Mid 2nd millennium BC

The Andronovo culture, is a collection of similar local Bronze Age cultures that flourished ca. 2100–1400 BCE in western Siberia and the west Asiatic steppe. It is probably better termed an archaeological complex or archaeological horizon. The name derives from the village of Andronovo where in 1914, several graves were discovered, with skeletons in crouched positions, buried with richly decorated pottery.
At the present time in the Andronov culture stands out for at least 3 – 4 related cultures:

    [li]Sintashta-Petrovka-Arkaim (Southern Urals, northern Kazakhstan, 2200-1600 BC.)[/li]

    [li]Alakul (2100-1400 BC. E.) In the area between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, Kyzylkum desert;[/li]

    [li]Fedorova (1500-1300 BC. E.) In southern Siberia (first encountered of cremation and the cult of fire);[/li]


The geographical extent of the culture is vast and difficult to delineate exactly. On its western fringes, it overlaps with the approximately contemporaneous, but distinct, Srubna culture in the Volga-Ural interfluvial. To the east, it reaches into the Minusinsk depression, with some sites as far west as the southern Ural Mountains, overlapping with the area of the earlier Afanasevo culture. Additional sites are scattered as far south as the Koppet Dag (Turkmenistan), the Pamir (Tajikistan) and the Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan). The northern boundary vaguely corresponds to the beginning of the Taiga. In the Volga basin, interaction with the Srubna culture was the most intense and prolonged, and Federovo style pottery is found as far west as Volgograd.

Externally, the burials of the Andronov culture are very similar to the burial of the previous in time Afanasiev culture. The same fencing of stones, as a ring or rectangle around the tomb. The tomb sometimes has a small embankment. Burials are grouped up to 12 burials in a group. A shallow grave is finished with timber structure or stone slabs forming a box. The position of the diseased is on a side, contracted. More frequent are the paired burials, testifying to the increasing patrilocal marriage. The Andronov burials also testify to a more advanced culture than Afanasiev. It has a rich in a number of forms ceramics, it is better in quality of manufacturing and richer in ornamentation with quite various ornaments such as triangles, rhombuses, festoons, meanders, etc. The form of vessels is also typical. If the Afanasiev vessels are pointed and were designed for embedding in the ashes of a fire, the Andronov vessels are flat-bottomed testifying to a flat floor of the dwellings and the presence of a permanent hearth.
Instead of the copper, people already learned to cast tools from a bronze, and the improvement in the quality of the bronze allowed to switch to casting of the tools, along with the manufacture of the ornaments. From the bronze, people produced weapons: double-eared axes, knifes daggers, kelts, lance tips, and tools: awl, sickles. Casting became the main technique of manufacturing objects from metal, and forging was used only for reinforcement of the working edge of the tool. The development of the metallurgical manufacture is indicated not only by the composition established by chemical analyses of the bronze, or finds of stone mold forms and assortment of products, but also by the  deep underground copper, tin and gold ore mines

The extremely important fact in the development of the Andronov type culture is a further development of cattle breeding and hoe agriculture. About the cattle breeding tells that fact that in all tombs, opened by the archeologists, were only the bones of domesticated animals: sheep, bull, a horse. In the settlements belonging to that time, the bones of domesticated animals considerably outnumber the bones of the wild animals. But the finds of the wild animals nevertheless tells about hunting, but moved, in comparison with the previous Afanasiev stage, to the second plane. The domesticated animal gave people not only the meat, but also the wool, of which the people learned to make fabrics, evidenced by a small earlap hat made of a woolen fabric, found in one tomb.
The developing settled way of life of the Andronov culture people,  documented not only by the character of burials, but also by the investigated settlements, created conditions for agriculture. Undoubtedly, the agriculture has emerged from the needs of the cattle breeding, as provisioning of fodder, indicated by a wide spread of sickles which greatly outnumber the tools for plowing. From the tools for plowing were found only the bone mattocks in one settlement. The development of social relations at this stage is marked by a further growth and reinforcement of the patriarchal relations. Typically, individual man's burials are absent. The emergence of separate patriarchal family already shows in the rise of the inequality in property, reflected by the difference in the inventory in different burials. Already are marked richer and poorer burials. A direct result of the development of the cattle breeding and the increase in wealth was a war, which caused a creation of new kinds of weaponry. The weapons already differentiated enough from the tools, and in particular, the weapons became to be better built and decorated.

