RTR Planet has recently aired a very thorough documentary, titled “Yes, Scythians Are Us”.
The documentary looks back through time, investigating who where Scythians, why they abruptly disappeared and Sarmatians turned in their stead, followed by Slavs. They come to the conclusion that both Scythians, Sarmatians (Samaritans?) and Slavs are one and the same people, called by different names at different periods in history.
I will at a later point write a complete translation of this documentary, but for now, here are some of the highlights of the arguments for this theory:
- Greek and Western European chronicles list people from the same period interchangeably referring to the people living between Dnieper and Urals as both Scythians and Rus.
- There are linguistic connection between the surviving Scythian names (in geographic name) and Old Russian.
- Scythian burial customs are exactly the same as Slavic/Russian pre-Christian burial customs.
- Scythians lead a semi-settle way of life, which allowed then to develop crafts like gold forging and iron forging of high quality. Scythians used the same types of weapons and armour as Rus vitjas (warrior).
- “Scythians” seems to refer to a collection of tribes living between Dnieper and Urals, where each tribe was specialised in a certain craft and added to the value of the whole nation. This collection of tribes in their organisation seems to resemble a modern federation.
- Depictions of Scythians on their own items of art, as well as the Greek artefacts, shows people with distinct Slavic facial features and body complexion, and nothing of the Asian look.
- And the most significant argument comes from genetics. Scythians share the same Y-chromosome marker as majority of people living now on the territory of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine – the marker, which classifies them in the Slavic Rus group.
UPDATE: I have translated the film, and it can be viewed at Yes, Scythians Are Us! (Documentary with EngSubs).
And just as an off-topic reminder: Holland is still holding Scythian – Russian – gold from the Crimean museums hostage.