2002), the earliest Mariupol-type cemeteries of the Dnieper-Donets culture, such as Vasilievka II and Marievka, as well as the early horizons of the Rakushechny Yar sites in the Lower Don area and probably the monuments of Kaia-Arsy type in the Crimea, all now date to this period.
the Dnieper-Donets Culture populations were the descendants of Proto-European hypermorphic populations, as determined by analysis of the skeletal remains from the Mariupol-Type Culture.
The Early Neolithic period can be defined as giving way to the Neo-Eneolithic on the basis of the appearance of tribes with Eneolithic culture traits on the right bank of the Dnieper, such as Tripolie, and subsequently the Gumelnitska and Lendelska cultures, as well as the expansion of Late-Mariupol Dnieper-Donets Culture burial grounds.
The Dnieper-Donets Culture communities were characterised by physical attributes relating more to the massive hypermorphic type of large Europeoid race, while the Tripolie communities were of smaller stature and more gracile appearance aligning them, and the Linear Pottery Culture groups to the western branch of the Mediterranean anthropological type.
This was the zenith of the Dnieper-Donets culture communities, with combed-stroke ceramics, a concentration of late Mariupol-type Cemeteries (Nikolsky, Mariupol, Dereivka in the Dnieper region), and also early Tripolie monuments.
The Sredny Stog II groups were steppe cattle-breeders, who had superficial settlements, used point-based vessels and showed a poorly developed plastic art, while the Dnieper-Donets Culture and Pit-Comb Culture tribes were primarily fisher-hunter-gatherers.
While the Tripolie people appear to exhibit Mediterranean features, the Dnieper-Donets Culture populations were more hypermorphic Proto-Europeoids.
The principal Late Neolithic/Early Eneolithic regional groups are (FIGURE 1, TABLE 1: 15-31): the Dnieper-Donets culture
of Mariupol type in the steppe river valleys between the Dnieper and Donets rivers (Telegin 1968; 1987; 1991; Telegin & Potekhina 1987); the Orlovka group on the middle Don/lower Volga (Mamontov 1974; Yudin 1988; 1998); the Rakushechni Yar group on the lower Don (Belanovskaya & Telegin 1996; Kiashko 1987; 1994); the Varfolomievka group in the Volga-Ural steppes (Yudin 1988; 1998); and the Khvalynsk culture on the lower Volga with its related cousins such as S'ezzhye in the Samara region (Vasiliev 1981; Vasiliev & Matveeva 1979; Agapov et al.