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The PONTIC–CASPIAN STEPPE, PONTIC STEPPE or UKRAINIAN STEPPE is the vast steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea (called Euxeinos Pontos in antiquity) as far east as the Caspian Sea , from Moldova
Moldova
and western Ukraine
Ukraine
across the Southern Federal District and the Volga Federal District
Volga Federal District
of Russia
Russia
to western Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
, forming part of the larger Eurasian steppe
Eurasian steppe
, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east. It is a part of the Palearctic temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome .

The area corresponds to Cimmeria , Scythia
Scythia
, and Sarmatia of classical antiquity . Across several millennia the steppe was used by numerous tribes of nomadic horsemen, many of which went on to conquer lands in the settled regions of Europe
Europe
and in western and southern Asia.

The term PONTO-CASPIAN REGION is used in biogeography for plants and animals of these steppes, and animals from the Black, Caspian, and Azov seas. Genetic research has identified this region as the most probable place where horses were first domesticated .

According to the dominant Kurgan hypothesis in Indo-European studies , the Pontic–Caspian steppe
Pontic–Caspian steppe
was the homeland of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language
Proto-Indo-European language
, and these same speakers were the original domesticators of the horse.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography and ecology * 2 Prehistoric cultures * 3 Historical peoples and nations * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

GEOGRAPHY AND ECOLOGY

The Pontic steppe
Pontic steppe
covers an area of 994,000 square kilometres (384,000 sq mi), extending from eastern Romania
Romania
across southern Moldova
Moldova
, Ukraine
Ukraine
, Russia
Russia
and northwestern Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
to the Ural Mountains . The Pontic steppe
Pontic steppe
is bounded by the East European forest-steppe to the north, a transitional zone of mixed grasslands and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests .

To the south, the Pontic steppe
Pontic steppe
extends to the Black Sea, except the Crimean and western Caucasus
Caucasus
mountains' border with the sea, where the Crimean Submediterranean forest complex defines the southern edge of the steppes. The steppe extends to the western shore of the Caspian Sea in the Dagestan
Dagestan
region of Russia, but the drier Caspian lowland desert lies between the Pontic steppe
Pontic steppe
and the northwestern and northern shores of the Caspian. The Kazakh Steppe
Steppe
bounds the Pontic steppe on the southeast.

The Ponto-Caspian seas are the remains of the Turgai Sea , an extension of the Paratethys which extended south and east of the Urals and covering much of today's West Siberian Plain
West Siberian Plain
in the Mesozoic
Mesozoic
and Cenozoic
Cenozoic
.

PREHISTORIC CULTURES

* Linear Pottery culture 5500–4500 BC * Cucuteni-Trypillian culture 5300–2600 BC * Khvalynsk culture
Khvalynsk culture
5000-3500 BC * Sredny Stog culture
Sredny Stog culture
4500–3500 BC * Yamna /Kurgan culture 3500–2300 BC * Catacomb culture 3000–2200 BC * Srubna culture 1600–1200 BC * Novocherkassk culture 900–650 BC

HISTORICAL PEOPLES AND NATIONS

* Cimmerians
Cimmerians
12th–7th centuries BC * Scythians
Scythians
8th–4th centuries BC * Sarmatians
Sarmatians
5th century BC – 5th century AD * Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
3rd–6th centuries * Huns
Huns
and Avars 4th–8th centuries * Bulgars
Bulgars
( Onogurs ) 4th–7th century * Alans
Alans
5th–11th centuries * Eurasian Avars 6th–8th centuries * Göktürks 6th–8th centuries * Sabirs 6th–8th centuries * Khazars
Khazars
6th–11th centuries * Pechenegs
Pechenegs
8th–11th centuries * Kipchaks and Cumans
Cumans
11th–13th centuries * Mongol
Mongol
Golden Horde
Golden Horde
13th–15th centuries * Cossacks
Cossacks
, Kalmyks
Kalmyks
, Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate
, Volga Tatars
Volga Tatars
, Nogais and other Turkic states and tribes 15th–18th centuries * Pontic Greeks
Pontic Greeks
and Caucasus
Caucasus
Greeks 15th–19th centuries * Russian Empire
Russian Empire
18th–20th centuries * Soviet Union
Soviet Union
20th century * Moldova
Moldova
, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
, Russian Federation
Russian Federation
, Ukraine