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Ingenuity from the Periphery: Contributions to Old World Transformations from the Aral Sea deltas

Author(s): Elizabeth Brite

Year: 2015

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The deltas of the Aral Sea lie within an internal drainage basin where critical water resources are prone to unpredictable change. The nature of this resource landscape discourages the emergence of enduring centralized states and was a key factor that led to the peripheral status of the deltas in world history. Nevertheless, complex social institutions did develop there in the early 1st millennium B.C. – late 1st millennium A.D., and these were based on especially diverse and flexible economic strategies. After the Arab conquests in the 8th century A.D., when the deltas of the Aral Sea became linked with core areas of the Old World, the ingenuity embedded in these local systems became an important source of new innovations that drove cultural transformations in both core and periphery regions.

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Ingenuity from the Periphery: Contributions to Old World Transformations from the Aral Sea deltas. Elizabeth Brite. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395671)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America