Settling of the lower Don and Priazovye from Cimmerians to the Cossacks
The first mention of settlements in the territory of the Rostov region goes back to Herodotus and concerns Cimmerians and Scythians. Cimmerians occupied the Northwest Caucasus, the lower Don and Prikubanye. On the lower Don the most part of the archaeological materials related to Cimmerians is found: iron and bimetallic swords, daggers with cross-shaped ornamentovanny bronze handles, characteristic details of a horse attire.
About 700 BC in steppes of Northern Black Sea Coast from Don to Danube there were Scythians who forced out from there Cimmerians. By the end of the 7th century BC the Scythians have a strong breeding union, ancient settlements are based, the culture of the steppe South becomes uniform. Highly artistic bronze, gold and silver vessels, weapon with gold and silver jewelry, a horse harness, models of jewelry art are found in numerous Scythian barrows. In the second quarter of the 4th century BC the Scythia reaches the highest blossoming - the majority of "gold" Scythian barrows belongs by this time. In the middle of the 3rd century BC in the territory of the lower Don Scythian culture begins to disappear as a result of expansion of Sarmatians, remaining, however, in the Crimea and the Lower Dnieper Bank up to destruction of the Scythian kingdom Ghats in the 3rd century AD.
In the 6-5th centuries BC in Northern Black Sea Coast began resettlements of Greek colonists. Their largest cities - Olviya, the Shooting gallery, Chersonese, united in 480 to the Bosporsky kingdom with the capital in Panticapaeum (on the place of Kerch), did brisk business the centers of the Mediterranean and local community. For expansion of commercial relations between a classical antiquity and Priazovye the bosporsky Greeks at the beginning of 3rd based century BC in the mouth of Don Mr. Tanais.
In the middle of the 3rd century BC the Sarmatians living still between the Caspian Sea and Don passed Don, being settled in steppes of Northern Black Sea Coast up to Dnieper, and forced out from there to the Crimea the predecessors - Scythians. Great horsemen, Sarmatians perfectly owned onions; short Scythian akinak, they replaced long, more than 80 cm, with the heavy two-edged sword allowing to cut from a horse; their long spear with a heavy iron tip allowed to strike, unlike throwing Scythian, a blow with all mass of the rider and a horse. On the Lower Don the Sarmatian tribes existed till 3rd century AD. In the territory of the Rostov region, Sarmatian burials - "The Novocherkassk treasure", "A garden barrow" remained.
In the 2-3rd centuries in the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azov become the most powerful tribe Alana – the aggressive nomads who established the domination in the North Caucasus and repeatedly interfering in Transcaucasia. In 372 g a part Alan was subdued by Huns, a part is forced out from steppes of Northern Black Sea Coast to mountainous areas of the Caucasus.
At the beginning of the 3rd century the German tribe came to Black Sea Coast from the Baltic coast it is ready, divided here into the Visigoths who stopped in the West between Danube and Dniester, and the ostgot which occupied territories east of Dnieper up to Don and Priazovye. To the east of the field of resettlement of ostgot, between Don and Volga, there is other breeding union led by Huns - the tribe of nomads which came from Asia.
About 370 g Huns appear in steppes of Northern Black Sea Coast. Having made terrible defeat in Priazovye, they break Alan and destroy the Bosporus kingdom which existed more than 800 years. Having faced in 375 g ostgota and having broken their resistance, Huns continue to move the West, forcing out Visigoths. To 451 g the Huns conquered tribes of Germans, the cities in Gallia are taken, the kingdom of burgund is destroyed; the state of Huns stretched from deserts of Central Asia to Rein. But after a series of defeats from ostgot and Byzantines Huns returned again to the Azov steppes where in 463 g were broken by Bulgarians.
At the end of V - the beginning of the 6th centuries considerable territories of the North Caucasus, Northern Black Sea Coast and Priazovye occupied tribes of Turkic Bulgarians. In the middle of the 7th century they organized in East Priazovye and on Taman the breeding union called Great Bulgaria. However under the pressure of Khazars the union quickly broke up, and in the seventies the 7th century a part of Turkic Bulgarians left to Volga, a part - to the Lower Danube where, assimilated by Slavic tribes, they gave rise to the Bulgarian kingdom.
By the end of the 7th century Khazars located in steppes between the Azov and Caspian seas. At the beginning of the 8th century they secured foothill areas of the North Caucasus and the earth of the former Bosporsky kingdom. From 623 to 799 the Khazars of 16 times interfered in the Caucasian Albania, Armenia and Kartli (Georgia), taking gold, the cattle, people.
At the beginning of the 9th century in the northeast of Khazaria there are Magyars - the ugroyazychny tribes which came from Cisural area. However owing to the military conflict with Pechenegs and unsuccessful attempts of occupation of steppe lands of the Russian border zone, they were forced to go for the West through the Carpathians to Podunavye.
At the end of the 9th century, Pechenegs removed to Priazovye because of Volga. Their way is noted by death of settlements of steppe Entre Rios of Don and Kuban. A part of Pechenegs was a part of the Hazaria state, wandered in its territory and in some cases was used as military groups.
To the middle of the X century Khazaria with the center in Itil covered the control enormous territories of the North Caucasus, the Crimea, Northern Black Sea Coast, Don and the Volga region on which all borders there were powerful stone fortresses. Fall of Khazar Khanate is connected with a name of the Kiev prince Svyatoslav. In 965 g Svyatoslav, having gone down across Volga, released residents of Vyatka, Itil destroyed, Semender devastated the large trade and craft center of a khaganate, passed in fights with alana and kasoga to the Sea of Azov, climbed Don to northern borders of Khazaria and Sarkel broke boundary fortress there. On its place there was the first Russian settlement on the lower Don - White Vezha.
At the end of the 11th century, Cumans - the numerous Turkic tribe which subdued Pechenegs came to the South Russian steppes from Asian steppes. In 1067 they founded Azov known in the 13-15th centuries as the Tatar fortress Azak. Since 1070 the Cumans made devastating attacks on the Russian principalities bordering on the steppe. The first general campaign of the Russian princes against Cumans was undertaken in 1100 at the initiative of Vladimir Monomakh and served as a prototype of a number of the similar military enterprises which much calmed down wild nomads though fight against them and lasted within all the 12th century.
In 1224 the first wave of mongolo-tatar invasion came to Russia: the South Russian princes received news that in zadonsky steppes there were wild and terrible people beating Cumans and moving to Russia. The princely militia moved to steppes towards to the enemy and, having connected to Cumans, on May 31, 1224 accepted battle on the Kalka River (Kalmius's inflow flowing into the Sea of Azov to the west of Don). The Russian princes battled courageously, but not in concert and were completely broken. So the era of the Tatar yoke which lasted till 1481 began.
In the seventies 15th century Priazovye is captured by Turks.
In the middle of the 16th century on free Don the runaway serfs who laid the foundation for the Don Cossacks began to lodge. In 1570 the Cossack town of Cherkassk is founded, in 1571 the main town of the Don Cossacks Contentions is for the first time mentioned in historical documents.