Doumani, P. N., M. D. Frachetti, R. Beardmore, T. Schmaus, R. N. Spengler, and A. N. Mar’yashev
2015. Burial ritual, agriculture, and craft production among Bronze Age pastoralists at Tasbas (Kazakhstan). Archaeological Research in Asia 1-2: 17–32. Peer-reviewed.
Available open source through ARA.
This article presents new archaeological research on the ritual and domestic life of pastoralists at the Bronze Age campsite Tasbas, Kazakhstan. We reconstruct the hitherto unrecorded economy of high mountain pastoralists who lived at the site from the mid-3rd to early 1st millennium B.C. We argue that within the broad dynamics of mountain pastoralism there is local variability as shown through multi-season residence, Continue reading
Spengler, Robert N., III
2013. Botanical Resource Use in the Bronze and Iron Age of the Central Eurasian Mountain/Steppe Interface: Decision Making in Multi-resource Pastoral Economies, Ph.D. Dissertation for the Anthropology Department at Washington University in St. Louis.
Available open access through WUSTL.
This dissertation examines botanical resources as components of Central Asian economies in the Bronze: ca. 2500 – 800 B.C.) and Iron Ages: ca. 800 B.C. – A.D. 500) using a paleoethnobotanical data set from four archaeological sites, Begash, Mukri, Tasbas, and Tuzusai. These sites are located in Continue reading
Spengler, Robert N., III, Claudia Chang, and Perry A. Tourtellotte
2013. Agricultural Production in the Central Asian Mountains: Tuzusai, Kazakhstan (410-150 BC). Journal of Field Archaeology 38(1): 68-85. Peer-reviewed.
Available open access through JFA.
The site of Tuzusai is located in the Tien Shan Mountains of eastern Kazakhstan; occupation at the site between 410 B.C. and A.D. 150 represents the transition between the Saka and Wusun periods (Saka: 800–200 B.C.; Wusun: 200 B.C.–A.D. 400). Iron Age people of Central Asia are often described simply as mobile pastoralists, yet at Tuzusai, we have evidence that agriculture was practiced along with pastoral transhumance. Continue reading
Frachetti, Michael D., Robert N. Spengler III, Gayle J. Fritz, and Alexei N. Mar’yashev
2010. Earliest Direct Evidence for Broomcorn Millet and Wheat in the Central Eurasian
Steppe Region. Antiquity 84:993-1010. Peer-reviewed.
Before 3000 BC, societies of western Asia were cultivating wheat and societies of China were cultivating broomcorn millet; these are early nodes of the world’s agriculture. The authors are searching for early cereals in the vast lands that separate the two, and report a breakthrough at Begash in south-east Kazakhstan. Here, high precision recovery and dating have revealed the presence of both wheat and millet Continue reading