tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Stable Isotopic Insights into Changing Diets, Population Mobility and the Origins of Pastoral Nomadism in Early Bronze Age Mongolia

Author(s): Christine France ; Damien Huffer ; Michelle Machicek ; Bruno Frohlich

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

This paper presents human and faunal bone, dentine and enamel stable isotopic data from a small (n=30) Bronze Age skeletal assemblage excavated from a large burial mound (khirigsuur) complex (n=2000) located in northwest Mongolia (c. 3,500-2,700 BP). Covering 900 sq. km and spanning 600 years, osteological and mortuary data suggest no strict correlations occurred between individual age and sex estimates, and the size or form of burial mound, suggesting instead that khirigsuur variation signifies nascent social stratification over time. With numerous human bone AMS dates at hand, we examine if increased enrichment of nitrogen and depletion of carbon over time reflects the increased consumption of specific plants and terrestrial protein by certain individuals (of either sex), suggestive of nascent inequality amongst so-called egalitarian nomads. Furthermore, we query whether or not temporal variation in strontium and oxygen values reflects at least low-level exogamy during the Early Bronze Age, and how extra-local origin may or may not be reflected in mortuary treatment. This data adds to previous research conducted in 2007, allowing further assessment of how social organization changed over time, and add anthropological context to studies of early pastoral nomadism within the mixed C3/C4 steppe biome.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

Stable Isotopic Insights into Changing Diets, Population Mobility and the Origins of Pastoral Nomadism in Early Bronze Age Mongolia. Damien Huffer, Christine France, Bruno Frohlich, Michelle Machicek. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397101)


Keywords


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