This lecture begins when a classmate, in response to the previous lecture, asks: "What has happened to my race. Have I become extinct?" Professor Alexeev says with a smile: "That is because you are not Caucasian, you are Slavic". Alexeev then makes a statement as to why the Caucasian language and/or race is no longer recognized.
Alexeev continues the lecture with ethnic interpretations for Celtic, Basque, and Albanian and presents the extinct languages of Illyrian, Thracian, Linear A and B, Etruscan, and Lapp. The final ethnic interpretation is that of the Aryans and Dravidians in India.
The major emphasis of Lecture 11 is the Bronze Age Cultures of the Battle Axe Peoples, the Global Amphora Peoples, and the Albashevo Peoples. The Battle Axe Culture is distributed throughout Germany, southern Sweden, and Poland as well as the Baltics. The Global Amphora Culture is distributed in areas south of the Battle Axe Culture and also in the Czech Republic. The Global Amphora Culture migrated to the upper Volga River valley in central European Russia. Two variants of the Global Amphora Culture in the upper Volga River valley near Moscow are the Fatianovo Culture and the Balanovo Culture. The Albashevo Culture developed a little later than the Fatianovo Culture in an area close to Moscow. The Albashevo Culture belongs to the second millennium BC.
From the steppe zone of southern Russia, Alexeev introduces three cultures known only from their burial mounds: the Pit Grave Culture, the Catacomb Culture, and the Timber Grave Culture. The lecture concludes with a brief mention of three bronze making areas, and only three, which include the Caucasus, Southern Mongolia, and Southern Ural/Central Asia.
According to Alexeev, the Caucasian Language Family is no longer recognized because population studies do not confirm the existence of this family; rather, scholars, especially Russian scholars, base categories on individual traits; each race is characterized by a range of variations. Thus, all races are mixed in origin with each demonstrating variations.
HOLLIS, on the other hand, lists 138 entries for "Caucasian" and under the heading "race" lists: the Black race, the Caucasian race, and the Mongoloid race. Arutiunov cautions: "never mix race and language. There is a Caucasionic racial type. And there is a North Caucasian language family. They only partly overlap". For the term "Caucasian race" HOLLIS lists Indo Europeans, Mediterranean race, Semites, Teutonic race, Whites, and Working Class Whites. Arutiunov comments that this mixture of race, class, and language is nonsense!
HOLLIS continues: the Indo Europeans are composed of Albanians, Armenians, Balts Indo European people, Celts, Germanic peoples, Hittites, Illyrians, Indo Iranians, Latin peoples, Luwians, Slavs, Thracians, and Tokhari.
For the Mediterranean race HOLLIS includes: Greek and Latin people and for the Semites, HOLLIS lists: Akkadians, Ammonites Semitic people, Arabs, Canaanites, Jews, and Phoenicians. Arutiunov adds "Ethiopians" "and some others" to the Semite list. HOLLIS lists the Teutonic race as composed of the Anglo Saxon race and the Germanic peoples; Arutiunov comments: "Nonsense mixture". HOLLIS relates Whites to Caucasian race, Wasps Persons, White Men, White Women, and Working Class Whites. Arutiunov again comments: "Nonsense mixture".
The 1996 Canadian census lists 10 categories for racial origin plus an 11th entitled "other". These categories include: White, Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab/West Asia, Fillipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese, and Korean. Canadian anthropologist Bruce Trigger will check off the white box but finds the question "grotesque". Other Canadians will check the "other" box and list Canadian.
Arutiunov cautions: "never confuse race and language. Preferably different words should be employed for ethnicity and language on one hand and for "race" on the other. Haitians are black (though some are only light brown) and speak a kind of French which is Indo-European. Jews are white (though some are nearly black, like Falasha) and speak a number of languages some of which are Indo-European like Yiddish, and some are in other groups ..."
After spending the past five years researching "race", it is my present belief that this concept is simply a pejorative term used by those who have a particular agenda be it White Supremacists, Neo Nazis, or members of the Nation of Islam, the KKK, the Aryan Nation etc. "Race" thus becomes a means whereby one group can include or exclude another. I am in total agreement with Alexeev when he says "each race is characterized by a range of variations; all races thus are mixed in origin".
Each of us, therefore, is an ethnic mosaic. We are composed of a range of genetic variables; our ethnicity is determined not only by our outward appearance or our genetic composition, but also by who we wish to be. When, not so long ago, our world was divided into specific factions, race was an applicable issue. Thus Africa became the homeland for Blacks; Mongols lived in Asia etc. It was during this period that Alexeev wrote "Geografia Chelovecheskikh Ras" (geography of human races) in which he listed three great races: Mongoloid, Europoid, and Africanoid.
Arutiunov claims: " race is based on biology. He cites Alexeev's three great races, and claims that he recognizes a fourth (Australoids), and the famous Georgian anthropologist named Abdushelishvili recognizes a fifth (Americanoid). He thus recognizes four races of the first order and subdivides these great races into local races i.e. Europoids are xanthochromic (blond, Nordic) and melanochroic (brunettes, Southern Europoids). These local races are then subdivided into second order local races etc.".
It is this structuralist view of race to which I am unabashedly opposed. Why should anyone take a population of human beings, draw three circles, and then crayon in with black, yellow, and white. Instead, if we consider ourselves a genetic mosaic of physical types who are available in a wide variety of hues ranging from ebony to lily, then this mosaic becomes understandable. Our geographic homeland is of a global nature and our belief system or two or three traces back not to Mohammed, not to Jesus or Abraham, not to Confucius, not to Akenaton, not to a pantheon of gods and goddesses, but to a point in time when homo sapiens, possibly even Neandertal, discovered an awareness of self and the ability to communicate this realization.
It is this mosaic that Alexeev communicated in his discussions of race and this awareness of self when he discussed paleolithic man and his artifacts. Possibly Arutiunov should also try on this mosaic cloak; he would then discover that he is Armenian, Russian, Georgian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Italian, German, and likely Jewish - i.e. a mongrol like the rest of us.
In England, the northern areas speak English while the southern areas speak Celtic 1. Ireland also speaks Celtic. The Irish feel they are not an English speaking people and continue to fight for human, cultural, and linguistic rights. In southern Ireland, Gaelic is taught in the schools. Gaelics are the Celtic highlanders of Scotland. As well, they are Celtic, especially the Gaelic speaking inhabitants of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.
