Ancient Steppes Tribes History
The Eurasian Steppes tribes were a large group of people who had different cultures but shared the same ecoregion as their homeland. The steppe area is generally known to stretch from Romania through Mongolia or present-day Ukraine and Siberia, with parts existing in Hungary. Connecting Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe in economic and political ways, it has been a dynamic and influential hub throughout ancient history.
There were 8 main tribes of people who lived in Steppes, and most of them were horsemen. Horses were first domesticated before 3000 B.C., but it is known when exactly they were fully utilized by these nomads.
Here you will discover an introduction to these tribes and their culture. These groups consisted of the Huns, Kimmerians, Kushans, Parthians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Xiongnu, and Yuezhi. Most of these were nomadic, traveling great distances throughout their time in history China’s silk road economic belt.
History of Steppe Languages
It is theorized that the common ancestor of the Steppe tribe languages came from somewhere in Russia, but it has been found that all settlements west of Dzungaria were speaking Iranian languages until 500 A.D. Turkic languages eventually replaced the Iranian ones at this time, but it is not clearly understood why.
Trade in the Steppe Tribes
The Silk Road was one of the most famous routes of trade in the Steppe Tribes history, which started in the Guanzhong area of China. This ran all the way to the Tarim Basin along the Gansu Corridor and then further southwest to Greater Iran. At this point it turned in a southeast direction to India and west to Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, a branch was found going northwest near the Caspian Sea and northward to the Black Sea.
Trade was at its strongest when empires were in control of the steppe. This limited how many nomadic tribe people could find their way on to the route to tax it or steal whatever was passing through. An example of this is when the Chinese Emperor Wu of Han exerted his power.
Steppe Tribe Warfare
As horsemen tribes, the Steppe peoples engaged in warfare that was supported with supplies of their animals and land armies. Villages were often raided when on horse, since they could escape with the loot easily. In the case that a smaller tribe would attempt this and be faced with more serious numbers of a land army, they could retreat quickly with no concern. For these reasons, many tribes decided to place walls around their settlements to protect their people, land and resources.