X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Sun Feb 7 08:54:55 UTC 1999

In a message dated 2/7/99 1:21:37 AM, JoatSimeon at AOL.COM quoted:

<<...seems to have gone from Neolithic hunter-gathering to pastoral nomadism
without any evidence of serious agriculture intervening,... >>

This particular statement really bothers me. I also saw the "intervening
agriculture" stage as a requirement for pastoral nomadism repeated again and
again in Renfrew's Archaeology and Language where it was used to eliminate all
kinds of possibilities regarding the steppes.

I don't see why the nomadic pastoral culture has to go through an agricultural
phase, particularly if it has the resources to feed itself with what it has
(like horses, along with hunter - gatherer dietary supplements.)  And, if
there are any agriculturalists within range, than the nomads themselves
wouldn't seem to need to go through that phase, because they would always have
something to trade (like horses.)  And that would also include access to trade
on the Black Sea and along the long flowing rivers of the Steppes which could
carry grain, if that is really needed.  By 400 bce, the "nomadic" and "Royal
Scythians" seem to be have ready access to imported grain from the northwest,
with no reason to think that they didn't have an arrangement like this going
for them right from their first entree into "nomadic pastoralism."

Steve Long

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