Tagar Culture

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tagar Culture


an archaeological culture prevalent from the seventh to third centuries B.C. in the Minusinsk Basin, in the Krasnoiarsk region, and in eastern Kemerovo Oblast; named after the island of Tagar on the Enisei River, opposite the city of Minusinsk.

The Tagar culture was characterized by Scythian-type weapons, equestrian gear, bronze kettles and mirrors, and the animal style in art. Implements and weapons, including daggers, dies, arrowheads, bits, knives, and celts, were made of bronze. The culture extended over an area that was one of the largest centers of bronze casting in Eurasia. Iron was not produced here before the third century B.C. Remains of the culture include earthen burial mounds enclosed by stone slabs, with upright stones at the corners. There are also remains of settlements, copper ore pits, and rock drawings.

The Tagar economy was based on hoe agriculture and livestock breeding. In its social structure, the culture was marked by the establishment of class relations, as evidenced by the huge burial mounds—possibly for kings and nobles—in contrast to the commoners’ collective graves. The people of the Tagar culture were of the Europeoid physical type, resembling the people of the Afanasievo and Andronovo cultures and the Scythians of the Black Sea region.


Kiselev, S. V. Drevniaia istoriia luzhnoi Sibiri, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1951.
Grishin, Iu. S. Proizvodstvo v tagarskuiu epokhu. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960. (Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, no. 90.)
Chlenova, N. L. Proiskhozhdenie i ranniaia istoriia piemen tagarskoi kul’tury. Moscow-Leningrad, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.