Beyond the Final Frontier: Time and Materiality in the Peripheralization of Bronze Age Eurasian Steppe Pastoral Societies
Author(s): James Johnson
Archaeologists studying prehistoric Eurasian steppe pastoral lifeways often seek inclusion into comparative research of urbanism, craft production, and complexity. Even as these studies contribute valuable information, they also reify their place in the intellectual periphery of archaeological inquiry. This peripheralization is due to several factors. First, the Eurasian steppe is perhaps unwittingly conceptualized as a relatively timeless socio-geographical periphery to "state-level" social entities located to the adjacent south - western Asia, south-central Asia, and east Asia. Second, this peripheralization is ultimately a spatially-derived frame of mind, one that essentializes and promotes geographic and cultural space over equally important considerations of time and materiality. In the following paper, I interrogate the spatio-centric mindsets that permeate current studies of Eurasian steppe pastoral social groups; a mindset that contributes to the further marginalization of pastoral-based case studies in anthropological archaeology. To break out of this exclusionary mindset, I explore the ways in which meaning was made in Bronze Age pastoral groups through a more inclusive inquiry drawing upon ethnographic and archaeological case studies to illustrate how pastoralists engaged with time and materials (as well as space) as they undergo periods of social change and continuity.
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Beyond the Final Frontier: Time and Materiality in the Peripheralization of Bronze Age Eurasian Steppe Pastoral Societies. James Johnson. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444519)
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min long: 46.143; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: 87.715; max lat: 54.877 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21367