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Mobility of nomads in Central Asia: Chronology and Sr-87/Sr-86 isotope evidence from the Pazyryk barrows of Northern Altai, Russia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2049-6886
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Number of Authors: 52019 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2352-4103, Vol. 27, article id 101897Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study we report the first Sr-87/Sr-86 isotopic data and mobility analyses of the Pazyryk culture in Central Asia. Throughout prehistory the Altai Mountains represent a unique cultural frontier characterised by a perpetual state of transition, resulting from highly mobile nomadic inhabitants. We analysed human skeletal remains from barrows in the Manzherok region of the Altai Republic, Russian Federation. The analysis was based on 160 measurements of Sr-87/Sr-86 from Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS), in tandem with environmental samples and comparative animal material. The combined dating evidence and strontium isotopic values indicate that after the 5th century BC, residential mobility amongst Altaic nomads is rising, especially long-distance female mobility, leading to contact acquisition with extrinsic territories of Central Asia. The Sr-87/Sr-86 isotopic evidence from Manzherok suggests that members of the Altaic population might have been buried in Scythian tombs located in Tuva and Khakassia, most notably in the Arzhan barrows.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 27, article id 101897
Keywords [en]
Mobility, Strontium, Nomads, Radiocarbon dating, Iron Age, Pazyryk culture, Altai, Russia
National Category
History and Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177548DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.101897ISI: 000498920800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177548DiVA, id: diva2:1383154
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-23Bibliographically approved

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Pokutta, Dalia A.Lidén, Kerstin
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