The Chernyakhov culture, or Sântana de Mureș culture, is an archaeological culture that flourished between the 2nd and 5th centuries AD in a wide area of Eastern Europe in what is now Ukraine, Romania and parts of Belarus. The culture is the result of a multiethnic cultural mix of the Sarmatian, Slavic and Geto-Dacian populations of the area; the Chernyakhov culture territorially replaced the Zarubintsy culture. Both cultures were discovered by the Austrian-Russian archaeologist, Vikentiy Khvoyka, who conducted numerous excavations around Kiev and its vicinity. Among other archaeologists are Austrian Karel Hadáček from Eastern Galicia and Ivan Kovac from Transylvania. With the invasion of Huns, the culture was replaced with the Penkovka culture; the Chernyakhov culture is similar to the Wielbark culture, located closer to the Baltic Sea. The Chernyakhov culture encompassed regions of modern Ukraine and Romania, it is named after the localities Sântana de Mureș, Mureș County, Transylvania in Romania and Cherniakhiv, Kaharlyk Raion, Kyiv Oblast in Ukraine.
The dual name reflects past preferential use by different schools of history to designate the culture. The spelling "Chernyakhov" is the transliteration from the Russian language. Other spellings include Sîntana de Mureș, Czerniachów, several others. The'Culture-historical' doctrine founded by German archaeologist Gustaf Kossinna, assumed that “sharply defined archaeological culture areas correspond unquestionably with the areas of particular peoples or tribes”. Scholars today are more inclined to see material cultures as cultural-economic systems incorporating many different groups. "What created the boundaries of these cultural areas were not the political frontiers of a particular people, but the geographical limits within which the population groups interacted with sufficient intensity to make some or all of the remains of their physical culture – pottery, metal work, building styles, burial goods and so on- look similar. Kossinna's Siedlungsarchäologie postulated that materially homogeneous archeological cultures could be matched with the ethnic groups defined by philologists.
— Michael Kulikowski, Rome's Gothic Wars, p. 61 Essentially, scholars are tentative in ascribing an'ethnic' identity to the material remains of past populations, although they recognise that certain objects may have been manipulated to represent some form of group identity at times of inter-group conflict. In the earlier half of the 20th century, scholars spent much energy debating the ethnic affinity of people in the Chernyakov zone. Soviet scholars, such as Boris Rybakov, saw it as the archaeological reflection of the proto-Slavs, but western German and Polish archeologists attributed it to the Goths. According to Kazimierz Godłowski, the origins of Slavic culture should be connected with the areas of the upper Dnieper basin while the Chernyakhov culture with the federation of the Goths. However, the remains of archaeologically visible material culture and their link with ethnic identity are not as clear as thought; the Migration theory from Scandinavia to the Polish Baltic coast regions and further on to Ukraine was ideal propaganda material for German Nazi Ostsiedlung ideology and arguments for Lebensraum.
Reference material used during that era was Ludwig Schmidt's Geschichte der deutschen Stämme Today, scholars recognize the Chernyakov zone as representing a cultural interaction of a diversity of peoples, but predominantly those who existed in the region, whether it be the Sarmatians, or the Getae-Dacians. Late Antiquity authors confused the Getae with the Goths, most notably Jordanes, in his Getica. Both inhumation and cremation were practiced; the dead were buried with grave goods – pottery, iron implements, bone combs, personal ornaments, although in periods grave goods decrease. Of the inhumation burials, the dead were buried in a north-south axis, although a minority are in east-west orientation. Funerary gifts include fibulae, belt buckles, bone combs, glass drinking vessels and other jewelry. Women's burials in particular shared close similarities with Wielbark forms - buried with two fibulae, one on each shoulder. Like in the Wielbark culture, Chernyakhov burials lack weapons as funerary gifts, except in a few cremation burials reminiscent of Przeworsk influences.
