Near East (c. 3300–1200 BC)
South Asia (c. 3000–1200 BC)
Europe (c. 3200–600 BC)
China (c. 2000–700 BC)
The Tagar culture (Russian: Тагарская культура) was a Bronze Age archeological culture which flourished between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC in South Siberia (Republic of Khakassia, southern part of Krasnoyarsk Territory, eastern part of Kemerovo Province). The culture was named after an island in the Yenisey River opposite Minusinsk. The civilization was one of the largest centres of bronze-smelting in ancient Eurasia.
The Tagar tribes are thought to have been Caucasoids of the Scythian circle. They lived in timber dwellings heated by clay ovens and large hearths. Some settlements were surrounded by fortifications. They made a living by raising livestock, predominantly large horned livestock and horses, goats and sheep. Harvest was collected with bronze sickles and reaping knives. Their artifacts were heavily influenced by Scythian art from Pazyryk. Perhaps the most striking feature of the culture are huge royal kurgans fenced by stone plaques, with four vertical stelae marking the corners. The Tagar culture is preceded by the Karasuk culture and succeeded by the Tashtyk culture.
Ancient DNA extracted from the remains of six males who dated back to the Tagar culture were determined to be of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a. Extracted mtDNA from two female remains from this cultural horizon revealed they possessed the T3 and H lineages. The study determined that the majority of the individuals had light hair and blue or green eyes.
Notes and references
- Great Soviet Encyclopaedia, 3rd ed. Article "Tagar culture".
- Encyclopædia Britannica
- C. Keyser et al. 2009. Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people. Human Genetics.