Human, Animal, and Environmental Interaction in Northeast Asia

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Since the last Ice Age, Northeast Asia witnessed a variety of dramatic and important changes in human societies and their relationship to the environment. These include the Neolithic transition, the adoption of domestic livestock, the emergence of horseback riding, and the development of complex nomadic polities. This session will present current archaeological research from Mongolia and adjoining regions, with an emphasis on how interactions between humans, animals, and the environment shaped important social changes in prehistory.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-6 of 6)

  • Documents (6)

  • Climate Amelioration and the Rise of the Xiongnu Empire (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jean-Luc Houle. Michael Rosenmeier.

    Climate has been debated by historians and archaeologists as one possible contributing factor for the emergence and collapse of complex societies. Recently, connections have been proposed between an ameliorating environment, surplus resources, energy, and the rise of Chinggis Khan’s 13th-century Mongol Empire. If favorable climate and increased rangeland productivity do indeed play a critical role in the politics of pastoral nomads, then we should be able to observe this in other cases too. This...

  • Equine Dentistry and Early Horse Husbandry in the Mongolian Steppe (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William Taylor.

    Although nomadic horse pastoralism remains an important way of life in eastern Central Asia, the origins of horse herding in the region and their relationship to key social developments are poorly understood. Recent work indicates that late Bronze Age people of Mongolia's Deer Stone - Khirigsuur (DSK) Complex herded horses, and used some of them for transport by circa 1200 BCE. This paper presents evidence that DSK people practiced equine dentistry and veterinary care, removing or modifying...

  • Investigating the Methods and Practice of Ritual Horse Sacrifice and Butchery in Late Bronze Age Mongolia. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marcello Fantoni. William Taylor.

    Although archaeological data link late Bronze Age cultures with the emergence of mobile herding in eastern Eurasia, the practices and social function of domestic horse sacrifice remain poorly understood. We investigated slaughter and butchery evidence from 18 sacrificial horse burials from the Deer Stone-Khirigsuur (DSK) Complex, a late Bronze Age Mongolian culture linked with the first emergence of horse herding and transport in the eastern Steppe. Using digital microscopy, we analyzed each...

  • Photogrammetry, Provenance, and Preservation of Tangible Heritage in the Khangai Mountains, Mongolia (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicholas Case. Julia Clark. Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal. William Taylor.

    This study presents results from the photogrammetric documentation of rock art in western Mongolia. Unlike many traditional rock art documentation techniques practiced in Mongolia, photogrammetry presents unique advantages for the study and preservation of cultural heritage. These include the production of a digital 3D model, preservation of color and original lighting conditions, ease of documentation, and the inclusion of contextual information such as surrounding features, panel orientation,...

  • Shifting Mobility Strategies in Neolithic and Bronze Age Mongolia (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Julia Clark.

    Mobility is a central part of the contemporary, traditional, historical and prehistorical economic strategies employed by hunters and pastoralists in Mongolia. While mobility is often contrasted with sedentism, there is much variation within the practice of "mobility" and how it is employed. Residential and logistical mobility are often used heuristics to discuss variations in mobility. A critical application of these terms to the archaeological record of Northern Mongolia illustrates their...

  • Spatial patterns of human land-use from surface collections in NW Mongolia (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Loukas Barton. Baiyarsaikhan Jamsranjav. Tuvshinjargal Turmubaatar. Christopher Morgan.

    The spatial distributions of artifacts from different periods of time reveal change in the nature and intensity of human activities in different kinds of places. This is particularly useful when trying to establish how patterns of human mobility and land-use evolved during periods of dramatic environmental or economic change. The Uvs Nuur Basin of northwest Mongolia played host to both. Here, the distribution of glaciers, vegetation zones, and lake systems changed rapidly from the late...