Tracing migration effects in Siberia: Ethnoarchaeological research on changing socio-economic strategies of boreal hunter-fisher-herders

Hunter GathererFig. Pokalky, Wesztern Siberia, Taz Selkup summer station. Reindeer assembling around open-air smoke oven (photo: C. Engel, 2017).

New results on ethnoarchaeological research in Siberia have been recently published by Henny Piezonka and her Russian-German team in the scientific journal “Quaternary International”. This publication is associated with the Subcluster Dietary ROOTS.
The article explores the role of migration as a trigger for transformations of life ways, subsistence strategies, material culture and ethnic identity in hunter-fisher-reindeer herder societies. Fieldwork among the Taz Selkup, a mobile hunter-fisher-herder community that migrated into the northern taiga of Western Siberia three centuries ago, provides insights into the consequences of migration to a new environmental zone. Based on a multi-disciplinary approach, Henny Piezonka and her team are able to identify different factors at play in these processes, such as adaption to new ecological conditions, cultural influences from other groups, and mechanisms of cultural resilience. The results reveal a range of economic and related lifeway adaptations, including niche construction strategies related to the uptake of reindeer husbandry, reflected, e.g., by the use of smoke ovens against mosquitoes to bind the reindeer to the human settlements and feeding fish to reindeer in winter.

The article is free on ScienceDirect before June 25, 2020.



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