- The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology
- List of Contributors
- The Discipline of Archaeology
- The Formative Century, 1860–1960
- The Theoretical Scene, 1960–2000
- Into the Future
- Measuring the Passage of Time: Achievements and Challenges in Archaeological Dating
- Human Activity in a Spatial Context
- Data Collection by Excavation
- Mastering Materials
- The Nature of Humanness
- Early Hominids
- The Emergence of <i>Homo</i> Sapiens Sapiens
- The Neanderthals
- Peopling the World
- Hunters and Gatherers
- Early Farming and Domestication
- Studying Human Diet
- Cultural Complexity
- Trade and Interaction
- China: State Formation and Urbanization
- The Central Andean Region in Prehistory
- The Mediterranean and its Hinterland
- The Archaeology of Sub-Saharan Africa
- Pre-Islamic Central Asia
- The Circumpolar Zone
- East Asia
- The Pacific Islands
- North America
- South American Archaeology
- Indigenous Voices, Archaeology, and the Issue of Repatriation
- Sex and Gender
- Archaeological Representation: the Consumption and Creation of the Past
- Community Archaeology
- Subject Index
- Index of Personal Names: Includes all referenced authors.
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the archaeological study of pre-Islamic Central Asia. It explains that archaeology began in Western Turkestan after the Russian conquest of the area in the late nineteenth century and excavations began at Dzhankent on the lower Syr Daryai n 1867 and at Afrasiab in 1875. The historical and numismatic records available from the advent of the Achaemenian Persians in the mid-first millennium bc help to illumine the picture drawn from earlier archaeological material, of an area of urbanism located in oases and dependent on sophisticated irrigation agriculture, and of a transhumant population, both utilizing marginal areas for summer grazing from within the oases as well as genuine nomadic herdsmen.
Georgina Herrmann, Visiting Honorary Professor of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
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