Early Kurgan expansion

I felt the need to draw and share these maps to illustrate the first stages of the Kurgan (Indoeuropean) expansion. Some other details are added for contextualization.

Before c. 4000 BCE
Stage 1: some pre-IE languages are also indicated:
  • Vasconic is tentatively associated here with Neolithic languages of Thessalian origin (my main working hypothesis). It would at the time be the largest European language family therefore.
  • Uralic should be right north of the early Indoeuropeans, what explains their ancestral Sprachbund.
  • Pelasgian indicates the language of Vinca-Dimini (Grey Ware), which was a limited intrusion c. 5000 BCE with origins related to Tell Halaf most likely.

c. 4000-3500 BCE
Stage 2: main outline of the Indoeuropean expansion. Some other cultures and languages are indicated in gray colors for context. At this point we should have the seeds of:
  1. Anatolian (Maykop)
  2. Tocharian (Afanasevo, in Altai)
  3. Indo-Iranian (Yamna)
  4. Western Indoeuropean (Baalberge): a large subfamily that would give birth to Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Celtic and Italic.
  5. Possible seeds of Tracian, Greek, etc. in the Balcanic Kurgans, an ill-defined group that would nevertheless plunder and radically alter the ethnic geography of the Eastern Balcans (see next map).

c. 3500-3000 BCE
Stage 3:  consolidation. Some notes:
  • The Anatolian branch goes into Asia with the Kura-Araxes culture.
  • The Eastern Balcans are divided between two cultures:
    • Cotofeni, more purely Kurgan and a candidate for Greek origins
    • Ezero, rather Dniepr-Don (→ Sredny-Stog II) cultural inheritance. Surely proto-Thracians and hence a candidate for the origin of Armenian (via Phrygians).
  • Expansion of Yamna (proto-Indo-Iranians) and therefore liquidation of Dniepr-Don Neolithic
  • Consolidation and first expansion of the Western IE branch (Globular Amphorae). It may be important to note that in the Baalberge→→→Globular Amphorae period, this Kurgan culture experimented various influences that may be considered Vasconic: the Danubian substrate, the powerful southern Danubian culture of Baden and the Northernly Funnelbeaker influence, associated to Atlantic Megalithism.

c. 3000-2400 BCE

Stage 4: setting the proto-historical scenario with some further expansions. Most notably:
  • Corded Ware: a major expansion of the Western IE group to the West, East and North.
  • Vucedol: probably associated with the previous, eradicates the Danubian culture in their homeland (only Foltesti in Moldavia would survive for some more time within this important Neolithic macro-culture). Vucedol would be another candidate for Greek origins for their use of the architectural concept of megaron.
  • Catacombs culture's origins are debated but it's clearly Kurgan in any case.
  • Poltavka represents continuity with the seed of the Kurgan/Indoeuropean phenomenon and its later evolution leads directly to Indo-Iranians.
It should be noted that, synchronously with the Corded Ware expansion, the Megalithic bowmen of Artenac culture expanded from Dordogne, subsuming the last Western Danubian groups all the way to Belgium.  This culture was probably proto-Aquitanian.

A whole millennium of stability followed at the new Rhine border, crossed only by the likely traders of the Bell Beaker phenomenon.

Update (Feb 20 2015): please check this study by Will Chang et al.: ANCESTRY-CONSTRAINED PHYLOGENETICANALYSIS SUPPORTS THE INDO-EUROPEAN STEPPE HYPOTHESIS, which provides an approximate chronology that is quite revealing and that largely (although not strictly) fits the previous outlined scheme of archaeological foundations.

Also for those particularly skeptic, taking a look at the genetic evidence outlined in Haak 2015 and discussed HERE may be of use.


  1. False, Globular amphore is not the root of corded ware, the root from corded ware and globular amphore is funnelbeaker.
    Result, corded ware not from easteurope, she is from middle europe.
    Other problem, i cant found a kurgan what is older as 3500 BC, what is the time of tumuli in europe.
    they are better qualificated to build a kurgan as a asian population.
    yamnaja horizont has more european peoples, not asian population.
    forget your kurgan these, search a new these.

    1. Are you talking of pottery shapes? Because funnelbeaker is just that: a pottery style that extends through many different cultures in an area effect radiating from Denmark, where it's associated with Neolithic and Megalithism (this last also in other areas but not at the Elbe-Saale nor further East).

