- Sredny Stog culture
The Sredny Stog culture (named after the Ukrainian village of Serednyi Stih where it was first located, for which Sredny Stog is the conventional Russian-language designation) dates from the 4500-
3500 BC. It was situated just north of the Sea of Azovbetween the Dnieperand the Don. One of the best known sites associated with this culture is Dereivka.
It seems to have had contact with the agricultural
Trypillian culturein the west, and was a contemporary of the Khvalynsk culture. There is a suggestion (by Yuri Rassamakin) that it should be considered an arealterm, with at least four distinct cultural elements. The foremost expert on this culture (Dmytro Telegin) has divided Sredny Stog into two distinct phases. It was succeeded by the Yamnaculture. Inhumationwas in a ground level pit, not yet capped by a tumulus (kurgan). The deceased was placed on his back with the legs flexed. Ochrewas used. Phase II also knew corded ware pottery, which it may have originated, and stone battle-axes of the type later associated with expanding Indo-European cultures to the West. Most notably, it has perhaps the earliest evidence of horse domestication (in phase II, ca. 4000-3500 BC) with finds suggestive of cheek-pieces ( psalia).
In the context of the modified
Kurgan hypothesisof Marija Gimbutas, this pre-kurgan archaeological culture could represent the Urheimat(homeland) of the Proto-Indo-European language. Paleolithic Continuity Theory[ Mario Alinei'Interdisciplinary and linguistic evidence for Paleolithic continuity of Indo-European, Uralic and Altaic populations in Eurasia', 2003] , associates Pit Graveand Sredny StogKurgan cultures with Turkic peoples.
J. P. Mallory, "Sredny Stog Culture", " Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture", Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
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