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Ref ID: 27763
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Hanks, Bryan
Doonan, Roger
Title: From scale to practice: a new agenda for the study of early metallurgy on the Eurasian steppe
Date: 2009
Source: Journal of World Prehistory
DOI: 10.1007/s10963-009-9031-5
Abstract: This paper evaluates conventional scholarship surrounding early metallurgy in the Eurasian steppe zone, with a particular focus on prehistoric developments in a region including northern Kazakhstan and the Southern Ural Mountains of the Russian Federation. Traditionally, the emergence of metallurgy in this region has been viewed either as peripheral to core developments in Mesopotamia, Europe and the Near East, or as part of a much larger zone of interaction and trade in metals and metal production technologies. Such views have deflected scholarship from pursuing questions concerning metallurgical production, consumption, trade and value, and their connection to local diachronic socio-economic change. This paper examines these key issues through recent research programs in the steppe, and in so doing offers an important comparative case study for early metallurgy. It is suggested that in order to develop a better understanding of early mining, metallurgy and socio-economic change in the central steppe region, new theoretical and methodological approaches are needed that highlight the unique characteristics of early mining communities and their relationships to micro-regional resources and concomitant local, in addition to long-distance, trade dynamics. These issues are discussed in light of current field research by the authors and their Russian colleagues on the Middle Bronze Age Sintashta development (2,100-1,700 BC) in the Southern Ural Mountains.
Date Created: 2/24/2016
Volume: 22
Number: 4
Page Start: 329
Page End: 356