Lecture 11/28 Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) • Horses 1 st domesticated in Central Asia ca. 8,000 B.C. o Studies on the shape of horse backbones (flattened by constant riding) • Central Asian steppes were an international “highway” o Horses across large flatland o Connects Near East and China o Soils are bad, climate is cold, water is scarce • Asymmetry between Western and Soviet archaeology (Soviets knew what West was up to, but not vice versa) o Increased collaboration since Glasnost (1985) o Most of Afghanistan and parts of Iran are still unknown • Victor Sarianidi – Soviet archaeologist who first described ancient culture (BMAC) in Afghanistan • Aral sea reduction by Soviets was one of history’s worst ecological disasters o Rivers that formerly emptied into the sea now empty into deserts • Central Asian nations are of enormous geopolitical significance
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