, one of the most typical spring flowers of the Pontic-Caspian steppe
Pontic-Caspian steppe (sometimes called the "Caspian steppe" or "Pontic steppe") is the steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea (the Pontus Euxinus of antiquity) to the northern area around the Caspian Sea. It extends from Dobruja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, through Moldova and southern and eastern Ukraine, across the Russian Northern Caucasus, the Southern and lower Volga regions to western Kazakhstan, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east, both forming part of the larger Eurasian Steppe. It forms a part of the Palearctic realm and of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.
The area corresponds to
Cimmeria, Scythia, and Sarmatia of classical antiquity. Across several millennia, numerous tribes of nomadic horsemen used the steppe; many of them went on to conquer lands in the settled regions of Europe, Western Asia, and Southern Asia.
Ponto-Caspian region is used in biogeography with reference to the flora and fauna of these steppes, including animals from the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Azov Sea. It used to be thought that this region was the first to domesticate horses, but recent studies have concluded that domestication of horses actually occurred in the far east of Kazakhstan, near Mongolia and Siberia.
According to the most prevalent theory in
Indo-European studies, the Kurgan hypothesis, the Pontic-Caspian steppe was the homeland of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language.   
Geography and ecology
The Pontic-Caspian steppe covers an area of 994,000 square kilometres (384,000 sq mi) of Europe, extending from
Dobrudja in the northeastern corner of Bulgaria and southeastern Romania, across southern Moldova, Ukraine, through Russia and northwestern Kazakhstan to the Ural Mountains. The 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 steppe extends to the Black Sea, except the
Crimean and western 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 region of Russia, but the drier Caspian lowland desert lies between the steppe and the northwestern and northern shores of the Caspian. The Kazakh Steppe bounds the steppe to the east.
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 in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.
Historical peoples and nations
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"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-24 . Retrieved . CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)