AGRICULTURE IN THE STEPPE ON THE LEFT BANK OF THE DNIPRO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE IInd millennium BC


Keywords: Sabatynivka Culture, Late Bronze Age, animal husbandry, agriculture, steppe, pollen analis, Late Subboreal, climatic humidity.

Abstract

In the middle of the IInd millennium BC, the Sabatynivka Culture spread widely from the Lower Danube and the Lower Transdnistria to the edges of the Azov Upland, the Prysyvashia, and the Northwestern and Eastern Crimea. It occurred under the favorable environment of that time, particularly under the increase in climatic humidity, which is clearly reflected in the pollen data from the cultural layer of the Novokyivka settlement. Dry (Artemisia-Poaceae) steppe that existed in the south of Ukraine at the turn of the III and IInd millennia and at the beginning of the IInd millennium BC were replaced by grassland, and, later, by mesophytic (forbs-grasses) steppes. The area of the Oleshia forests and the proportion of broad-leaved genera in their composition (including mesophilic Carpinus betulus), expanded. Such climatic and landscape conditions might enable the mobile transhumant form of animal husbandry, together with a swidden form of agriculture. The existence of fields of cultivated cereals is indicated by the presence of Cerealia pollen in the cultural layer of the Novokyivka settlement.

The phenomenon of steppe agriculture came to the end approximately in the XIIth BC when the climatic aridity increased. The population of the steppe was forced to change their way of life, vectors of trade relations and even their belief system. The Sabatynivka Culture was replaced by the Belozerka Culture, which was formed under the significant Danube — Transdnistria influence. In the steppe of the left bank of the Dnieper, the possibility for farming has narrowed considerably, all stationary settlements disappeared, and instead fortified settlements appeared in the low reaches of almost all large steppe rivers.

In the historical meaning, the Sabatynivka Culture shared the fate of the Trypillia Culture, whose population, having developed farming and animal husbandry, could not survive the social-economic crisis of the second half of the 4th millennium BC against the background of environmental deterioration.

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Published
2021-09-30
How to Cite
Gershkovych, Y. P., & Gerasymenko, N. P. (2021). AGRICULTURE IN THE STEPPE ON THE LEFT BANK OF THE DNIPRO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE IInd millennium BC. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 39(2), 318-329. Retrieved from https://adiu.com.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/392