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The chronology of the Andronovo culture

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Chapter Summary

There are three principal methods for determining the absolute chronology of the ancient cultures of the Old World: historical, the Greek Olympiads and bamboo annals and inscriptions on oracle-bones and vessels in China; dendrochronology; and radiocarbon dating. The relative chronology of the Eurasian steppes is determined with the help of stratigraphical data from settlements and cemeteries. Determining the absolute chronology of the steppe is hindered by the following: the steppe population had neither writing nor its own chronological system; the dendrochronological scale for Bronze Age sites has not been completed yet; and the old radiocarbon dates are scattered over too broad a range and, evidently, lack any critical precision. The traditional date of the Chinese complexes, 14th-13th centuries BC, correlates with the traditional Andronovo chronology of the sites of the late Fedorovo type in eastern Kazakhstan and Siberia and the Karasuk culture in the Minusinsk Basin.

Keywords: Andronovo culture; dendrochronology; eastern Kazakhstan; Eurasian steppes; Greek olympiads; historical chronology; Karasuk culture; radiocarbon dating; Siberia



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