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Other research product . 2022

Honour among thieves : A Sociocultural Approach to the Mentalities of Yamnaya Horizon and Beyond

Kuljukka, Tomi;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2022
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Country: Finland

In this thesis, I attempt to answer the question of whether it is possible to reflect the modern psychological theory of culture of honour to the Late Copper/ Early Bronze Age period of the Eurasian steppe zone. Furthermore, how does this affect social structure and can archaeological evidence prove it. To study culture of honour, Indo-European sources and ethnographic research on mobile pastoralism are also examined. Through a sociocultural approach, this thesis strives to reconstruct the sociocultural background and changes originating from the Yamnaya. In this approach, theories from anthropology, ethnography, sociology, social psychology, and science of religion interact. Furthermore, sources associated with early Indo-European culture (e.g., social structure and mythology) are included. Essentially, this study aims to link the Yamnaya culture with the sociocultural theory of culture of honor. A focus of this thesis is the study of anthropomorphic stone stelae associated with the Yamnaya and adjacent cultures. The area where the stelae have been found consists of the modern countries of Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, North Macedonia and Russia. Moreover, general knowledge about grave goods, burial rituals, osteological and genetic materials contribute to the overall reconstruction and interpretation process. A comprehensive outline of Yamnaya's ideological, social, and behavioral aspects is attempted through the use of comparative methodology. In order to accomplish this, the archaeological materials and their symbolic meaning are interpreted using the theoretical frameworks provided and compared to later Indo-European traditions and ethnographic studies on mobile pastoralism. Using theoretical frameworks and comparative method, this thesis demonstrates that the sociocultural theory of culture of honor can be reflected in archaeological materials. The reflections of sociocultural behaviour can be argued to be present in burial rituals, grave goods, osteological, genetic and most of all in the anthropomorphic stone stelae.


yamnaya, bronze age, culture of honour, sociocultural, proto-indo-european, sociology, social psychology, stone stele, burial rituals, kóryos, warrior, pastoralism, archaeogenetics, mythology, Arkeologia, Archaeology, Arkeologi, Kulttuuriperinnön maisteriohjelma, Master's Programme in Cultural Heritage, Magisterprogrammet i kulturarv

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