Before the armies of the the Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, Medes, and even centuries before the great Assyrian Empire, the human melting pot on the steppes was a churning mass of small tribes struggling for survival.
They would become known to those ancient Assyrians, who’d created the first human empire, as the Umman Manda – the savages beyond.
We’ve learned about these peoples through their funeral mounds (called Kurgans) that dot the Eurasian steppes. These mounded up earthen structures have yielded a treasure trove of information about the early history of man because of a unique characteristic.
In the more northerly regions, after the dirt mound was constructed, the burial rites completed with the sacrificial human bodies and everything they’d need in the afterlife interred, the entrance holes were plugged solid with dirt. Then an interesting thing would happen.
The roof would leak in the summer rains and then that water would freeze during the long winters.
Because it was well insulated with soil, some of the ice wouldn’t thaw during the next summer season. But it would continue leaking, absorbing water and freezing it until it turned into a mass of ice that exists to this day. Archeologists have thawed some of these frozen mounds to discover undisturbed and perfectly preserved remains.
And what we know from the archeologists and these remains is this area was the first true melting pot of humanity.
Before the blond, blue-eyed peoples moved into northern Europe, they lived here. Before the red-haired peoples who’d become known as Celts and Goths occupied central Europe, their ancestors were part of this greater mix. Before the shorter, swarthy peoples with epicanthic folds marking their eyes centralized and organized and moved further east – some as far as North America – they lived here. And in this melting pot, all aspects of humanity mingled. For example, we know that Ghengis Khan was a redhead. We know of short, swarthy Kings with much taller, blue-eyed wives. We know of…
We know a great many stories of the peoples who’ve left records of their interactions in the mounds that we can study.
But there are other peoples who wandered far and wide and left no trace of their passing for regular archeologists to find. They’ve left their histories in the stories and legends that have survived to be told and retold. From the telling around campfires to the illustrated manuscripts of early literature, their stories have survived. Some are still passed down today, or modified for our entertainment on television or the Net.
Some of these tales, thoroughly discounted by modern science you understand, suggest some of the people from this time have survived.
These are their stories. You’ll have to be the judge of truth or fiction.