Specialized wool production economy of prehistoric farmstead of Chap I in the highlands of Central Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan)

Elina Ananyevskaya, Michael Buckley, Manasij Pal Chowdhury, Kubatbek Tabaldiev, Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Agro‐pastoral economies of prehistoric populations of Central Tian Shan highlands (2,000 masl and higher) have been poorly studied to date. Currently, we lack a general understanding of mobility and seasonality patterns of livestock herding and also lack knowledge about management strategies for particular productive goals in these high mountain valleys. In this paper, we report the results of the first systematic zooarchaeological analysis from the Final Bronze Age–Early Iron Age settlement Chap I located in Central Tian Shan highlands and discuss the data in relation to zooarchaeological evidence from contemporaneous sites in Central Asia. Our research has shown that Chap I was dominated by four domesticated herbivores: cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Data from Chap I demonstrate a strong focus on the exploitation of sheep and goats for meat and secondary products. Analysis of collagen peptides (ZooMS) from sheep/goats indicated that sheep were kept in greater numbers than goats. Sheep/goat mortality profiles and material evidence point to wool as an important product of highland pastoralism in the Central Tian Shan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2020


  • Final Bronze Age–Early Iron Age
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tian Shan
  • ZooMS
  • agro-pastoralism
  • caprine herding
  • economy
  • wool

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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