Middle-Dnieper culture

Middle-Dnieper culture. A Bronze Age archeological culture of the late 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BC found along the tributaries of the middle and upper Dnieper River and the Desna River. It was first identified by Vasilii Gorodtsov in the 1920s. An offshoot of the Corded-Ware culture in Western Ukraine and other parts of Europe, its trademark was pottery with imprints of rope or small etched lines forming horizontal layers of ornamentation. On the basis of changes in pottery style, scholars have divided the culture into early (24th–22nd century BC), middle (22nd–17th century BC), and late (17th–15th century BC) periods of development. Its major economic activities were agriculture and animal husbandry, although it also traded with tribes in the northern Caucasus Mountains, the Carpatho-Danube region, and the Baltic region. Houses consisted of surface dwellings with stone hearths. The culture practiced both full body and cremation burials in either dugout graves or kurhans. Material culture remains found at excavation sites included stone querns, flint chisels, arrowheads, copper and amber adornments, stone and bronze tools, and (corded-ware) pottery made from clay with an admixture of fine sand. Notable Middle-Dnieper archeological sites include Iskivshchyna (near Kaniv), Pekari, and Mys Ochkynskyi.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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