Karasuk culture

Karasuk culture

The Karasuk culture describes a group of Bronze Age societies who ranged from the Aral Sea or the Volga River to the upper Yenisei catchment, ca. 1500-800 BC, subsequent to the Afanasevo culture. [ [http://home.earthlink.net/~waluk/Alekseev/Lecture13.doc home.earthlink.net/~waluk/Alekseev/Lecture13.doc] ] The remains are minimal and entirely of the mortuary variety. At least 2000 burials are known. The Karasuk period persisted down to c. 700 BC. From c. 700 to c. 200 BC, culture developed along similar lines. Vital trade contact is traced from northern China and the Baikal region to the Black Sea and the Urals, influencing the uniformity of the culture. [ [http://search.eb.com/eb/article-52383 Encyclopædia Britannica] ]

The economy was mixed agriculture and stockbreeding. Arsenical bronze artefacts are present. They succeeded the Andronovo culture in this region and were farmers who primarily raised sheep.

Their settlements were of pit houses and they buried their dead in stone cists covered by kurgans and surrounded by square stone enclosures.

Industrially, they were skilled metalworkers, the diagnostic artifacts of the culture being a bronze knife with curving profiles and a decorated handle and horse bridles. The pottery has been compared to that discovered in Inner Mongolia and the interior of China, with bronze knives similar to those from northeastern China. [ [http://home.earthlink.net/~waluk/Alekseev/Lecture13.doc home.earthlink.net/~waluk/Alekseev/Lecture13.doc] ]

Notes and references

* JP Mallory, "Karasuk Culture", "Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture", Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

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