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yamna Culture

Yamna culture horses kurhan kurgan ochre kernosovskij idol indo-european

This culture existed from 3300 BC to 2600 BC. It covered the territory of modern day southern Moldova, southern and eastern Ukraine, steppes of south-western Russia and western Kazakhstan.

Yamna population was overwhelmingly brown-eyed, dark-haired and had a skin colour that was moderately light.

The culture was predominantly nomadic, with some agriculture practiced near rivers and a few hillforts. Wheeled carts were used.

Near the Ukrainian village Kernosivka there was a stone idol found from around 3000 BC.


💀 They buried their dead in a single grave in a form of a kurgan (tumulus) and the body of the deceased was covered with ochre. Animals sacrificed as grave offerings were: 🐄 cattle,🐑 🐏 sheep,🐐 goats and 🐎 horses. 💀


This culture is the source of R1a and R1b Y-DNA haplogroups in Europe and South Asia. R1b was the most common haplogroup among Yamna Culture males.

In its western range, it was succeeded by the Catacomb Culture (2800 – 2200 BC) and in the east by the Poltavka Culture (2700 – 2100 BC) at the middle Volga. These two cultures were followed by the Srubna Culture (1800 – 1200 BC).

In the Baltic Sea region the passage from a hunter-gatherer economy to a farming based economy coincided with the arrival of individuals with Yamna ancestry. This is different from what happened in Western and Southern Europe, where the Neolithic transition was caused by a population which came from the Near East, with Pontic steppe ancestry only being detected from the late Neolithic onward.

The Yamna contribution in the modern populations of Eastern Europe ranges from 46.8% to 64.9% among Russians to 42.8% in Ukrainians. Finland has one of the highest Yamna contributions in all of Europe ranging from 50.4% to 67.8%.


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