added by archaeologs An ancient nomadic people of the Russian steppes, north of the Caucasus and Sea of Azov, driven out by the Scythians into Anatolia toward the end of the 8th century BC. As they retreated, they destroyed Phrygia, Lydia, and the Greek cities on the coast and then caused havoc in Anatolia. Their decline soon began, and their final defeat may be dated c 637 or 626, when they were routed by Alyattes of Lydia. Their relatives, the Thracians, retreated similarly into the Balkans. The Cimmerian origin is uncertain, but they may have been responsible for Catacomb and Kuban cultures, c 1700 BC onwards. The Cimmerians' destruction across southwestern Asia has been detected archaeologically at many sites. Our knowledge of them has come from the writings of Herodotus and the Assyrian records.