Spain in fifth century BC was occupied by tribes distinguished as Iberi, Celtiberi, and Celts. These had no cohesion together and unless temporarily united against some foreign foe, were at war with one another. Supposedly tribes in the south in Baetica had laws, poetry, and literature but none of the above has been preserved. All that remains are inscriptions, legends on coins, and marks on monuments in alphabets slightly differing.
In Brittany, an area in northeastern France, Celtic was spoken. Brittany was known as Armorica until the influx of Celts from Britain. Of Brittany before the coming of the Romans little is known. The only traces left are by the primitive populations and the megalithic dolmens, menhirs, and cromlechs which are found today in great number. In 56 BC the Romans destroyed the fleet of the Veneti, and in 52 BC the inhabitants of Armorica joined the great insurrection of the Gauls against Caesar, but were subdued by him in 51 BC. Roman civilization was then established for several centuries in Brittany. A Breton is a native of Brittany, France and speaks Celtic. Breton became extinct in the first century of the first millennium BC.
On the continent in Basque, an area between Spain and France, Baskian is spoken. Basques are a pre Aryan people and their language is supposedly related to Caucasic, Berber, Etruscan, and/or Iberian. However, according to Arutiunov, Etruscan (alongside with Hurri-Urartic) is probably Caucasic. So Basque may be related to it and to Caucasic in general. But Iber is related to Berber, and Berber is one of Semito-Khamitic, and has nothing in common with Basque.
The Basque people inhabit the three Basque provinces of northeastern Spain comprised of Alava, Biscay, and Guipuzcoa, Navarre in Spain, and Bayonne and Mauleon in France. The Basque language is referred to as "Eskuara" meaning clear speaking. This language is absolutely isolated from other European tongues although the grammar is similar to the Magyar and Finnic languages. Basque has no graphic system of its own and uses the Roman characters in either Spanish or French.
Before Indo-European was distributed throughout Europe, the area was covered by extinct languages which now also are extinct in Siberia. On the Balkan Peninsula, Albanian was and is still spoken in Albania. Albanian is a very specific language and not related to Greek. Albania is a portion of the Turkish empire extending along the western littoral of the Balkan Peninsula from Montenegro to Greece. It is one of the least known regions in Europe. The Albanians are apparently the most ancient peoples in southeastern Europe. There is no history of their arrival in the Balkan Peninsula but there are a large number of Slavonic local names.
The mountain system, especially in the northern region is extremely complex allowing populations to preserve their peculiar characteristics, language, and traditions. While other populations of the Balkans were either hellenized or latinized or absorbed by Slavonic immigrations, the Albanians have remained unaffected by foreign influences.
The great majority of the Albanians are Moslems. Education is almost non-existent; the vast majority of the population, both Moslem and Christian, are illiterate. The Albanian language is the only surviving representation of the Thraco-Illyrian group of languages and analysis of Albanian is difficult due to the absence of literary monuments. Albanian is a branch of the Indo-European language containing only Albanian.
The northern sector of the Balkans was occupied by the Illyrians, a group not well known, but what is known is that they were not Celtic; according to Arutiunov they were ancestors to Albanians. The Illyrians lived in Illyria, a country on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. This region comprises the modern states of Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, with the southern half of Croatia-Slavonia, part of western Serbia, Novibazar, and the extreme north of Albania. Because the inhabitants of Illyria never attained political unity, the landward boundaries were never clearly defined. They spoke some form of Indo-European but it has not been definitely classified. The Thracian language is related to Illyrian, but linguists cannot read or understand Thracian thus they don't know how it is related. To my question: "when does a language become extinct", Arutiunov answers "when a mother no longer speaks it to her child".
The southern Balkan Peninsula is occupied by Greeks. Linguists have distinguished two types of Greek inscriptions: Linear A and Linear B. Linear A was unread until now. It is thought to be a specific language and not related to Indo-European; thus as per Arutiunov, "it was not Greek"! Linear B was studied and interpreted by Michael Ventris 2 in the late 1940's. He determined that Linear B was Indo-European and preceded Greek; likely it was an archaic Greek.
As per Alexeev, "in Italy several languages preceded Latin. In the boot area was a language linguists still have not identified (Arutiunov has no idea what it might be) but several of the place names do not sound Indo-European. The Etruscan language existed in an area north of Rome. Etruria, an ancient district of Italy which in early times appears to have included the whole of northern Italy from the Tiber to the Alps, was by the end of the fifth century considerably reduced in size. The authentic history of Etruria is very meager and consists of stories of its relations with Carthage, Greece, and Rome.
The origins of the Etruscans will likely never be determined, but by their own tradition is is possible they came out of Lydia. Herodotus and Strabo tell of Lydians landing at the mouth of the Po and crossing the Apennines into Etruria. Thus it seems certain that although the earliest immigrants may have come down from the north, they were joined by a migration from the east before they had developed a civilization of their own. It is this double population that became the Etruscans as we know them by their works.
To date the origins of the Etruscan civilization is quite difficult; however, we know that a great migration from Greece to Italy occurred circa 1000 BC and from the imported Greek objects found in tombs, this date seems appropriate. The religion of the Etruscans consisted of worshipping various divinities. They believed in frequent sacrifice thus indicating a belief in good and bad with bad more predominant. Storms, earthquakes, the birth of deformities etc. gave evidence of evil powers which could be appeased only by human sacrifice. Their pantheon of gods and goddesses was somewhat similar to the Greeks but also had an indigenous component. Along with the pantheon was an extremely detailed hierarchy of divine powers which resulted in a large and powerful priesthood who became so famous that they were sent for from distant lands to interpret the sacrifices and oracles. A large stone has been discovered with the Etruscan language on one side, and the Greek translation on the other side. However, Etruscan texts still cannot be read. Etruscan was not Indo-European. According to Arutiunov, most probably Etruscan was related to Hurri-Urartic and migrated from Asia Minor.
The Scandinavian Peninsula was not the home of the Germanic language. Lapps are located here as well as along the coast of the White Sea. According to Alexeev, Lapps speak Finno-Ugric.
Lappland covers in Norway the division of Finmarken and the higher inland parts of Tromso and Nordland. In Russia it is the territory of the western part of Archangel as far as the White Sea and the northern part of the Finnish district of Uleabory. In Sweden it is the inland and northern parts of the old province of Norrland.
The Lapps call their country Same and themselves Samelots. These names are almost identical with the terms used by the Finns for their country and people. Lapp is almost certainly a nickname imposed by foreigners.
