Learn more about Andronovo culture
The Andronovo culture is a cover term for a group of Bronze Age cultures of southern Siberia and Central Asia, ca. 2300–1000 BCE. It is probably better termed an archaeological complex or archaeological horizon. The name derives from the village of Andronovo ( ), where in 1914, several graves were discovered, with skeletons in crouched positions, buried with richly decorated pottery.
At least four sub-cultures have been since distinguished, during which the culture expands towards the south and the east:
- Sintashta-Petrovka-Arkaim (Southern Urals, northern Kazakhstan, 2200-1600 BCE),
- Alakul (2100-1400 BCE) between Oxus and Jaxartes, Kyzylkum desert;
- Fedorovo (1400-1200 BCE) in southern Siberia;
- Alekseyevka (1200-1000 BCE) in eastern Kazakhstan.
The geographical extent of the culture is vast and difficult to delineate exactly. On its western fringes, it overlaps with the approximately contemporaneous, but distinct, Srubna culture in the Volga-Ural interfluvial. To the east, it reaches into the Minusinsk depression, overlapping with the area of the earlier Afanasevo culture. Additional sites are scattered as far south as the Koppet Dag (Turkmenistan), the Pamir (Tajikistan) and the Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan). The northern boundary vaguely corresponds to the beginning the Taiga. In the Volga basin, interaction with the Srubna culture was the most intense and prolonged, and Federovo style pottery is found as far west as Volgograd.
Towards the middle of the 2nd millennium, the Andronovo cultures begin to move intensively eastwards. They mined deposits of copper ore in the Altai Mountains and lived in villages of as many as ten sunken log cabin houses measuring up to 30m by 60m in size. Burials were made in stone cists or stone enclosures with buried timber chambers.In other regards, the economy was pastoral, based on horses and cattle, but also sheep and goats, with some agriculture in clear evidence.
The Sintashta-Petrovka culture is succeeded by the Fedorovo (1400-1200 BCE) and Alekseyevka (1200-1000 BCE) cultures, still considered as part of the Andronovo horizon.
In southern Siberia and Kazakhstan, the Andronovo culture was succeeded by the Karasuk culture (1500-800 BCE), which is sometimes asserted to be non-Indo-European, and at other times to be specifically proto-Iranian. On its western border, it is succeeded by the Srubna culture, which partly derives from the Abashevo culture. The earliest historical peoples associated with the area are the Cimmerians and Saka/Scythians, appearing in Assyrian records after the decline of the Alekseyevka culture, migrating into the Ukraine from ca. the 9th century BCE (see also Ukrainian stone stela), and across the Caucasus into Anatolia and Assyria in the late 8th century BCE, and possibly also west into Europe as the Thracians (see Thraco-Cimmerian), and the Sigynnae, located by Herodotus beyond the Danube, north of the Thracians, and by Strabo near the Caspian Sea. Both Herodotus and Strabo identify them as Iranian.
- Edwin Bryant (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516947-6.
- Nicolo Di Cosmo, "The Northern Frontier in Pre-Imperial China", Cambridge History of Ancient China (pp. 885-966) ch. 13.
- Fussman, G.; Kellens, J.; Francfort, H.-P.; Tremblay, X.: Aryas, Aryens et Iraniens en Asie Centrale. (2005), Institut Civilisation Indienne ISBN 2-86803-072-6
- Jones-Bley, K.; Zdanovich, D. G. (eds.), Complex Societies of Central Eurasia from the 3rd to the 1st Millennium BC, 2 vols, JIES Monograph Series Nos. 45, 46, Washington D.C. (2002), ISBN 0-941694-83-6, ISBN 0-941694-86-0.
- J. P. Mallory, "Andronovo Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
 See also
 External links
- Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads (csen.org)
- The Discovery of Sintashta (a Russian-language article by two archaeologists who directed the excavations)
- ARCHAIC MOTIFS IN NORTH RUSSIAN FOLK EMBROIDERY AND PARALLELS IN ANCIENT ORNAMENTAL DESIGNS OF THE EURASIAN STEPPE PEOPLES S. Zharnikovabg:Андроновска култура