Although cremation burials are traditionally associated with Dacian and Slavic peoples, inhumation is suggestive of nomadic practice, careful analysis suggests that the mixed burials were of an earlier period, whilst toward the end there was a trend toward inhumation burials without grave goods. This could be the result of the influences of Christianity, but could just as be explained in terms of an evolution of non-Christian beliefs about the afterlife. Pottery was predominantly of local production, being both hand-made. Wheel made pottery predominated, was made of finer clay, it was reminiscent of earlier Sarmatian types, refined by La Tene influences. Hand made pottery showed a greater variety in form, was sometimes decorated with incised linear motifs. In addition, Roman amphorae are found, suggesting trade contacts with the Roman world. There is a small, but regular, presence of distinct hand–made pottery typical of that found in western Germanic groups, suggesting the presen
The Vandals were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that first appear in history inhabiting present-day southern Poland. Some moved in large numbers, including most notably the group which successively established kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa in the 5th century; the traditional view has been that the Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle from Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many Germanic tribes to migrate into the territory of the Roman Empire, fearing that they might be targeted next the Vandals were pushed westwards, crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.
In 409 the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. After the Visigoths invaded Iberia in 418, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected themselves to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, they fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Emperor Justinian I's forces reconquered the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and early-modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, "sacking and looting" Rome; this led to the use of the term "vandalism" to describe any pointless destruction the "barbarian" defacing of artwork.
However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture. The name of the Vandals has been connected to that of Vendel, the name of a province in Uppland, eponymous of the Vendel Period of Swedish prehistory, corresponding to the late Germanic Iron Age leading up to the Viking Age; the connection would be that Vendel is the original homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period, retains their tribal name as a toponym. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark and Hallingdal in Norway; the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- "to wander". The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil "shining wanderer. R. Much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or "the Dioscuri" involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil; some medieval authors applied the ethnonym "Vandals" to Slavs: Veneti, Lusatians or Poles.
It was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. Both Jordanes in his Getica and the Gotlandic Gutasaga tell that the Goths and Vandals migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula prior to the 2nd century BC, settled in Silesia from around 120 BC; the earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, who used the term Vandilii in a broad way to define one of the major groupings of all Germanic peoples. Tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini and the Gutones. According to the Gallaecian Christian priest and theologian Paulus Orosius, the Vandals, who lived in Scoringa, near Stockholm, were of the same stock as the Suiones and the Goths; the Vandals are associated with the Przeworsk culture, but the culture extended over several eastern European peoples. Their origin and linguistic affiliation are debated; the bearers of the Przeworsk culture practiced cremation and inhumation.
The Lugii are identified by modern historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo and Ptolemy as a large group of tribes between the Vistula and the Oder. None of those authors mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals but not the Lugii. According to John Anderson, the "Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former a cult-title." Herwig Wolfram notes that "In all likelihood the Lugians and the Vandals were one cultic community that lived in the same region of the Oder in Silesia, where it was first under Celtic and under Germanic domination." By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main tribal groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with Silesia and the Hasdingi living in the Sudetes. Around the mid 2nd century AD, there was a significant migration by Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin towards the south-east, creating turmoil along the entire Roman frontier.
The 6th century Byzantine historian Procopius noted that the Goths and Vandals were ph
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the long series of Gothic Wars and in the emergence of Medieval Europe. The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea; the Goths spoke one of the extinct East Germanic languages. In the Gothic language of Ostrogothic Italy they were called the Gut-þiuda, most translated as "Gothic people", but only attested as dative singular Gut-þiudai. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, in Greek as the Γότθοι, Gótthoi; the Goths have been referred to by many names at least in part because they comprised many separate ethnic groups, but because in early accounts of Indo-European and Germanic migrations in the Migration Period in general it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group.
