Modeling Sociopolitical Complexity in the Central Eurasian Steppes

Start: Mar 05, 2013 05:00 PM

Location: 114 Foster Court, UCL


Bryan Hanks (Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh) will give a special lecture at UCL on 5 March.

Prof Hanks' talk is entitled 'Modeling Sociopolitical Complexity in the Central Eurasian Steppes: Warfare, Metal Production and Political Process’ and all are welcome. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Institute's Staff Common Room (609).

Bryan K. Hanks is an archaeologist whose interests focus on the examination of Old World complex societies with a particular emphasis on the Eurasian steppe region. His research interests include: tribal societies, settlement archaeology, nomadic pastoralist socio-political organization, zooarchaeology funerary studies and ritual practices, and archaeological method and theory.


This presentation examines the results of a recent collaborative program of archaeological field research (2007-2013) in the Russian Federation that has focused on the Bronze Age Sintashta culture development (2100-1700 BC). Evidence of early spoke-wheeled chariot technology, copper metallurgy, and new forms of settlement patterning have led to a number of theories connecting these material trends with emergent social and political complexity. This presentation will examine the validity of these theories in the context of new evidence on the scale of metal production, regional demography, and the nature of conflict and violence.  New lines of data achieved through bioarchaeological studies, regional scale pedestrian survey, archaeometallurgy, and geochemical/geophysical prospection of settlements and cemeteries will be discussed.

Any enquiries about the event may be directed to Stephen Shennan.