The steppe Bronze Age was defined by Soviet archaeologists, who did not look to western Europe for guidance.
Instead, they matched the chronological phases of the Russian and Ukrainian steppes with those of the Caucasus Mountains - part of both the Czarist Russian empire and the Soviet Union.
The Early Bronze Age of the steppes began about 3300 BC, perhaps a thousand years earlier than the Early Bronze Age of Poland and southeastern Europe but about the same time as the Early Bronze Age of Anatolia.
This might seem a trivial matter, but it has hindered communication between western and Russian-Ukrainian archaeologists who study the Bronze Age.
In addition, some influential Soviet and post-Soviet archaeologists were slow to accept the validity of radiocarbon dating, so competing radiocarbon-based and typology-based chronologies have confused outsiders.
Sites: A, Mikhailovka; B, Petrovka; C, Arkhaim; D, Sintashta; E, Botai; F, Namazga; G, Gonur; H, Togolok; I, Dashly Oasis; J, Sapelli; K, Djarkutan; L, Hissar; M, Shahr-i-Sokhta; N, Sibri; O, Shahdad; P, Yahya; Q, Susa.
Cultures: 1, Cucuteni (NWM)-Tripolye; 2, Pit Grave/Catacomb; 3, Sintashta/Arkhaim; 4, Abashevo; 5, Afanasievo; 6, Andronovo; 7, Bactrian Margiana archaeological complex; 8, Indus; 9, Akkadian; 10, Hurrian; 11, Hittite David W. Yamna Culture Sintashta and Arkaim Cultures The Sintashta Culture and Some Questions of Indo-Europeans Origins Andronovo Culture Afanasevo Culture Indus Valley Culture Akkadian Empire Hurrians Hittites Chariot Spread The Eurasian steppe is a sea of varied grasslands extending from Mongolia to the mouth of the Danube, an east-west distance of about 7,000 kilometers.