The entire area of Transcaucasia and eastern Anatolia was, in the period beginning in the last quarter of the fourth millennium B.C., inhabited by people who were probably ethnically related and of Hurrian stock. (The Hurrians, a people spread throughout the Near East in the third millennium B.C., spoke a non-European language closely related to what later became Urartian.) The ethnic and cultural unity of these two thousand years is characterized by some scholars as Chalcolithic or Eneolithic. British scholars Charles Burney and David Marshall Lang refer to these years as the period of “Early Transcaucasian Culture,” although some Soviet paleohistorians prefer the term “Kuro-Araxes Culture.” Whatever the label applied, it is clear that during this era economic stability based on cattle and sheep raising was achieved, and as a result there was noticeable cultural stability as well. About 2300 B.C. this unified and flourishing culture went into a gradual decline, and after a period of stagnation it broke up into a number of regional cultures. By 2300 B.C. the peoples of the Kura-Araxes area had already made contact with the more advanced civilization of Akkadian Mesopotamia.