SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yenisey, Enisei CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: River of Asia, one of the longest rivers on the continent, flowing from south to north across central Russia. The Yenisei valley has yielded much evidence of prehistoric occupation, including more than 50 Palaeolithic sites with radiocarbon dates ranging from c19,000-11,000 BC. Sites include Afontova Gora and Verkholenskaia Gora. The first food production appeared probably in the 3rd millennium BC and a series of Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures are known: Afanasievo, Andronovo, and Karasuk, followed by the Early Nomad period.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Neolithicculture of the Yenisei valley of southern Siberia. The people, who were stock breeders and hunters, probably moved into the area in the late 3rd millennium BC. Excavations uncovered burials under kurgans (low mounds), surrounded by circular stone walls. There was stamped dentatepottery, stone, bone, and bronze tools, and some copper ornaments with the burials. The Afanasievo people were the first food-producers in the area, breeding cattle, horses, and sheep, but also practiced hunting. The Afanasievo were succeeded by the Andronovo culture in the mid-2nd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of southern Siberia, between the Don and Yenisei Rivers, dating to the 2nd millennium BC. The culture was relatively uniform in this large area and agriculture played a large role. Wheat and millet were cultivated and cattle, horses, and sheep bred. The metal-using culture (ores from the Altai), which succeeded the Afansievo, lived in settlements of up to ten large log cabin-like semisubterranean houses. Bowl- and flowerpot-shaped vessels were flat-bottomed, smoothed, and decorated with geometric patterns, triangles, rhombs, and meanders. Burial was in contracted position either in stone cists or enclosures with underground timber chambers. The wooden constructions in rich graves may have designated social differentiation. The Andronovo complex is related to the Timber-Grave (Russian Srubna) group in southern Russia and both are branches of the Indo-Iranian cultural block. The Andronovo were the ancestors of Karasuk nomads who later inhabited the Central Asiatic and Siberian steppes.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Six Upper Palaeolithic sites on the Yenisei River in southern Siberia. Radiocarbon dates put Kokorevo I-IV between 15,900-12940 bp. There are wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, sidescrapers, and retouched blades. Level I is Kokorevoculture, II and III are Afontovaculture. The Kokorevoculture is dated to c 20,000-10,000 BP and included endscrapers.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithicsite on the Uj River near its confluence with the Yenisei in Siberia. The occupations dated from c 19,000-9000 bp. Artifacts include wedge-shaped microcores, sidescrapers, endscrapers, bone points, and an anthropomorphous figurine.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stepperegion on the upper Yenisei River in southern Siberia, surrounded by forested mountains. Very large numbers of burial mounds of different periods exist in the area and some 40,000 bronze objects survive in collections -- presumably only a fraction of the number originally present. There were many mines in the Basin, worked as early as the 14th century BC.