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Ritual and Mobility: δ18O and δ13C analyses of Bronze Age khirigsuur horses from Khanuuy Valley, Mongolia

Author(s): Heather Byerly ; Cheryl Makarewicz ; Jean-Luc Houle

Year: 2015

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Khirigsuurs are large stone burial and ritual monuments that served as stages for group activities and social negotiation during the Late Bronze Age (c.1300-700 BC) in Mongolia. Animal remains were routinely interred in satellite mounds associated with primary burial features, in particular the heads and extremities of horses, and often in great numbers. The question remains, however, whether horses selected for interment in khirigsuur satellites were from local or distant herds. Here, we examine the carbon and oxygen isotopes of incrementally sampled mandibular molars from horse heads ritually deposited in khirgsuur complexes located in Khanuuy Valley. Such isotopic data provide first insights into the complexity of social and political networks involved with khirigsuur construction and maintenance.

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Ritual and Mobility: δ18O and δ13C analyses of Bronze Age khirigsuur horses from Khanuuy Valley, Mongolia. Heather Byerly, Jean-Luc Houle, Cheryl Makarewicz. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397105)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

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