Saltovo Settlement

Discovered in 1900 by local school teacher-amateur archeologist V. A. Babenko, this turned out to be a fabulously rich site of Khazar culture. Khazaria, located on the Eurasian steppes circa 650-950 AD, was archeologically important to the Russian empire because, in an age when theory argued that the transition from nomads to settlements was a sign of advancing civilization, the Khazars appeared to have done just that. Babenko presented a history of Saltovo at the 12th Archeological Congress in Kharkov, but focused on its later history as an important city in Sloboda Ukraine, only to lose its status under Catherine the Great. Although Babenko had made the discovery, initially more seasoned archeologists, A. M. Pokrovskii and Praskovia Uvarova excavated the first graves, 45 in all.