In Sweden and Finland the Lapps are usually divided into fisher, mountain, and forest Lapps. The principal colony of the fisher Lapps has its summer quarters on the Stora-Lule Lake. They have good boats and nets, and in addition to catching and drying fish, they shoot wild fowl and gather eggs. When he has acquired some money, it is not unusual for the Fisher to settle down and reclaim a bit of land.
The mountain Lapp has his autumn residence on the borders of the forest district and it is here that he erects his "njalla", a storehouse raised high above ground by one or more piles. Early in November he wanders south or east into the forest land, and in the winter may visit such places as Jokkmokk and Arjepluog, but even Upsala or Stockholm. At the beginning of May he returns to his "njalla" and as soon as the weather grows warm he moves his herds to the mountains and throughout the summer pastures them and prepares his cheese. By autumn he is back at his "njalla' killing surplus reindeer bulls and curing meat for the winter.
The forest Lapp differs from the mountain Lapp by the narrower limits in which he pursues his nomadic life. He never wanders outside a certain district in which he possesses hereditary rights and maintains a series of campgrounds which he visits in regular rotation.
In Norway there are the sea Lapps, river Lapps, and mountain Lapps. The first two are settled, the third is nomadic. The sea Lapps are indistinguishable from other coast dwellers. Their food consists of cooked fish. The river Lapps breed cattle, attempt a little agriculture and entrust their reindeer to the care of the mountain Lapps. The Russian Lapps are for the most part fishers. They maintain a semi nomadic life; very few are settlers in the Russian villages.
Linguistically the Lapps belong to the Finno-Ugric group; the similarity of their speech to Finnish is evident though it is broken up into very distinct and even mutually unintelligible dialects. The Lapp language was reduced to writing by the missionaries but very little has been printed in this tongue except schoolbooks and religious works. A number of popular tales and songs have been transcribed. Perhaps Lapps were the ancient inhabitants of this area before being replaced by Indo-Europeans. Professor Alexeev believes the distribution of the Indo-European language in Europe was a long process with very local variations composed of invaders of other ethnic groups.
According to Alexeev: "in India there is a very complicated relationship between Aryans 3 as migrators from the north who were tall and light skinned and the pre Aryan (Dravidic) who were dark skinned with wavy hair. This relationship is reflected in the social stratification of India" 4.
"Aryans were taller, lighter, more straight haired. Local pre-Aryan (mostly Dravidic)) people were darker, shorter, more wavy-haired; but neverless both were basically Europoids. Dravidian is a language, not a race; thus Dravidians are people who speak Dravidic languages. Mostly they are rather dark, but some groups have a fairly light skin. Dravidoids is a racial (or physical) notion; they are dark but not necessarily wavy haired. Veddoids is also a physical notion; they are moderately dark, wavy haired, and are between Europoids and Australoids. Thus short, dark, and wavy haired are Veddoids. Dravidoids are rather tall; Aryans were typical Europoids: they were tall, light-skinned (though by no means blonde), and mostly straight-haired. The modern populations of India are a mixture of all three, in different proportions. The Aryan invasion came from the northwest and west about 15th century BC.In India there are four varnas (literally colors) each of which is divided into many local castes. Brahman = priests; Kshatriyas = warriors (today landlords and rich peasants); Vaishya = initially agriculturalists but today mostly merchants; and zhudra = low castes (craftsmen etc.) The outcasts (untouchables) are the fifth, the lower stratum, and the sixth stratum consists of tribals. The Brahmans are the lightest in skin color; the outcasts and tribals are the darkest".
Alexeev concludes: "Although Brahmans belong to different religious cults even today they know to which social group they belong. A Brahman can be invited to give food to members of the other castes, but a Brahman cannot be invited to the house of lower caste members to take food".
The Battle Axe Culture 5 is distributed throughout Germany, southern Sweden, and Poland as well as in the Baltics. These populations are agriculturalists and raise cows, pigs, and sheep; no horses (bones of horses have been found in excavations but have not proved to be domestic). The Battle Axe people are fishermen and warriors; their axes are made of bronze and stone. Evidence taken from cemeteries and small setlements show that these people are distributed from central Europe northeast to the Baltics in the beginning of the second millennium BC (possibly the last century of the third millennium BC). The Battle Axe Culture lived along lakes and also live on the territory of Estonia (where Finno Ugric was spoken). The Baltics are covered with the Battle Axe Culture but other Neolithic settlements also are present. All archaeologists agree that the Battle Axe Culture came from the west.
The Global Amphora Culture is also distributed throughout Germany, southern Sweden, and Poland only in areas to the south of the Battle Axe Culture. While the Battle Axe Culture occupied coastal areas of Germany and Poland, the Global Amphora Culture occupied the forest areas of central Germany and central Poland.
The Global Amphora Culture is also found in the Czech Republic and is contiguous with the Battle Axe Culture; however, in comparison, The Global Amphora Culture has a different agricultural base. In the villages, animals were kept domesticated, and hunting and fishing were practiced. Vessels from the Global Amphora Culture have a rounded bottom.
While the Battle Axe Culture remained distributed throughout central Europe to the Baltics, the Global Amphora Culture migrated to central European Russia and the Upper Volga Valley. Two variants of the Global Amphora Culture in the Moscow area are the Fatianovo Culture and the Balanovo Culture. The Fatianovo Culture is located in the upper valley of the Volga River, to the the east of Moscow, and the Balanovo Culture is located in the upper valley of the Volga River to the east and south of the Fatianovo.
Marija Gimbutas 6 views the language of the Battle Axe Culture and the Global Amphora Culture as Baltic ahd therefore calls them a Baltic population. Professor Alexeev disagrees and says this contradicts known facts of the early periods of development of the Indo-European languages. The known facts are: in the third millennium BC from a proto Indo-European language emerged the two languages known as Germanic and Baltic/Slavic. These three sub families of Baltic, Germanic, and Slavic are now independent but they had a common origin of proto Indo-European. However, when the Battle Axe Culture and the Global Amphora Culture were formed, Baltic and Slavic languages were not formed. Therefore the Battle Axe Culture and the Global Amphora Culture spoke an intermediate language somewhere between Baltic and Slavic. The German language was concentrated in western Europe and the Balto-Slavic language was concentrated in eastern Europe. From west to east there is good archaeological evidence that central Europe was covered by a Germanic language which had formed earlier. In the Baltic area, the population spoke one proto Germanic language which was linguistically related to the western areas. Thus, Proto Germanic was spoken in the Baltic area before the split into Germanic and Balto-Slavic.
