Category Archives: The Caucasus and Eurasia

Pets and Warriors

National Geographic posted a brief piece on the butchered dog remains from David Anthony and Dorcas Brown’s work at Krasnosamarskoe in the Volga.  You can read it at this link.  They make the fascinating argument that the killing of dogs was part of rites of initiation into a cohort of warriors. If this is indeed that case, it would raise a number of interesting questions pertinent to the long-standing controversy surrounding Napoleon Chagnon’s ethnographic work with the Yanomami.  If violence is socially inculcated within specific historical formations, as Anthony and Brown’s evidence suggests, then that would seem to close the chapter on the exaggerated claims of Chagnon’s initial study.

Upcoming: The Sovereign Assemblage: Sense, Sensibility, and Sentiment in the Bronze Age Caucasus

Upcoming Lecture Series Institute for the Study of the Ancient World @ NYU. The Sovereign Assemblage: Sense, Sensibility, and Sentiment in the Bronze Age Caucasus Adam T. Smith (Cornell University) April 8, 15, 22, & 29 at 6:00pm Lecture Hall … Read more »

Regimes and Revolutions Hits the Old World

Just released in the UK and Europe:

Caucasus Panorama

This semester Cornell will host a speakers series focused on the Caucasus entitled “Caucasus Panorama”.  The poster with the slate of eminent visiting scholars is below.

New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology

New special issue devoted to ancient Silk Roads and cultural contacts across Eurasia

BMFEA 75 – ”New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology”

Volume 75 of the Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities is a special issue, ”New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology,” also the title of a IIAS-ASEF sponsored symposium at the Museum in late 2003 — in commemoration of the museum’s illustrious founder, Johan Gunnar Andersson, and his explorations of the archaeology of prehistoric East-West contacts and the fascinating issues regarding possible early relations between prehistoric East and central Asia. The volume is a contribution to the vibrant new research in this field.  

BMFEA 75 contains the following original articles and reports:

— LI Shuicheng: Ancient Interactions in Eurasia and Northwest China: Revisiting Johan Gunnar Andersson’s Legacy;

— MEI Jianjun: Qijia and Seima-Turbino: The Question of Early Contacts Between Northwest China and the Eurasian Steppe;

— Louisa G. FITZGERALD-HUBER: The Qijia Culture: Paths East and West;

— Bo LAWERGREN: Western Influences on the Early Chinese Qin-Zither;

— YUAN Jing and Rowan FLAD: Two Issues Concerning Ancient Domesticated Horses in China;

— Donald B. WAGNER: The Earliest Use of Iron in China;

— CHEN Xingcan: Where Did the Chinese Leather Raft Come From? –A Forgotten Issue in the Study of Ancient East-West Cultural Interaction; 

— CHOE Chong Pil: Some Problems Concerning Korean Dolmens in Eurasian Perspective;

— Evgeny BOGDANOV: The Origin of the Image of a Predator Rolling up in a Ring in the Portable Art of Central Asia; 

— Nguyen Kim DUNG: Johan Gunnar Andersson’s systematic research on Fai Tsi Long Archipelago archaeology and the Andersson collections kept in Viet Nam;

— Nils RINGSTEDT: Swedish Archaeology and the Archaeology of Long-Distance Trade.

In addition, there is a separate article by Lucie OLIVOVA, ”Forgotten Bridges: Dulinqiao and Shanqiao in Southern Hebei, China,” which discusses bridges which are favorite symbols of cultural contact, thus very near the theme of the volume as a whole, evoking the BMFEA credo of ”Dialogue, not diatribe.” 

The BMFEA is available for purchase from the MFEA,, English section

Doing more with less: Depletion Gilding on the Eurasian Steppe

A recent article in Archaeology Magazine details recent work by David Peterson (Idaho State U) on a remarkable example of depletion gilding on a pendant from the Late Bronze Age site of Spiridonovka II on the Eurasian steppe. “Evidence of depletion gilding … Read more »

Mayan ‘End of World’ Stirs Panic in Russia

It seems that the legacy of Tatiana Proskouriakoff, native of Tomsk and famed decipherer of Maya glyphs, has come full circle.

Mayan ‘End of World’ Stirs Panic in Russia and Elsewhere –

EAC Trends

In my opening remarks for the 4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference, I noted some geographic trends in the papers over the course of the last 11 years.  Here is the graph


See this post on the EAC website for a brief discussion: Eurasian Archaeology Conferences | @ Cornell University.

Geoglyph Discovered in Urals


A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru’s famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years.

via Mysterious Elk-Shaped Structure Discovered in Russia | Nazca Lines & Oldest Geoglyph | LiveScience.

ARISC Wins AORC award

The American Research Institute for the South Caucasus (ARISC) has won a 4-year grant from the US Department of Education in support of its overseas programs.  The award is a major milestone for ARISC, which has seen it institutional memberships grow to 18 members since its founding in 2006.