Okunev culture

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Okunev culture
Alternative names Okuniev culture
Geographical range Siberia
Period Bronze Age
Dates 3rd millennium BC
Preceded by Afanasevo culture
Followed by Andronovo culture

Okunev culture (Russian: Окуневская культура) is a Bronze Age culture dated to the first half of the 2nd millennium BC in Minusinsk Hollow of southern Siberia.[1][2]

The Okunev culture is named after the Okunev settlement in southern Khakassia, where the culture was discovered by Sergei Teploukhov in 1928.

The Okunev culture was preceded by the Afanasevo culture. The similarity between some of the objects from the Okunev burial grounds and objects found in sites in the vicinity of the middle Ob River and the Lake Baikal region indicates that the bearers of the Okunev culture came to southern Siberia from the northern taiga regions, although genetic evidence suggests bearears of the Afanasevo culture were partly ancestral to those of the Okunev culture, particularly among the more westerly subgroups of this culture.[citation needed]. While the Afanasevo culture is considered Indo-European, the Okunev culture is generally regarded as an extension of the local non-Indo-European forest culture into the region.[3]

The Okunev culture is represented by burial structures, which were composed of small, rectangular surface enclosures made of stone slabs placed vertically in the ground. Within these enclosures were graves that were also lined with stone slabs. The skeletons were of the Mongoloid physical type, and were buried on their backs with legs bent at the knees.

Finds from the Okunev culture include lavishly decorated jug-like and conical vessels; copper and bronze articles, including leaf-shaped knives, fishhooks, and temporal rings; and works of art, which included stone statues with human faces and images of birds and beasts engraved on bone plaques or hammered out on stone slabs.

The chief occupation of the population was stock raising (cattle, sheep, and goats), supplemented by hunting and fishing. There were no significant indications of property and social stratification.

The Okunev culture was succeeded by the Andronovo culture.[2]



  1. ^ Окуневская культура Yandex.Dictionary (in Russian)
  2. ^ a b "Okunev Culture". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 1979. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Mallory 1997, p. 4-6


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