The Cimmerians or Kimmerians; (Akkadian: 𒆳𒄀𒂇𒊏𒀀𒀀, romanized: Gimirrāya[1][2]; Ancient Greek: Κιμμέριοι, romanized: Kimmérioi) were a nomadic Indo-European people, who appeared about 1000 BC[3] and are mentioned later in 8th century BC in Assyrian records. While the Cimmerians were often described by contemporaries as culturally "Scythian", they evidently differed ethnically from the Scythians proper, who also displaced and replaced the Cimmerians.[4]

Distribution of "Thraco-Cimmerian" finds. From map in Archaeology of Ukrainian SSR (rus. Археология Украинской ССР) vol. 2, Kiev (1986)

Probably originating in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, the Cimmerians subsequently migrated both into Western Europe and to the south into Southwest Asia, by way of the North Caucasus.

Some of them likely comprised a force that, c. 714 BC, invaded Urartu, a state subject to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. This foray was defeated by Assyrian forces under Sargon II in 705, after which the same, southern branch of Cimmerians turned west towards Anatolia and conquered Phrygia in 696/5. They reached the height of their power in 652 after taking Sardis, the capital of Lydia; however, an invasion of Assyrian-controlled Anshan was thwarted[citation needed]. Soon after 619, Alyattes of Lydia defeated them. There are no further mentions of them in historical sources, but it is likely that they settled in Cappadocia.