Archaeology of Bronze Age Mongolia (Paperback)
A Deer Stone Diary
In the 1930s the famous Smithsonian archaeologist Henry B. Collins discovered 2000 year old Eskimo cultures by excavating ancient sites in the Bering Sea region. Since then, archaeologists have pieced together a detailed history of how Eskimos spread east along the arctic coasts of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland to become the region’s Inuit peoples of today. What remained unknown is the origin of the Alaskan proto-Eskimos. Did they develop from tundra hunting peoples of northern Eurasia? from river fishermen of the Amur who learned to hunt sea mammals? or from early maritime peoples of Japan and Korea?
Central Asia seemed like an odd place for me to search for ancient Eskimos, but many paths led me to investigate the Bronze and Iron Age cultures of Mongolia ca. 2000-0 BCE. Besides physical and genetic similarities, I was intrigued by links in art and shamanic religion as revealed in Mongolia’s mysterious, unstudied deer stone monuments. Perhaps deer stone art might provide clues about the origin of Eskimo culture and its ancient Asian heritage. This task led me to Mongolia for the decade of anthropological and archaeological studies reported in this book.Full Description