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8-06-2015, 00:06

The New. Radiocarbon Dates of the Steppe Cultures

Testing of wheeled vehicles from Ukrainian Pit-Grave and Catacomb Culture burials, performed in the radiocarbon laboratory at Belfast, has yielded dates between 2264 ± 25-2083 ± 19 B. c. without calibration (Mallory, Telegin 1994, 30-31). For the burial mounds of the Volga in the laboratories of Arizona and Oxford, the following uncalibrated dates have been obtained: for the Pit-Grave Culture, four dates between 4520 ± 75-4370 ± 75 years ago; for the succeeding Poltavka Culture, 4320 ± 80 and 4070 ± 70 years ago; for the subsequent Timber-Grave Culture, four dates between 3490 ± 70 and 3400 ± 70 years ago. What is fundamentally important is that this newly determined chronology is con-fiimed by the stratigraphy of the burial mounds (Kuznetsov 1996).

In Oxford, for the Novy Kumak horizon of the Volga Region, five uncalibrated dates of 3710 ± 80 years ago have been obtained, and for the Urals (tested in Arizona), four dates from 3740 ± 50 to 3510 + 80 years ago (the dispersion of the latter dates is questionable, for they were determined on the basis of skulls of two horses of the same team from the same complex). To determine the sites’ true dates, the results were subjected to calibration, which yields the Novy Kumak horizon, according to IZ (sigma 1), an age of from the twenty-third to the seventeenth centuries B. C., and according to 2Z (sigma 2), from the twenty-fourth to the twentieth centuries b. c. (N. B. Vinogradov 1995b; Anthony, Vinogradov 1995; Kuznetsov 1996; Trifonov 1996a, b; Bochkarev 1998), though P. F. Kuznetsov (1996, 58) arbitrarily chose average values, assigning the Potapovo stage to the period from the nineteenth to the seventeenth centuries B. C., which is methodologically doubtful.

This brings up a question as to the correlation between the newly determined dates and the dates obtained with the help of other methods as a result of the synchronization with the sites of neighboring regions, such as Western Europe, Southern Asia, and China, with which the Steppe peoples had contact. Each of these regions has its own independent chronological system, and the Eurasian Steppe provides a unique opportunity for the comparison and reciprocal corroboration of the Old World’s three chronological systems.