P.K. Dashkovskiy, I.A. Meykshan
Regional Elite of Nomads of Southern Siberia and Central Asia in the Epoch of the Late Antiquity on the Basis of Written and Archaeological Sources
The article considers the possibility to define regional elite in the socio-political organization of the nomadic societies of South Siberia and Central Asia in the late antiquity. The research is based on the Chinese written sources on the history of the Xiongnu and archaeological materials obtained by the authors during the research of the monuments of the Pazyryk culture (VI–III centuries BC.) in Altai. The signs which marked the regional elite of nomads could be “prestigious things”: import goods (silk, Chinese lacquerware), elements of the costume (head-dresses, torcs, adornments). Despite the fact that the composition and value of the grave objects of the burials of the regional elite is much inferior to “royal” mounds, however, they qualitatively stand out from other burials of nomads. The introduction of the category of regional elites into scientific use can significantly extend the study of the problem of the social structure of nomads, consider the specifics of the organization and functioning of a nomadic polity, as well as the relationship between central and peripheral regions of the political units of the nomads of South Siberia and Central Asia in the epoch of late antiquity.
Key words: regional elite, nomadic societies, written sources, prestigious things, Siberia, Central Asia
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