Bronze articles from the Global Amphora Culture are the same as that from the Battle Axe Culture. However, preservation of Neolithic traditions are strong in the northern area with a continued use of polished stone tools; bronze objects are rare. In these northern areas are forests with great numbers of rivers and lakes; here are domestic animals and weak agriculture. The Neolithic traditions were strong until the distribution of iron i.e. the majority of tools were made of stone.
The Albashevo Culture is located five or six kilometers from Moscow in flat areas in an intermediate zone between the forest and steppe. The Albashevo Culture did not use bronze; they used copper. This culture is the only culture to use copper exclusively. The Albashevo Culture developed a little later than the Fatianovo Culture and dates to the second millennium BC. These people lived in ways similar to other populations, but we have uncovered no settlements; only cemeteries. Archaeologists also have no linguistic characteristics for the Albashevo Culture. Alexeev says this culture should be discussed further.
From the intermediate zone between the forest and steppe, we move to the steppe zone where monuments of the Pit Grave Culture are found. In this southeren Russian steppe area, Pit Grave burial mounds have been located but no settlements have been found. The Pit Grave people buried their dead in oval shaped pits. Some metal has also been found in the graves. The Pit Grave people were nomadic and wandered great distances with large herds of domestic animals. Only small agriculture was practiced.
The Catacomb Grave Culture is also known only from their graves; no settlements have been found. The Catacomb Grave Culture buried their dead in a reverse L shaped earthen grave. These graves are rich in metal when compared to the Pit Grave Culture, but not as rich as the Battle Axe Culture and/or the Global Amphora Culture. The Catacomb Grave Culture was nomadic and their amphoric vessels were with flattened bottoms. No language is known for these people, but possibly the Catacomb Grave People like their ancestors the Pit Grave People spoke Iranian. The Catacomb Grave Culture dates to the first part of the second millennium BC.
The Timber Grave Culture dates to the second part of the second millennium BC and are a nomadic people known from their burials. This Culture buried their dead in the same type pit as did the Pit Grave Culture; however the Timber Grave People placed the dead in a wooden log cuffin. The burials of the Timber Grave Culture contained metal as rich as the Catacomb Grave Culture, but not as rich as the Battle Axe Culture or the Global Amphora Culture. The language of the Timber Grave Culture was possibly Iranian. Professor Alexeev believes that these three cultures: the Pit Grave, the Catacomb, and the Timber Grave are biologically related.
There are only three geographic areas in which bronze is made. Bronze is an alloy of copper and usually tin although other additives have been used. The three areas are: the Caucasus, the East (China), and Central Asia 7 . In the northern areas, bronze is brought in from the south. Bronze is also brought from southern Mongolia. This is a period of extensive trade; from Greece at the third millennium BC the types of knives found are from China and are the same as those found in Turkey.
In Bactria, the Bronze Age dates to the first century of the fourth millennium BC. However, in the Soviet Union, The Bronze Age dates to the last century of the fourth millennium BC or the first century of the third millennium.
[Lecture 12 delivered 31 July 1991]
Lecture twelve opens with a discussion of the Tripolie (Cucuteni-Trypillia) Culture, an ancient culture in European Russia, archaeologically located in Romania and Ukraine. The Tripolie Peoples are agriculturalists and morphologically are short in stature with a narrow face and delicate body. This is in contrast to the nomadic groups i.e. Pit Grave Culture, Catacomb Grave Culture, and Timber Grave Culture who are tall with a broad face. Alexeev thinks that both the Tripolie Culture and the nomadic groups spoke an ancient Iranian language.
Alexeev then moves from European Russia to the Caucasus and presents the Kura-Araxes Culture which dates to the end of the third millennium/beginning of second millennium BC. The Kura-Araxes Culture is agriculturalist raising wheat, vegetables, and fruits in ample supply for the entire region. They also breed sheep, goat, donkey, and perhaps horse. Numerous settlements have been located in the Caucasus revealing houses made of brick in a beehive shape (toloses). This house type (tolos) is also seen in Central Asia, the Near East, and eastern Turkey. Rich bronze objects and extraordinary pottery in complicated designs have been uncovered. Because of the bronze objects and special pottery, archaeologists thought the origin of the Kura Araxes Culture was in the Near East, in eastern Turkey; but this determination was made without skeletal evidence. Then in 1988 a cemetery in Armenia revealed the presence of both the Near East type and individuals of the northern populations such as the Pit Grave Culture.
A second culture in the Caucasus is that of the Trialeti People located in western Georgia and existing in the first century of the second half of the second millennium BC. Kurgans (burial mounds) were excavated revealing rich pottery with new pottery forms and a broad usage of gold. The gold is similar to that found in Iran and Iraq and some archaeologists see the Trialeti Culture as the second wave of diffusion of Near East populations; however since no burial mounds have been uncovered in Georgia or Armenia, Alexeev concludes that the Trialeti Culture is similar to the Kura-Araxes Culture.
From the Caucasus, Alexeev moves to Central Asia to the sites of Namazga-Tepe, Altyn-Depe, and Geoksyr in Turkmenistan, and Sapallitepa and Jarkutan in Uzbekistan and discusses the current work of American, French, and Russian archaeologists in this area. It is Alexeev's belief that migrations from Tepe Hessar in eastern Iran to the sites in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan cannot be substantiated because of major differences in population size (Tepe Hessar is huge while Sapallitepa is quite small) and major differences in skeletal size i.e. the people from Sapallitepa are much larger morphologically than the other groups and have broad faces. Alexeev says the monuments in Central Asia are similar to those in southern European Russia.
From Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Alexeev moves to Kazakhstan, the largest of the Central Asian republics, and presents the Andronovo and Afanasyevo Cultures. The Andronovo Culture was nomadic but there were islands of agriculture. Alexeev dates this culture to the eighteenth to fourteenth centuries of the second millennium BC and sees the Andronovo Culture as the eastward movement of the Pit Grave Culture. The Andronovo Culture is known only from cemeteries; no settlements have been found. Alexeev claims the origin of the Andronovo is western Kazhakstan not northwestern Mongolia.
The Afanasyevo Culture is located in the Upper Yenissei Valley in the second part of the third millennium to the first century of the second millennium BC. This culture was replaced by the Andronovo Culture. And the Pit Grave Culture was replaced by the Afanasyevo Culture. Likely these cultures spoke ancient Iranian. And so ends a very detailed lecture.
As per Alexeev, the Tripolie Culture [Cucuteni-Trypillia] 8 develops in the Ukraine; however, it is difficult to date the disappearance of Tripolie settlements and cemeteries since some exist until the mid second millennium BC. Arutiunov dates the beginnings of the Tripolie Culture to the early third, maybe late fourth millennium.
