How Asian Nomadic Herders Built New Bronze Age Cultures
Science News ^ | 11-30-2017 | Bruce Bower
Posted on 11/30/2017 10:22:42 PM PST by blam
BIG MOVES Ancient DNA indicates horse-riding pastoralists called the Yamnaya made two long-distance migrations around 5,000 years ago. One trip may have shaped Europe’s ancient Corded Ware culture, while the other launched central Asia’s Afanasievo culture.
Nomadic herders living on western Asia’s hilly grasslands made a couple of big moves east and west around 5,000 years ago. These were not typical, back-and-forth treks from one seasonal grazing spot to another. These people blazed new trails.
A technological revolution had transformed travel for ancient herders around that time. Of course they couldn’t make online hotel reservations. Trip planners would have searched in vain for a Steppe Depot stocked with essential tools and supplies. The closest thing to a traveler’s pit stop was a mountain stream and a decent grazing spot for cattle. Yet, unlike anyone before, these hardy people had the means to move — wheels, wagons and horses.
Here’s how the journeys may have played out: At a time when rainfall dwindled and grasslands in western Asia turned brown, oxen-pulled wagons loaded with personal belongings rolled west, following greener pastures into central and northern Europe. Other carts rumbled east as far as Siberia’s Altai Mountains, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet today. Families of men, women and children may have piled on board. Or travelers may have been mostly men, who married women from farming villages along the way. Cattle, sheep and goats undoubtedly trailed along with whoever made these trips, under the watchful guidance of horse riders. Wagons served as mobile homes while on the move and during periodic stops to let animals graze.
These journeys, by people now known as the Yamnaya, transformed human genes and cultures across a huge swath of Europe and Asia. Yamnaya people left their mark from Ireland
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org …
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I love this stuff.
There is some Viking lore of Scandinavia that tells of the first of their kind coming from far to the East.
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