1st Edition

The World of the Oxus Civilization

Edited By Bertille Lyonnet, Nadezhda Dubova Copyright 2021
    964 Pages 310 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 310 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection of essays presents a synthesis of current research on the Oxus Civilization, which rose and developed at the turn of the 3rd to 2nd millennia BC in Central Asia.

    First discovered in the 1970s, the Oxus Civilization, or the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC), has engendered many different interpretations, which are explored in this volume by an international group of archaeologists and researchers. Contributors cover all aspects of this fascinating Bronze Age culture: architecture; material culture; grave goods; religion; migrations; and trade and interactions with neighboring civilizations, from Mesopotamia to the Indus, and the Gulf to the northern steppes. Chapters also examine the Oxus Civilization’s roots in previous local cultures, explore its environmental and chronological context, or the possibly coveted metal sources, and look into the reasons for its decline.

    The World of the Oxus Civilization offers a broad and fascinating examination of this society, and provides an invaluable updated resource for anyone working on the culture, history, and archaeology of this region and on the multiple interactions at work at that time in the ancient Near East.

    Introduction  PART I: THE OXUS CIVILIZATION BACKGROUND  1. Questioning the Oxus Civilization or Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Culture (BMAC): an Overview  2 The Oxus Civilization and Mesopotamia: A Philologist’s Point of View  3. Environmental Changes in Bactria and Sogdiana (Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan) from the Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age: Interaction with Human Occupation  4. The Rise of the Early Urban Civilization in Southwestern Central Asia (from the Middle Chalcolithic to the Middle Bronze Age in Southern Turkmenistan)  PART II: THE "CORE AREA"  5. The Architecture of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Culture  6. Some Thoughts on the Imaginary Representations in the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Culture  7. Myths and Gods in the Oxus Civilization  8. BMAC Glyptics: Typology, Context, Function, and Background  9. Chlorite Containers from the Oxus Civilization: Between Technical Choices and Iconographic Codes  10. The "Royal Necropolis" at Gonur Depe: an Attempt at Systematization (Plan, Constructions, Rituals)  11. Polychrome Inlayed and Painted Mosaics from Gonur Depe (Turkmenistan)  12. Animal Burials at Gonur Depe  13. Funerary Rituals and Archaeothanatological Data from BMAC Graves at Ulug-Depe (Turkmenistan) and Dzharkutan (Uzbekistan)  14. Bioarchaeology of the BMAC Population: A Short Review  15. Animal Exploitation at Gonur Depe  16. Life in the Countryside: the Rural Archaeology of the Sapalli Culture  17. Who Interacted with Whom? Re-Defining the Interaction between BMAC People and Mobile Pastoralists in Bronze Age Southern Turkmenistan  18. The End of the Oxus Civilization  PART III: THE "SURROUNDING AREAS"  19. The BMAC Presence in Eastern Iran: State of Affairs in December 2018. --Towards the Greater Khorasan Civilization?  20. The Relationship between the Oxus Civilization and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands  21. Interaction between the Worlds of South Asia and Central Asia  22. The Oxus Civilization/BMAC and its Interaction with the Arabian Gulf: A Review of the Evidence  23. The Formation of the Oxus Civilization/BMAC in Southwestern Tajikistan  24. The Zeravshan Regional Variant of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex: Interaction between Two Cultural Worlds  25. The "Classical Vakhsh Culture": a Bronze Age Culture of the 3rd and early 2nd Millennium BC in Southern Tajikistan  26. The Oxus Civilization and the Northern Steppes  PART IV: METALS AND METAL DEPOSITS  27. Archaeometallurgical Studies on BMAC Artifacts  28. Metal Sources (Tin and Copper) and the BMAC  29. The Acquisition of Tin in Bronze Age Southwest Asia  APPENDIX: Radiocarbon Dates Related to the BMAC/Oxus Civilization


    Bertille Lyonnet is Directrice de Recherches Emeritus at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, as an archaeologist. She has worked in Central Asia (Afghanistan, Tadjikistan, and Uzbekistan), northeastern Syria, the northern Caucasus, and Azerbaijan. A specialist in ceramics, she has always shown a particular interest in the interrelations between the different areas of the world where she has worked. She is the author of several books and over 150 articles.

    Nadezhda A. Dubova is a main researcher and head of the Center of Human Ecology at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology (IEA) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. She was the head and/or a member of more than 60 physical anthropological and archaeological expeditions in Russia, Central Asia, Iran, and the Moldova Republic. She now heads the International Russian-Turkmen Margiana archaeological expedition. She gives lectures at different universities (Lomonosov Moscow, Ufa (Bashkortostan), Voronezh, South Kazakhstan (Shimkent), and Bern (Switzerland)). She is the author and editor of more than 400 publications on physical anthropology, human ecology, Eurasian archaeology, and theoretic problems of anthropology.