The Tripolie Culture develops with agriculture. This is different from other cultures which were nomadic and without settled populations i.e. Pit Grave Culture, Catacomb Culture, and Timber Grave Culture (Alexeev gives an ecological structure to the cultures discussed so far. The Battle Axe Culture lived in coastal areas, The Global Amphora Culture were forest people, the Albashevo Culture lived in an intermediate area between forest and steppe, and the Pit Grave, Catacomb Grave, and the Timber Grave peoples were nomads of the steppes). Since "decoration of ceramics" and "forms of implements" are used to determine different cultures, it can be said that the Tripolie Culture developed with slow changes in the cultural phase.
As per Alexeev, there is a great genetic difference between the Tripolie people and those of the steppe areas (i.e. The Pit Grave Culture etc. who are tall, broad face, and looked like the Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic of the same area). The Tripolie people are short, narrow in face, with a delicate body. They look like populations in the Mid East and Mediterranean area. When was this complex of morphological features formed? Not later than the Mesolithic. The broad face is indicative of the northern European while the narrow face is the forerunner of the eastern Mediterranean people (Alexeev is saying that the Tripolie Culture archaeologically found in Romania and Ukraine is the forerunner of the Mediterranean peoples). The people of the Tripolie Culture are not related to the northern area; they are more related to areas in the Near East and Mediterranean.
Scholars have no idea what language the Tripolie people spoke. Also, what language did the Pit Grave et. al. speak? Some scholars think the Pit Grave Culture et. al. spoke an ancient Iranian language, but they can't judge and argue objectively. The same is true for the Tripolie people. Alexeev continues: "perhaps they spoke one of the northern Indo-European languages of the north area. This needs to be discussed further".
According to Alexeev, in the Caucasus, the populations are difficult to assess geomorphologically. The are not related to European Russia because mountainous terrain separates European Russia from the Caucasus. But at the same time we cannot say that the Caucasus are linguistically connected with the southern areas. The great mountains and narrow valleys made movement arduous and all relationships were difficult to be realized. But during the Bronze era, the Caucasus was not isolated and did relate to the north and south areas.
At the end of the third millennium/beginning of the second millennium there is a most important culture in Trans-Caucasia called the Kura-Araxes Culture 9. This culture is named for two rivers: the Araxes on the territory of Armenia and the Kura on the territory of Georgia. Both rivers drain into the Caspian Sea. The Kura is located to the north of the Araxes Valley. This culture gives much interesting material and brings to discussion a number of questions.
The Kura-Araxes Culture differs from those in the steppe; it is also unlike the Tripolie Culture. This culture is agriculturalist even though the valleys are narrow. The crops grown were wheat, many vegetables, and many fruits. The food supply was ample for the entire region. Sheep, goat, donkey, and perhaps horse were bred in the area. Because an archaeologist needs many bones to determine each stage of domestication and because only a limited number of bones have been found, there is no real confirmation of domestication.
The number of settlements in the Caucasus is great - great hills have been excavated measuring several square hectares. The houses, similar to those of the Paleolithic period, are like toloses (beehives) and are made of brick i.e. the same Eneolithic and Neolithic tradition is preserved. This house type is also seen in Central Asia and in a number of places in the Near East. These monumental structures are also found in eastern Turkey. Turkish archaeologists believe the origin of the Kura/Araxes culture is in eastern Anatolia.
Rich bronze objects have been uncovered, although not numerous, and the pottery is fantastic; (it is preserved in museums in Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia). The pots are of many complicated forms i.e. a fusion of four half circles elaborately decorated with different figurines. The rich bronze and fantastic pottery leads to the conclusion that the Kura-Araxes Culture is similar to the Near East which was the leader in both civilizations and first cultures. Therefore the homeland of Kura-Araxes should be in eastern Turkey. This idea continued until 1988 even though no cemetery had been found in Turkey and no bodies were buried in the intermediate area between the toloses (this would have indicated a settlement). In 1988 the first cemetery of the Kura Araxes Culture was found in northern Armenia. The skeletal evidence was examined and demonstrates features typical of the Near East complex as well as many individuals like the northern populations of the Pit Grave Culture i.e. the northern range of Europoid rather than the southern (this statement is quite important: "the northern range of Europoid rather than the southern" in that it implies a broad range for Europoid with the northern element being larger morphologically and the southern complex similar to types from the Near East). Therefore, the Kura-Araxes population was mixed. Scholars can conclude that the origin of the Kura-Araxes Culture is in Turkey but they must emphasize that northern elements are present; this is a culture in the intermediate position between the Near East and the steppe (a mixed genetic population is true of all early cultures). Thus during the Bronze Age, the Caucasus was open in both directions and was occupied by a mixed population. Settlements of the Kura-Araxes have been searched for in the northern regions of the main Caucasus mountain chain, but the search has proved unsuccessful.
As per Alexeev, the Trialeti Culture 10 is located in the Caucasus in western Georgia. In the first century of the second half of the second millennium BC (fourteen/thirteen century BC), the Trialeti Culture replaces the Kura-Araxes Culture. Great kurgans (burial mounds) had been discovered at the end of the nineteenth century but were not excavated until the late 1960's. Professor Boris A. Kuftin excavated these mounds and published a book in 1941 11. Kuftin was not taken prisoner during the Stalin era, but rather was exiled to Tbilisi, Georgia. Material from this excavation is in the Georgia Museum, but is not available to scholars because publications are local and do not reach the major libraries.
Kuftin's excavations reveal rich pottery with new pottery forms, bronze, and a broad usage of gold for decoration, tools, and figures of animals and people. This Trialeti Culture demonstrates a difference in both ceramics and in burial grounds from other cultures. The ceramics reveal new forms and the cemeteries contain small flat kurgans, each with many skeletal remains. However, the kurgans were few in number and the preservation of skeletal remains was poor.
Kuftin tries to demonstrate that the Trialeti Culture was the second wave of diffusion of Near East populations into the Caucasus. Some scholars agree with Kuftin. The gold found in the kurgans is similar to that of Iran, and the Tigris Euphrates Valley of Iraq; however, no other burial mounds have been uncovered in Georgia or Armenia. Professor Alexeev concludes that the Trialeti Culture is similar to the Kura-Araxes Culture.
