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The Yamna (from Russian яма "pit") or Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture is a late copper age/early bronze age culture of the Bug/Dniester/Ural region (the Pontic steppe), dating to the 36th–23rd centuries BC. The culture was predominantly nomadic, with some agriculture practiced near rivers and a few hillforts.
Characteristic for the culture are the inhumations in kurgans, (tumuli) in pit graves with the dead body placed in a supine position with bent knees. The bodies were covered in ochre. Multiple graves have been found in these kurgans, often as later insertions. Significantly, animal grave offerings were made (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horse), a feature associated with both Proto-Indo-Europeans or Proto-Indo-Iranians.
It is said to have originated in the middle Volga based Khvalynsk culture and the middle Dnieper based Sredny Stog culture. In its western range, it is succeeded by the Catacomb culture; in the east, by the Poltavka culture and the Srubna culture.
The Yamna culture is identified with the late Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) in the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas. It is one candidate for the Urheimat (homeland) of the Proto-Indo-European language, along with the preceding Sredny Stog culture. The earliest remains in Eastern Europe of a wheeled cart were found in the "Storozhova mohyla" kurgan (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, excavated by Trenozhkin O.I) associated with the Yamna culture.