Social Structure of the Early Medieval Turks in Altai-Sayan Region: Archaeological Perspectives

Author: Nikolai N. Seregin
Journal: Social Evolution & History. Volume 18, Number 2 / September 2019


The article concerns various aspects of the social interpretation of funeral complexes of the early medieval Türks (dating to the second half of the first millennium AD). The results of the analysis of sites excavated in the Altai, Tuva and Minusinsk basin are presented here. The available material, along with theoretical and practical experience of Russian and foreign scientists allowed for the development of an original social research program. We also define the features of gender and age differentiation of the early medieval Turkic society and consider opportunities of modeling the vertical structure of society. In the article we also distinguish the groups of burials showing the heterogeneity of nomads in the Altai-Sayan region in the second half of the first millennium AD. The results obtained through social analyses of funeral complexes are combined with data from written sources, in particular with the Chinese chronicles and Turks runic texts.

Nikolai Seregin, Institute of Mongolian, Buddhist, and Tibetan Studies,  Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Altai State University more