Bronze Age Economy and Rituals at Krasnosamarskoe in the Russian Steppes

Author(s): Dorcas Brown; David Anthony

Year: 2017


The final report of the Samara Valley Project (SVP), a U.S.-Russian archaeological investigation conducted between 1995 and 2002 in the Samara Oblast in central Russia, was published in June 2016. The SVP explored the changing organization and subsistence resources of pastoral steppe economies from the Eneolithic (4500BC) through the Late Bronze Age (1900-1200BC) across the steppe and river valley landscape in the middle Volga region.  Particular attention focuses on the role of agriculture during the unusual episode of sedentary, settled pastoralism that spread across the Eurasian steppes with the Srubnaya and Andronovo cultures (1900-1200 BC). Three astonishing discoveries were made by the SVP archaeologists: agriculture played no role in the LBA diet across the region, a surprise given the settled residential pattern; a unique winter ritual was practiced at Krasnosamarskoe involving dog and wolf sacrifices, probably related to male initiation ceremonies; and overlapping spheres of obligation, cooperation, and affiliation operated at different scales to integrate groups defined by politics, economics, and ritual behaviors.

Cite this Record

Bronze Age Economy and Rituals at Krasnosamarskoe in the Russian Steppes. Dorcas Brown, David Anthony. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430440)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15028