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Grant number: FB-56745-13

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Claudia S. Chang
Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, VA 24595-5001)

Herders, Farmers, and the Nomadic Elite at the Edge of the Eurasian Steppe during the Iron Age

This project entails the research and writing of a book-length manuscript on the Eurasian Iron Age confederacies of southeastern Kazakhstan. The primary sources of the work come from over sixteen years of excavations and surveys conducted by the Kazakh American Archaeological Expedition since 1994. The 'nomadic model' for Iron Age horse-riding societies is revised in light of new findings proving that the Talgar Iron Age people of the first millennium BC practiced both farming and herding. Each of the five chapters contributes to a nuanced interpretation of complex 'nomadic' cultures where a considerable portion of society lived in sedentary hamlets and villages. The effects of population increase, agricultural and pastoral intensification of land-use, and the marked distinction between the commoners and aristocratic elite in the Talgar region serves as a lens for reconstructing large-scale Iron Age mobility and networks across Eurasia.

Project fields:

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013