The Goths believed that the various names all derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym that referred to a uniform culture that flourished around the middle of the first millennium BC, i.e. the original Goths. The exact origin of the ancient Goths remains unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited; the traditional account of the Goths' early history depends on the Ostrogoth Jordanes' Getica written c. 551 AD. Jordanes states that the earliest migrating Goths sailed from what is now Sweden to what is now Poland. If this is accurate they may have been the people responsible for the Wielbark archaeological complex. Modern academics have abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area. Archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a massive migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts.
However, the archaeological record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable, Jordanes' story was based on an oral tradition with some basis in fact. Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples may have migrated from Scandinavia to Gothiscandza, in present-day Poland. Early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, there is no archaeological evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia and they may have originated in continental Europe. Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads; the first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The application of that designation to the Goths appears to be not ethnological but rather geographical and cultural - Greeks regarded both the ethnic Scythians and the Goths as barbarians.
The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture in the 1st century AD, when a Scandinavian settlement developed in a buffer zone between the Oksywie culture and the Przeworsk culture; the culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age. In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and today's northern Poland from c. 1300 BC and onwards was so considerable that some see the culture of the region as part of the Nordic Bronze Age culture. In Eastern Europe the Goths formed part of the Chernyakhov culture of the 2nd to 5th centuries AD. Around 160 AD, in Central Europe, the first movements of the Migration Period were occurring, as Germanic tribes began moving south-east from their ancestral lands at the mouth of River Vistula, putting pressure on the Germanic tribes from the north and east.
As a result, in episodes of Gothic and Vandal warfare Germanic tribes crossed either the lower Danube or the Black Sea, led to the Marcomannic Wars, which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of what is now Italy in the Roman Empire period. It has been suggested. Goths served in the Roman military and played a limited role, e.g. Gainas. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, as Boradoi by Gregory Thaumaturgus; the first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, in which the Roman Emperor Decius was killed. At the time, there were at least two groups of Goths: the Greuthungs. Goths were subsequently recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars, notably participating at the Battle of Misiche in 242; the Moesogoths settled in Moesia. The first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years 255-257.
An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the second year by another, which sacked Pityus and Trabzon and ravaged large areas in th
The Funnelbeaker culture, in short TRB or TBK was an archaeological culture in north-central Europe. It developed as a technological merger of local neolithic and mesolithic techno-complexes between the lower Elbe and middle Vistula rivers, introducing farming and husbandry as a major source of food to the pottery-using hunter-gatherers north of this line, it was preceded by Lengyel-influenced Stroke-ornamented ware culture groups/Late Lengyel and Baden-Boleráz in the southeast, Rössen groups in the southwest and the Ertebølle-Ellerbek groups in the north. The TRB techno-complex is divided into a northern group including modern northern Germany and southern Scandinavia, a western group in the Netherlands between the Zuiderzee and lower Elbe that originated in the Swifterbant culture, an eastern group centered on the Vistula catchment ranging from Oder to Bug, south-central groups around the middle and upper Elbe and Saale. In the southern and eastern groups, local sequences of variants emerged.
In the late 4th millennium BC, the Globular Amphora culture replaced most of the eastern and subsequently the southern TRB groups, reducing the TRB area to modern northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. The younger TRB in these areas was superseded by the Single Grave culture at about 2800 BC; the north-central European megaliths were built during the TRB era. The Funnelbeaker culture is named for its characteristic ceramics and amphorae with funnel-shaped tops, which were found in dolmen burials; the TRB ranges from the Elbe catchment in Germany and Bohemia with a western extension into the Netherlands, to southern Scandinavia in the north and to the Vistula catchment in today's Poland in the east. Variants of the Funnelbeaker culture in or near the Elbe catchment area include the Tiefstich pottery group in northern Germany as well as the cultures of the Baalberge group, the Salzmünde and Walternienburg and Bernburg whose centres were in Saxony-Anhalt. With the exception of some inland settlements such as Alvastra pile-dwelling, the settlements are located near those of the previous Ertebølle culture on the coast.
