Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences / Genesis of Nomadic Cattle Breeding in Mongolia and Southern Trans-Baikal Territory: Prerequisites and Reasons

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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences. 2021 14 (1)
Tsybiktarov, Aleksandr D.
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Tsybiktarov, Aleksandr D.: Banzrov Buryat State University Ulan-Ude, Russian Federation;
Bronze Age; paleo-economy; nomadic cattle breeding; paleogeography; paleoecology; interdisciplinary communications; aridisation; transformation; Selenga-Daurian culture of tiled graves

The article reveals the prerequisites and reasons for development of nomadic cattle breeding in the paleo-economy of the nomadic population of Mongolia and southern Trans-Baikal Territory. The article analyses the changes that occurred in the economic activities of the archaeological cultures of the region during the Bronze Age. The complex type of economy of the Selenga-Daurian culture of the Eneolithic-Early Bronze Age is characterised, which combined the branches of the producing and appropriating economy. The sedentary lifestyle of representatives of the Selenga-Daurian culture is grounded. The nomadic nature of the economy and lifestyle of the population of the culture of tiled graves of the developed Late Bronze Age is shown. The change of cattle breeding in the local type to nomadic cattle breeding is associated with aridisation of the climate which began at the end of the 3rd millennium BC and ended in the middle of 2nd millennium BC. The economic, biological and natural-climatic prerequisites for the transition to nomadism are highlighted including the accumulation of experience in the field of cattle breeding in the Early Metal Age, the adaptive abilities of farm animals for keeping in the open air, changes in the natural environment in the direction of climate aridisation and xerophytisation of vegetation steppes. The reason for the transition to nomadic cattle breeding was the establishment of severe continental climate with hot, dry summers and winters with little snow in the region in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. The arid climate worsened the conditions for farming, hunting, fishing and gathering. The small thickness of the snow cover in winter made it possible to switch to year-round keeping of animals on pasture with periodic change of pastures as they were depleted. As a result, the economy of the steppe population was reorganised into nomadic cattle breeding and a mobile nomadic way of life of the population was formed

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