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  The spread of herds and horses into the Altai: how livestock and dairying drove social complexity in Mongolia

Ventresca Miller, A. R., Wilkin, S., Hendy, J., Turbat, T., Batsukh, D., Bayarkhuu, N., et al. (2022). The spread of herds and horses into the Altai: how livestock and dairying drove social complexity in Mongolia. PLoS One, 17(5): e0265775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0265775.

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 Creators:
Ventresca Miller, Alicia R.1, Author              
Wilkin, Shevan1, Author              
Hendy, Jessica, Author
Turbat, Tsagaan, Author
Batsukh, Dunburee, Author
Bayarkhuu, Noost, Author
Giscard, Pierre-Henri, Author
Bemmann, Jan, Author
Bayarsaikhan, Jamsranjav1, Author              
Miller, Bryan Kristopher1, Author              
Clark, Julia, Author
Roberts, Patrick1, Author              
Boivin, Nicole1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, Kahlaische Str. 10, 07745 Jena, DE, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Ruminants, Horses, Livestock, Archaeological dating, Archaeology, Diet, Protein extraction, Radioactive carbon dating
 Abstract: The initial movement of herders and livestock into the eastern steppe is of great interest, as this region has long been home to pastoralist groups. Due to a paucity of faunal remains, however, it has been difficult to discern the timing of the adoption of domesticated ruminants and horses into the region, though recent research on ancient dairying has started to shed new light on this history. Here we present proteomic evidence for shifts in dairy consumption in the Altai Mountains, drawing on evidence from sites dating from the Early Bronze to the Late Iron Age. We compare these finds with evidence for the rise of social complexity in western Mongolia, as reflected in material remains signaling population growth, the establishment of structured cemeteries, and the erection of large monuments. Our results suggest that the subsistence basis for the development of complex societies began at the dawn of the Bronze Age, with the adoption of ruminant livestock. Investments in pastoralism intensified over time, enabling a food production system that sustained growing populations. While pronounced social changes and monumental constructions occurred in tandem with the first evidence for horse dairying, ~1350 cal BCE, these shifts were fueled by a long-term economic dependence on ruminant livestock. Therefore, the spread into the Mongolian Altai of herds, and then horses, resulted in immediate dietary changes, with subsequent social and demographic transformations occurring later.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-05-11
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 16
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction
Materials and methods
- Sampling
- Archaeological sites sampled
- Protein extraction
- LC-MS/MS analysis
- Data analysis
Results
- Identified proteins
- EBA dairy results (Afanasievo and Khemceg [Chemurchek] cultures)
- MBA dairy results (Sagsai culture)
- Late Iron Age dairy results (Xiongnu culture)
Discussion and conclusion
- Transitioning to pastoral lifeways
- Early horse dairying and population growth
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265775
Other: shh3219
 Degree: -

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Title: PLoS One
  Abbreviation : PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Affiliations:
Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 17 (5) Sequence Number: e0265775 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850