Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia

Robert Spengler, Michael Frachetti, Paula Doumani, Lynne Rouse, Barbara Cerasetti, Elissa Bullion, Alexei Mar'yashev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20133382
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume281
Issue number1783
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Bronze Age
Eurasia
Bronze
Agriculture
Crops
Chronology
mountains
agriculture
crop
deserts
crops
mountain
Technology Transfer
chronology
technology transfer
Geography
Far East
desert
Technology transfer
Hordeum

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Archaeobotany
  • Bronze age
  • Central Eurasia
  • Pastoralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia. / Spengler, Robert; Frachetti, Michael; Doumani, Paula; Rouse, Lynne; Cerasetti, Barbara; Bullion, Elissa; Mar'yashev, Alexei.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 281, No. 1783, 20133382, 02.04.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Spengler, Robert ; Frachetti, Michael ; Doumani, Paula ; Rouse, Lynne ; Cerasetti, Barbara ; Bullion, Elissa ; Mar'yashev, Alexei. / Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2014 ; Vol. 281, No. 1783.
@article{549fa0f3336b4d0abbe1eedb1cbc60fe,
title = "Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia",
abstract = "Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC.",
keywords = "Agriculture, Archaeobotany, Bronze age, Central Eurasia, Pastoralism",
author = "Robert Spengler and Michael Frachetti and Paula Doumani and Lynne Rouse and Barbara Cerasetti and Elissa Bullion and Alexei Mar'yashev",
year = "2014",
month = "4",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2013.3382",
language = "English",
volume = "281",
journal = "Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "Royal Society of London",
number = "1783",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia

AU - Spengler, Robert

AU - Frachetti, Michael

AU - Doumani, Paula

AU - Rouse, Lynne

AU - Cerasetti, Barbara

AU - Bullion, Elissa

AU - Mar'yashev, Alexei

PY - 2014/4/2

Y1 - 2014/4/2

N2 - Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC.

AB - Archaeological research in Central Eurasia is exposing unprecedented scales of trans-regional interaction and technology transfer between East Asia and southwest Asia deep into the prehistoric past. This article presents a new archaeobotanical analysis from pastoralist campsites in the mountain and desert regions of Central Eurasia that documents the oldest known evidence for domesticated grains and farming among seasonally mobile herders. Carbonized grains from the sites of Tasbas and Begash illustrate the first transmission of southwest Asian and East Asian domesticated grains into the mountains of Inner Asia in the early third millennium BC. By the middle second millennium BC, seasonal camps in the mountains and deserts illustrate that Eurasian herders incorporated the cultivation of millet, wheat, barley and legumes into their subsistence strategy. These findings push back the chronology for domesticated plant use among Central Eurasian pastoralists by approximately 2000 years. Given the geography, chronology and seed morphology of these data, we argue that mobile pastoralists were key agents in the spread of crop repertoires and the transformation of agricultural economies across Asia from the third to the second millennium BC.

KW - Agriculture

KW - Archaeobotany

KW - Bronze age

KW - Central Eurasia

KW - Pastoralism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84902670166&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84902670166&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2013.3382

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2013.3382

M3 - Article

VL - 281

JO - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1783

M1 - 20133382

ER -