Dereivka

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Coordinates: 48°54′53″N 33°46′52″E / 48.91472°N 33.78111°E / 48.91472; 33.78111 Dereivka (Ukrainian: Деріївка) is an archaeological site located in the village of the same name in Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine, on the right bank of the Dneiper. The site dates to ca. 4500—3500 BC and is associated with the Sredny Stog culture.

This site is known primarily as a probable site of early horse domestication due to a high percentage of horse bones found at the site. A horse burial with bit wear and cheek pieces was long considered evidence for horseback-riding at an early date, but in 1997 radiocarbon dates showed that the burial was intrusive, the horse having died circa 700-200 BC, thereby re-opening the question of when horseback-riding was invented.[1]

Of interest is some apparently equivocal evidence for fenced houses. Two cemeteries are associated, one from the earlier (neolithic) Dnieper-Donets culture and one from the aforementioned Sredny Stog culture, of the Copper Age. The habitation site included three dwellings and six hearths, each containing hundreds of animal bones. Of all the bones, approximately 75% came from horses, possibly exploited by the inhabitants only as food staple.

As a part of the Sredny Stog complex, it is considered to be very early Indo-European, and probably, Proto-Indo-European, within the traditional context of the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas, though Sredny Stog is itself pre-kurgan as to burial rite.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Drews, Early Riders, page15

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