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Kroll, Sonja; Bendezu-Sarmiento, Julio; Lhuillier, Johanna; Luneau, Elise; Kaniuth, Kai; Teufer, Mike; Mustafakulov, Samariddin; Khasanov, Mutalib; Vinogradova, Natalia; Avanesovaj, Nona; Fiorillo, Denis; Tengberg, Margareta; Sharifi, Arash; Bon, Celine; Bosch, Delphine and Mashkour, Marjan (2022): Mobility and land use in the Greater Khorasan Civilization: Isotopic approaches (87Sr/86Sr, delta 18O) on human populations from southern Central Asia. In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Vol. 46, 103622

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The question of mobility of Bronze Age societies in southern Central Asia is a lively subject for discussion and remains a key aspect for understanding past human life. Central Asia represents a region where mobility and migration had a deep impact on the development of cultural communities. Surrounded by the great empires of the ancient Near East, it exhibited a high ethnic and genetic diversity. In this paper we present a regional study for southern Central Asia of isotopic analyses of 87Sr/86Sr and delta 18O of human samples from several Bronze Age sites in southern Turkmenistan (Ulug Depe), south/central Uzbekistan (Dzharkutan, Sapallitepa, Tilla Bulak, Bustan and Bashman 1) and southern Tajikistan (Saridzhar, Gelot and Darnaichi). The three geographical zones manifest different patterns of mobility. The analysis of the Ulug Depe people demonstrates a high rate of immigration during the early periods (EBA) and a tendency for permanent residence. The later periods (MBA) are marked by a decrease in immigration and mobility, indicating a more extensive use of the surrounding landscape. Dzharkutan people displayed a different and complex pattern of mobility and subsistence, with frequent movements during individual lifetime within a limited area. The other sites in the Surkhan Darya Valley and southern Tajikistan indicate active mobility in which individuals migrated within a wide area of southern Central Asia.

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