It was characterised by single-family daubed houses c. 12 m x 6 m. It was dominated by animal husbandry of sheep, cattle and goats, but there was hunting and fishing. One find assigned to the Funnelbeaker culture is the Bronocice pot from Poland, which shows the oldest known depiction of a wagon drawn by aurochs whose remains were found with the pot. Primitive wheat and barley was grown on small patches that were fast depleted, due to which the population moved small distances. There was mining and collection of flintstone, traded into regions lacking the stone, such as the Scandinavian hinterland; the culture used copper from Silesia daggers and axes. The houses were centered on a symbol of social cohesion. Burial practices were changed over time. Inhumation seems to have been the rule; the oldest graves consisted of wooden chambered cairns inside long barrows, but were made in the form of passage graves and dolmens. The structures were covered with a mound of earth and the entrance was blocked by a stone.
The Funnelbeaker culture marks the appearance of megalithic tombs at the coasts of the Baltic and of the North sea, an example of which are the Sieben Steinhäuser in northern Germany. The megalithic structures of Ireland and Portugal are somewhat older and have been connected to earlier archeological cultures of those areas. At graves, the people sacrificed ceramic vessels that contained food along with amber jewelry and flint-axes. Flint-axes and vessels were deposed in streams and lakes near the farmlands, all Sweden's 10,000 flint axes that have been found from this culture were sacrificed in water, they constructed large cult centres surrounded by pales and moats. The largest one is found at Sarup on Fyn, it is estimated to have taken 8000 workdays. Another cult centre at Stävie near Lund comprises 30,000 m2. In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, the culture is seen as non-Indo-European, representing a culture of Neolithic origin, as opposed to the Indo-European-language-speaking peoples who intruded from the east.
Marija Gimbutas postulated that the political relationship between the aboriginal and intrusive cultures resulted in quick and smooth cultural morphosis into the Corded Ware culture. By contrast a number of other archaeologists in the past have proposed that the Corded Ware culture was a purely local development from Funnel Beaker, thus the question of continuity versus migration at the cusp of the cultural change was of interest to geneticists specialising in ancient DNA. A sample of Corded Ware people from Germany has been modelled as three-quarters Yamnaya, clear evidence of migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. Ancient DNA extracted from three individuals ascribed to a TRB horizon in Gökhem, were found to possess mtDNA haplogroups H, J, T, it has been suggested that the Funnelbeaker culture was the origin of the gene allowing adults of Northern European descent to digest lactose. It was claimed that in the area inhabited by this culture, prevalence of the gene is u
Nordic Bronze Age
The Nordic Bronze Age is a period of Scandinavian prehistory from c. 1700–500 BC. The Bronze Age culture of this era succeeded the Nordic Stone Age culture and was followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age; the archaeological legacy of the Nordic Bronze Age culture is rich, but the ethnic and linguistic affinities of it are unknown, in the absence of written sources. Some scholars include sites in what is now Finland, northern Germany and Pomerania, as part of its cultural sphere. Settlement in the Scandinavian Bronze Age period consisted of single farmsteads, with no towns or substantial villages known - farmsteads consisted of a longhouse plus additional four-post built structures - longhouses were two aisled, after c.1300 BCE three aisled structure became normal. Evidence of multiple longhouses at a single site have been found, but they are thought to date to different periods, rather than being of the same date. Settlements were geographically located on higher ground, tended to be concentrated near the sea.
Associated with settlements were burial mounds and cemeteries, with interments including oak coffins and urn burials. Both agriculture and keeping of domesticated animals were practiced, fishing and shellfish were sources of food, as well as deer and other wild animal hunting. There is evidence that oxen were used as draught animals, domesticated dogs were common, horses were rarer and status symbols. Though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures late through trade, Scandinavian sites present a rich and well-preserved legacy of bronze and gold objects; these valuable metals were all imported from Central Europe, but they were crafted locally and the craftsmanship and metallurgy of the Nordic Bronze Age was of a high standard. The archaeological legacy comprise locally of crafted wool and wooden objects and there are many tumuli and rock carving sites from this period, but no written language existed in the Nordic countries during the Bronze Age; the rock carvings have been dated through comparison with depicted artifacts, for example bronze axes and swords.
