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  Investigating reindeer pastoralism and exploitation of high mountain zones in northern Mongolia through ice patch archaeology

Taylor, W. T. T., Clark, J. K., Reichhardt, B., Hodgins, G. W. L., Bayarsaikhan, J., Batchuluun, O., et al. (2019). Investigating reindeer pastoralism and exploitation of high mountain zones in northern Mongolia through ice patch archaeology. PLoS One, 14(11): 0224741, pp. 1-14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0224741.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-447C-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-447D-3
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Taylor, William Timothy Treal1, Author              
Clark, Julia K., Author
Reichhardt, Björn2, Author              
Hodgins, Gregory W. L., Author
Bayarsaikhan, Jamsranjav, Author
Batchuluun, Oyundelger, Author
Whitworth, Jocelyn, Author
Nansalmaa, Myagmar, Author
Lee, Craig M., Author
Dixon, E. James, Author
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              
2Kostbare Kulturen, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2591692              

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Free keywords: Reindeer, Archaeology, Mongolia, Melting, Domestic animals, Paleoclimatology, Summer, Climate change
 Abstract: In interior Eurasia, high mountain zones are crucial to pastoral subsistence, providing seasonally productive pastures and abundant wild resources. In some areas of northern Mongolia, mountainous tundra zones also support a low-latitude population of domestic reindeer herders–a lifestyle whose origins are poorly characterized in the archaeological record of early Mongolia. Traditionally, reindeer pastoralists make significant seasonal use of munkh mus (eternal ice) for their domestic herds, using these features to cool heat-stressed animals and provide respite from insect harassment. In recent years, many of these features have begun to melt entirely for the first time, producing urgent threats to traditional management techniques, the viability of summer pastures, and reindeer health. The melting ice is also exposing fragile organic archaeological materials that had previously been contained in the patch. We present the results of horseback survey of ice patches in Baruun Taiga special protected area, providing the first archaeological insights from the region. Results reveal new evidence of historic tool production and wild resource use for fishing or other activities, and indicate that ice patches are likely to contain one of the few material records of premodern domestic reindeer use in Mongolia and lower Central Asia. The area’s ancient ice appears to be rapidly melting due to changing climate and warming summer temperatures, putting both cultural heritage and traditional reindeer herding at extreme risk in the years to come.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-11-20
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224741
Other: shh2466
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 14 (11) Sequence Number: 0224741 Start / End Page: 1 - 14 Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850