Choose your own adventure: Time loops in Central Asian economy, mobility, and urbanism

Michael Frachetti, PhD

Professor, Department of Anthropology  

Director/PI:  Spatial Analysis, Interpretation, and Exploration (SAIE) laboratory

Washington University in St. Louis

Central Eurasia provides a rich opportunity to examine long-term fluctuations in socio-environmental behaviors and decision making that shaped its economic and socio-political landscapes from prehistoric to historic times.  While many regional archaeologies are presented through implicitly teological frameworks such as the  “rise of complexity” or “transition to agriculture”, ancient societies of the Eurasian steppe exhibited diversified adaptations that show reversible and stochastic patterning related to time-specific integrations of environmental resources, economic and genetic networks. Coallesence of power and influence, materialized through mobility and urban aggregation, ebbed and flowed alongside durable channels of interaction and participation. Offering a whimsical approach to “choose your own adventure” this lecture invites the audience to participate in a deep-time exploration of various economic and institutional realizations across more than 5000 years of Eurasian archaeology, exposing time-loops and non-uniform complexities within the mechanics of mobility, exchange, urbanism and other material transitions evident in the region’s archaeological past. 

Wed April 12th 2023, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Michael Frachetti