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The author also argues that the tradition of burial mounds did not originated in the Pit-Grave culture from the steppes because new radiocarbon dating seemingly points that the burial mounds from the Maykop culture actually predate those found in the steppes.

Those of Maykop could trace their origins back to the Levant and Mesopotamia, two regions with relatively high levels of R1b, where the oldest subclades of R1b are to be found. Although I had always thought that R1b migrated from the Middle East to the North Caucasus, founded the Maykop culture and spread the Bronze Age to the steppes then to Europe, I had previously assumed too that burial mounds (i.e.

I strongly believe that languages evolve faster when new people are integrated into a linguistic community, bringing their own idioms with them.

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Therefore, today we cannot possibly ascribe the emergence of this kind of burial mounds in the Maikop culture as well as similar contemporaneous sites in the South Caucasus to the influence of the steppe zone cultures.

Moreover, there were no adverse conditions that would have prevented emergence of this type of burial mounds in the Caucasus itself.

Dienekes mentions on his blog a recent paper by Konstantine Pitskhelauri on the settlement of the Caucasus by migrants from the Middle East during the Neolithic period.

The paper brings additional evidence regarding the origins of the Early Bronze Age Maykop culture in Mesopotamia, confirming my theory that R1b people from the Middle East migrated across the Caucasus and established the Maykop culture, before expanding throughout the Pontic-Caspian Steppes and mixing with the indigenous R1a steppe people.

This is well illustrated by the metallurgical items of the Kura-Araxes culture, which is significantly more advanced in comparison with the pre-Aeneolithic culture. According to our data the wave of Uruk migrants moving from the south to the north covered the entire territory of the Caucasus in the 4th millennium B. It seems that at the very outset, they settled all over the South Caucasus, acclimatized to local conditions, assimilated with the local population and jointly continued their customary activity.

Probably in search of predominantly metal works, they gradually got acquainted with the main mountain range of the Caucasus, traversed it to the north Caucasus either through passages across it or along the sea shore strip and spread throughout both its highlands and valleys.

If this new radiocarbon dating is correct, then it would seem that R1b brought both.

In that case, it becomes increasingly likely that the Proto-Indo-European language itself was also brought by the more advanced and dominant partner (R1b), and adopted by the R1a population at the same time as the rest of the cultural package from Maykop.

This was why they assumed that even the magnificent Maikop culture absorbed the technique of building this type of burial mounds as a result of its contacts with the steppe area cultures [81: 75]. On the basis of a whole series of radiocarbon analyses, it has been proved [15; 82] that burial mounds of the ancient pit-grave culture are of a significantly later period in comparison with Maikop archaeological sites.

This allows scholars to assume that the tradition of building this type of burial mounds emerged precisely in the Maikop culture.

" ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Philip L. Kohl in The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia also confirms (see abstract) that the Copper Age in the Caucasus started off spectacularly out of nowhere (meaning that it was brought by immigrants).

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