KRIVOSHEEV M.V., PERERVA E.V., ELTSOV M.V. Human and Steppe in the Early Iron Age. Results of Interdisciplinary Research

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.2.1

Mikhail V. Krivosheev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of the Laboratory of Archaeological Research,

Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4847-8209

Evgeniy V. Pererva

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Russian and World History, Archaeology, Volgograd State University,

100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8285-4461

Maksim V. Eltsov

Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Senior Researcher,

Institute of Physical-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences,

Institutskaya St, 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Fеdеrаtiоn

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7886-8131


Abstract. Introduction. Recent archaeological studies deal with the integration of natural science disciplines. Such scientific interaction includes the reconstruction of climatic changes, human adaptation to the changing conditions of nature, study of sociocultural specifics in nomadic groups as well as rising archaeological cultures, with emphasis on the interconnection between the fluctuations of steppe environmental conditions and steppe populations.

Analysis. The article presents the results of the carried out interdisciplinary analysis of classic and modern archaeological studies and natural science disciplines. This allows evaluating the specifics of different factors (paleoclimatic, sociocultural, etc.) influencing the “steppe-human” system in a new way. Such factors as registered climatic changes, spreading areas of archaeological cultures, mortuary funeral rites, results of paleoanthropological examination, written records and ethnographic data provide evidence to reconstructing different time-span events of early nomads’ history in one context. The reconstruction of historical reality shows quite strong correlation between the environment and specific features in the development of ancient steppe societies. Human has high adaptive abilities to changing factors. However, the steppe population mode of life is extremely conservative and it has practically never changed during the Sarmatian or Sauromatian history. Climate fluctuations over the steppe area influenced the demographic and social structure of nomadic society. During auspicious periods, nomadic communities became populous and active politically and military. If negative factors dominated, the population tended to decrease and the social structure tended to simplify. Critical indicators of aridization and humidization in Eurasian steppes are followed with the population outflow, which is evidenced by small amount of archaeological sites or even by vanishing of cultures.

Results. Thus, the authors conclude that when studying archaeological sites of the Early Iron Age nomadic cultures, it is necessary to consider the steppe and human as a single organism responsive to changing and a strong impact of environmental and socio-cultural factors.

Key words: archaeology, anthropology, soil science, interdisciplinary research, climate, interconnections, nomads, Early Iron Age.

Citation. Krivosheev M.V., Pererva E.V., Eltsov M.V. Human and Steppe in the Early Iron Age. Results of Interdisciplinary Research. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 6-30. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.2.1.

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Human and Steppe in the Early Iron Age. Results of Interdisciplinary Research by Krivosheev M.V., Pererva E.V., Eltsov M.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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