Yamna package


The 'Yamna package', as defined by Volker Heyd[Harrison and Heyd 2007][Heyd 2007] (combining his own and many other previous works), consists of the following eleven components:

Examples of the 'Yamna package' components
  • The social sphere
    • The round barrow ("tumulus") as a personalised monument, often combined with an anthropomorphic stela reinforcing the personhood of the deceased.
    • Single burial with the deceased lying flexed on its back, often covered in red ochre, and in a deep rectangular pit.
    • Social position and gender are sistematically marked (less so in Bulgaria), with a wooden wagon marking an elevated social position (at the western edge, there is little grave equipment).
    • Craftsmen - especially metalworkers - have a special social status in the north Pontic region.
    • Hoarding metal objects begin again, with shaft-hole axes in the western Yamna area.
  • The technological sphere
    • Re-establishment of metallurgy of gold and copper, following a long decline after 3500 BC. A different 'Caucasian mettalurgy' consisting of smelting, working, and casting in two-piece stone moulds.
    • New weapon designs in copper: the shaft-hole axe and tanged metal dagger.
  • The economic sphere
    • The domesticated horse, important in a dedicated pastoral economy which raises herds of cattle and flocks of sheep for wool.
    • Wooden wagons placed in graves as social markers, the westernmost examples are graves of Placidol in northern Bulgaria.
  • The material sphere
    • The custom of using simple golden, electrum or silver hair rings, a distinctive bone toggle, and decorated bone discs
    • Widespread use of cord decoration on pottery; the common cross-footed bowls, copy models on the eastern Pontic steppes.

These components later evolved in western Europe (in the upper Danube), in combination with the 'Proto-Beaker package', into the classical Bell Beaker culture.