North-Western Pontic Region and Troy: Probability of a Contact in the Early Bronze Age

  • Svetlana V. Ivanova Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: Usatovо culture, Budzhak culture, Anatolia, silver mines, copper mines.

Abstract

Early Bronze Age of the North-Western Black Sea Region is represented by the Usatovo and Budzhak/Yamna cultures. Advancement of the steppe population to the west is traditionally associated with Yamna culture. The barrows with Yamna graves are known in the Balkan-Carpathian area. The connections of the steppe population with the West Asia turned out to be more problematic.

Still 30 years ago archaeologists had no doubt that the daggers with arsenic coating, found in the Usatovo assemblages, have the Anatolia origin. The introduction of calibrated dates led to a chronological imbalance — the Usatovo culture turned out to be older than the Anatolian type daggers.

Usatovo and Budzhak cultures stand out against the synchronous cultures of the steppe by the number of silver artifacts. The silver jewellery which are common on Balkans most often is associated with the appearing of Yamna culture. However, the origin of silver is not exactly determined. It is quite possible to obtain the silver from the mines of Transylvania or other European territories (Central Europe, Greece). But probably one of the sources could be the mines of Anatolia.

Recently in Balkan-Danube region the pre-Yamna burials (Late Eneolithic), and assemblages with the features of Usatovo culture were identified. Thus we can talk about the earlier time of migration. At the same time, the researchers indicate the reciprocal relations of Thrace and Anatolia population. The sites containing a lot of gold and silver jewellery with Anatolian impact are known. Probably, the population of Usatovo and Yamna cultures also had access to Anatolian mines, most likely, due to their connections with Balkan cultures of the Early Bronze Age.

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