remains of Arkaim and to give the land under the agricultural works. For preserving the city, or, at least, the pieces from the city, the expedition had to work as hurry as possible, that damaged some pieces of the Arkaim. Only in 1991 the threat of the Arkaim”s remains elimination was broken-through and the city was declared as a legacy of the world history. Arkaim is the oldest city of the “Land of ancient cities”. The age of 15 of these cities is more than 4.000 years, and the foundation of these cities is connected with the Bronze Age at the Ural.Arkaim is built in the shape of exact circle. It was stated by the “Land of ancient cities” citizens sculls reconstruction, that they all were European in their shape. That is why the most supported by the scientists today version is the version that all these people migrated from the North basin of the Mediterranean sea, mainly from the territory of the Antique Greece from the Stone Age centuries. S.A. Grigoriev”s version about the Indian or Asian origins of these tribes was not confirmed by the bones analysis. That is why more and more scientists today incline towards the version about the close interconnections of the European tribes from the North basin of the Mediterranean Sea and the citizens of the “Land of ancient cities”.Another interesting fact is connected with next. It is, most probably, the Ural and local areas tradition to build man-made-mounds. In the Ural and close to the Ural regions one can find such mounds as burial mounds, treasure mounds, mystical-cults-mounds and other mounds. During the years this tradition came closer to the west. Scythes in future will use mounds for the ritual ceremonies, like burials. And there appears an interesting fact. For instance, Plutarchos (Πλούταρχος) describes about the Rome city foundation next. After the Remus”s burials arranged by Romulus, all the builders and “Etruria”s men” gathered together. And, according with the ancient rituals made the traditional mystical ceremony of the Rome foundation. Exactly: “(they) dug a round pit and put together in it the pieces of all that people considered useful for themselves according the laws; and all, what did the nature made for them as necessary things; and then everyone threw into the pit a full-hand of ground from the land one came out; and then they mixed everything in this pit. This pit is called “Mundus” – the same word as sky. From this place, like writing an exact circle, they market the borders of the future city. Put a copper ploughshare into a plough, they harnessed together a cow and a bull, and the founder himself ploughed a deep furrow according the marked-before-line; and people who came behind him, all the ground ploughed out by the plough ground turned-up inside towards the city, making so, that not a piece of ground laid on the other side of the ploughed-line. This line defined the borders of the future wall and it is called (…) that means “behind the wall” or “nearby the wall” (…) all the wall is considered as sacred, except the wall-gates, because the necessary bringing in and out (the city) some unclean pieces would be a sacrilege” (Plutarchos (Plutarchos reprint of 1999; 2001); the author interpreting to English). For some reason the Rome foundation and cities foundation traditions description coincides in Italy and at the ancient Ural region. Plutarchos describes the city foundation ceremony same, as it was at the Ural, where 14 cities by the date of Rome foundation were more than 1000 years old. For instance, Arkaim was built in the closer manner. It is built in the exact circle shape. The copper ploughshare inserted into a plough in marking the future city walls is also the Ural tradition. And especially, making a human-made-mound with all the treasures in the exact center of the city before the city foundation is also an Ural tradition. The exact circle or more rarely oval shape of the city was a symbol of the “Sacred fire”, of Sun and of Sky at the same time. At the Ural birds of prey are considered as the symbols of the sky. The Roman tradition by the date of Rome foundation came further: the symbol of the sky is a bird of prey; the most sacred bird of prey is a kite, because it is the only “pure” bird of prey, because it never eats the other birds and never eats life creatures (according to Plutarchos and Aischylos (Αἰσχύλος)). The Ural tradition, most probably, was the same: not a part of ground should fall outside the city walls the city to be sacred except one thing: the gates. And moreover, tens of kite idols with round-shaped Sun symbolic were found at the Ural. An ancient city at the Ural was built inside the walls that were built according the measured form. City that had a right circular form was considered as the most sacred, than the one that had an oval form or a form of square or rectangle. This is an ancient Ural tradition in building the cities. In the same was the most ancient Ural city, Arkaim was built andGr 7 [Alexander A. Shemetev]

Shigerian idol, 7th – 8th millennium B.C., Ekaterinburg city local-lore museumthis city has a form of exact circle. Arkaim was founded more than 1000 years before the Rome was founded. Arkaim was a big capital of the local area. But why do the traditions coincidences so much at the South Ural “Land of ancient cities” and in the Mediterranean world….?! The answer to this question, obviously, must be found by the modern archeology scientists.Ural is an ancient land. Not far from the modern Ekaterinburg city was found the Shigerian idol. The age of the idol is more than 9000 years. The primary high of the idol was 6 meters. During the USSR times a great part of the idol was stolen. Today only about 4 meters of idol and some of its heads are preserved. The idol has a male half and a female half. It is worth itself to be stressed that the both male/female cult can be met in the Mediterranean world tribes” traditions. The Shigerian idol has a range (primary 7) anthropomorphic and animal-like faces. Recently one more idol was found at the South Ural that age is close to 10th millennium B.C.. Both these idols were made of special ancient Ural tradition to make the larch trunks and pieces from it as strong as stone. That is why both these idols preserved themselves one for 12000 years and another – for 7,5 – 7 thousand years.Together with this, the rise of the Ural cultural meaning that is concerned with the recent archeological researches has also some connections with the economics. The discovery of the ancient Ural cultural legacy and its interconnection with the ancient Mediterranean world, on one hand, enriches greatly the historical and culture legacy of the mankind, and, on the other hand, has some interconnections with the economics.Together with this, the historical Ural needs in special protection of its cultural legacy on a world level. In this article a story was mentioned above, a story how the Arkaim city hardly was preserved from destruction in the USSR times; the reason was not to take the potential agricultural works land away to the culture parks. And the Arkaim”s age is more than 4000 years. The city is now preserved, but many ancient pieces died due to the necessity to hasten the researches in this place. In such like manner the world hardly escaped from destruction of about 15 other ancient cities of the “Land of ancient cities” at the Ural, and also a great amount of mere settlements of that period.Together with this, the archeological researches of such scale demands for massive researches. These researches can be sponsored mainly by the tourism. More and more people today wish and desire to see Arkaim and also the Shigerian idol. Together with this, from circa 20 ancient cities and tens of ancient settlements only two places are now open for the tourism, including Arkaim. A tourism development to these historical places must help to attract additional and at the same time so much needed means for the archeological researches and ancient pieces conservation. Therefore tourism to these places can become a monetary accumulator for the future researches in this sphere.Marks: in the article B.C. means Before Christ, means the time before the 0 year A.D.

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