Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is centred around the Balkans, generally considered to include from European Russia to approximately as westward as the Czech Republic and to some extent includes the Caucasus; Greece is usually considered to be a constituent of Southern Europe rather than Eastern Europe. In the Iron Age of around 1000 BC, various Thracian tribes occupied the broad area of and around Romania with various interactions with the Celts who encroached from the west, Greeks from the south as they established colonies in Thrace (western Turkey) since the Bronze age and the Goths – a confederation of Germanic tribes who occupied southern Ukraine and the broader northern area. From the 8th century BC, Illyrian tribes occupying the area east of the Adriatic developed into organised kingdoms. In accordance to their location, Illyrian arts appear as an interesting mix between more northern tribal European styles and influence from Greece, they are particularly known for their recognisable style of fibulae, the use of which was a significant factor of cultural unification between Illyrian groups, similarly, small amber human or animal figures are characteristic of the Illyrians. In the late 6th century BC the Persian empire expanded across the Balkans until the Greek conquest of Persia saw its retreat from Europe allowing for the foundation of the Thracian Odrysian empire centred in Bulgaria. Hellenisation of Illyrians occurred in the south and from the 4th century BC the first invasion of the Celts occurred from the north.

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