Social Complexity of Pazyrik Culture in Altai, 550–100 BC


Authors: Alexei A. Tishkin; Petr K. Dashkovskiy
Journal: Social Evolution & History. Volume 18, Number 2 / September 2019

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/seh/2019.02.04

The reconstruction of the ancient nomads' social organization based on archaeological materials reveals a number of objective difficulties. However, mass material evidence and developed methodological approaches allow, based on the experience of predecessors, presenting the level of the social complexity. The reflection of this situation is demonstrated by the history of studying the world famous Pazyryk culture. A substantial amount of objective information allowed the authors of the article to consistently solve problems of social interpretation of the existing data set and consider the consistency of the selected signs of statehood in relation to the unification of the Altai nomads in the Scythian-Saka time. Based on the several basic indicators (spatial-territorial-geographical factor; population size and density; economic and cultural types; craft activity; presence of large population consolidation centers; social stratification (including management apparatus), taxation; foreign policy contacts, sign-communicative system; worldview, etc.) it is concluded that the population of the Pazyryk were in the process of socio-political complexity formation of the indicated level.

Alexey A. Tishkin, Institute of Mongolian, Buddhist, and Tibetan Studies, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences more

Petr K. Dashkovskiy, Altai State University, Barnaul more