There are numerous Nordic Stone Age rock carvings, those of northern Scandinavia portray elk. Thousands of rock carvings from this period depict ships, the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships, suggest that ships and seafaring played an important role in the culture at large; the depicted ships, most represents sewn plank built canoes used for warfare and trade. These ship types may have their origin as far back as the neolithic period and they continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as exemplified by the Hjortspring boat. 3,600-year old bronze axes and other tools made from Cypriot copper have been found in the region. Oscar Montelius, who coined the term used for the period, divided it into six distinct sub-periods in his piece Om tidsbestämning inom bronsåldern med särskilt avseende på Skandinavien published in 1885, still in wide use, his absolute chronology has held up well against radiocarbon dating, with the exception that the period's start is closer to 1700 BC than 1800 BC, as Montelius suggested.
For Central Europe a different system developed by Paul Reinecke is used, as each area has its own artifact types and archaeological periods. A broader subdivision is the Early Bronze Age, between 1700 BC and 1100 BC, the Late Bronze Age, 1100 BC to 550 BC; these divisions and periods are followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The Nordic Bronze Age was characterized by a warm climate that began with a climate change around 2700 BC; the climate was comparable to that of present-day central Germany and northern France and permitted a dense population and good opportunities for farming. A minor change in climate occurred between 850 BC and 760 BC, introducing a wetter, colder climate and a more radical climate change began around 650 BC. There is no coherent knowledge about the Nordic Bronze Age religion. Written sources are lacking, but archaeological finds draw a vague and fragmented picture of the religious practices and the nature of the religion of this period. Only some possible sects and only certain possible tribes are known.
Some of the best clues come from tumuli, elaborate artifacts, votive offerings and rock carvings scattered across Northern Europe. Many finds indicate a strong sun-worshipping cult in the Nordic Bronze Age and various animals have been associated with the sun's movement across the sky, including horses, birds and marine creatures. A female or mother goddess is believed to have been worshipped. Hieros gamos rites may have been common and there have been several finds of fertility symbols. A pair of twin gods are believed to have been worshipped, is reflected in a duality in all things sacred: where sacrificial artifacts have been buried they are found in pairs. Sacrifices had a strong connection to bodies of water. Boglands, streams or lakes were used as ceremonial and holy places for sacrifices and many artifacts have been found in such locations. Ritual instruments such as bronze lurs have been uncovered in the region of Denmark and western Sweden. Lur horns are depicted in several rock carvings and are believed to have been used in ceremonies.
Remnants of the
The Oksywie culture was an archaeological culture that existed in the area of modern-day Eastern Pomerania around the lower Vistula river from the 2nd century BC to the early 1st century AD. It is named after the village of Oksywie, now part of the city of Gdynia in northern Poland, where the first archaeological finds typical of this culture were discovered. Archaeological research during the past recent decades near Pomerania in Poland suggests that the transition of the local component of the Pomeranian culture into the Oksywie culture occurred in the 2nd century BC. A connection with the Rugii has been suggested. Like other cultures of this period, the Oksywie culture related to La Tène cultural characteristics, possessed traits shown from the Baltic cultures. Oksywie culture's ceramics and burial customs indicate strong ties with the Przeworsk culture. Men only had their ashes placed in well made black urns with fine finish and a decorative band around, their graves were supplied with practical items for the afterlife such as weapons.
