What is it about?

The paper is about early interactions between the first farmers and the steppe forager-pastoralists of Eneolithic Ukraine. The former (Trypillians) descended from the Neolithic farmers of Europe, who, in turn, descended from the Neolithic farmers of Anatolia, while the latter (Serednii Stih) trace their ancestry from the local Neolithic hunter-gatherer communities and a genetic source yet unknown. Both archaeological groups appeared in Ukraine in the early Eneolithic (ca. 5000-4700 BCE), but the timing and extent of their first interaction is poorly documented.

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Why is it important?

Serednii Stih are considered by archaeologists to be the ancestors of the steppe nomads called the Yamna (Pit Grave), an archaeological group that brought steppe genetic ancestry, as well as Indo-European languages and culture, to Europe in the Early Bronze Age. Part of the Yamna genetic ancestry is derived from Near Eastern/Levantine farmers, but the exact source remains unknown. Trypillia may be a potential source of that ancestry in the Yamna.


Ukrainian archaeologists have long considered that interactions between Trypillia and mobile steppe communities of the Serednii Stih horizon started upon the arrival of Trypillians in Ukraine and led to extensive cultural and, potentially, genetic exchanges between the two groups since early on. The featured study provides evidence, obtained by methods used by natural sciences, to support this archaeological theory.

Alexey Nikitin

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Interactions between Trypillian farmers and North Pontic forager-pastoralists in Eneolithic central Ukraine, PLoS ONE, June 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0285449.
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