Congratulations to Alicia Ventresca Miller, assistant curator of Asian archaeology at UMMAA, and Bryan K. Miller, research affiliate with the Museum, who are both co-authors of two recent articles in Nature.com journals. “Dairy pastoralism sustained eastern Eurasian steppe populations for 5,000 years” was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, and “Economic Diversification Supported the Growth of Mongolia’s Nomadic Empires” appeared in Scientific Reports, both in early March 2020. Both articles report on studies led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Ruminant and equine dairying in prehistoric Eurasia and contemporary Mongolia. a, Map of Eurasia showing major geographical features referred to in the text and sites where evidence of dairying has been previously found using proteomic approaches. b–f, Mongolian dairy products from Khövsgölaimag: yoghurt starter culture, Khöröngö (Хөрөнгө) (b); curd from reindeer milk, ‘kurd’ (c); dried curd from mixed yak and cow milk, aaruul (ааруул)(d); clotted cream from mixed yak and cow milk, öröm (өрөм) (e); and fermented horse milk, airag (айраг) (f). g, Dairying ritual from Dundgobi aimag, Mongolia blessing the first horse airag production of the season. Credit: Photograph c provided by Matthäus Rest; photograph d provided by Jessica Hendy; and all others provided by Björn Reichhardt.