The Kurgan is unlocked very early in the game and can be built almost anywhere, thus allowing the Scythians to get a leg up on founding a pantheon. In addition to Faith, it provides increasing amounts of Gold as they progress through the civics tree, allowing them to support a large force of cavalry. If the Scythians can find a couple of Horses early on, they should build Pastures and surround them with Kurgans to give themselves an early source of Faith and Gold (as well as the resources they need to start raising their army).
Civilopedia entry Edit
For some reason, some of civilization's greatest feats of engineering and construction are mausoleums and tombs, and, for some reason, these great piles are usually reserved for military and political leaders. For the Scythians these piles were great mounds of dirt, now called kurgans, from the Turkish word for "mound." It appears that a number of the barbarian nomads of the steppes of Central Asia began interring their leaders in these mounds sometime around the 4th Century BC. By the Early Iron Age, the kurgans of the Scythians and other tribes were truly impressive mounds, some as much as 500 meters (1600 feet) across at the base, and might stand as high as 27 meters (89 feet). So, these tended to stand out on the rolling open terrain of the steppes. And then the Scythians decorated the tumuli with the bodies of slaves and horses, just to insure it got everyone’s attention that here lie a great man (or perhaps woman).