added by archaeologs The people of the steppes of southern Russia and Kazakhstan who were nomadic in the mid-1st millennium BC and displaced the Cimmerians in the Eurasian steppes. They were a horse-riding aristocracy and became a settled agricultural population. From the 8th century BC, they generally lived west of the Volga and north of the Black Sea (Royal Scyths). At beginning of 7th century BC, they also moved into Iran and Anatolia, occupying Urartu territory, and appear in Assyrian records. Later, they returned to south Russia and Royal Scythian burials in Kuban and Pontic steppes. They traded with the Greeks and were skilled artists and metalworkers; they are often connected with the Luristan bronzes. Grain from the areas under Scythian control was exchanged for luxury goods. Herodotus, who visited the area c 450 BC, left much useful information on their customs. Their greatest contribution was their art, the bold and rhythmic animal style of the steppes. Its influence may be seen in the developing Celtic art of Europe and that of Luristan and neighboring areas of Iran and the Indus, where they moved in the late 2nd century BC. They destroyed the Greek kingdoms of Bactria and north India. These movements brought the Saka of the Achaemenid and Indian texts and were soon followed by the Yueh-chi, who gave rise to the Kushana kingdom of the early 1st millennium AD in north India and Afghanistan. The western branch of the Scyths was absorbed by the Sarmatians and finally disappeared under the Gothic invasions of the 3rd century AD. Scythian burials, known from places like Pazyryk, are elaborate and artifacts have animal motifs.