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Origins of Steppe Lifestyle

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Steppe Nomads and Central Asia
Forum Description: Nomads such as the Scythians, Huns, Turks & Mongols, and kingdoms of Central Asia
Moderators: Temujin, Byzantine Emperor, Sarmat12
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=27345
Printed Date: 13-Aug-2020 at 04:04
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Topic: Origins of Steppe Lifestyle
Posted By: calvo
Subject: Origins of Steppe Lifestyle
Date Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 09:48
Has anyone ever investigated when exactly the lifestyle of pastoral nomadism began?
Did it begin as early as the Neolithic, or as late as the Bronze or Iron age?

Although steppe culture is perceived by many as being "primitive", it could well have appeared  well after the spread of settled agriculture.

I suppose that the 2 main keys that define the steppe culture is the domestication of the horse and the herding of sheep. Prior to the domestication of horses; was the Eurasian steppe an uninhabitted land? Or did the ancestors of steppe people roam about on foot?

Were the first steppe nomads the "proto-Indo-European" speakers, who spread from the Central Asian homeland to India, the Middle East, and Europe?



Replies:
Posted By: Falchion
Date Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 14:04
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

I suppose that the 2 main keys that define the steppe culture is the domestication of the horse and the herding of sheep. Prior to the domestication of horses; was the Eurasian steppe an uninhabitted land? Or did the ancestors of steppe people roam about on foot?


I believe the earlist steppe (tundra during the ice age) people were the cro-magnon who would hunt large grazing animals like mammoths and bison following the herds.
The plains Native Americans preserved the neolithic steppe lifestyle into the modern age.


Posted By: calvo
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 11:40
The steppe lifestyle led by the hunter-gatherers was radically different to the steppe lifestyle of the pastoral nomdas such as Turkic, Mongol, and Iranic peoples of Central Asia who lived almost their entire lives on horseback, lived in yurts or wagons, and fought with horse-archery.

At least in Ancient Greek and Chinese sources, mounted steppe nomad communities were well-established as far back as 3000 years ago. Its real origins must have begun earlier.




Posted By: Falchion
Date Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 15:31
The greatest change for hunter-gatherer societies was domestication of herd animals. The animal herds they used to follow and hunt became easier to control and breed according to needs.
Discovery of horseback riding just brought some more mobility to the lifestyle.

Tents like the yurt, tepee or lavvu were used by nomadic hunter-gatherers for thousands of years before pastoralism and domestication of the horse.



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