Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia
Posted: 18 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 2010
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.
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