Animal husbandry and dairy farming cause major socio-economic changes in ancient Mongolia

In 1211 Genghis Khan pushed his army into near-Chinese northern China, and in 1215 he destroyed the capital.

Hisson Ogodei conquered and controlled all of northern China from 1229 to 1241.

Meanwhile, Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson, destroyed the Chinese Southern Song in 1279, bringing all of China under foreign rule for the first time.

Historians are fascinated by the expansion of herders and cattle in the eastern steppe, but few experts have linked the introduction of herds and horses to the formation of sophisticated cultures.

Social changes in ancient Mongolia

(Photo: Joel SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)


Recent research published in the journal PLOS ONE has provided multidisciplinary evidence of the links between cattle farming and the growth of social complexity in the eastern steppe.

Researchers have shown a shift in dairy product consumption throughout the Bronze Age using proteomic analysis of human dental calculus from Altai sites in Mongolia.

Researchers discovered the critical importance of domestic sheep, goats and cattle in ancient civilizations by analyzing dairy consumption in communities in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia.

The introduction of ruminant cattle led to an increase in population, the creation of communal cemeteries and the erection of massive monuments.

Although these dramatic changes coincided with the earliest evidence of horse breeding in Mongolia, the consumption of horse milk products remained a relatively new activity until later eras.

According to lead research author Alicia Ventresca Miller, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, herd migration in the Mongolian Altai led to rapid changes in human diets, with a lag in future social and demographic developments, according to ScienceDaily.

Ventresca Miller and colleagues at the University of Michigan and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany isolated proteins from stone samples to find caseins and whey related to the products. dairy products from ruminants and horses.

The results were evaluated in collaboration with experts from the National University of Mongolia and the National Museum of Mongolia to better understand how ancient cultures changed as a result of the adoption of pets.

According to Ventresca Miller, the long-term reliance on sheep, goats, and cattle has resulted in dramatic societal transformations and enormous buildings.

This is reinforced by the discovery of mainly ruminant bones in massive monumental Khirgisuurs in the Altai Mountains, as well as horse bone deposits in other places in Mongolia.

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Mongol dynasty

Kublai Khan called her dynasty Yuan, meaning “beginning of the cosmos,” in 1271, and she ruled China from 1279 to 1368.

Kublai Khan pursued a provisional program of sinicization, in which he assimilated into the Chinese method of rule, and his image resembled previous Chinese monarchs.

On the other hand, although using Chinese in low-level government jobs, he eliminated civil service examinations, preferred to use Chinese in his bureaucracy, and established different regulations for Mongols and Chinese. .

Its capital, modern Beijing, has become a cosmopolitan and prosperous metropolis, according to Asia Society.

Kublai Khan wanted to help agriculture, so he created the Agriculture Stimulation Bureau.

Although many of his subjects wanted to maintain the herding lifestyle within the walls, in 1262 he issued an ordinance prohibiting nomads’ animals from straying onto farmland.

He stockpiled food storage places in anticipation of future famines, especially in the north, where fields had been destroyed by relentless conflict.

The capital contained 58 granaries which held 145,000 shih (one shih equaled 133 pounds).

Marco Polo claimed to have fed 30,000 destitute people in the capital every day. He divided the farmers into groups. Each lady was made up of 50 families.

They were encouraged to participate in self-help programs such as planting trees, irrigation and flood control, stocking rivers and lakes, and increasing silk manufacture.

They had to watch over their own limbs, rewarding those who worked hard and punishing those who were slow.

She also helped the censor keep tabs on attendees. It emphasized basic literacy and teaching improved farming practices.

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