There are no man in Ukraine, which would at least once did not see the ancient kurgans. Ukraine can be called a country of kurgans on the right. In addition, it is the richest in Europe for these attractions. Nowadays, because of anthropogenic, catastrophic decreases, Ukraine still has no less than 50 thousand kurgans. Of course, most kurgans that can be often seen are far from being the biggest. Average kurgans` height is 1 – 3 meters. Rarely found kurgans up to 8 – 10 meters.
Ukraine`s Steppe (calm and mysterious, with aromas of herbs, lull eternal as the earth itself and winds) are praised by classics of literature: Gogol and Chekhov, Shevchenko and Bruce. «In the southern steppes each kurgan seems silent monument to poetic being», wrote Ivan Bunin.
Kurgan is the Russian word of Turkic origin for a burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, made of wood. The distribution of such tumuli in Eastern Europe corresponds closely to the area of the Pit Grave or Kurgan culture in South-Eastern Europe.
Kurgan stelae are stone stelae, images cut from stone, installed atop or around kurgans (tumuli), in kurgan cemeteries, or in a double line extending from a kurgan. The stelae are also described as “obelisks”, and those arranged in a double line. Architecturally, they were a system of stone fences, frequently surrounded by a moat, with sacrificial hearths, sometimes tiled on the inside.
The earliest Kurgan sites are in Ukraine and the southern Russia, from which they spread by about 2000 BC to Europe, crossing the Dnieper River. These are the characteristics of the Kurgan people: Kurgan people were an Indo-European culture existing during the fifth, fourth, and third millennia BC; they lived in northern Europe, from Russia across Germany. The Kurgan people left rich treasure-graves containing gold, silver and precious stones.
The Kurgan settlements came in two types. The first is a simple village, usually located on a river terrace. The second type is a hill-fort placed on a steep river bank in a place difficult of access – usually a promontory at the juncture of two rivers.