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Swords and Daggers of the Scythian Forest-Steppe

Oleksandr Shelekhan
Publication Year:
304 pages. Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 10 tables, 81 figures.
BAR number:


Oleksandr Shelekhan comprehensively examines Scythian bladed weapons belonging to farmer tribes who lived in the East European Forest-Steppe from the 7th century to between the 4th and early 3rd centuries BC. The analysis demonstrates a detailed typological and chronological distribution, showing distinctive tendencies of adoption and dissemination of the different weapon types across the period and the region. The author uses this evidence to produce a social and historical reconstruction of Scythian culture. Swords and daggers found in burials are connected with certain sex and age groups. The correlation of swords and daggers with other prestigious artefacts and ritual features indicate the high social status of a majority of swordsmen. The Scythians were high ranking amongst the social structure of farmer tribes, and the Forest-Steppe region was included in the military-political structure of Great Scythia during the Early Iron Age.

Oleksandr Shelekhan is a research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He is interested in Iron Age archaeology, Scythian weaponry, fortification and warfare and is the author and co-author of more than 80 papers.

‘Oleksandr Shelekhan’s contribution is very original and the whole corpus of records is vital for the further development of the study of the Scythian weaponry.’ Dr Denis Topal, National Museum of History of Moldova

‘There is a growing interest in the Scythian world, and daggers of these types appear in Eastern Europe as well as in Iran (Persepolis, reliefs of Apadana). This research will find large interest all over without any doubt.’ Professor Hermann Parzinger, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Table of Contents (S2989_9781407356440_ToC.pdf, 88 Kb) [Download]

Introduction (S2989_9781407356440_Introduction.pdf, 99 Kb) [Download]