Abashevo culture

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Bronze Age
Neolithic

Near East (c. 3300–1200 BC)

Anatolia, Caucasus, Elam, Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia, Sistan
Bronze Age collapse

South Asia (c. 3000–1200 BC)

Ochre Coloured Pottery
Cemetery H

Europe (c. 3200–600 BC)

Aegean, Caucasus, Catacomb culture, Srubna culture, Beaker culture, Unetice culture, Tumulus culture, Urnfield culture, Hallstatt culture, Apennine culture
Atlantic Bronze Age, Bronze Age Britain, Nordic Bronze Age

China (c. 3000–700 BC)

Longshan, Lower Xiajiadian culture, Upper Xiajiadian culture, Erlitou, Erligang

arsenical bronze

Iron age

The Abashevo culture is a later Bronze Age (ca. 2500–1900 BCE) archaeological culture found in the valleys of the Volga and Kama River north of the Samara bend and into the southern Ural Mountains. It receives its name from the village of Abashevo in Chuvashia. Artifacts are kurgans and remnants of settlements. The Abashevo was the easternmost of the Russian forest zone cultures that descended from Corded Ware ceramic traditions. The Abashevo culture played a significant role in the origin of the Sintashta culture.[1] The Abashevo culture does not pertain to the Andronovo culture and genetically belongs to the circle of Central European cultures of the Fatyanovo culture type corded ware ceramics.[2]

The economy was mixed agriculture. Cattle, sheep, and goats, as well as other domestic animals were kept. Horses were evidently used, inferred by cheek pieces typical of neighboring steppe cultures.[3] The population of Sintashta derived their stock-breeding from Abashevo, although the role of the pig shrinks sharply.[4]

It follows the Yamna culture and Balanovo culture[5] in its inhumation practices in tumuli. Flat graves were also a component of the Abashevo culture burial rite,[6] as in the earlier Fatyanovo culture.[7] Grave offerings are scant, little more than a pot or two. Some graves show evidence of a birch bark floor and a timber construction forming walls and roof.[8]

There is evidence of copper smelting, and the culture would seem connected to copper mining activities in the southern Urals. The Abashevo culture was an important center of metallurgy[9] and stimulated the formation of Sintashta metallurgy.[10]

The Abashevo ethno-linguistic identity can only be a subject of speculation, reflecting both northern penetration of the earlier Iranian steppe Poltavka culture as well as an extension of Fatyanovo-Balanovo traditions.[11] Skulls of the Abashevo differ from those of the Timber grave, earlier Catacomb culture, or the Potapovka culture.[12] Abashevo probably witnessed a process of assimilation which presupposes a bilingual population.[13] There were likely contacts with Uralic speakers, and this is a convenient place for the origin of some loan-words into Uralic. Some of the Volosovo culture of the region were absorbed into the Abashevo populace, as corded-impressed Abashevo pottery is found side by side with comb-stamped Volosovo ceramics sometimes in the same structure at archaeological sites.[14]

It occupied part of the area of the earlier Fatyanovo-Balanovo culture, the eastern variant of the earlier Corded Ware culture, but whatever relationship there is between the two cultures is uncertain. The pre-eminent expert on the Abashevo culture, A. Pryakhin, concluded that it originated from contacts between Fatyanovo / Balanovo and Catacomb / Poltavka peoples in the southern forest-steppe.[15] Early Abashevo ceramic styles strongly influenced Sintashta ceramics.[16]

It was preceded by the Yamna culture and succeeded by the Srubna culture and the Sintashta culture.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007, p 382
  2. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, p 302
  3. ^ J. P. Mallory, Abashevo Culture, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, p 1
  4. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, p 146
  5. ^ L. Koryakova, A. Epimakhov, The Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and Iron Ages, Cambridge University Press, NY, NY, 2007 ISBN 978-0-521-82928-1, p 100
  6. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, p 221
  7. ^ L. Koryakova, A. Epimakhov, The Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and Iron Ages, Cambridge University Press, NY, NY, 2007 ISBN 978-0-521-82928-1, p 100
  8. ^ J. P. Mallory, Abashevo Culture, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, p 1
  9. ^ J. P. Mallory, Abashevo Culture, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, p 2
  10. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, p 86
  11. ^ J. P. Mallory, Abashevo Culture, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, p 2
  12. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, pp 169–170
  13. ^ Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007, p 222
  14. ^ David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007, p 382
  15. ^ David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007, p 383
  16. ^ David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007, p 382
  17. ^ David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007, p 382

Sources[edit]

  • J. P. Mallory, "Abashevo Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
  • Elena E. Kuz'mina, The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, edited by J. P. Mallory, Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands 2007
  • David W. Anthony, "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World", Princeton University Press, 2007.