High altitude hunting, climate change, and pastoral resilience in eastern Eurasia

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
File version
Version of Record (VoR)
Author(s)
Taylor, William
Hart, Isaac
Pan, Caleb
Bayarsaikhan, Jamsranjav
Murdoch, James
Caspari, Gino
Klinge, Michael
Pearson, Kristen
Bikhumar, Umirbyek
Shnaider, Svetlana
Abdykanova, Aida
Bittner, Peter
Zahir, Muhammad
Jarman, Nicholas
Petraglia, Michael
et al.
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2021
Size
File type(s)
Location
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract

The transition from hunting to herding transformed the cold, arid steppes of Mongolia and Eastern Eurasia into a key social and economic center of the ancient world, but a fragmentary archaeological record limits our understanding of the subsistence base for early pastoral societies in this key region. Organic material preserved in high mountain ice provides rare snapshots into the use of alpine and high altitude zones, which played a central role in the emergence of East Asian pastoralism. Here, we present the results of the first archaeological survey of melting ice margins in the Altai Mountains of western Mongolia, revealing a near-continuous record of more than 3500 years of human activity. Osteology, radiocarbon dating, and collagen fingerprinting analysis of wooden projectiles, animal bone, and other artifacts indicate that big-game hunting and exploitation of alpine ice played a significant role during the emergence of mobile pastoralism in the Altai, and remained a core element of pastoral adaptation into the modern era. Extensive ice melting and loss of wildlife in the study area over recent decades, driven by a warming climate, poaching, and poorly regulated hunting, presents an urgent threat to the future viability of herding lifeways and the archaeological record of hunting in montane zones.

Journal Title
Scientific Reports
Conference Title
Book Title
Edition
Volume
11
Issue
1
Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement
© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject
Archaeology
Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
MONGOLIAN ALTAI
ICE PATCHES
Persistent link to this record
Citation
Taylor, W; Hart, I; Pan, C; Bayarsaikhan, J; Murdoch, J; Caspari, G; Klinge, M; Pearson, K; Bikhumar, U; Shnaider, S; Abdykanova, A; Bittner, P; Zahir, M; Jarman, N; Petraglia, M; et al., High altitude hunting, climate change, and pastoral resilience in eastern Eurasia, Scientific Reports, 2021, 11 (1), pp. 14287
Collections