Distribution of the Donetsk Type Beakers Among the Ingul Catacomb Culture Burials

Keywords: Inhul Catacomb culture, Donetsk Catacomb culture, middle Bronze Age, pottery, beakers, import, migration

Abstract

The prominent pottery type of the Catacomb cultures of the northern Pontic steppe in 2500—2300 BC are the beakers of the Donetsk type. Donetsk beakers can be described as globular vessels with straight neck and articulated foot. Beaker’s body is often decorated with impressions of braid that form circles or a garland. Though the majority of Donetsk beakers originate from the burials of Donetsk Catacomb culture of the Seversky Donets basin, several beakers were found to the west from the Donetsk culture area. Currently, 14 Donetsk beakers coming from the Inhul Catacomb culture are known.

Mapping of the Donetsk beakers found in the burials of the Inhul Catacomb culture indicates the distribution of the Eastern vessels among all local groups of the Inhul culture such as Molochansk, the North-Crimea, the Oril-Samara, the Southern and Northern Inhul and Kryvyi Rih territorial areas. As an exception can be named the Dniester-Southern Bug group. The latter is often described in historiography as an inclusion from outer influences during the second half of the 3rd millennia and the study of beakers is supported by such a conclusion. Mapping also reveals the concentration of Donetsk beakers near Kryvyi Rih copper ore basin, which had been exploited since the second half of the 4th millennia BC. It may be assumed that the appearance of Donetsk beakers represents the migration of Donetsk culture’s metallurgists who were searching for the new sources of raw materials.

The distribution of the Donetsk Catacomb culture burials, as well as Donetsk beakers, allows reconstructing two routs of migration of the Donetsk people. Some of them could have come from the South, the North-Eastern Azov region. Others could have come from the North, the territory of the Left-bank Ukraine Forest-Steppe. Distribution areas of the Donetsk and Inhul cultures collide on the line Poltava-Lozova which is attested by the materials of Storozhove, Ternivka and Petrivka burial mound.

Thus, numerous examples of Donetsk beakers found inside the burials of the Inhul Catacomb culture indicate a long-running migration of the Donetsk people from the Sevesky Donets basin to the Ukrainian Right-bank steppe during the period from 2500 to 2300 BC.

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Published
2020-12-14
Section
Publication of Archaeological Material