The earliest Bronze Age culture of the south-eastern Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Joshua Wright* (Corresponding Author), Galdan Ganbaatar, William Honeychurch, Batdalai Byambatseren, Arlene M Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Studies of the Eurasian Bronze Age have tended to emphasise the homogeneity of social and political processes across the Steppe, evidenced by a common ‘package’ of practices and material culture. The Dornod Mongol Survey examines the major stone monumental forms and associated features of the Ulaanzuukh mortuary tradition of the Gobi region of Mongolia. Combining evidence for mortuary and ritual practices, ceramic traditions and new radiocarbon dates, the authors argue that the appearance of the earliest Bronze Age cultures in this region represents a disparate collection of local, regional and inter-regional expressions that challenge the established narrative of a ‘standard’ Eurasian Bronze Age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-411
Number of pages19
Issue number368
Early online date11 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

The DMS project would not have been possible without the generous collaboration of the Institute of History and Archaeology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences. The work presented was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (grant RZ-249831-16). Sarah Pleuger and Victoria Wilson contributed illustrations used here. Finally, we express our sincere gratitude to the families of Delgerkhaan Uul, whose hospitality and knowledge have helped us immensely.


  • Mongolia
  • Bronze Age
  • monumentality
  • funerary traditions
  • social hierarchy
  • place-making


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