An investigation into diet and economy in ancient Mongolia through multiple biomolecular datasets

Wilkin, Shevan GND

This dissertation explores the dietary histories of ancient Mongolia through the study of stable isotope and protein analyses, with a specific focus on the origins of dairy pastoralism and cereal grain cultivation on the eastern Eurasian steppe. In contemporary Mongolia, dairy pastoralism is a frequently practiced subsistence strategy in rural areas, and milk from as many as seven species is processed into numerous different dairy products. While dairy pastoralism and milk consumption are common in Mongolias history, the antiquity of dairying has been unknown. The situation is similar with grain cultivation which makes up a small but important component of Mongolias economy today, facilitated by the use of modern irrigation methods. It remains unclear, however, when grain cultivation began on the eastern steppe, and which crops were utilized. This dissertation, through three separate studies using proteomics and stable isotope analysis, aims to discover when dairy and millet were first incorporated into early Mongolian diets.

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Wilkin, S., 2020. An investigation into diet and economy in ancient Mongolia through multiple biomolecular datasets. Jena. https://doi.org/10.22032/dbt.45887
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