The Pontic–Caspian steppe, formed by the Caspian steppe and the Pontic steppe, is the steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea (the Pontus Euxinus of antiquity) to the northern area around the Caspian Sea. It extends from Dobruja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, through Moldova and southern and eastern Ukraine, across the Russian Northern Caucasus, the Southern and lower Volga regions to western Kazakhstan, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east, both forming part of the larger Eurasian Steppe. It forms a part of the Palearctic realm and of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.
|Biome||temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands|
|Area||994,000 km2 (384,000 sq mi)|
The area corresponds to Cimmeria, Scythia, and Sarmatia of classical antiquity. Across several millennia, numerous tribes of nomadic horsemen used the steppe; many of them went on to conquer lands in the settled regions of Europe, Western Asia, and Southern Asia.
The term Ponto-Caspian region is used in biogeography with reference to the flora and fauna of these steppes, including animals from the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Azov Sea. Genetic research has identified this region as the most probable place where horses were first domesticated.
According to the most prevalent theory in Indo-European studies, the Kurgan hypothesis, the Pontic–Caspian steppe was the homeland of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language.
Geography and ecologyEdit
The Pontic-Caspian steppe covers an area of 994,000 square kilometres (384,000 sq mi) of Europe, extending from Dobrudja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, across southern Moldova, Ukraine, through Russia and northwestern Kazakhstan to the Ural Mountains. The steppe is bounded by the East European forest steppe to the north, a transitional zone of mixed grasslands and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests.
To the south, the steppe extends to the Black Sea, except the Crimean and western Caucasus mountains' border with the sea, where the Crimean Submediterranean forest complex defines the southern edge of the steppes. The steppe extends to the western shore of the Caspian Sea in the Dagestan region of Russia, but the drier Caspian lowland desert lies between the steppe and the northwestern and northern shores of the Caspian. The Kazakh Steppe bounds the steppe to the east.
The Ponto-Caspian seas are the remains of the Turgai Sea, an extension of the Paratethys which extended south and east of the Urals and covering much of today's West Siberian Plain in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.
- Linear Pottery culture 5500–4500 BC
- Cucuteni-Trypillian culture 5300–2600 BC
- Khvalynsk culture 5000–3500 BC
- Sredny Stog culture 4500–3500 BC
- Maykop culture 3700–3000 BC
- Yamna/Kurgan culture 3500–2300 BC
- Kura-Araxes culture 3000–2000 BC
- Catacomb culture 3000–2200 BC
- Srubna culture 1600–1200 BC
- Koban culture 1100–400 BC
- Novocherkassk culture 900–650 BC
Historical peoples and nationsEdit
- Indo-Europeans 4th millennium BC – now
- Cimmerians 12th–7th centuries BC
- Dacians and Thracians (Getae) 11th century BC – 3rd century AD
- Scythians 8th–4th centuries BC
- Sarmatians 5th century BC – 5th century AD
- Ostrogoths 3rd–6th centuries
- Huns and Avars 4th–8th centuries
- Bulgars (Onogurs, Proto-Bulgarians), Bulgarians 4th–21st centuries:
- Great Bulgaria 7th century
- First Bulgarian Empire 7th–11th centuries
- Second Bulgarian Empire 12th–15th centuries
- Alans 5th–11th centuries
- Eurasian Avars 6th–8th centuries
- Göktürks 6th–8th centuries
- Sabirs 6th–8th centuries
- Khazars 6th–11th centuries
- Magyar tribes (Hungarians) 7th–9th centuries attested but probably from earlier
- Rus' people, Kievan Rus' 8th–13th centuries
- Pechenegs 8th–11th centuries
- Kipchaks and Cumans 11th–13th centuries
- Mongol Golden Horde 13th–15th centuries
- Cossacks, Kalmyks, Crimean Khanate, Volga Tatars, Nogais and other Turkic states and tribes 15th–18th centuries
- Russian Empire 16th–20th centuries
- Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus 19th–20th centuries
- Soviet Union 20th century
- ^ "Mystery Of Horse Domestication Solved?". sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- ^ David W. Anthony (2010). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1400831104.
- ^ Haak, Wolfgang; Lazaridis, Iosif; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Llamas, Bastien; Brandt, Guido; Nordenfelt, Susanne; Harney, Eadaoin; Stewardson, Kristin; Fu, Qiaomei; Mittnik, Alissa; Bánffy, Eszter; Economou, Christos; Francken, Michael; Friederich, Susanne; Pena, Rafael Garrido; Hallgren, Fredrik; Khartanovich, Valery; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Kunst, Michael; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Meller, Harald; Mochalov, Oleg; Moiseyev, Vayacheslav; Nicklisch, Nicole; Pichler, Sandra L.; Risch, Roberto; Guerra, Manuel A. Rojo; Roth, Christina; Szécsényi-Nagy, Anna; Wahl, Joachim; Meyer, Matthias; Krause, Johannes; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt Werner; Reich, David (10 February 2015). "Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe". bioRxiv. 522 (7555): 207–211. arXiv:1502.02783. Bibcode:2015Natur.522..207H. bioRxiv 10.1101/013433. doi:10.1038/NATURE14317. PMC 5048219. PMID 25731166. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- ^ Allentoft, Morten E.; Sikora, Martin; Sjögren, Karl-Göran; Rasmussen, Simon; Rasmussen, Morten; Stenderup, Jesper; Damgaard, Peter B.; Schroeder, Hannes; Ahlström, Torbjörn; Vinner, Lasse; Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo; Margaryan, Ashot; Higham, Tom; Chivall, David; Lynnerup, Niels; Harvig, Lise; Baron, Justyna; Casa, Philippe Della; Dąbrowski, Paweł; Duffy, Paul R.; Ebel, Alexander V.; Epimakhov, Andrey; Frei, Karin; Furmanek, Mirosław; Gralak, Tomasz; Gromov, Andrey; Gronkiewicz, Stanisław; Grupe, Gisela; Hajdu, Tamás; Jarysz, Radosław (2015). "Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia". Nature. 522 (7555): 167–172. Bibcode:2015Natur.522..167A. doi:10.1038/nature14507. PMID 26062507. S2CID 4399103.
- ^ Mathieson, Iain; Lazaridis, Iosif; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Llamas, Bastien; Pickrell, Joseph; Meller, Harald; Guerra, Manuel A. Rojo; Krause, Johannes; Anthony, David; Brown, Dorcas; Fox, Carles Lalueza; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W.; Haak, Wolfgang; Patterson, Nick; Reich, David (14 March 2015). "Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe". bioRxiv: 016477. doi:10.1101/016477. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via biorxiv.org.
- ^ "Steppe migrant thugs pacified by Stone Age farming women". ScienceDaily. Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen. 4 April 2017.
- ^ "The Proto-Turkic Urheimat and the Early Migrations of Turkic Peoples". Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "Pontic steppe". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- Google maps: Pontic-Caspian steppe