Northern Caucasus Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Northern Caucasus Culture


an archaeological culture of the Bronze Age (second millennium B.C.) in the Northern Caucasus. The settlements of the Northern Caucasus culture have not been studied. Studies of the culture’s burial customs show that barrow burial grounds were common in the steppes and at the foot of mountains, while flat-grave burials predominated in the mountains. The dead were placed in pits, stone boxes, or crypts. At first, the corpses were placed in a flexed position, facing south, and covered with red ocher. From the middle of the second millennium B.C. until the Common Era they were buried in a supine position, facing east or west.

Excavations of the burials yielded various ceramic articles, including rounded vessels ornamented with stamped impressions, impressions made with cord, and applied decorations. Bronze articles, including leaf-shaped knives, adzes, axes, pins, and ornaments, were also found, as well as stone maces and axes.

The Northern Caucasus culture had several local variants, reflecting the unique features of the related tribes. The tribes of the culture had a patriarchal-clan social system. Their economy was based on pastoral livestock breeding and on land cultivation. The Northern Caucasus culture was replaced by the Kuban’ and Koban cultures, to which it was genetically related.


Markovin, V. I. Kul’tura plemen Severnogo Kavkaza v epokhu bronzy II tys. don.e. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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