Frachetti, Michael D., and Robert N. Spengler III (eds.)
2015. Introduction. In Mobility and Ancient Society in Asia and the Americas: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on “Great Migrations”, Springer Publishing.
Published Introduction & Edited Volume
Mobility and Ancient Society in Asia and the Americas contains contributions by leading international scholars concerning the character, timing, and geography of regional migrations that led to the dispersal of human societies from Inner and northeast Asia to the New World in the Upper Pleistocene (ca. 20,000-15,000 years ago). This volume bridges scholarly traditions from Europe, Central Asia, and North and South America, bringing different perspectives into a common view. The book presents an international overview of an ongoing discussion that is relevant to the ancient history of both Eurasia and the Americas. The content of the chapters provides both geographic and conceptual coverage of main currents in contemporary scholarly research, including case studies from Inner Asia (Kazakhstan), southwest Siberia, northeast Siberia, and North and South America. The chapters consider the trajectories, ecology, and social dynamics of ancient mobility, communication, and adaptation in both Eurasia and the Americas, using diverse methodologies of data recovery ranging from archaeology, historical linguistics, ancient DNA, human osteology, and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Although methodologically diverse, the chapters are each broadly synthetic in nature and present current scholarly views of when, and in which ways, societies from northeast Asia ultimately spread eastward (and southward) into North and South America, and how we might reconstruct the cultures and adaptations related to Paleolithic groups. Ultimately, this book provides a unique synthetic perspective that bridges Asia and the Americas and brings the ancient evidence from both sides of the Bering Strait into common focus.