Dereivka, Ukraine

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Settlement and cemetery of Copper Age date on the middle Dnieper. Excavations between 1960 and 1983 directed by D. Y. Telegin revealed an extensive cultural layer dating to 4570–3380 bc comprising a single household unit set with a fenced enclosure bounding three sunken‐floor dwellings, two domestic activity areas, hearths, pits, and a small ritual space within which was a horse‐skull and hooves and the fore‐parts of two dogs. Horse bones were common amongst the faunal assemblage, and it has been suggested that the remains indicate early domestication of the horse for riding. An alternative view is that intensive horse‐hunting across the steppes during the late 5th and early 4th millennium bc provided the context for horse domestication in the late 4th millennium bc.


M. A. Levine, Dereivka and the problem of horse domestication. Antiquity, 64 (1990), 727–40

Subjects: Archaeology.

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