Xiongnu Subsistence and Mongolian Deer


I received a copy of the glossy hardback to the left in the post this morning.  It’s a weighty tome, comprising over 600 A4 pages of the most up to date research into the Xiongnu with papers from leading scholars outlining our current understanding of a culture that has seen an increasing amount of academic attention in recent years.  It also includes the following article:

Houle, J.-L., Broderick, L.G., 2011. Settlement Patterns and Domestic Economy of the Xiongnu in Khanuy Valley, Mongolia. In Brosseder, U., Miller, B.K., eds. Xiongnu Archaeology – Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the First Steppe Empire in Central Asia. (Bonn Contributions to Asian Archaeology 5). Vor-und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn: Bonn. pp. 137-152

In the last couple of weeks I’ve also heard that I’ve had a poster presentation accepted for the Deer and People: Past, Present and Future conference at the University of Lincoln, beginning September 8th.  I’ve included a copy of the abstract for the poster, below, and have also uploaded a copy of the poster itself to my Academia page.

Deer and People: Past, Present and Future

Deer form a highly significant and visible part of the worldview of prehistoric people within the area of the Mongolian forest steppe. Ecological studies suggest that deer species may only ever have been thinly distributed within this biome and be represented principally by Cervus elaphus and Capreolus capreolus. Recent archaeological studies are also beginning to suggest that deer may only ever have been a minor component of anthropogenic faunal assemblages. The combined ecological and archaeological evidence suggests, then, that the importance of deer to Mongolian people never lay in an economic role but in an ideological one.

Hunting pressures have led to a rapid reduction of deer numbers in the Mongolian forest steppe, with cervids suffering local extinction in several areas. One such area is the Khanuy Valley, where the last sighting of deer is commemorated in the naming of “Deer Mountain”. This poster explores the significance of deer to the local population.