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The Pontic–Caspian steppe, Pontic steppe, or Ukrainian steppe is the vast steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea (called Euxeinos Pontos [Εὔξεινος Πόντος] in antiquity) as far east as the Caspian Sea, from Dobruja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, through Moldova and eastern Ukraine across Russian Northern Caucasus, Southern and lower Volga regions to western Kazakhstan, forming part of the larger Eurasian steppe, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east. It is a part of the Palearctic temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.

Pontic–Caspian steppe
Обитатели Азово-Сивашского заповедника на Бирючем острове.jpg
The steppe in Azov-Syvash National Nature Park, Ukraine, with reintroduced horses.
Ecoregion PA0814.svg
The steppe extends roughly from the Dniepr River to the Ural River
Ecology
RealmPalearctic
BiomeTemperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Geography
Area994,000 km2 (384,000 sq mi)
Streltsovskaya Steppe, a preserved area in Milove Raion in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine. The steppe is often dominated by plumes of Stipa in early summer.
Tulipa suaveolens is one of the most typical spring flowers of the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

The area corresponds to Cimmeria, Scythia, and Sarmatia of classical antiquity. Across several millennia the steppe was used by numerous tribes of nomadic horsemen, many of which went on to conquer lands in the settled regions of Europe and in western and southern Asia.

The term Ponto-Caspian region is used in biogeography for plants and animals of these steppes, and animals from the Black, Caspian, and Azov seas. Genetic research has identified this region as the most probable place where horses were first domesticated.[1]

According to a theory, called Kurgan hypothesis in Indo-European studies, the Pontic–Caspian steppe was the homeland of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language.[2][3][4][5]

Geography and ecologyEdit

The Pontic 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 to northwestern Kazakhstan to the Ural Mountains. The Pontic 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 Pontic 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 Pontic steppe and the northwestern and northern shores of the Caspian. The Kazakh Steppe bounds the Pontic 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.

Prehistoric culturesEdit

Historical peoples and nationsEdit


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mystery Of Horse Domestication Solved?". sciencedaily.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ David W. Anthony (2010-07-26). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400831104.
  3. ^ 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: 013433. arXiv:1502.02783. doi:10.1101/013433. Retrieved 3 April 2018 – via biorxiv.org.
  4. ^ 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; et al. (2015). "Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia". Nature. 522 (7555): 167–172. doi:10.1038/nature14507. PMID 26062507.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2013-12-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit