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Hinterlands, Urban Centers, and Mobile Settings: The "New" Old World Archaeology from the Eurasian Steppe

Hinterlands, Urban Centers, and Mobile Settings: The "New" Old World Archaeology from the... Archaeological studies of pastoral nomadic societies have been invigorated by recent collaborative research projects across the Eurasian steppe zone. This research contributes an important comparative perspective on processes of complex sociopolitical organization practiced among mobile groups. This essay employs a novel approach to understanding the organizational techniques and methods of finance that supported large-scale imperial polities of eastern Eurasia, specifically those centered on the Mongolian steppe. Using full-coverage survey data from the northern Mongolian valley of Egiin Gol, we present the results of diachronic spatial and environmental analyses in order to evaluate current models for nomadic political economy. We argue that eastern Eurasian subsistence economics are best understood not as a single ''type'' of production but as a productive process based on multiresource capacities (agro-pastoral, hunting, gathering, fishing) and the flexibility to readily adjust resource emphasis, degree of mobility, and specialization relative to a changeable environment. We o¤er a revised model for eastern steppe political integration emphasizing the spatial management of political relationships within a mobile setting. Our essay concludes with a brief overview of the potential for Eurasian steppe archaeology to contribute novel comparative insights for anthropologists studying the diversities and commonalities of complex social organization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Perspectives University of Hawai'I Press

Hinterlands, Urban Centers, and Mobile Settings: The "New" Old World Archaeology from the Eurasian Steppe

Asian Perspectives , Volume 46 (1) – Mar 19, 2007

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1535-8283
Publisher site
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Abstract

Archaeological studies of pastoral nomadic societies have been invigorated by recent collaborative research projects across the Eurasian steppe zone. This research contributes an important comparative perspective on processes of complex sociopolitical organization practiced among mobile groups. This essay employs a novel approach to understanding the organizational techniques and methods of finance that supported large-scale imperial polities of eastern Eurasia, specifically those centered on the Mongolian steppe. Using full-coverage survey data from the northern Mongolian valley of Egiin Gol, we present the results of diachronic spatial and environmental analyses in order to evaluate current models for nomadic political economy. We argue that eastern Eurasian subsistence economics are best understood not as a single ''type'' of production but as a productive process based on multiresource capacities (agro-pastoral, hunting, gathering, fishing) and the flexibility to readily adjust resource emphasis, degree of mobility, and specialization relative to a changeable environment. We o¤er a revised model for eastern steppe political integration emphasizing the spatial management of political relationships within a mobile setting. Our essay concludes with a brief overview of the potential for Eurasian steppe archaeology to contribute novel comparative insights for anthropologists studying the diversities and commonalities of complex social organization.

Journal

Asian PerspectivesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 19, 2007

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