The Japan Times, February 7, 1997

Evidence of Amazons found in Russia steppes

LONDON (Reuter) Amazons, the mythical female warriors described by the ancient Greeks, may have existed in Russia, New Scientist magazine reported Thursday.
Jeannine Davis-Kimball of the Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads in Berkeley, Calif., told New Scientist that 2000-year-old burial mounds excavated on the Russian steppes indicated that some of the women buried there were fighters.
The grave mounds, left by nomadic tribes who roamed the steppes of Central Asia from about 600 to 200 B.C., are full of bronze arrowheads, daggers and swords.
Many have small handles, indicating they were used by the women whose remains were in the graves.
"They were probably made specifically for these women," Davis-Kimball told the magazine, saying she doubted the weapons were used for hunting.
Other archaeological evidence indicated the Sauromatian and Sarmatian nomadic tribes herded animals and did not hunt much.
The mounds, found near the Russian town of Pokrovka, fit the Greek legend neatly, Davis-Kimball said.
The historian Herodotus said he saw a tribe of fierce female warriors in his travels north of the Black Sea around 450 B.C.
Philip Kohl, an archaeologist specializing in central Asian cultures at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, agreed.
When weapons turn up in men's graves it is assumed the men were warriors. He said the Russian find should be interpreted in the same light.