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10,000 Years of Pastoralism in Anatolia: A Review of Evidence for Variability in Pastoral Lifeways

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Archaeological and historical data show that pastoral systems in Anatolia over the last ten thousand years were characterised by a high degree of variability in degree of mobility, land-use and animal preferences, target products and herd management strategies, and political organisation. Long-distance pastoral nomadism was a historically late development in the region, occurring over the last 1,500 to 1,000 years. Ethnographic analogy currently structures the majority of archaeological conclusions concerning pre-modern pastoralism, but obscures the variability that recent archaeological work brings to light. Multi-disciplinary studies seeking empirical data on ancient pastoralism and mobility are critical for developing a more subtle and accurate picture.
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Keywords: Anatolia; Turkey; ancient mobility; ancient pastoralism; archaeology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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