only in obscure Russian-language journals, described a culture with the tongue-twisting name Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. S. Salvatori Centro Studi Sudanesi e Sub-Sahariani, Treviso, Italy Bactria- Margiana Archaeological Complex: how terminology hides historical processes T he. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the name given to a Central Asian Bronze Age culture.
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Interesting new paper Mixing metaphors: The Murghab alluvial fan in southern Turkmenistan witnessed some of the earliest encounters between sedentary farmers and mobile pastoralists from different cultural spheres.
During the late third and early second millennia BC, the Murghab was home to the Oxus bctria and formed a central node in regional exchange networks Possehl ; Kohl The Oxus civilisation or the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex relied on intensive agriculture to support a hierarchical society and specialised craft commplex of metal and precious stone objects for prestige display and long-distance exchange Sarianidi ; Hiebert Contemporaneous evidence for small campsites with a distinct ceramic tradition suggests an influx of archaeologial pastoralists from the Central Eurasian Steppe and foothills Cerasetti ; Masson ; Cattani et al.
Central Asia’s Lost Civilization |
The mixed farmer-pastoralist archaeological record of the Murghab has influenced competing interpretations of Later Bronze Age socio-political and economic relationships. Near Eastern and Eurasian interaction paradigms, however, fit increasingly poorly with the archaeological evidence for early farmer-pastoralist encounters in southern Central Asia. We present data from four Murghab pastoralist campsites dating to the third to second millennia BC, restricting our discussion to the materials and practices employed by Oxus-period pastoralists to navigate shifting social, political and economic networks.
Individually, these four sites present chronologically and locally distinct complrx of farmer-pastoralist interactions across different realms of exchange e.
Second, the variability of materials, technologies and practices shared at these campsites suggests that no hegemonic power controlled trade relationships or regulated economic dependency between Oxus farmers and non-Oxus mobile pastoralists in the Murghab. Indeed, current data indicate that pastoralist occupation in the Murghab intensified during margianx waning of Oxus political centralisation, suggesting that the loosening of state-level structures provided the opportunity for intercultural interactions, rather than interactions being promoted or facilitated from the top.
Current work in the Murghab complements detailed studies of pastoralists in other Eurasian contexts e.
Frachetti ; Rogers ; Honeychurch in beginning to unravel simplistic notions of broad cross-cultural exchanges archaeologicsl Eurasian prehistory and the political entities traditionally seen as directing them.
The whole article is very interesting, and the four sites studied and their relevance for the said interactions are described in detail, and in chronological order.
If you have the opportunity, read arcnaeological. I found it interesting that the article mentions the traditional scholarly opposition of agriculturalists vs. This is what Narasimhan et al.
We document a southward spread of genetic ancestry from the Eurasian Steppe, correlating with the archaeologically maryiana expansion of pastoralist sites from the Steppe to Turan in the Middle Bronze Age BCE.
Bacttria, Steppe communities integrated farther south throughout the 2nd millennium BCE, and we show that they mixed with a more southern population that we document at multiple sites as outlier individuals exhibiting a distinctive mixture of ancestry related to Iranian agriculturalists and South Asian hunter-gathers.
This documents a southward movement of Steppe ancestry through this region that only began to have a major impact around the turn of the 2nd millennium BCE. Relevant excerpts emphasis mine: Region of Central Asia as discussed in this article. Areas traditionally identified with farming-dependent Oxus communities and non-Oxus mobile pastoralists are shown, acknowledging that in both areas mixed agropastoral practices have occurred in the past and present.
Clines or 2-way mixtures of ancestry are shown in rectangles, and clouds 3-way mixtures are shown in ellipses.