      As for Corded Ware, it is chronologically and culturally derived from Globular Amphorae by all accounts. The main issue, if any, is the presence at an early stage of a Catacomb element in Cujawia (but nowehere else in the cultural area) which may have triggered the cultural change. But otherwise GA → CW is almost linear, site by site.

      And the result is... that Corded Ware is indeed from Central Europe: right where Globular Amphorae existed.

      "Other problem, i cant found a kurgan what is older as 3500 BC"...

      Here Gimbutas explains well why the Khvalynsk culture is at the origin of the Sredny-Stog II intrusive element. Oddly enough it seems one of the best references online other than Wikipedia. What happened to popular education promoted by public universities and all that?! We have to do it all with nearly no resources ourselves.

      "yamnaja horizont has more european peoples, not asian population."

      You look like ranting about a geographic border that does not really exist between Europe and Asia. The fact that you avoid capital letters, proper punctuation and you structure so badly your extremely short dogmatic sentences make me feel you're not serious in your questions, are you? I say because I hate to waste my time.

  2. Indoeuropean scheme is only possible because for decades too much was taught about how foreign, how unlike today the first EEF must had been spoken.
    and no room was given for the basic word-stems in common , ofcourse except some mythical Steppe .
    Like if the Pyrénées are not accessible by horses, the high elevation valleys in Pamir and Hindu Kush are much harder and there´s where the most striking similarities in language are between Asia and Europe ,by the way with less R1 % than the soroundings , so it´s insane to burden the R1 ,brotherly to the paleo-arctic Q, with Indoeuropeanism and to promote as migrant cattle herders from the South.

    Bro, where´s the vasconic substrate - verde comes from berdea and in german Erde is Earth/Sierra basicly the soil which usually is green.
    But come on ,languages are bastardic, some could say that german word Vater is a mix of Far and Ata

    1. EEFs spoke Vasconic, just as Neolithic Indians spoke Dravidic. Indoeuropean only arrived later on, with its origins being in the Volga basin and North Caucasus (Khvalynsk culture). Unlike reflected in my first map, I think possible now that the key element into IE genesis actually arrived from beyond the Caucasus, from the West Asian Neolithic.

      R1 is not directly related to Indoeuropeans: R1a in South Asia is mostly Neolithic, R1b in Western Europe also (probably Chalcolithic but pre-Indoeuropean in any case). Indoeuropeans also carried in many cases these lineages but they do not own them in any exclusive way.

  3. ok, Award Vasconic EEFarming
    and the Gringos,R1 are been collectively dragged into this Indoeuropean construct, with their strangeSpeach were men, like if Iran and Europe have in common just this,
    and the East Asians laughing, they as racial group would not been taught that their lands is not their paleo-,mesolithic homeland

    1. You too are Indoeuropean , since India and Europe and ALL inbetween represent the other population Group in clear contrast to East Asians who stand out, rice domestication isn´t even theirs and in case it was, this population Group ( Yes don´t need DNA-tests to realize there is a related Population ) how much China and Japan oppose, their main Population just filled East and South-east Asia after this crop domesticate -- if they didn´t came as Whalers from Alaska

      and meanwhile in Europe ,the ´Allochtonen´ adopt not just the whole vocabulary but exact accent of their host

    2. Yes ,that East Asians are 0% ANE isn´t contradicting of East Asians and all their isolate language Korean and Japanese coming from Alaska/Aleuts recently as 8000y ago

      EEF were a caucasian Population, caucasian was Europe and Iran back then,
      hence Indoeuropean is appropriate naming ,whatever EEFs may spoke
      WHG + ANE was constructed just to show off Europe as racemixed eversince. These were not Population groups, just admixture from a few linages

    3. Indoeuropean refers to a linguistic family, not to a "race". Haitians are Indoeuropean and black, Basques are white and not Indoeuropean. OK? It is language and culture what makes ethnicity, not skin color (at least not normally).

  4. why should I as a europoid take part in the Aryan - Dravidic debate, who started this all Indoeuropean in the 18xx´s , were excited by the Hindu religion. Just like Gamers, Pokemon and connichi cosplay´er aren´t more related to S.Koreans and Japanese, R1a-european men were not more involved than others in the making of Aryan myth
    but it is the language in Iran , not India, and what´s concerning Russians, tajik is more like dutch or english in some parts of language than russian is.

    1. Russia shouldn´t interpret this Kurgan (Indoeuropean )from its steppe as an award, but what and how it is meant : to contempt , to scare of

      instead focusing on mtdna

  5. mtdna of all those who once had been traffiked through ´its Steppe´,sold and taken away into the deep South


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