Dereivka (Ukrainian: Деріївка, Russian: Дериевка) is
an archaeological site located in the village of the same name in
Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine, on the right bank of the Dneiper. The site
dates to ca. 4500—3500 BC and is associated with the Sredny Stog
This site is known primarily as a probable site of early horse
domestication due to a high percentage of horse bones found at the
site. A horse burial with bit wear and cheek pieces was long
considered evidence for horseback-riding at an early date, but in 1997
radiocarbon dates showed that the burial was intrusive, the horse
having died circa 700-200 BC, thereby re-opening the question of when
horseback-riding was invented.
Of interest is some apparently equivocal evidence for fenced houses.
Two cemeteries are associated, one from the earlier (neolithic)
Dnieper-Donets culture and one from the aforementioned Sredny Stog
culture, of the Copper Age. The habitation site included three
dwellings and six hearths, each containing hundreds of animal bones.
Of all the bones, approximately 75% came from horses, possibly
exploited by the inhabitants only as food staple.
As a part of the Sredny Stog complex, it is considered to be very
early Indo-European, and probably, Proto-Indo-European, within the
traditional context of the
Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas,
though Sredny Stog is itself pre-kurgan as to burial rite.
Domestication of the horse
^ Drews, Early Riders, page15
J. P. Mallory, "Dereivka", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture,
Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
Robert Drews, Early Riders. The Beginning of Mounted Warfare in Asia
and Europe, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York and L