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The Xiongnu settlements of Egiin Gol, Mongolia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Joshua Wright
Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA (Email: (
William Honeychurch
Department of Anthropology, Yale University, 10 Sachem Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
Chunag Amartuvshin
Institute of Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar-11, Jukov Street-77, Mongolia


The Xiongnu people have long been considered an archetypical nomadic group, characterised archaeologically mainly from their tombs – which have reinforced the stereotype. Thanks to a sophisticated survey project, the authors are able to reveal the Xiongnu's economic complexity. Although primarily pastorialists they practiced cultivation and their ceramics reveal a settlement hierarchy which chimes with the broader social and settlement system of the region.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2009

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