As per Alexeev, Namazga-Tepe (tepe = hill) is located 100/120 kilometers from Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan on the border with Iran, south east of the Caspian Sea. This territory was closed to foreigners for many years; however, recent excavations here have made the basis for a chronological approach for Central Asia.
After World War II, Kuftin was invited to Central Asia because scholars had not located any monuments; no one knew that tepes were monuments. In 1949 Kuftin drove around Turkmenistan and chose the greatest tepe he could find. This turned out to be a huge settlement 2 1/2 kilometers long and 1/2 kilometer wide. What Kuftin had discovered was a Bronze Age town (Altyn Depe). Kuftin chose the highest point and then took a cross section of the tepe to a depth of 30 meters establishing a scale for all layers of the Bronze Age, both neolithic and aneolithic. Ceramics were collected from the different layers which allowed for the beginning of a sequence and chronology. Although this study was conducted forty-two years ago, it is still the most impressive done in Central Asia.
One year after the sequencing had begun, Kuftin accidently died. His work was continued by Vadim Mikhailovich Masson whose publication gives us our knowledge of a Central Asian Bronze Age sequence. Masson's book Altyn-Depe 12 was translated into English by Henry N. Michael in 1988. Alexeev claims that this publication is not good because it is descriptive (I disagree with Alexeev. I think Masson's work is that of an exemplary scholar).
To the east of Altyn Tepe is a group of tepes located in the desert on the northern Iranian border. The central tepe of the group is called Geoksyr 13. In the Aneolithic Period, the area between the houses was filled with dead bodies. This indicates a settlement and not a cemetery. Because desert areas shift, the present area is 20 kilometers to the west of the original group. Archaeologists think the settlements were abandoned because of the lack of water. As per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" Geoksyr mound is the remains of an aeneolithic settlement (4th - early 3rd century BC) and is located in southern Turkmenia 20 km east of the city of Tedzhen. Geoksyr, a settlement of cultivators, was excavated between 1955 and 1965 by V.I. Sarianidi and revealed adobe multiroom houses and group burial chambers. Ceramics found were with dichromatic paintings and female terracotta figurines were numerous. Geoksyr typifies the culture of the eastern Anau group of tribes that displays connections with Elam and Mesopotamia.
In Uzbekistan south from Samarkand and close to the border with Afghanistan is Sapallitepa 14. Sapallitepa existed two to three centuries from the beginning of the second millennium. Twenty to thirty kilometers north of Sapallitepa is Jarkutan. Jarkutan continued the Sapallitepa tradition and existed until the middle of the second millennium i.e. fourteenth to thirteenth century BC. (Pottery fragments from Central Asia are painted and exist in a geographically great area from the time periods of the Aneolithic to the end of the Bronze Age. The pottery of the Kura-Arazes and Tripolie is black).
The Russian, French, and American archaeologists working in Central Asia for the last few years have arrived at the following conclusions. There are many agricultural settlements in northeastern Iran. Among them is Tepe Hessar located on the southeastern coast of the Caspian Sea. In the second half of the third millennium BC, peoples migrated from Tepe Hessar to Namazga-Tepe to the Geoksyr group. They lived there half a thousand years and then the group at Geoksyr disappeared. Scholars think that Sapallitepa was settled in the first part of the second millennium BC (eighteenth to seventeenth centuries) and the people then migrated to Jarkutan.
Alexeev disagrees with the hypothesis that peoples migrated from Tepe Hessar to Namazga Tepe to the Geoksyr Group then to Sapallitepa and then to Jarkutan. First there is a difference in population size. Tepe Hessar is a huge settlement; at the Geoksyr Group there are seventeen tepes with only Geoksyr being large; the others are very small. Sapallitepa has a size of thirty to forty meters wide and twice as long; therefore the population at Sapallitepa is very small. Jarkutan is two to three times larger than Namazga Depe. According to Arutiunov, Namazga-Depe is large; it was a fortified settlement, several hundred meters long.
Alexeev then questions why the migrations produced settlements of different sizes? He cites physical anthropological investigations that cannot support the idea that the four groups (not including Jarkutan) are related. The people at Sapallitepa are five to seven centimeters taller than the other groups who average 158-162 centimeters. The people at Sapallitepa are much larger morphologically than the other groups (not including Jarkutan) and are more similar to those from areas with broad faces. One could guess that the food supply is better at Sapallitepa; however, all areas have the same landscape, they supported agriculture and husbandry, and the people had good herds but with limited amounts of water.
The movement of people cannot be supported by one migration from southwest to northeast. Relations were much more complicated. Now archaeologists from the Peabody Museum at Harvard University are trying to support Kuftin and Masson's observations. This work is now in progress. Professor Lamberg-Karlovsky has taken samples and Dr. Fred Hiebert has taken measurements 15. In Central Asia, the monuments are like those found in the southern part of European Russia.
According to Alexeev, the Andronovo Culture occupied a territory in Kazakhstan extending from the Volga River to the Altai Mountains to the southern Yenissei Valley. This culture was a nomadic economy of horse, sheep, and cow with islands of agriculture in some places and was concentrated on the coasts of small rivers. S.A. Teploukhov published two articles on the Andronovo Culture before being killed in prison at the age of 33/34 years. Teplouhov proposed a chronological sequence of cultures in the Upper Yenissei Valley that has remained unchanged until now.
The Andronovo Culture, as per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" dates to the middle and 2nd half of the II millennium BC. In the west, this culture came into contact with a culture characterized by the use of notched logs in construction. The settlements are both semisubterranean and ground level dwellings. Burial grounds are common; cremation sites are rare. Burial sites are marked by round low embankments and sometimes by stone barriers. The grave goods consist of flint arrowheads, bronze tools and weapons, beads of copper and paste, and belled gold and copper earrings. Ceramics are for the most part flat-bottomed.
Alexeev continues: the Andronovo Culture is possibly the eastward movement of the Pit Grave Culture. The Andronovo Culture dates at the eighteenth to fourteenth centuries of the second millennium BC. We know of this culture only from kurgans which are classic in form i.e. not very large and three to four meters in height. No settlements have been found for this culture; possibly there is one in Kazhakstan but it is poorly preserved [Note: this reference to lack of settlements is contrary to the information from the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia"; to my knowledge, Soviet scholars did not focus on settlement archaeology].
In the kurgans bones of animals, bronze objects, and ceramics have been found. Pots from the Andronovo Culture have a flattened bottom. The more recent (i.e. closer to the final stage of the Bronze Age) the kurgan, the flatter the bottom. Designs on the pots are variations of the meander; this sign is common in India and thought to be Indo-European. Nothing definite is known about the origins of the Andronovo culture; possibly somewhere in western Kazhakstan. Professor Alexeev sees no argument to support the point of view that the origins of the Andronovo Culture was in an area of northwestern Mongolia.
