Maikop Culture

Maikop Culture


an archaeological culture of the second half of the third millennium B.C. that was widespread in the foothills of the northern Caucasus. It was named after the Maikop kurgan, which was investigated in 1897.

The Maikop culture is represented by numerous barrows and by a number of fortified settlements. Stone tombs, including dolmens, appeared during the later stage of its development. The principal implements and weapons were shaft-hole stone axes, insets for knives and sickles, and arrowheads, as well as copper axes, hoes, gouges, knives, daggers, pitchforks, and spearheads. Various ornaments indicate links between the Maikop culture and the Orient. The pottery, some of which was made on the potter’s wheel, is primarily red and polished; sometimes it is decorated. The tribes of the Maikop culture engaged in stock raising and farming and lived in a primitive communal system. However, the rich burial inventory of some barrows attests to considerable property inequality.


Iessen, A. A. “K khronologii ‘bol’shikh kubanskikh kurganov’.” In the collection Sovetskaia arkheologiia, fasc. 12. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Krupnov, E. I. Drevniaia istoriia i kul’tura Kabardy. Moscow, 1957.
Formozov, A. A. “Periodizatsiia poselenii Maikopskoi kul’tury.” In the collection Istoriko-arkheologicheskii sbornik. [Moscow, 1962.]
Formozov, A. A. Kamennyi vek i eneolit Prikuban’ia. Moscow, 1965.
Munchaev, R. M. “Pamiatniki maikopskoi kul’tury v Checheno-Ingushetii.” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1962, no. 3.


References in periodicals archive ?
He suggests that the Maikop culture of the Caucasus region, which is known to have been contemporary with the middle and late Uruk periods of southern Mesopotamia (p.