Evidence for Close Management of Sheep in Ancient Central Asia: Foddering Techniques and Transhumance in the Final Bronze Age
Author(s): Alicia Ventresca Miller
Ancient animal management strategies have important implications for debates on modern pastoral landscape use in Eurasia. As livestock production intensifies in in semi-arid regions there is a need to identify the diverse set of strategies employed by pastoralists. Sequential carbon (δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) isotope analysis of teeth from domesticated sheep at Bronze Age sites in Kazakhstan exhibit varied isotopic sequences. Sheep from Kent exhibit an inverse relationship where low δ18O values coincide with high δ13C values indicating that they ingested 13C-enriched graze during the winter season. This pattern is consistent with the foddering of caprines during the winter months when they are living in sheltered valleys near the site. In contrast, sheep from Turgen exhibit diverse isotopic sequences indicating variation in husbandry practices and landscape use. This is expected, as the site is located in a mountainous landscape with access to high elevation summer pastures, forested areas, and the semi-arid steppe. The patterns evident at Turgen suggest that in the early period transhumance was practiced, while in later periods sheep were foddered throughout the year.
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Evidence for Close Management of Sheep in Ancient Central Asia: Foddering Techniques and Transhumance in the Final Bronze Age. Alicia Ventresca Miller. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445207)
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min long: 46.143; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: 87.715; max lat: 54.877 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21974