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Rethinking the Thundering Hordes
Archaeology, v65 n3 ^ | May/June 2012 | Andrew Lawler

Posted on 05/06/2012 7:31:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

Vast stretches of Central Asia feel eerily uninhabited. Fly at 30,000 feet over... Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan -- and there are long moments when no town or road or field is visible from your window.

Wandering bands and tribes roamed this immense area for 5,000 years, herding goat, sheep, cattle, and horses across immense steppes, through narrow valleys, and over high snowy passes. They left occasional tombs that survived the ages, and on rare occasions settled down and built towns or even cities. But for the most part, these peoples left behind few physical traces of their origins, beliefs, or ways of life. What we know of these nomadic pastoralists comes mainly from their periodic forays into India, the Middle East, and China, where they often wreaked havoc and earned a fearsome reputation as enemies of urban life.

As early as the fifth century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus warned of a barbaric and warlike pastoralist people called the Scythians who lived north of the Caucuses and drank human blood from skulls. The hardy Xiongnu from the Siberian steppes raided Chinese towns in the second century B.C., prompting construction of the Great Wall. And troops from Mongolia led by Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu Khan laid waste to the rich metropolis of Baghdad in A.D. 1258...

In the past century, scholars have continued where the ancient writers left off, criticizing these people as destructive, dismissing them as marginal, or, at best, casting them as a harsh tonic for restoring vigor to decaying and soft agricultural societies from ancient Mesopotamia to Imperial Rome to Han China...

(Excerpt) Read more at archaeology.org ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: aryans; baghdad; china; genghiskhan; genocide; godsgravesglyphs; greatwall; harappan; helixmakemineadouble; herodotus; hulagukhan; india; indusvalley; jeromedowd; kazakhstan; mesopotamia; mongolia; mongolmassmurderers; mortimerwheeler; romanempire; scythians; turkmenistan; uzbekistan; victorsariyiannidis; viktorsarianidi; viktorsarigiannidis; xiongnu
Archaeologists are uncovering Bronze Age settlements where modern Uzbek and Tajik pastoralists today drive their flocks through the same landscape as their ancient forebears. (Courtesy Michael Frachetti)

Rethinking the Thundering Hordes

1 posted on 05/06/2012 7:32:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


2 posted on 05/06/2012 7:35:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

A reminder to me that life goes on... Thanks for posting!


3 posted on 05/06/2012 7:45:52 AM PDT by Errant
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To: SunkenCiv
Mostly people will stay where they are unless interrupted.

Climate changes have caused many people to 'pick-up' and leave home in search of another liveable place after their home became to cold, hot, dry or etc.

The most desireable living spots were already inhabited so....someone had to leave, usually the weakest.

4 posted on 05/06/2012 8:03:00 AM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

So, that’s where liberals came from.


5 posted on 05/06/2012 9:10:17 AM PDT by donhunt (Certified and proud "Son of a Bitch".)
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To: blam

Not so much the weakest, just the less numerous. Hell, it’s happening right now in the mightiest nation in the history of the Earth.


6 posted on 05/06/2012 10:22:48 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv; blam

I think if you could ask those tribes why they invaded the Roman or Byzantine Empires they would give you the same response Willie Sutton gave about why he robbed banks.


7 posted on 05/07/2012 4:53:52 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

Yup.

They wanted the gold and the women. The Romans could keep everything else, lol.


8 posted on 05/07/2012 6:02:32 PM PDT by blam
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To: colorado tanker

;’)


9 posted on 05/07/2012 8:18:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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