WE KNOW relatively little of the legendary people known as the Scythians, but what we do know is largely derived from the father of history, Herodotus. The great Greek thinker spoke authoritatively about these fascinating nomads, but archaeologists are just now learning how a vast civilization suddenly vanished. A recent expedition in Crimea, and an ongoing effort known as “Kyzyl – Kuragino” in Siberia, promise a new insight into the warlike people who once ruled over much of Eurasia.
One of the largest scale projects of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), the “Kyzyl Kuragino” in the Tuva Republic has as its aim the discovery and preservation of vast cultural and historical value. The RGS has organized volunteer expeditions over the past five years comprised of winning contestants from 74 regions of Russia, and from 40 countries worldwide. Excavations in the so-called Valley of the Kings in Tuva back in 2003, whispered of a Russian greatness attached to an idea, rather than to some preconceived notion of nation. Fast forward to today, a 2003 find at a secret site in Crimea tells of a formidable people, perhaps the fabled Colchians even, who were keepers of the fabulous golden fleece the Argonauts sought. Join us in a brief excursion into the world of the Scythians, a people peculiar in their “new ideas”, and their relationships with the world around them.