Recent excavations at the prehistoric and historic encampment at Mukri, in the foothills of the Dzhungar Mountains of eastern Kazakhstan, challenge the view that it was a small, isolated pastoralist camp situated in an ecologically marginal territory. When viewed as a strategically situated node within a dynamic ecology of pastoralist activity, the site's archaeology reveals shifting patterns of land use and networks of interaction that contributed to socio-political change and material diffusion over millennia. This article draws on the granular archaeological evidence of continuity and change at Mukri to understand how pastoralist societies, in local contexts, resonated broader trends in the documentary history of Inner Eurasia. We highlight the effectiveness of pastoralists' strategies in order to reconsider common paradigms of extensive nomadic migrations and episodic conquest as appropriate explanatory models for Eurasian pastoralists throughout antiquity.
- Bronze age
- Iron age
- Medieval age
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)