As per Alexeev, the Afanasyevo Culture 16 was located in the Upper Yenissei Valley in the second part of third millennium to the first century of second millennium BC. Afanasyevo Culture pottery has rounded bottoms. The Afanasyevo Culture was replaced by the Andronovo Culture during the Eneolithic Period.
As per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" the Afanasievo Culture existed in southern Siberia in the Minusinsk Basin and in the Altai from the mid III - beginning II mil BC and were contemporary with the Pit Culture and Catacomb Culture. These tribes were of the Paleo-European type. Both settlements and burial grounds have been preserved. The burial grounds are marked on the surface by circles made of stone slabs. They were later replaced by burial mounds which also had stone circles. Single and multiple burials, but rarely twin burials, have been found and there is no indication of inequality of possessions.
The Afanasievo were cattle breeders and likely agriculturalists. Tools were made of stone although gold, silver, and copper metalworking were known. Ceramics were egg shaped, flat-bottomed, and round bottomed vessels. Images of hawks and masked human figures preserved on burial slabs resemble masks incised on the Stelae of the Karasuk Culture.
As per Alexeev: thus the Pit Grave Culture was replaced by the Afanasyevo Culture which in turn was replaced by the Andronovo Culture. Likely these cultures spoke an ancient Iranian language. In the Caucasus, the Kura-Araxes Culture was replaced by the Trialeti; both spoke an ancient Iranian language.
[Lecture 13 delivered 5 August 1991]
This the next to last lecture in the Alexeev series is accompanied by slides and is extremely detailed. Three new cultures from the Bronze Age are introduced and the Iron Age comes into being with the Scythians and Greeks. Because so much information has been presented with the slides, I have incorporated this material into the basic lecture.
The first Bronze Age culture presented is that of the Karasuk. This culture exists in the last century of the second millennium BC in the steppe zone extending from the Volga River to Siberia. The economy of the Karasuk Culture is husbandry with small traces of agriculture. Pottery is with a rounded bottom and is decorated with diagonal lines and dots; bronze knives are shaped with an angle between the handle and blade; and burials are placed close together and covered with pieces of flat stone. The pottery is similar to that discovered in Inner Mongolia and the interior of China; bronze knives are similar to those from northeastern China; and the burials are similar to those found in northeastern China. Skeletal evidence indicates that the Karasuk Culture is Europoid.
For the Okunev Culture we have very little information. This culture is from a village in the upper Yenissei Valley and is not distributed over a broad area. The pottery of the Okunev Culture is similar to the Andronovo Culture and the bronzes are more like the Andronovo Culture than the Karasuk Culture. Burials of the Okunev Culture are similar to the Karasuk with stones covering the coffin; however, these stones are engraved in a fashion similar to independent stones found in the upper Yenissei Valley. These independent stones are on occasion located close to kurgans and at other times found independently. These stones are very large; some are carved with realistic faces; some with rays on their heads; some are dressed in the female costumes worn by modern Turkic tribes.
The Turbino Culture is located in the central and southern Urals. Only burials have been found; no settlements. Exceptional bronze tools and weapons have been uncovered but the pottery is very miserable. Bone, either human or animal, has not been preserved. In northeastern Russia and western Siberia, similar tools have been found but with a variation in the ceramics. Turbino is a Culture Province.
In Eurasia, bronze is produced in three areas by two/three cultures 17. The two cultures are the Turbino and the Kura-Araxes (and Trialeti which replaces the Kura-Araxes) . One area is the central and southern Urals (Turbino), the second area is the Caucasus (Kura-Araxes and Trialeti), and the third area is China. Bronzes in the Caucasus is made of copper with arsenic; in the Urals the bronze is with copper and tin; and in China bronze is copper with lead and tin. Bronze from the Caucasus has the same arsenic percentage as bronze from Turkey.
Alexeev dates the Iron Age from the beginning of the eighth century BC until present and places the Scythian Culture in the Iron Age. From Greek, Near East, and Chinese sources we learn that with the Scythians came iron. Alexeev raises the possibility that the Scythians, or as he calls them the Scythes, might have been a single tribe in the Altai area of Siberia.
Greek colonies dating from the fifth century BC have been located around the Black Sea in an area from the Crimea to the Caucasus as well as in the town of Anapa (in the Caucasus) on the territory of Asia. Most of the information on the Greek Colonies is presented with the use of slides and the presentation begins without any difficulty; however four or five slides into the lecture, a problem develops with the projector. Alexeev continues pushing the forward button but nothing happens. Wishing to assist in this difficult situation, I offer my help, walk over to the projector and begin moving the release lever on the carousel to remove the tray. Professor Alexeev unexpectedly slaps my hand, says "NO", and then rings for the audio-visual technician who responds immediately. The technician walks over to the machine, moves the release lever on the carousel, removes the slide tray, and then removes the problem slide. "The slide is too thick" says the teckie; "Humph, Humph, Humph" says Alexeev.
As per Alexeev, the Karasuk Culture extends from the Volga to southern Siberia with its origin in the last century of the second millennium BC. Archaeologist S.A. Teploukhov 18, who conducted his investigations in the Upper Yenissei Valley and in the Altai, has discovered that the economy of this steppe region of southern Siberia is husbandry with small traces of agriculture. In the kurgans, the goods found differ from the other cultures so far mentioned. In a text by S. Kiselev 19, the author states that the Karasuk Culture is created by invaders from northern China based on the forms of pottery and the typology of bronze objects. An analysis of the Karasuk Culture pottery reveals that vessels are short, wide, and have rounded bottoms which is similar to Afanasyevo Culture pottery in that both cultures have pottery with rounded bottoms; however the Afanasyevo Culture pottery is high and narrow. The Karasuk pottery differs from the Andronovo Culture pottery in that the Andronovo pottery has a flat bottom. This short, wide, rounded bottom pot is also found in Inner Mongolia and interior China. In the steppe area of Eurasia, pots have flattened bottoms. The Karasuk pottery is simply decorated with diagonal lines and dots.
An analysis of bronzes from the Karasuk Culture reveals that they are like the bronzes from northeastern China. Knives with an angle between the handle and the blade are found in central and northern China; therefore, it is assumed that this culture has been brought in by tribes from China and Inner Mongolia. Alexeev comments that these invaders replaced the Andronovo Culture without any genetic involvement 20.