Buried with the man, this culture would place swords with one-sided edge, the graves were covered or marked by stones. Women's ashes were supplied with feminine items. Oxhöftkultur Andrzej Kokowski "Archäologie der Goten" 1999 Marija Gimbutas. "The Bronze and the Early Iron Age of the Eastern Balts
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the prehistoric people of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction. Knowledge of them comes chiefly from that reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics; the Proto-Indo-Europeans lived during the late Neolithic, or the 4th millennium BC. Mainstream scholarship places them in the Pontic–Caspian steppe zone in Eastern Europe; some archaeologists would extend the time depth of PIE to the middle Neolithic or the early Neolithic, suggest alternative location hypotheses. By the early second millennium BC, offshoots of the Proto-Indo-Europeans had reached far and wide across Eurasia, including Anatolia, the Aegean, the north of Europe, the edges of Central Asia, southern Siberia. Using linguistic reconstruction, hypothetical features of the Proto-Indo-European language are deduced. Assuming that these linguistic features reflect culture and environment of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, the following cultural and environmental traits are proposed: pastoralism, including domesticated cattle and dogs agriculture and cereal cultivation, including technology ascribed to late-Neolithic farming communities, e.g. the plow a climate with winter snow transportation by or across water the solid wheel, used for wagons, but not yet chariots with spoked wheels worship of a sky god, *Dyḗus Ph2tḗr, vocative *dyeu ph2ter oral heroic poetry or song lyrics that used stock phrases such as imperishable fame and wine-dark sea a patrilineal kinship-system based on relationships between menThe Proto-Indo-Europeans had domesticated horses – *eḱwos.
The cow played a central role, in mythology as well as in daily life. A man's wealth would have been measured by the number of his animals, *peḱu; as for technology, reconstruction indicates a culture of the late Neolithic bordering on the early Bronze Age, with tools and weapons likely composed of "natural bronze". Silver and gold were known. Sheep were kept for wool, textiles were woven. Burials in barrows or tomb chambers apply to the Kurgan culture, in accordance with the original version of the Kurgan hypothesis, but not to the previous Sredny Stog culture, generally associated with PIE. Important leaders would have been buried with their belongings in kurgans. Many Indo-European societies know a threefold division of priests, a warrior class, a class of peasants or husbandmen. Georges Dumézil has suggested such a division for Proto-Indo-European society. If there was a separate class of warriors, traces of initiation rites in several Indo-European societies suggest that this group would have identified with wolves.
Researchers have made many attempts to identify particular prehistoric cultures with the Proto-Indo-European-speaking peoples, but all such theories remain speculative. Any attempt to identify an actual people with an unattested language depends on a sound reconstruction of that language that allows identification of cultural concepts and environmental factors associated with particular cultures; the scholars of the 19th century who first tackled the question of the Indo-Europeans' original homeland, had only linguistic evidence. They attempted a rough localization by reconstructing the names of plants and animals as well as the culture and technology; the scholarly opinions became divided between a European hypothesis, positing migration from Europe to Asia, an Asian hypothesis, holding that the migration took place in the opposite direction. In the early 20th century, the question became associated with the expansion of a supposed "Aryan race," a fallacy promoted during the expansion of European empires and the rise of "scientific racism."
The question remains contentious within some flavours of ethnic nationalism. A series of major advances occurred in the 1970s due to the convergence of several factors. First, the radiocarbon dating method had become sufficiently inexpensive to be applied on a mass scale. Through dendrochronology, pre-historians could calibrate radiocarbon dates to a much higher degree of accuracy, and before the 1970s, parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia had been off limits to Western scholars, while non-Western archaeologists did not have access to publication in Western peer-reviewed journals. The pioneering work of Marija Gimbutas, assisted by Colin Renfrew, at least addressed this problem by organizing expeditions and arranging for more academic collaboration between Western and non-Western scholars; the Kurgan hypothesis, as of 2017 the most held theory, depends on linguistic and archaeological evidence, but is not universally accepted. It suggests PIE origin in the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the Chalcolithic.
A minority of scholars prefer the Anatolian hypothesis, suggesting an origin in Anatolia d