Wilkin, Shevan Alicia Ventresca Miller, Bryan K. Miller, Robert N. Spengler III, William T. T. Taylor, Ricardo Fernandes, Richard W. Hagan, Madeleine Bleasdale, Jana Zech, S. Ulziibayar, Erdene Myagmar, Nicole Boivin, and Patrick Roberts (2020) Economic Diversification Supported the Growth of Mongolia’s Nomadic Empires, Scientific Reports. 10: 3916.
Populations in Mongolia from the late second millennium B.C.E. through the Mongol Empire are traditionally assumed, by archaeologists and historians, to have maintained a highly specialized horse-facilitated form of mobile pastoralism. Continue reading
Spengler, Robert N., III and Natalie Mueller (2019) Grazing Animals Drove Domestication in Grain Crops. Nature Plants. 5: 656–662.
In addition to large-seeded cereals, humans around the world during the mid-Holocene started to cultivate small-seeded species of herbaceous annuals for grain, including quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, the millets and several lost crops domesticated in North America. Continue reading
Robert N. Spengler III, Naomi F. Miller, Reinder Neef, Perry A. Tourtellotte, Claudia Chang
Central Asia is commonly referred to as a pastoral realm, and the first millennium B.C. is often thought to mark a period of increased mobility and reliance on animal husbandry. The economic shift of the first millennium B.C. is usually interpreted as a transition toward specialized pastoralism in Central Asia, and the point in time when the Central Asian ‘nomads’ or Scythians appear. 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
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