Steppe vs Sedentary Cultures

Steppe vs Sedentary Cultures

In the Early Iron Age, the nomadic peoples of the Great Steppe were in many ways far more technologically advanced than other nations. For example, all sedentary peoples were still living in the Bronze Age at this time, while the nomads already entered the Iron Age at the same time. If we compare the best military representatives (i.e. elite cavalry) of nomadic and sedentary civilizations, this difference is very clear. The armor, weapons, harness, and equipment of the Saka knight were much more advanced than that of the contemporary European (i.e. Macedonian) knight.

Early Iron Age military technology comparison

Elite Saka knight

Elite European cavalry


Bow and arrows, javelins

None or javelins


Iron or protosteel

Archaic bronze


Iron scale armor

Archaic bronze plate armor


Iron scale helmets

Archaic bronze helmets


Iron scale shields



Iron scale armor



Cavalry pants, shirts, coats

Archaic tunica


Advanced Steppe-style hats

Flat hats


Leather cavalry boots

Leather sandals


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