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  An imagined past?: Nomadic narratives in Central Asian archaeology

Spengler, R. N., Ventresca Miller, A. R., Schmaus, T., Matuzevičiūtė, G. M., Miller, B. K., Wilkin, S., et al. (2021). An imagined past?: Nomadic narratives in Central Asian archaeology. Current Anthropology, 62(3): 714245, pp. 251-286. doi:10.1086/714245.

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 Creators:
Spengler, Robert N.1, Author              
Ventresca Miller, Alicia R.1, Author              
Schmaus, Tekla, Author
Matuzevičiūtė, Giedrė Motuzaitė, Author
Miller, Bryan K., Author
Wilkin, Shevan1, Author              
Taylor, William Timothy Treal, Author
Li, Yuqi, Author
Roberts, Patrick1, Author              
Boivin, Nicole1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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 Abstract: Nomads, or highly specialized mobile pastoralists, are prominent features in Central Asian archaeology, and they are often depicted in direct conflict with neighboring sedentary peoples. However, new archaeological findings are showing that the people who many scholars have called nomads engaged in a mixed economic system of farming and herding. Additionally, not all of these peoples were as mobile as previously assumed, and current data suggest that a portion of these purported mobile populations remained sedentary for much or all of the year, with localized ecological factors directing economic choices. In this article, we pull together nine complementary lines of evidence from the second through the first millennia BC to illustrate that in eastern Central Asia, a complex economy existed. While many scholars working in Eurasian archaeology now acknowledge how dynamic paleoeconomies were, broader arguments are still tied into assumptions regarding specialized economies. The formation of empires or polities, changes in social orders, greater political hierarchy, craft specialization?notably, advanced metallurgy?mobility and migration, social relations, and exchange have all been central to the often circular arguments made concerning so-called nomads in ancient Central Asia. The new interpretations of mixed and complex economies more effectively situate Central Asia into a broader global study of food production and social complexity.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-05-102021-06
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 36
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: - Geographic Focus of This Discussion
- The Nomadic Bias
Macrobotanical Data
Microbotanical Data
Isotope Studies
Ethnographic and Ethnohistoric Analogies
Sedentary Occupation Structures
- Villages and Fortified Sites
- Farmsteads (Homesteads)
Material Culture Evidence for Economy
Nonportable Material Culture
Zooarchaeology
Written Sources
Discussion
- Two Millennia of Political Agendas
- Arguments Used to Support Nomadic Models
Conclusion
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1086/714245
Other: shh2930
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Title: Current Anthropology
  Other : Curr. Anthropol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : University of Chicago Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 62 (3) Sequence Number: 714245 Start / End Page: 251 - 286 Identifier: ISSN: 0011-3204
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/110975500577345