Afanasievo Culture

Afanasievo Culture


an Aeneolithic culture of Southern Siberia found in the Minusinsk Basin and the Altai from the middle of the third to the beginning of the second millennium B.C.; contemporary with the Kelteminar culture, the Pit culture, and the Catacomb culture. Named for a burial ground at Mount Afanasievo near the village of Bateni in the Khakass Autonomous Oblast. Unlike the surrounding Mongoloid population, the tribes of the Afanasievo culture were of the so-called Paleo-European type. Settlements and burial grounds of the Afanasievo culture have been preserved. The burial grounds are marked on the surface by circles made of stone slabs; they were replaced by burial mounds which also had stone circles. Single, multiple, and more rarely twin burials are encountered, with no indications of inequality of possessions. The population of the Afanasievo culture was familiar with cattle breeding and probably agriculture. Tools were fashioned chiefly from stone, although copper, silver, and gold metalworking were known. Ceramics included egg-shaped, flat-bottomed, and spherical round-bottomed vessels and censers (small bowls on a tray). Images of hawks and masked human figures on the burial slabs resemble masks incised on stelae of the Karasuk culture and provide evidence of an obvious continuity between it and the Afanasievo culture.


Kiselev, S. V. Drevniaia istoriia luzhnoi Sibiri, [2nd ed.]. Moscow, 1951.
Istoriia Sibiri s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1968.


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Two came from Siberia's roughly 4,800-year-old Afanasievo culture.
The Yamnaya culture, a population of herders that originated around 5,000 years ago in what is now southwest Russia, is genetically indistinguishable from the slightly younger Afanasievo culture, which lived thousands of kilometers farther east.
Caption: During the Bronze Age, the Yamnaya culture migrated north, west and east from eastern Europe, introducing customs and genes to the younger Corded Ware and Afanasievo cultures.