Eurasian textiles: Case studies in exchange during the incipient and later Silk Road periods

Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Robert N. Spengler III, Michael D. Frachetti Quaternary International (2017) 1-12

Abstract

In thiQuaternary Internationals article, we introduce a new line of evidence for the passage and consumption of one commodity – textiles – into the Dzhungar Mountains of southeastern Kazakhstan during the incipient (i.e., Bronze Age), and later (i.e., Iron Age and Medieval Period) Silk Road periods. Although woolen textiles are known for neighboring western China from several discoveries of clothing in its prehistoric cemeteries, Continue reading

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The spread of agriculture into northern Central Asia

Robert N. Spengler III, Natalia Ryabogina, Pavel Tarasov, and Mayke Wagner
2016. The spread of agriculture into northern Central Asia: Timing, pathways, and environmental feedbacks. The Holocene.

Abstract

HoloceneOver the past decade researchers have directed greater focus toward understanding Bronze (3200-800 BC) and Iron Age (800 BC-AD 400) economies of Central Asia. In this article, we synthesize paleobotanical data from across this broad region and discuss the piecemeal archaeological evidence for agriculture in relation to environmental records of vegetation and climate change. The synthesis shows that Continue reading

The Breadth of Dietary Economy in Bronze Age Central Asia

Robert N Spengler III; Ilaria de Nigris; Barbara Cerasetti; Marialetizia Carra; Lynne M Rouse.
2016. The Breadth of Dietary Economy in Bronze Age Central Asia: Case study from Adji Kui in the Murghab region of Turkmenistan. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Abstract

Archaeological Science ReportsOver the past decade research into the paleoeconomy of Bronze Age (3500-800 B.C.) peoples in Central Asia has shown how complex the productive economy was. The agropastoral system involved an array of crops and herd animals. In this article, we present a paleoethnobotanical study conducted on sediment samples from excavation units at the site of Adji Kui, Turkmenistan. Continue reading

Agriculture in the Central Asian Bronze Age

Spengler, Robert N., III
2015. Agriculture in the Central Asian Bronze Age. Journal of World Prehistory. Peer-reviewed.

Abstract

World PrehistoryBy the late third/early second millennium BC, increased interconnectivity in the mountains of Central Asia linked populations across Eurasia. This increasing interaction would later culminate in the Silk Road. While these populations are typically lumped together under the title of ‘nomads’, a growing corpus of data illustrates how diverse their economic strategies were, in many cases representing mixed agropastoral systems. Continue reading

Paleoethnobotanical Methods for the Study of Early Agriculture and Cuisine in the Prehistory of Central Asia

Experience of Turkmenistan Published Book Chapter

Spengler, Robert N., III
2014. Paleoethnobotanical Methods for the Study of Early Agriculture and Cuisine in the Prehistory of Central Asia. In Experience of Turkmenistan in Research and Museumification of Archaeological Findings. (pp. 326-328), Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture, Ashgabat.

Niche Dwelling vs. Niche Construction

Spengler, Robert N., III
2014. Niche Dwelling vs. Niche Construction: Landscape Modification in the Bronze
and Iron Ages of Central Asia. Human Ecology 42, (6): 813-821. Peer-reviewed.

Abstract

Human EcologyLike all humans, mobile pastoralists alter their ecological niche to their advantage; however, archaeological discussions of mobile pastoralists in Central Asia often focus on environmental factors as a sole driving force in decision making. In reality, anthropogenic modification of the landscape are evident as far back at the Bronze Age. Herders altered the overall ecology of the region by converting forest into pasturelands Continue reading