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Encyclopedia > Afanasevo culture
Shaded area represents Minusa River basin of the upper Yenisei River catchment, and approximate center of the Afanasevo culture.
Shaded area represents Minusa River basin of the upper Yenisei River catchment, and approximate center of the Afanasevo culture.

Afanasevo culture, 3500—2500 BC, an archaeological culture of the late copper and early bronze age. In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: An archaeological culture is a pattern of similar artefacts and features found within a specific area over a limited period of time. ... The Chalcolithic (Greek khalkos + lithos copper stone) period, also known as the Eneolithic or Copper Age period, is a phase in the development of human culture in which the use of early metal tools appeared alongside the use of stone tools. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ...

It was approximately centered in the valley of the Minusa River, a tributary of the upper Yenisei River, in the Minusinsky district of the Krasnoyarsk Krai region of Russia. More broadly, it occupied the region above the reservoir formed by present-day Krasnoyarsk Dam. Енисей Length 5,550 (4,102) km Elevation of the source m Average discharge 19,600 m³/s Area watershed 2,580,000 km² Origin  ? Mouth Arctic Ocean Basin countries Russia The Yenisei basin, Lake Baikal, and the cities of Dikson, Dudinka, Turukhansk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk Yenisei (Енисе́й) is a river... Krasnoyarsk Krai (Красноя́рский край) (2002 pop. ...

The economy seems to have been semi-nomadic pastoralism, with cattle, ovicaprids and horse remains being documented, along with those of wild game.

The culture is mainly known from its inhumations, but there are a number of settlements as well. Metal objects and the presence of wheeled vehicles are documented. By other animals Humans are not the only species to bury their dead. ...

The burials bear a remarkable resemblance to those much further west in the Yamna culture, the Sredny Stog culture, the Catacomb culture and the Poltavka culture, all of which are believed to be Indo-European in nature, particularly within the context of the Kurgan hypothesis as put forward by Marija Gimbutas and her followers. The Sredny Stog culture dates from 4500-3500 BC. It was situated just north of the Sea of Azov betweeen the Dnieper and the Don. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... This article is about Bronze Age burial mounds and the Kurgan culture. ... Marija Gimbutas (Vilnius, Lithuania January 23, 1921 - Los Angeles February 2, 1994) researched the Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of Old Europe, a term she introduced, in works published between 1946 and 1971, that opened new views by combining traditional spadework, linguistics and mythology. ...

Its relationship to the later, more westerly Andronovo culture is difficult to characterize. The Andronovo culture, is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Bronze Age communities who lived in western Siberia, Russia and parts of Kazakhstan during the second and first millennium BC. The culture is named after the village of Andronovo in the Enisei river valley, southern Siberia. ...

This early extreme outlier of presumably Indo-European culture makes it an automatic candidate for being the earliest attested representative for speakers of the Tocharian stock. Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ...


  • James P. Mallory, "Afanasevo Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
  • Map: User:Geo Swan



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