Session: #287

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Economic and Technological Networks of the Eurasian Steppes
The Eurasian Steppe region was fundamental in the development of multiple technologies and transregional networks of economic exchange long before the establishment of the Silk Roads. Far from being a periphery, the Eurasian Steppe region was the crucible in which fundamental technologies, languages, ideas and even pathogens originated and spread. Recent studies highlighting the exceptional scale and volume of Eurasian metallurgy and the emergence and spread wool textile technology in Eastern Europe, the Urals, Western Siberia and Kazakhstan are demonstrating that the Eurasian Steppe societies were at the heart of these technological development since the Bronze Age. Yet, although large-scale historical narratives spanning Europe and Asia have recently been gaining momentum, research dealing with specific technologies across this vast region remains disjointed, making it difficult to understand the broader patterns. The long-standing focus on headline-generating ‘shiny’ objects found in burials has led to the neglect of the necessities and realities of the complex economic systems, that required large-scale infrastructures to access raw materials and finished goods.

The session will consider sources of materials and objects (food, wool, leather, metals, wood etc.) and their production technologies (metallurgy, animal husbandry, textile production) with the aim of reconstructing economic and technological networks which developed across the Eurasian Steppe region in its broadest geographical expansion from the Bronze Age until the end of the 1st millennium BCE. We are particularly keen to see submissions which explore innovative scientific approaches to explore developments across time and space.
Eurasian Steppe, Networks, Economy, Technology, Bronze Age, Scythians
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Main organiser:
Margarita Gleba (Germany) 1,2
Marina Daragan (Ukraine) 3
1. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
2. University College London
3. Institute of Archaeology, Ukrainian National Academy of Science