ANCIENT NOMADS OF THE ARALO-CASPIAN REGION
ANCIENT NOMADS OF THE ARALO-CASPIAN REGION
The Duana Archaeological Complex

The Aralo-Caspian region is the southern heartland of the Eurasian steppe and in its remotest quarters it preserves a rich record of the nomads who have ranged for many centuries across its grasslands. Between the Aral and the Caspian Seas lies the Ustiurt Plateau, an isolated upland area of semi-desert that in past centuries was once the favoured winter grazing land for many of the nomadic tribes of central Eurasia. Professor Vadim Yagodin pioneered work in this difficult region and through several decades documented its history, mainly through evidence gathered from cemeteries. Duana lies in a beautiful setting overlooking the western shores of the Aral Sea. Its important rests not only in the multi-period burial complex but also in the nomad sanctuaries that have been found there.

CONTENTS

Preface vii
The Aralo-Caspian Region A.V.G. Betts1
Background1
Nomads of the Aralo-Caspian Region 3
Nomadic Cult practices 8
Cult Practices in the Duana archaeological complex 10
The Duana Archaeological Complex V.N. Yagodin11
Introduction11
The cult-burial complex 13
Excavations18
Typology of the burial complexes 32
Discussion73
The sanctuaries 75
Stone walss 78
Human Remains S. Blau79
Bibliography 83