First Greek cities along the Black Sea coast

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The Dacian, Illyrian and Thracian peoples dominated the Balkans. Their Indo-European languages give the names for Beskydy mountains (Slovakia) and Carpathians and indicate the extent of the area covered by these tribes. The first iron objects north of the Alps appear in this period with the Hallstatt C culture in Bohemia, upper Austria and Bavaria.

From the 8th century the Greeks traded beyond the Aegean and began to settle in these areas, initially in Sicily and Italy and the northern shore of the Aegean and a few around the Black Sea. The 7th century marks the start of the Classical Greek civilisations in the southern areas of modern Greece, although the Balkan and lower Danubian regions were unaffected by the emerging Greek culture.

The Scythians crossed the steppes to the Black Sea and reached the northern Balkans. It is not certain if they were Iranian, Turkish or of some other origin, or combination of Indo-European, Turkish, Uralic tribes. They lived in this area until 3rd century AD when the Huns arrived. Many place, river and hill names in modern  Ukraine and Romania have Scythian routes, such as the rivers Don, Dnepr and Dnestr are all Iranian in origin from the stem dn-.

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© Eliznik2005, First issue 2002, Last updated Dec-05