The Karasuk Culture, in southern Siberia, is only known from the excavations of kurgans. These kurgans are 40-50 centimeters to surface level. Burials are in coffins covered with flat stone pieces (lined up in tile fashion). Burials are close to each other. These burials are also found in northeastern China. Some excavations have been found with both Karasuk and Afanasyevo Cultures but as with the Andronovo Culture there is no genetic involvement.
Alexeev concludes that the Karasuk are influenced by the Andronovo and somewhat by the Afanasyevo. That the Karasuk Culture was originally inhabitants from northeast China cannot be confirmed because there is no trace of Mongoloid from China. Rather, the Karasuk are Europoid like the Afanasyevo and Andronovo; however, the Karasuk do differ from both the Afanasyevo and Andronovo.
As per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" the Karasuk Culture exists from the end of the II millennium to the beginning of the I millennium BC in the mountains of southern Siberia, in Kazakhstan, and along the upper Ob River. Burial mounds have been found and some mounds have more than 100 graves. Burials are in stone chests under a low mound with small quadrangular enclosures made of small upright stone slabs. The Karasuk tribes engage in stock raising and their bronze articles are decorated with geometric designs. They make clay vessels and woolen fabrics, have knowledge of farming, and sculpture representations of animals. These tribes are associated with ancient populations of northern China, Mongolia, Cisbaikal, and Transbaikal regions, western Siberia, and Middle Asia.
Soviet Scholar L. Vasiliev thinks these bronze objects developed in Siberia and moved to China; however there is no strong center of development in Siberia. There is a strong center in China 21.
Alexeev continues: in the central Urals in the Kama River Valley where the Kama River flows into the Volga River is the Turbino Culture. Turbino is a cemetery excavated in the 1950's and 1960's by O.N. Bader 22, a German born in Russia. He discovers many independent burials located close to each other. Spearheads, bracelets, and small flint tools are found, but no bone, either human or animal. Is this the result of the soil conditions, i.e. that the soil does not allow preservation?
The Turbino Culture also produces excellent bronze tools and military weapons; however, the pottery is very miserable. Was it pottery that was meant to be destroyed? In a later time period there are great areas east and west of the Turbino Culture which produces the same rich bronze material.
In northeast Russia and western Siberia there is a great area with tools similar to Turbino but with variations in ceramics. This is not just one culture, it is the Turbino Culture Province. Alexeev's question: why is Turbino located north of other cultures without cultural correspondence?
As per Alexeev, there are two bronze producing cultures in the former Soviet Union but three bronze producing areas. The two cultures are 1) in the Caucasus and 2) in the central Urals (including some south Ural) 23. These bronzes differ in chemical content. In the Caucasus the bronzes are made with copper and arsenic. This is also true for bronzes from the Near East. In the central Urals the bronzes are made with copper and tin. Tin has also been discovered in the Near East. This produces a complicated picture. In the southern area (the steppe area), bronzes are of Caucasus origin except the Karasuk Culture where the origin is northern China. The bronzes from the southern area] are with arsenic. In the northern area, the bronze is with tin. However, in several places in the southern steppe zone, the bronze is with tin but we don't know if it is from the Urals or from the Near East. In southern Siberia we don't know the content of the bronzes; more study from excavations and the laboratory regarding the chemical structures on the contents of the micro elements is needed. Thus bronze with arsenic is located in the southern areas and comes from the Caucasus and the Near East. Bronze with tin is located in the northern areas and comes from the Turbino Province of the Urals. In the Caucasus, bronze is similar to bronze from Turkey. The arsenic percentage is the same. Archaeologist E. Chernykh 24 has developed the concept of Circum Pontic Province (Black Sea) in discussing bronze metallurgy.
As modified from Alexeev: thus the two bronze producing cultures are the Turbino in the Urals, and Kura-Araxes and Trialeti in the Caucasus (Trialeti replaces the Kura-Araxes); the three bronze producing areas are the Urals, the Caucasus, and China.
Alexeev doesn't date the Okunev Culture. Arutiunov dates the Karasuk at the end of the 2nd and early 1st millennium BC and dates the Okunev at about 15-14 c. BC. The "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" dates the Karasuk at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 1st millennium BC; and dates the Okunev at the first half of the 2nd millennium BC.
As per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia", the Okunev Culture is named after the Okunev settlement in southern Khakassia and refers to a Bronze Age culture in southern Siberia. The first burial was excavated by S.A. Teploukhov in 1928. The Okunev replaced the Afanasyevo and preceded the Andronovo Culture.
Karasuk: II mil (end) - I mil (beg)
1100 - 900
Andronovo: II mil (mid to second half)
1500 - 1100
Okunev: II mil (first half)
1900 - 1500
Okunev (as per Arutiunov):
1400 - 1300
Afanaseyevo: III mil (mid) - II mil (beg)
2500 - 1900
As per "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" burial structures of the Okunev Culture are small, rectangular surface enclosures made of stone slabs placed vertically into the ground. The skeletons are on their backs with legs bent at the knees. Stone statues with human faces and images of birds and beasts engraved on bone plaques or hammered out on stone slabs are also discovered. There is no significant indication of property and social stratification.
As per the "Great Soviet Encyclopedia" the similarity between objects from Okunev and objects found in sites in the vicinity of the mid Ob River and Lake Baikal region suggests the Okunev came to southern Siberia from northern taiga regions.
Alexeev continues: with the end of the Bronze Age we see a new development in mental activity. From the Okunev Culture we have the cover of a coffin with stones that have been engraved. These stones are the same as individual stones from the Upper Yenissei Valley. These stones stand erect; sometime they are located close to kurgans and sometime they stand independently. These stones are very large i.e. 3.5 meters high with the weight of three ton. Some of the stones have realistic faces while others are without faces. Some represent females dressed in attire common to costumes of modern Turkic tribes. Some of these stones are fertility figures with a great stomach while others have rays surrounding the head 25. Possibly all are images of female goddesses in Okunev society. Today, in the northern areas of Siberia, some art objects are still made in the Neolithic style i.e. in bone and wood.
Thus this new mental activity in Asia, Mongolia, and southern Siberia includes flat rocks with engravings and sophisticated ceramics with ornamental motifs. Sculpture ranges from abstract to realistic and stone is enriched for art with ornamental artifacts. Elsewhere i.e. eastern Spain, western France, in Switzerland, and England stone is used as a visible calendar to record astronomical events (i.e.Stonehenge) but in Russia these stones are used to create art.