A very important feature of the Andronov culture is its great spread. In particular it points not only to the fact of a developing exchange, but also that the separate patriarchal families were included in the system of the large tribal unions, compensating for the weakness of the separate patriarchal families, who left the clan in the system of private possession of the cattle.

Andronovo and Indo-Iranians

[img width=700 height=356]http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/montmi/AndronovoCulture.jpg” />

The Andronovo culture is strongly associated with the Indo-Iranians and is often credited with the invention of the spoke-wheeled chariot around 2000 BCE.


Sintashta, "Country of cities" in the southern Urals, represented by several fortifications, the first of which was Sintashta, and became the most popular Arkaim. Archaeological Site Sintashta located in the upper reaches of the Urals. Burials were made in the mounds, and included (in whole or in part) the remains of domestic animals (horse, dog). In the tombs are also found chariots. At the moment it is the match of the ancient chariots in the world (300 years older than the Mesopotamian). Sintashta considered the first proto-Indo-Iranian monument, and created his people, according to some allegations, spoke Proto-Indo-Iranian language.

Andronovo culture and Arkaim – The first Indo-Iranians

Detailed information you can read in this book.


The Sintashta-Petrovka culture is succeeded by the Fedorovo (1400–1200 BCE) and Alekseyevka (1200–1000 BCE) cultures, still considered as part of the Andronovo horizon.
In southern Siberia and Kazakhstan, the Andronovo culture was succeeded by the Karasuk culture (1500–800 BCE), which is sometimes asserted to be non-Indo-European, and at other times to be specifically proto-Iranian. On its western border, it is succeeded by the Srubna culture, which partly derives from the Abashevo culture. The earliest historical peoples associated with the area are the Cimmerians and Saka/Scythians, appearing in Assyrian records after the decline of the Alekseyevka culture, migrating into the Ukraine from ca. the 9th century BCE (see also Ukrainian stone stela), and across the Caucasus into Anatolia and Assyria in the late 8th century BCE, and possibly also west into Europe as the Thracians (see Thraco-Cimmerian), and the Sigynnae, located by Herodotus beyond the Danube, north of the Thracians, and by Strabo near the Caspian Sea. Both Herodotus and Strabo identify them as Iranian.

Ancient DNA

Out of 10 human male remains assigned to the Andronovo horizon from the Krasnoyarsk region, 9 possessed the R1a Y-chromosome haplogroup and one Haplogroup C (Y-DNA)(xC3). mtDNA haplogroups of nine individuals assigned to the same Andronovo horizon and region were as follows: U4 (2 individuals), U2e, U5a1, Z, T1, T4, H, and K2b.
90 % of the Bronze Age period mtDNA haplogroups were of west Eurasian origin and the study determined that at least 60 % of the individuals overall (out of the 26 bronze and Iron Age human remains' samples of the study that could be tested) had light hair and blue or green eyes.[10]
A 2004 study also established that, during the bronze/Iron Age period, the majority of the population of Kazakhstan (part of the Andronovo culture during Bronze Age), was of west Eurasian origin (with mtDNA haplogroups such as U, H, HV, T, I and W), and that prior to the thirteenth-seventh century BC, all Kazakh samples belonged to European lineages.

Sources: [url=http://http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turkic/btn_Archeology/BernstamCh1AndronovCultureEn.htm[/url]1[/url] [url=http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%BD%D0%B4%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%BA%D1%83%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%82%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B0[/url]2[/url] 3


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