The Scythians or Scyths (Greek: Σκύθες, Σκύθοι) were an Iranian speaking people of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dominated the Pontic steppe throughout Classical Antiquity. By Late Antiquity the closely-related Sarmatians came to dominate the Scyths in this area. Much of the surviving information about the Scyths comes from the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 440 BC) in his Histories, and archaeologically from the exquisite goldwork found in Scythian burial mounds in Ukraine and Southern Russia.
The name "Scythian" has also been used to refer to various peoples seen as similar to the Scythians, or who lived anywhere in a vast area covering present-day Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia — known until medieval times as Scythia. The name was also used among early scholars studying the Proto Indo-Europeans, and within the framework of the Kurgan hypothesis the Scythians are considered a reasonable analogue for their Proto Indo-European ancestors.