Re: [tied] Horses and Nomads

From: Mark Odegard
Message: 3062
Date: 2000-08-11

----- Original Message -----
From: Piotr Gasiorowski,
I'd be interested in your opinions.
It seems that we're still very far from understanding the prehistoric cultures of the Pontic steppes.

Yes interesting.
I've read that there is some debate if Sredny Stog should be regarded as a single cultural entity. It's suggested Dereivka is should be seen as an independant phenomenon. The Dereivka stallion deposit has all sorts of problems, radiocarbon giving a date somewhere in the 2000s BCE, which of course is way to late for Sredny Stog.
Finding out where and when the horse was first domesticated is something of a Holy Grail for IE and European Neolithic archaeology. We seem have horseback riding after 3000, and certainly, shortly after this. I suspect the advent and spread of the Corded Ware horizon and domestication and mastery of the horse go hand-in-hand.
Another point. Until the advent of wheeled vehicles, I have difficulty seeing any steppe culture easily spreading out of its own river's catchment. Trade, yes, but nothing massive, and particularly, nothing in the way of substantial linguistic interchange.
With the Dneister, I gather it is a *very* easy walk from a tributary of the D. to one of those of the Tisza (leading to the Danube), and similarly, the headwaters of the Vistula. There is always fresh water nearby. I don't know if there is a similarly easy pedestrian access from the Dneister to the Dneiper.