Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia

Posted: 18 Oct 2010

Date Written: October 2010

Abstract

International interest in the prehistory and archaeology of the Eurasian steppes and Mongolia has increased dramatically since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This article surveys important new evidence and interpretations that have emerged from several collaborative projects in the past two decades. A particular emphasis is placed on issues that are crucial to regional studies in the steppe ecological zone; however, it also is suggested that steppe prehistory must come to play a more significant role in developing more comprehensive understandings of world prehistory. Key developments connected with the steppe include the diffusion of anatomically modern humans, horse domestication, spoke-wheeled chariot and cavalry warfare, early metal production and trade, Indo-European languages, and the rise of nomadic states and empires. In addition to these important issues, thoughts are offered on some of the current challenges that face archaeological scholarship in this region of the world.

Suggested Citation

Hanks, Bryan, Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia (October 2010). Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 39, pp. 469-486, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1692560 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.105110

Bryan Hanks (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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